Major change to Microsoft licensing

We now offer a unified license for Microsoft Windows Server (2016 and earlier versions) and three Microsoft SQL Server licenses for the Web, Standard, and Enterprise edition of MS SQL Server (2017 and earlier versions).

Microsoft Server Web edition is no longer supplied, which means that Microsoft Server 2016 Standard is the lowest level available. These licenses are valid to run older Web edition servers if you wish, but the pricing change will still apply.

On the 19th of February 2018 we will convert all licenses to the new unified licenses and from that point we will only be selling the unified Microsoft licenses.

With the unified licenses, it's easier to keep track of license requirements, the bills become simpler and upgrading to new software is also easier. On the other hand, MS SQL licensing will be based on used CPU cores.

New Microsoft products

We now fully support and license Windows Server 2016 and Microsoft SQL 2017. They are available on pre-installed server images.

At the same time, we have removed all earlier Microsoft products from our media bank. Those customers who currently use earlier versions can continue to do so with the unified licenses but won't be able to add new server instances from pre-installed server images.

Windows Server Standard licenses cost the same as previously the Windows Server 2012 Standard licenses.

Per-core licensing for Microsoft SQL

Microsoft introduced per-core licensing which we have to follow. For now, this only affects the MS SQL licensing.

How it works

As the name suggests, per-core licenses require one license for each CPU core used by servers instead of one license for each server. This means that multiple licenses will always be required for running a single instance with Microsoft SQL Server installed.

The absolute minimum license requirement for a server is 4 licenses. Servers using 4 or fewer CPU cores will require exactly 4 licenses. Even if it's a single CPU core server, having 4 licenses is a must.

Servers using more than 4 CPU core will require one license per CPU core.

How many licenses do I need?
1-4 CPU cores 4 licenses
6 CPU cores 6 licenses
8 CPU cores 8 licenses

What to do

We will make the necessary changes for all customer servers licensed through us to adopt the new licenses without any interruption for the ongoing billing period on the 19th of February 2018. To assure this, we will replace the Microsoft licenses in all ongoing subscription plans with the appropriate new licenses.

Later on, it will be the customers' responsibility to purchase the new licenses. For those who's subscriptions renew automatically, this won't require any actions. But for customers who manually extend their subscription or create a new subscription, this will require some attention.

Please note the total cost of licensing Microsoft products will most likely change.

If you need more information or any help in transitioning to the new licenses, please open a support ticket from your ElasticHosts account or write an email to