How to sell HPE Windows Server Reseller Option Kit (ROK) licensing in 4 simple steps

A few weeks ago we discussed HPE Reseller Option Kit (ROK) licensing for Windows Server and the benefits it can bring to customers and reseller partners.
**If you missed it you can catch up with our “Rock on with the HPE Reseller Option Kit (ROK) for Windows Server” Blog and Video

Now that you are all caught up on what HPE ROK licensing is and the benefits it provides, today we want to dive a bit deeper into ROK and will cover how to sell ROK in four easy steps! Are you ready?


Step 1: Choose a HPE ProLiant rack or tower server to match required business workloads
HPE ProLiant rack and tower servers help you deliver consistent and predictable agility, security, and economic control across your customers’ Hybrid IT infrastructures. While HPE’s rack and tower servers are all designed to handle multiple workloads, each server family is optimized for specific use cases. HPE ProLiant Gen10 tower servers (the ML server family) deliver simple, efficient business value and are an ideal choice for remote or branch offices and growing businesses. The new HPE ProLiant Gen10 rack portfolio (the DL server family) offers customers flexible choices and versatile design, along with improved energy efficiencies which can ultimately lower their TCO. When choosing your clients’ optimal servers, keep in mind their budget, office space environment, future compute growth needs, and any needs for compliance with government regulations. 


Step 2: Choose a HPE Windows Server ROK base license
Once you have selected your client’s ideal server for their required business workloads, it is time to select their ideal HPE Windows Server Reseller Option Kit licenses to pair with it. Just as HPE servers come in a variety of shapes and sizes to fit organizations’ varying needs, Windows Server ROK licenses from HPE are available in different versions, 3 versions to be exact: Essentials, Standard, and Datacenter.

  • Windows Server 2016 Essentials: ideal for SMB customers who require basic IT needs, allows for up to 25 users or devices, requires no Client Access Licenses (CALs) and is for servers with 1 or 2 processors only (no matter how many cores)
  • Windows Server 2016 Standard: ideal for SMB customers whose IT needs are growing and require advanced features, support for distributed office locations, and a flexible way to virtualize their environment. Standard allows access for unlimited users or devices with appropriate CAL licensing (we’ll get into CALs in step 3) and 2 Operating System Environments (OSEs or VMs) when all physical cores of a server are licensed (for every two additional VMs, all cores must be licensed again).
  • Windows Server 2016 Datacenter: ideal for companies of all sizes that have demanding IT workloads and require advanced storage, virtualization, and application deployment. Datacenter is the most complete version of Windows Server 2016 and offers several features not available in Standard or Essentials such as Storage Spaces Direct, Storage Replica, Shielded Virtual Machines, and Host Guardian Service. As with Standard, Datacenter allows access for unlimited users or devices with appropriate CAL licensing. However, unlike Standard, Datacenter provides rights to unlimited virtual OSEs when all physical cores on a server are licensed.


Step 3: Add Client Access Licenses (CALs)
A User CAL or Device CAL is required for every user or device that is directly or indirectly accessing Windows Server 2016. In addition, a Remote Desktop Service (RDS) CAL is also required for users that need to access programs or the full desktop remotely using the Remote Desktop Protocol capability in Windows Server. You can learn more about the specific types of CALs and how to ensure your customer’s CAL needs are filled in our video overview, “Understanding Windows Server Client Access Licenses (CALs)”.


Step 4: Check the server licensing to ensure all processor cores are licensed properly and expand the offer if HPE Windows Server 2016 ROK Additional Licenses are needed
With Windows Server 2016, Microsoft introduced a core-based licensing model. To license a physical server, all physical cores must be licensed. Each server requires a minimum one Windows Server 2016 Base License, which covers 16 cores (the minimum cores required per server in core-based licensing). If a server has MORE than 16 cores, Additional Licenses are required to license the remaining cores in the server. Additional Licenses are also required for customers who need more than 2 VM rights for Windows Server 2016 Standard (remember, Standard provides rights for up to two VMs when all physical cores in the server are licensed, for every two additional VMs, all the cores in the server must be licensed again using Additional Licenses). HPE currently offers Windows Server 2016 Additional Licenses for 2, 4, or 16 cores for both Standard and Datacenter.


If you keep these 4 easy steps in mind and your HPE ROK sales will be a breeze:
1. Choose the best HPE ProLiant ML or DL to match your customers' workload requirements
2. Choose the HPE OEM Windows Server Reseller Option Kit (ROK) license that pairs best with their new Gen10 Server (and fits their IT needs)
3. Add Windows Server Client Access Licenses (CALs) based on their business needs
4. Expand the offer with Windows Server 2016 Additional Licenses


Have questions about HPE OEM Microsoft products/solutions, Windows Server 2016, or HPE Servers? Join the Coffee Coaching community to keep up with the latest HPE OEM Microsoft news and interact with HPE and Microsoft experts.

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About the Author


Willa manages the HPE | Microsoft Coffee Coaching program. Follow along to learn more about the latest HPE OEM Microsoft product releases and how the HPE Microsoft partnership can benefit partners and customers.