Windows Server CSP licensing

Samantha Davenport 5 Reputation points

These CSP subscriptions are 8 core packs, which aligns with the license guidance, but the CSP link above is also talking about perpetual licensing in the same guide, which I know is eligible for on-premise use. I struggling to locate anything which explicitly states that CSP based subscriptions can be used for on-premises VM workloads.


This SKU is an example subscription, and the only descriptions I could previously find referred to their use in Azure only. “DG7GMGF0D5RK:0003”. The descriptions appear to have been updated recently to now include “physical processor or virtual machine”, but want to ensure I’m not going to put our clients in a non-compliant position.


Windows Server is the cloud-ready operating system that supports current workloads while introducing new technologies that make it easy to transition to cloud computing. It delivers powerful new layers of security along with Azure-inspired innovation for the applications and infrastructure that power your business. This is a three-year subscription to a pack of 8 core licenses, with a minimum of 8 core licenses per physical processor or virtual machine and a minimum of 16 core licenses per server. This purchase includes Azure Hybrid Benefits for Windows Server enabling you to run in Azure Windows Server VMs at the Linux rate. You also need to purchase Windows Server Client Access Licenses (CALs) for every user or device accessing the (physical) server.


This new option to license is of interest to many of our customers as they can move the licenses to Azure later, mix subscriptions with perpetual to allow a subset of workloads to be upgraded to newer, have limited number of Windows workloads on a VMware cluster mixed with Linux, and other scenarios.


If you can help me secure a definitive answer to the question regarding the eligibility of using CSP sourced Windows Server subscriptions for on-premises VM workloads, that would be greatly appreciated.

Windows Server
Windows Server
A family of Microsoft server operating systems that support enterprise-level management, data storage, applications, and communications.
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  1. Dave Patrick 426.1K Reputation points MVP

    I'd ask your seller about access to on premise licensing.
    --please don't forget to upvote and Accept as answer if the reply is helpful--

  2. Carl Fan 6,831 Reputation points

    Hi Samantha Davenport,

    Thank you for your post.

    With active SA or subscriptions on Windows Server, which also requires active SA or subscription for the Client Access Licenses (CALs), Microsoft will allow you to license Windows Server per VM. This new benefit can be used on-premises or within an Authorized Outsourcer’s shared hosting environment but does not include Listed Providers.

    The requirements to take advantage of this new benefit include having active SA and following the licensing minimums, which should sound familiar. The required minimum entry point is 16 cores, meaning the initial two virtual machines require a minimum of eight cores per VM. Each additional VM licensed in this manner will adhere to the eight cores per VM minimum, and all cores must be licensed, including the base set of VMs.

    Some information below may helpful about add virtual cores to windows server.

    Meanwhile, for Windows server subscriptions, it always included some products such as SQL server, RDS server and so on. So according to the official website information, we'd better ask related licensing question for CSP panther.

    Best Regards,


    If the Answer is helpful, please click "Accept Answer" and upvote it.

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  3. Limitless Technology 43,976 Reputation points

    Hi. Thank you for your question and reaching out. I’d be more than happy to help you with your query.

    CSP (Cloud Solution Provider) subscriptions, such as the 8 core packs you mentioned, are typically associated with cloud-based services and usage. They are designed for customers to consume cloud services and resources on a pay-as-you-go or subscription basis, rather than through a traditional perpetual license model.

    However, certain CSP subscriptions may include the option to use the software on-premises as well, depending on the specific terms and conditions of the subscription. The license guidance you mentioned may be referring to this option, but it's best to check with your CSP provider or Microsoft directly to confirm whether or not the CSP subscriptions you are considering are eligible for on-premises use.

    It is also worth noting that there are other licensing options for on-premises workloads, such as the traditional perpetual license model, which would be more appropriate for on-premises workloads, as CSP is designed for Cloud consumption.

    If the reply was helpful, please don’t forget to upvote or accept as answer, thank you.

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  4. Limitless Technology 43,976 Reputation points

    Double post

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