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Microsoft Product Licensing on AWS and Azure Changing June 1, 2022

Related services: Cloudification

Individuals who use the campus license for Microsoft Windows Server or SQL Server at either AWS or Azure will be affected by a change that will take effect when Cornell's campus license with Microsoft renews on June 1, 2022.

  • For Windows Server at AWS, the use case is very specific and limited to dedicated hosts.
  • Customers of SQL Server at AWS, whether on EC2 or RDS, will need to buy a license directly from AWS, which may require redeploying your environment.


Since October 1, 2019, on-premises licenses purchased without Software Assurance and mobility rights cannot be deployed with dedicated hosted cloud services offered by the following public cloud providers:

  • Microsoft
  • Amazon (including VMware Cloud on AWS)
  • Google
  • Alibaba

Since Cornell's campus agreement with Microsoft predates this change, it takes effect when the contract renews. While the most significant effect at Cornell will be for Windows Server and SQL Server, technically all Microsoft software is in scope.

Example: SQL Server on AWS EC2
One example is that running SQL Server on an AWS EC2 instance that is running Windows Server is currently allowed, but won't be starting May 2022.To run SQL Server at AWS, you'll need to buy a license directly from AWS.

Two options :

  • EC2 instance with SQL Server licensing included from AWS
  • SQL Server on RDS with SQL Server licensing included from AWS

Windows Server at AWS
Cornell's campus license is not portable to EC2 at AWS today, so that will not change. Currently, Cornell's Windows Server license is able to be used on a dedicated host. With the new licensing, that too will change and that use will not be allowed.

Windows Server or SQL Server at Azure
Both Windows Server and SQL Server are eligible for Azure Hybrid Use Benefit and are also available to be run on Azure Dedicated Hosts. The Azure Hybrid Use Benefit allows Cornell to bring the campus license to Azure, by virtue of Software Assurance and License Mobility, and pay a reduced rate.

For more information, see:

If you have questions, email

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