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Authors Posts by Husam AlHmoud

Husam AlHmoud

I am the Business Development Manager - HSP for Crayon Group, I oversee and support the indirect business within Crayon subsidiaries across the globe. I have more than 16 years of experience in Managed Services, Business Development, Licensing, IT Operations, Project Management, Solutions and Services delivery in the Middle East, Africa Europe and East Asia. Deep knowledge in different licensing models, rules and regulations, and a long experience in virtualization concepts, cloud computing, managed services, service provider licensing programs, data center management and operations.

Microsoft has released SQL Server 2016, and this simple article list some questions that you might have in mind regarding this new edition of SQL Server 2016. You will also find at the end of this article SQL Server 2016 Datasheet & Licensing Summery.

SQL Server 2016 FAQs

1. What should I do to get ready for SQL Server 2016 in SPLA?
If you know about SQL Server licensing in SPLA today then you are licensing ready for SQL Server 2016 in SPLA. There are no material changes to the SQL Server licensing rules in SPLA currently in effect. Microsoft removes SQL Server Business Intelligence from the product line-up. All other editions remain available in SPLA after June 1, 2016. The core factor table is replaced by a 4 core minimum for physical SQL processors.

2. Does Microsoft plan any changes for SQL Server under Self-Hosting rights?
Microsoft does not have licensing changes planned for SQL Server self-hosting rights. Self-hosting rights are a Software Assurance benefit for VL customers. The use rights for SQL Server in VL programs are available in the VL Product Terms. SQL product line-up, use rights, and licensing models in SPLA are not the same as VL programs.

3. Can partners use SQL Server 2016 on infrastructure provided by a data center provider?
Yes, Service Providers may license SQL Server 2016 Standard SALs under their separate SPLA with Microsoft and deploy the software on infrastructure provided by a data center provider. Microsoft is a data center provider through Azure services.

4. Can partners use other SQL Server 2016 editions on infrastructure provided by a data center provider?
No, SQL Server 2016 Web Edition and SQL Server 2016 Enterprise Edition are licensed in SPLA under the per core license model. Service Providers may only deploy SPLA SAL Products on infrastructure provided by a data center provider.

5. What should I do if my software services include SQL Server 2016 Enterprise Edition and I obtain infrastructure from a data center provider?
You should ask your data center provider to provide SQL Server 2016 Enterprise Edition to you under your separate agreement for data center services.

6. Do I need to know about the core factor table to license SQL Server 2016 under SPLA?
No, Microsoft removes the core factor table for the SQL Server 2016 editions in SPLA. This means the SQL Server 2016 use rights in the SPUR do not require partners to multiply their physical cores on a server by the core factor.

7. Do I have to use the core factor to license SQL Server 2014 and prior versions in SPLA?
No, the core factor was intended to level the playing field between Intel processors and AMD processors at the time of SQL Server 2012 (when Microsoft changed the SQL processor licenses to SQL core licenses). If your servers have single core and dual core processors the core factor sets a 4 core minimum for physical processors. If your AMD processors have more than 4 cores, the core factor allows a maximum 4 core licenses for the AMD processors shown on the table (instead of the actual number of cores which may be higher).

8. Should I learn more about the core factor table?
Generally, Microsoft does not recommend learning about the core factor table because SQL Server 2016 specifies a 4 core minimum for physical cores on a server in the SPUR (instead of a reference to a table published on New devices do not ship with single core & dual core processors. You may only use the table if you license SQL Server 2014 and earlier versions for use on multi-core AMD processors and you reported these versions under SPLA before June 1, 2016. In this limited scenario, the table may reduce the number of SQL core licenses required in SPLA.

9. Does the 4 core minimum apply to SQL Server licensed by the VOSE?
Yes, if you license SQL Server by the virtual operating system environment “VOSE” (VM) the 4 core minimum applies to VM. This is not a change to the license requirements for SQL Server in SPLA.

10. How may I use and report SQL Server 2012 Business Intelligence Edition after June 1, 2016?
You may only use & report this edition if you reported these versions under SPLA before June 1, 2016. SPLA license program allows you to continue using & reporting software after the Products are removed from SPLA until your contract expiration date.

11. Does SPLA provide down edition rights from SQL Server 2016 Enterprise to SQL Server BI?
The BI feature set is only available through SQL Server 2016 Enterprise as an edition downgrade to SQL Server BI 2014.

