Jun 23, 2020

Your Cloud License Management Guide to Cloud Migration

Right now, your biggest challenge is cloud migration. Whether you’re adopting a new SaaS solution, shifting computing resources to AWS or Microsoft Azure, or establishing your multi-cloud strategy, the decisions you make today will have long-term consequences for your cloud investment. With cloud license management, you can ensure that you’re laying a solid foundation for your cloud services.

Cloud License Management Guide to Cloud Migrations | Aspera Blog

Software Asset Management provides tools, processes, and strategies that can help make your cloud decisions easier, more efficient, and more cost-effective.

Rightsizing, Re-Harvesting, Capacity Management

You wouldn’t move into a new house without first knowing how much space, how many rooms you need. You might take inventory of all you have and decide what furniture to get rid of, what to keep, what new things to buy. Perhaps you’re moving into a larger place to make room for a partner, for children, for a dog, to have work space, or perhaps you’re moving into something smaller and more efficient, using the opportunity to de-clutter your life, taking stock of what you really need to live happily and comfortably.

The same is true of your cloud migration.

Some organizations move to the cloud to free up their own resources, to eliminate costly on-premises data centers, or to take advantage of the ‘as a Service’ model of cloud computing. But no organization moves into the cloud without knowing what they have, what they need, what they can cut, and what new resources they’ll have to require.

Rightsizing, re-harvesting, and capacity management are just some of the cloud license management processes that can make this process more effective. Each process measures and compares real usage with existing licenses to decide whether more or different licenses are needed or if some licenses or license-types can be cut altogether.

The benefit? You can move to the cloud with a fully optimized environment. You’ll also have a baseline for deciding on cloud licenses and contracts, and choosing between different licensing models, such as Bring-Your-Own-License, Pay-as-you-go, and subscription.

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Choosing a cloud licensing model

There are four basic types of licensing in the cloud, each with their own benefits. Choosing the right benefits for your cloud requires optimizing your environment and having a clear overview of your licenses and usage.

1. Bring-your-own-licenses

Bringing your own licenses makes the migration the cloud a little easier. Nothing changes about your licenses; it’s as if you everything still exists on your infrastructure but now it’s in the cloud.

Why choose BYOL? You’re happy with the licenses you have, but in order to save money on your own computing resources, you are ‘re-hosting’ your infrastructure in the cloud. The only change is where your data and infrastructure are located.

2. Pay-as-you-go

Here you consume as much or as little as you need and receive a bill at the end of the period. The advantages here are flexibility – you’re not restricted by usage limits. Of course, this also means that you can’t take advantage of volume licensing discounts and long-term commitment discounts.

Why choose Pay-as-you go? For a few reasons: you may not be sure how many resources you will consume, so this allows you to use as much as you want without having your access throttled in the middle of business-critical activities. You may only need the resources for a short period of time, to cover new activity, for which a long-term commitment may not be necessary.

3. Subscription

With a subscription, you know in advance what your costs will be, what services you can use, and how much you can consume. You can add subscriptions as needed, but you may not be allowed to exceed storage and computing limits without paying significant added fees.

Why choose subscriptions? You subscribe to a service because your consumption, the number of licenses, and the kind of resources you need are likely to remain stable over a long period of time. For instance, you will most likely need regular access to the services in Office 365 for years to come and for many employees, meaning subscriptions will make the most sense. They run in the background and only need to be updated as the daily business activities or number of employees who need the services change.

4. Pay-by-instance 

Pay only for the instances that are spun up and used for your computing needs.

Why choose Pay-by-instance? Again, you may not know in advance how many instances you need or how long you will need them for. This is the comfortable way to pad your resources without making a long-term commitment.


A Software Asset Management tool can help provide the insight you need to decide between these licensing models. Track usage and consumption and map configurations and architecture to decide on the best options for your business needs.


Cloud migration is one of the most important decisions your organization will make this decade, and your cloud licenses and infrastructure will strongly impact your business success for years to come.

Migrate to the cloud right the first time, and save yourself headaches in the future. With a Software Asset Management program, you can make sure that your cloud migration lays the foundation of digital business success.

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Topics: Cloud, License Purchasing and Contracts, SaaS