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Microsoft Flexible Virtualization Benefit

As of October 1, 2022, Microsoft has implemented significant improvements in its terms of outsourcing and hosting (Hosting) that benefited customers around the world, with a “program” called: Flexible Virtualization Benefit.


These additional benefits have enabled new scenarios for how customers can license and run workloads (workloads) with cloud providers, including those run with partners in the program Cloud Solution Provider.

These changes support customers' ability to move their licenses to a partner's cloud, take advantage of shared hardware, and have more flexibility in deployment options for their software licenses, i.e., use resources multicloud.


Essential aspects:

  1. Any subscription license or license with Software Assurance can be “pulled” to a third-party cloud or hosting platform using the BYOL licensing benefit;
  2. Providers are automatically authorized to use the Flexible Virtualization Benefit, except for Amazon, Google, Alibaba and Azure, which have specific rules for hosting Microsoft services and licenses;
  3. Services from Microsoft 365, Office 365, Windows 11 and even Windows Server are included;
  4. The program Flexible Virtualization Benefit turned out to be more interesting than the License Mobility;
  5. For the first time Windows Server received rules equivalent to License Mobility on-premises;


What is the Flexible Virtualization Benefit:

Customers who have subscription licenses or licenses with Software Assurance asset (including CALs) may use the software on devices, including shared servers, which are under the management and operation of Authorized Service Providers.

The above quote is taken from the Universal License Terms.

Let’s explain the term “Authorized Service Provider” using another quote:

Authorized Service Provider: means any third party service provider that is not a Listed Provider (Alibaba, AWS, Google and Microsoft) and not using a Listed Provider (Alibaba, AWS, Google and Microsoft) as a Data Center Provider as part of the outsourcing service.

We can, for example, list some Authorized Service Providers in Brazil: IBM Cloud (formerly Softlayer), Oracle Cloud, Huawei Cloud, equinix, Locaweb, Tivit, Cirion, Algar, etc.

Simply put, it's any service provider except Alibaba, AWS, Google and Microsoft.


Explaining the Flexible Virtualization Benefit:


Suppose you have subscription licenses or licenses with active Software Assurance.


In this case, you have the right to ask your service provider to bring these licenses (BYOL) to your data center and use them in any hosted environment: shared (multi-tenant) or dedicated (single tenant).


There is no limit on the type of environment. Shared and dedicated environments are included.


All Microsoft software available as subscriptions or licenses with Software Assurance is included.


Does the Flexible Virtualization Benefit replace License Mobility from Software Assurance?


License Mobility through Software Assurance remains intact. It's the only way to get your licenses to the Listed Providers.

Official Source: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/licensing/news/options-for-hosted-cloud


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