12. Do I need a core license for each thread or virtual core?
Yes, you need a core for each thread or virtual core if you license SQL Server by the VOSE. Generally, you need a core license for each logical core in your SQL VM. You don’t need to license a thread if you license SQL Server by the physical cores on a server.

13. Can I license SQL Web Edition for an ecommerce site or web site hosting?
Generally, you may use SQL Web for public facing, internet sites as long as the data available to 3rd parties is the same data available to your end users. You may not license SQL Web if the data is only intended for the end user’s employees or internal purposes. Thus, SQL Web may not be used to support your end user’s line of business applications (such as Microsoft Dynamics ERP solutions) nor any deployments that would make the end user’s data base available to the general public.

14. Can I use a SQL SAL for a web site or other front end application used by the end user’s employees to interact with SQL Server 2016 Standard Edition?
No, a SQL Server SAL may only be assigned to a user not a device nor any other system that stands between the end users and the SQL Server software. This is not a change to the SQL licensing rules in SPLA today. If you assign a SQL Standard SAL to a user, you must be able to count all users authorized to access SQL Server directly or indirectly. A properly licensed user may access any number of running SQL Server Standard instances.

15. When Microsoft launches Windows Server 2016 in SPLA under the per core model, can I license Windows Server 2016 by the VM (instance based licenses) just like SQL Server is available today?
No, Windows Server 2016 requires a license for each physical core on the server. You may not license Windows Server 2016 by the VM. This is not a change to the Windows Server licensing rules in effect today.

16. Are there any changes to the additional software available with the SQL Server software today?
There are no changes planned for the additional software available with the SQL Server software from VLSC.

17. Is SQL Server 2016 Express available for commercial hosting purposes?
Yes. Partners can get details about SQL Server 2016 Express on our external site here. Partners may download SQL Express here. Please note, you must agree to the terms & conditions of the SQL Express end user license agreement to run the software.

18. What should I do if I have more licensing questions about SQL Server 2016 in SPLA?
Contact your local Crayon office or your Account Manager if you have questions.

Related Downloads:

SQL Server 2016 – Everything Built-In – Datasheet

SQL Server 2016 – SPLA Licensing Summery

This article helps you in clearing the doubts you might be having, and will help you in deciding weather you need to sign up for Citrix Service Provider (CSP) program or not.

Citrix CSP Partner Logo

Citrix has announced recently to its CSA partners, who need to join as a Citrix Service Provider (CSP) program.

To make it short and simple; if you are a service provider who is currently using perpetual licenses from Citrix to deliver Citrix based hosted services for external users, then you need to join Citrix CSP

Please refer to

The below is a set of Q&A that will help you in understanding better the change that took place, and the effect on your business:

What was that Announcement about?

Citrix Volume Licensing programs (Easy, ELA, Education and GELA) changed to exclude hosted, application & infrastructure service providers from being eligible to purchase software to deliver it for third parties.

Am I impacted with this Announcement?

  • If you are a Citrix Solution Advisor (CSA) delivering on-premise, non-hosted solutions to customers; No, you are not impacted
  • If you are a Citrix Solution Advisor (CSA) delivering Citrix solutions for and paid by customers; Yes, you are impacted
  • If you are Citrix System Integrator with an active hosting and/or outsourcing agreement; No, you are not impacted
  • If you are an ISV who is delivering applications as a hosted application using Citrix; Yes, you are impacted
  • If you are a traditional (enterprise) Citrix customer that purchases perpetual licenses; No, you are not impacted

Can I be both a CSA and CSP?

Yes, you can be.
You can continue to offer & provide perpetual licenses for traditional on-premise customer deployments. But you need to move the hosted and/or as-a-Service side of your business to Citrix CSP.

How about my existing agreements under CSA?

If you register as a Citrix Service Provider, will be able to use the existing agreements through December 31, 2017, having the fact that the licenses delivered to your clients remain active under Software Maintenance.

What is the CSP program, and are its terms tied to it?

Joining the Citrix Service Provider Program will provide you access to a portfolio of monthly subscription-model based technologies including Desktops-as-a-Service (DaaS), application hosting, mobility solutions and file share and synch.
To know more about Citrix CSP, please refer to

What are the requirements to be Citrix Service Provider?

