Microsoft Premium Assurance for Windows Server & SQL Server

Windows Server and SQL Server have a new licensing option – Premium Assurance.

What is it?

These new offerings add 6 (six) more years of product support for Windows Server and SQL Server, which gives:

5 years of Mainstream + 5 years of Extended + 6 years of Premium = 16 years’ total support

Microsoft’s aim with Premium Assurance is to help organisations keep servers and applications running for longer.

What do you get?

The new additional 6 years provided by Premium Assurance provide Security Updates and Bulletins that are rated “Critical” and “Important”. The “Security Bulletin Severity Rating System” tells us what those ratings mean:


How to buy


There is a sliding (increasing) scale for Premium Assurance pricing; the later an organisation purchases it, the more it will cost. Pricing will start at 5% of the current product license cost and this will increase over time, up to 12% of the license cost. Buying early can save an organisation up to 58%.


It is important to note that Premium Assurance is only available as an add-on to “regular” Software Assurance, so organisations must have Windows Server/SQL Server with active Software Assurance before they can purchase the Premium Assurance add-on.

Eligible Agreements

Premium Assurance can be purchased via:

  • Enterprise Agreement (EA)
  • Enterprise Agreement Subscription (EAS)
  • Server & Cloud Enrollment (SCE)
  • Enrollment for Education Solutions (EES)

*Point to Note* An organisation must purchase Premium Assurance for ALL server licenses with active SA that were purchased via one of the above agreements. For example, if an organization had:

  • 4 x Windows Server via EA
  • 3 x Windows Server via EAS
  • 2 x Windows Server via Open

they would be required to purchase 7 Premium Assurance add-on licenses (as the 2 via Open would not be eligible) – they would not be able to buy any less than 7.


Premium Assurance will be available from “early 2017” and the earliest versions to be covered by Premium Assurance will be:

  • SQL Server 2008 and 2008 R2
  • Windows Server 2008 and 2008 R2

The graphic below shows the revised support end dates available with Premium Assurance:


The eligible products are:

  • Windows Server 2008/R2 Standard, Enterprise and Datacenter
  • Windows Server 2012/R2 Standard and Datacenter
  • Windows Server 2016 Standard and Datacenter
  • SQL Server 2008/R2 Standard, Enterprise and Datacenter
  • SQL Server 2012 Standard and Enterprise
  • SQL Server 2014 Standard and Enterprise
  • SQL Server 2016 Standard and Enterprise

Further Information

The Microsoft post is here here and the datasheet can be downloaded here.


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