On our Windows VMs, we provide the Microsoft licensing (Windows Server licensing on all, and when needed: MS Office (or a component such as MS Access or MS Excel), Remote Desktop Services (RDS) and SQL Server). In fact, our users cannot use their own Microsoft licensing on our Windows VMs. If a client want to use their own Microsoft licensing, they much purchase our Windows Dedicated Server(s) instead.
On our Windows VMs, we provide the Microsoft licenses under the Microsoft Service Provider Licensing Agreement (SPLA) program which is the only Microsoft licensing program which allows commerical hosting. These Microsoft licenses are provided on a monthly basis which eliminates the need for clients to pay large upfront fees and allows easy changes to licensing, especially user licenses that can be increased as a client grows. You can read more about SPLA licenses vs Volume licenses here: Advantages to Using Riptide Hosting’s MS SPLA Licenses
Be aware that many hosting providers don’t provide or offer Remote Desktop User Licenses which makes it very difficult for their clients to use RDS and stay in compliance with Microsoft licensing terms. Riptide Hosting provides RDS user licenses on a monthly basis which allows clients to grow their user base and associated licenses over time. One of the most frequent questions we get around licensing is to explain how RDS users are licensed. Microsoft does NOT offer any type of concurrent user licensing model which means every unique-end-user must be licensed separately. Shared accounts are not allowed. Every user needs a license if they have access to RDS (the ability to RDP to the server). Each user needs a license if they have access to RDS functionality even if they don’t actually use it. Therefore, if you have users that are terminated or no longer need access, you should delete the user(s) which can save you licensing fees. Microsoft Office (or components of Office such as MS Access) are licensed on a per unique-end-user basis in the same way. You can read more about this in Microsoft’s licensing documents:
Microsoft Licensing Terms – SPUR – Office Users
Microsoft Licensing Terms – SPUR – Remote Desktop Services (RDS) Users