  • You have to have an active Microsoft Service Provider Licensing Agreement (SPLA)
  • Maintain at least two Citrix CCA certifications for each product deployed
  • Submit your monthly usage reports on time to your Citrix Service Provider distributor
  • Deploy Citrix Usage Collector on all license servers that use Citrix Service Provider licensing
  • Allow Citrix the right to audit your facility to ensure reporting compliance

Which Citrix products are included in the CSP program?

The CSP program includes monthly usage-based pricing and licensing offerings for XenApp for Service Providers, XenDesktop for Service Providers, Workspace Suite for Service Providers, XenServer for Service Providers as well as NetScaler VPX, Access Gateway VPX, Branch Repeater VPX, CloudBridge VPX, CloudGateway and CloudPortal Services Manager.

How much does it cost to get started as a Citrix Service Provider?

None! There is no upfront cost to join the Citrix Service Provider program.
Additionally, Citrix Service Providers who report $300 USD per month over a three-month period will receive a free Citrix technical support.

How do I get started?

Contact your local Crayon office, and our team will guide you through the registration process and activating your Citrix CSP agreement.


The LUI Service in Workspace Cloud is a free cloud service that helps Citrix Service Providers understand and report on Citrix product usage.

On March 23rd, Citrix will announce the availability of the Citrix License Usage Insights Service Preview to Citrix Service Providers.

Here is what you need to know about the License Usage Insights (LUI) Service Preview:

What it is: The LUI Service in Workspace Cloud is a free cloud service that helps Citrix Service Providers understand and report on Citrix product usage.

Who it is for: Any current Citrix Service Provider who chooses to opt in as an early adopter of the LUI Service Preview

Benefits to Citrix Service Providers:

Trend Analysis:

  • Learn what customers are actually using
  • Identify usage trends
  • Optimise your most popular service offerings

Reporting Accuracy:

  • Get a complete, aggregated view of license usage across all servers
  • See a clear layout of SKUs deployed
  • Manage zero-cost and trial users; report on paid subscriber usage to distributor


  • Collaborate on cross-functional reporting duties using a cloud-based service
  • Quickly add and train new administrators
  • No need to deploy additional reporting tools

Feeatures that will be available to Citrix Service Providers:

  • License Server Status:  Easily understand how many license servers you have and whether or not they’re updated for use with the LUI service.
  • Usage Collection:  Understand product usage through automated collection and aggregation of Citrix product usage – no need to deploy additional tools.
  • SKU Mapping: Simplify the reporting process through intelligent mapping of product usage to reporting SKUs
  • Zero Cost User Management:  Manage a list of free users to take full advantage of CSP licensing benefits.
  • Historical View: Quickly understand how your business with Citrix is trending and which products are seeing the most growth.

Take advantage of Virtual SAN pricing and packaging changes for VMware vCAN and on-board Service Providers now!

VMware has adjusted pricing and packaging for Virtual SAN exclusively for the vCloud Air Network (vCAN) program. These changes will be effective for Virtual SAN 6.2 on March 15, 2016.

This pricing and packaging is only available for Virtual SAN 6.2, for Service Providers with active contracts the new Virtual SAN 6.2 license keys will be issued on March 15, 2016. If existing Service Providers want to take advantage of the new pricing they will need to upgrade their license keys.

Below is a high level list of changes:

  1. Change pricing metric from “allocated capacity” to “used capacity
  2. Reduce STD and ADV list prices by 50% for server and 20% for desktop
  3. Introduce ENT “add-on” that can be applied to STD and ADV at small incremental price (instead of having to jump to a full ENT edition)

Below is a summary of the pricing changes (click on the image to see a bigger picture):

This is a pivotal event in setting the foundation to accelerate Virtual SAN growth in vCAN and win the Hyper-Converged battle. For more information on Virtual SAN usage reporting requirements, look out for Q1 2016 vCAN Product Usage Guide.

Details include important dates and concern 'Easy', 'ELA', 'Education' and 'GELA' programs

Citrix has announced changes to its volume discount programs (Easy, ELA, Education and GELA), mainly designed to make the Citrix Service Provider Program the only licensing program for Service Providers who are delivering applications and services to 3rd parties.

Changes exclude (hosted service, application service & infrastructure service) providers from being eligible to purchase software or software maintenance in support of their service offerings for third parties.

