Bring your own Windows licenses to IBM Cloud infrastructure

By: Steve Harrington

Bring your own Windows licenses to IBM Cloud infrastructure

Windows Server is a critical component of many solutions—but it can also be pricey. Businesses running Windows on-premises set up licensing structures with Microsoft to minimize these costs. However, as businesses shift to cloud, that can mean purchasing additional licenses through a different channel. In turn, this can lead to sub-optimal (read: way too high!) licensing costs.

Offset costs and use your own licenses

Beginning this week, you can bring your own Windows licenses to IBM Cloud with dedicated hosts (side note: learn all about dedicated hosts). With this option, you provision Windows instances on a dedicated host using licenses from your existing Microsoft Enterprise Agreement—saving as much as 40 percent on Windows licensing costs.

The process is simple and works the same way as our bring your own license (BYOL) option with the Red Hat Cloud Access program. Just upload your image to your account using our import tool and mark it as a Windows BYOL image.

Offset costs and use your own licenses

You’re then able to use that image to provision new Windows virtual instances using your own licenses. When configuring placement, just select from one of your existing dedicated hosts or create a new one.

Offset costs and use your own licenses

You’ve got options

At IBM Cloud, we offer many ways to license Microsoft applications—so you can manage them in the right way for your business:

  • Provision a server with Windows and/or MSSQL included and let us handle the licensing for you

  • Bring your own Windows license through this new option on dedicated hosts, or on bare metal serversthrough the “no-OS” option

  • Use licenses for many Microsoft applications on IBM Cloud through our participation in the License Mobility Through Software Assurance program

In the coming months, we’ll continue to expand our BYOL options to include cloud-init provisioning. We’re also adding support for additional Linux flavors. For more details, see our documentation.

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