Windows Azure Virtual Machines – Supported Software and License Mobility

Windows Azure IaaS were recently announced for their General Availability.

All Microsoft software installed in the Windows Azure Virtual Machine environment must be properly licensed. Windows Azure Virtual Machines include by default a license for use of Windows Server in the Windows Azure environment. Certain Windows Azure Virtual Machine offerings may also include additional Microsoft software on a per-hour or evaluation basis. Licenses for other software must be obtained separately.

Here is a comprehensive list of software that are supported on virtual machines running in Windows Azure as of today:

Microsoft BizTalk Server
Microsoft BizTalk Server 2013 and later is supported.

Microsoft Dynamics GP
Microsoft Dynamics GP 2013 and later is supported.

Microsoft Dynamics NAV
Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2013 and later is supported.

Microsoft Forefront Identity Manager
Microsoft Forefront Identity Manager 2010 R2 SP1 and later is supported.

Microsoft Project Server
Microsoft Project Server 2013 and later is supported.

Microsoft SharePoint Server
Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010 and later is supported on Windows Azure Virtual Machines. For more information, please see http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/jj154957

Microsoft SQL Server
64-bit versions of Microsoft SQL Server 2008 and later are supported. Please see http://support.microsoft.com/?id=956893 for details.

Microsoft System Center
System Center 2012 SP1 and later is supported for the following applications:

  • App Controller
  • Operations Manager
  • Orchestrator
  • Server Application Virtualization
  • Service Manager

Microsoft Team Foundation Server
Microsoft Team Foundation Server 2012 and later is supported.

Windows Server Roles
Windows Server 2008 R2 and later versions are supported for the following roles. This list will be updated as new roles are confirmed:

  • Active Directory Domain Services
  • Active Directory Federation Services
  • Active Directory Lightweight Directory Services
  • Application Server
  • DNS Server
  • File Services
  • Network Policy and Access Services
  • Print and Document Services
  • Web Server (IIS)
  • Windows Server Update Services


The following roles are not supported on Windows Azure Virtual Machines:

  • Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol Server
  • Hyper-V
  • Remote Access (Direct Access)
  • Windows Deployment Services


Windows Server Features
Notable features that are not supported:

  • BitLocker Drive Encryption (on the OS disk – may be used on data disks)
  • Failover Clustering
  • Internet Storage Name Server
  • Multipath I/O
  • Network Load Balancing
  • Peer Name Resolution Protocol
  • SNMP Services
  • Storage Manager for SANs
  • Windows Internet Name Service
  • Wireless LAN Service

License Mobility through Software Assurance on Windows Azure

License Mobility through Software Assurance gives Microsoft Volume Licensing customers the flexibility to deploy eligible server applications with active Software Assurance on Windows Azure. With this Software Assurance benefit, there is no need to purchase new licenses and no associated mobility fees so, you can easily deploy existing licenses on the Windows Azure cloud platform.

Eligibility Requirements

If you are a Microsoft Volume Licensing customer with eligible* application server licenses that are covered by active Software Assurance, you can elect to use License Mobility through Software Assurance.

Eligible Volume Licensing programs include the Enterprise Agreement, Microsoft Enterprise Subscription Agreement (EAS), and Microsoft Open Value Agreement, where Software Assurance is included, and other Volume Licensing programs where Software Assurance is an option, such as the Microsoft Open License Agreement or the Select Plus Agreement.

The following are key requirements for using License Mobility through Software Assurance with your eligible Volume Licensing products.

  • License Mobility through Software Assurance only applies to eligible products as per the Product Use Rights (PUR) document. All products that are currently eligible for “License Mobility within Server Farms” and covered by Software Assurance are eligible for License Mobility through Software Assurance. In addition to those, certain other products can also be granted License Mobility through Software Assurance benefits, and will be identified in Appendix 1 of the PUR.
  • Dynamics ERP products, while they are not available through Microsoft Volume Licensing and are not licensed online, have mobility rules that allow for similar use as License Mobility through Software Assurance when deploying in shared environments.
  • Windows Server, the Windows® desktop operating system, and desktop application products are not included in License Mobility through Software Assurance.
  • Active Software Assurance coverage is required on eligible licenses. All licenses used to run and access your licensed software, such as server licenses, processors licenses, CALs, External Connector (EC) licenses, and server management licenses require active Software Assurance coverage. Your rights to run licensed software and manage instances on Azure expire with the expiration of the Software Assurance coverage on those licenses.
  • You need to maintain eligible licenses on Azure for a minimum period of 90 days. After the 90-day period, you can move the licensed software back to your premise.