The following are details and important dates:


  • Customers – The exclusion covers only hosted service, application service and infrastructure service providers.  For the purposes of the exclusion:
    • Hosted service providers are customers that deliver a combination of traditional IT functions, such as infrastructure, applications, security, monitoring, storage, web development, website hosting and email to third-party customers over the Internet or other wide area networks.
    • Application service providers are customers that deliver application services in such a manner.
    • Infrastructure service providers are customers that deliver infrastructure services in the same manner.


  • Citrix Solution Advisors and Citrix Service Providers Partners that historically may have purchased licenses under these volume discount programs to deliver third-party “paid for services” will need to register as a Citrix Service Provider no later than December 31, 2015. Registration is necessary to remain compliant with our partner programs and leverage Citrix Service Provider consumption licensing models going forward from January 1, 2016. Each partner that registers as a Citrix Service Provider will be able to use their existing investment through December 31, 2017, as long as the assets remain active under Software Maintenance.


  • Citrix System Integrators and Independent Software Vendors Partners with an active hosting or outsourcing agreement are not impacted by this announcement.


What you should do?

To remain compliant and ensure you can continue to serve existing and new customers with minimum disruption, you must register as a Citrix Service Provider.

Contact your Account Manager from Crayon to help you subscribing to Citrix Service Provider Program.

This page consolidates all of the documents and guides for all Service Provider Licensing Agreement that you can acquire through Crayon. I will keep this page updated to the best of my knowledge, and as by the different vendors & publishers. If you have any specific questions, or require any document that is not listed in this page, please feel free to contact me.

Last Updated : September 18, 2016

Microsoft Service Provider Licensing Agreement (SPLA)
 Citrix Service Provider Program (CSP)
VMware vCloud Air Network (vCAN) – formerly VSPP
Veeam Cloud & Service Provider (VCSP)
Zimbra Business Service Provider (BSP)


Have a question? 

Addition of ShareFile to Citrix Service Providers portfolio enables them to expand their services footprint and increase customer value

During the past 6 months, Citrix had a multiple announcements related to their Citrix CSP (Service Provider Program) which is summarized below, the Citrix Service Provider (CSP) Program is a Citrix partner program designed specifically for service providers who provide and/or resell hosted software services to end-user customers. The CSP Program addresses the service provider market for offsite, multi-tenant hosting, and augmented with on-premise equipment if needed to satisfy service level agreements, where the end-user customer is not the licensee and does not manage nor access the CSP’s management infrastructure.

August 14, 2015, Citrix to offer ShareFile Enterprise as a stand-alone offering under the CSP Program – allowing partners the ability to sell an enterprise grade Enterprise File Sync and Share solution at a compelling price. This new offering to the CSP Program is intended to help build on the existing trust factor between the customer and the service provider that customer data is located in the partner data centers and not in the cloud. This release of Sharefile for Service Providers includes multi-tenant management.

June 5, 2015 Citrix announces availability of Citrix XenMobile Advanced Edition (user and device) under the Citrix Service Provider Program.

May 4, 2015, Citrix will introduce a new product line, Citrix Melio – a software-defined storage (SDS) solution that addresses the complexity and cost of managing growing and often geo-distributed data and workloads. This new Citrix product offering is being brought forward based on the recent acquisition of Sanbolic.

March 4, 2015 Citrix announces availability of Citrix XenServer 6.5 under the CSP Program. XenServer 6.5 is available only under per socket pricing. The CSP Program will look to add per VM pricing at a later date.

March 4, 2015 Citrix announces availability of Citrix Workspace Suite under the CSP Program. Citrix Workspace Suite is a complete workspace including XenDesktop Premium plus ShareFile and XenMobile MDM, Citrix Workspace Suite licensing is under the provisioned model (not active user like XenDesktop).

February 27, 2015 Citrix will repackage the Citrix CloudBridge retiring the current versions (1 Mbps, 2Mbps, 10 Mbps and 45 Mbps) and replacing with 2 Mbps, 6 Mbps, 10 Mbps, 20 Mbps, 50 Mbps, 100 Mbps, 200 Mbps versions.  The existing ordering SKU for CloudBridge remains valid and the versions

NetScaler VPX now includes Clustering as a standard feature (no additional cost) in Enterprise and Platinum version, all partners using NetScaler VPX with Clustering should migrate to the NetScaler VPX Enterprise or Platinum version