back to article Microsoft makes cloudy Linux licensing less labyrinthine

The fine folk at Licensing School have noticed a new-ish example of Microsoft’s ongoing ardour for Linux: a BYO licensing scheme that makes it easier to bring Red Hat and SUSE deals to Azure. Microsoft offers the “Azure Hybrid Benefit”, a scheme that allows licences acquired under Software Assurance deals to run in Azure as …

  1. sgp

    Okay, where's the catch?

    1. HildyJ Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Black Friday Sale

      I don't see it as a catch as much as a promotional discount. Let's face it, M$ is an also ran in this space. They are trying to build their brand and increase their penetration (as opposed to companies like Oracle who seem to have given up and are trying to suck whatever they can out of existing customers).

      1. rcxb Silver badge

        Re: Black Friday Sale

        Let's face it, M$ is an also ran in this space.

        What? Azure is #2 in the cloud space. They are far behind AWS but ahead of Google and Alibaba:

        https://p2zk82o7hr3yb6ge7gzxx4ki-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/pasted-image-0-7.png

    2. NoneSuch Silver badge
      FAIL

      What's the catch?

      You mean apart from paying Microsoft to use something that's free elsewhere you mean...???

      1. Lorribot Bronze badge

        Re: What's the catch?

        You are confusing "licencing" with "support agreements". SUSE and RH both provide supported version of Linux, if you use the wrong one it can get costly.

        It is the same with many of those things that you think are free like Java and MySQL, you have to use the right right version often Open or Community in order to not have to pay for "support".

        I hope you never get audited.

    3. rcxb Silver badge

      The only catch is that Microsoft wants you on their cloud platform exclusively, and not to have your Linux systems on Amazon or Google. And there's really no down-side for them. It's certainly a bad look if for example a company's Linux systems on Google are cheaper and generally more reliable than their Windows systems on Azure. Now an Azure outage is just a "cloud" outage with nobody looking elsewhere.

      Microsoft is going to do everything they can to remove any reasons a company has to not use Azure for everything (once the Windows systems are there, because they got a sweetheart deal to lower the licensing), and give themselves market share and customer lock-in. Accounting departments sure don't want to deal with two sets of providers wherever one will do.

  2. trevorde Silver badge
    Trollface

    Meanwhile at Oracle...

    "How can we make our licensing *more* labyrinthine so customers are confused and give us more money?"

  3. Lorribot Bronze badge

    there is no catch

    "The only catch is that Microsoft wants you on their cloud platform exclusively"

    Err.... this is not a catch. The fact is MS have tidied up some licencing cloudiness in Azure which may or may not exist in other cloudy places and may or may not make using their platform simpler depending on your licencing stand point and Linux version choices.

    Azure is just one option in the choice of moving to a cloud based data centre. Other options are

    Use any one of the 20 or 30 cloud providers on the first page of a Google search (will likely exclude Azure for some quirk of the Google search algorithm, other search engines are available apparently, who would have guessed)

    Mixture of cloud providers

    Use a data centre provider

    Build your own data centre

    Use mixture of owned or cloud based compute for your work load and transition between the two depending on requirements and costs.

    Influencing your choice is Business drivers (IE the Cxx that has been to a conference and networked some stuff and has questions, Finance, Contracts, Procurement or what ever business unit thinks it need to get involved in such a strategic business decision), costs, management integration (ie how easy is it for you to do stuff as system admin, licencing costs and support and patching availability.

    Obviously the first one is the most important and the least likely to be the cause of a good decision.

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