Licensing FAQ

Q1: If I upload my on-premises Windows Server image to Windows Azure, do I need to provide my license keys?

No. Microsoft provides the Windows Server license keys for any running instances.


Q2: If I download my Windows Server image running on Windows Azure to on-premises, is the license provided in Windows Azure transferrable to on-premises?

No. If you download your Windows Server image running on Windows Azure to on-premises, you will then be required to supply a license for the image.

Q3: Do I need to purchase local disk storage with Virtual Machines separately?

No, local disk storage is provided with Virtual Machines and is not charged separately. To explore virtual machines configurations visit here.

Q4: Does the virtual machine instance price include Storage cost associated with the image running in the virtual machine?

The virtual machine instance price does not include any Storage cost associated with the image running in the virtual machines.

Q5: If my VM was deployed for less than an hour, how much do I get billed for?

Similar to Cloud Services, Virtual Machines are billed based on the number of clock hours your service was deployed. Any partial clock hour is billed as a full hour if the deployment was longer than five minutes within one clock hour. If your virtual machine was deployed for less than an hour, you may get billed for zero, one or two hours depending on when the deployment happened. For example, if you deploy a small virtual machine instance at 10:50 AM and delete it at 11:10AM, you will be billed for two hours, one hour for usage during 10:50 AM to 11:00 AM and another hour for usage during 11:00 AM and 11:10 AM.

Q6: Can I move Windows Server 2012 licenses and images between Hyper-V and Windows Azure?

Windows Server licenses are not eligible for License Mobility through Software Assurance. The license to run Windows Server in the Windows Azure environment is included in the hourly cost of your Windows Virtual Machine. Licenses for use of Windows Server on-premises (whether in a VHD or otherwise) must be obtained separately through volume licensing.

Q7: I know Windows Server is not covered under license mobility. Can a customer bring their own image that has applications and middleware on top of Windows Server?

Even though Windows Server is not covered under license mobility, Volume Licensing customers can still upload their own image containing Windows Server to Windows Azure, if they are bringing it as part of Licensing Mobility for another product that is being brought over. We will charge the Windows Server Virtual Machine rate applicable for their instance. Customers are responsible for proper licensing of any application or middleware in the image.

Q8: Does a customer need Windows Server CALs to connect to a Windows Server image that is running in Windows Azure Virtual Machines?

No. Windows Server CALs are not required for accessing Windows Server running in the Windows Azure environment because the access rights are included in the per hour charge for the Virtual Machines. Use of Windows Server on-premises (whether in a VHD or otherwise) requires obtaining a separate license and is subject to the normal licensing requirements for use of software on-premises.

Q9: What are the System Center license requirements for managing Windows Server 2012 instances running on Windows Azure?

Customers can use the license mobility benefits under Software Assurance to assign their System Center 2012 license to a Windows Server instance running on Windows Azure. A System Center Standard license can be used to manage 2 VM instances; a System Center Datacenter license can be used to manage 8 VM instances. For an overview of the pricing and licensing of System Center 2012 on Windows Azure, click here.

Q10: How do various instance sizes get billed?

Similar to Cloud Services, for Virtual Machines Standard Instances, all hours are converted into small instance hours when presented on your bill, as outlined in the following table:

Similar to Cloud Services, for Virtual Machines Standard Instances, all hours are converted into small instance hours when presented on your bill, as outlined in the following table.

Windows

VIRTUAL MACHINE INSTANCE SIZE CLOCK HOURS SMALL INSTANCE HOURS
Extra Small (A0) 1 1/4 hour
Small (A1) 1 1 hour
Medium (A2) 1 2 hours
Large (A3) 1 4 hours
Extra Large (A5) 1 8 hours

Non-Windows

VIRTUAL MACHINE INSTANCE SIZE CLOCK HOURS SMALL INSTANCE HOURS
Extra Small (A0) 1 1/3 hour
Small (A1) 1 1 hour
Medium (A2) 1 2 hours
Large (A3) 1 4 hours
Extra Large (A4) 1 8 hours

Q11: If I have two instances in different sub-regions, how will I be charged for data transfer between the two instances?

Each instance is charged for its data egress across sub-regions.Memory Intensive Instances are charged exactly the same as shown in the Pricing section above.

Each instance is charged for its data egress across sub-regions.

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