Bring Your Own License for Microsoft on Multi-Tenant Hosts

3 min read

Under Microsoft’s Flexible Virtualization benefit, customers can work with IBM to get cloud-based server solutions and either bring their own license or get the license from us.

Customers who purchased licenses from Microsoft were required to deploy these licenses on dedicated (single-tenant) instances in the cloud. Microsoft, as of October 1, 2022, announced that they introduced a new Flexible Virtualization benefit for customers that greatly expands customer choice when transitioning to the cloud. Under this benefit, customers with Software Assurance or subscription licenses may use on-premises licenses to build and/or install solutions and run them on any cloud provider’s infrastructure—dedicated or shared. This option is not available on Alibaba, Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google Cloud Platform (GCP) and Azure. This gives customers more flexibility to run their software where it makes sense and according to their workload profiles.

The Flexible Virtualization option + IBM

This new Flexible Virtualization option enables enterprises to license Windows Server on a virtual core basis. Enterprises should review the Microsoft FAQ to fully understand the ins and outs, and customers can also take an online training class on BYOL.

Under this model, customers can buy licenses for only the virtual cores they need (subject to a per-VM minimum) without being tied to a physical number of cores on the server. With the virtual core licensing option, customers can license Windows Server by the number of virtual cores they are using in virtual machines, making Windows Server easier to license when virtualizing or migrating to the cloud. Under the new Flexible Virtualization benefit, customers can work with IBM to get cloud-based server solutions and either bring their own license or get the license from us.

Prerequisites

Ensure that your IBM Cloud Object Storage account is authorized. If you don’t have a Cloud Object Storage account, you will need to create one. Once you have your Cloud Object Storage account created and authorized, you will need to upload your Windows bring-your-own-license (BYOL) custom image to Cloud Object Storage:

  1. Create an IBM Cloud Object Storage account
  2. Authorize resources to use Cloud Object Storage
  3. Upload your Windows BYOL custom image to Cloud Object Storage

Create your custom image

  • Log in to IBM Cloud.
  • Navigate to VPC Infrastructure > Custom images > Create:
  • Select the following:
    • Choose your Geography
    • Name the Custom image
    • Assign a resource group
    • Add any tags or access management tags as needed
    • Select Source: Cloud Object Storage
    • Operating System: Windows Server
    • Version: Select the version of Windows BYOL that was upload to Cloud Object Storage
    • Choose your encryption
    • In the right panel, select Create custom image

Provision your infrastructure

  • Log in to IBM Cloud.
  • Navigate to VPC Infrastructure > Virtual Server instances > Create:
  • Select the following:
    • Architecture: Intel
    • Hosting Type: Public
    • Choose your Geography
    • Name the Virtual Instance
    • Assign a resource group
  • Select Image > Operating System > Custom image:
    • Operating System: Windows Server
    • Choose the Microsoft BYOL image you created in the Creating your Custom image section
    • Choose your profile that best fits the servers needs
    • Assign your SSH Keys
    • Add data volumes to your server as needed
    • Assign a specific Virtual Private Cloud if you have one or use the default one assigned
    • Add more networking interfaces as needed
  • Review the selections in the right-side panel
  • Select Create virtual server

Get started

You have completed creating, authorizing and uploading your image to IBM Cloud Object Storage. You’ve also created a custom image with Windows BYOL and provisioned that image on IBM Cloud.

Now you're ready to use the provisioned Microsoft BYOL on IBM Cloud’s multi-tenant environment.

If you have feedback, suggestions, or questions about this post, please reach out to Chris Carter.

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