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Filip Gondek
Nov 28, 2017
(5 votes)

New license model 2018

Image instance.png

Earlier I wrote a blog about how the instance bound license works (instance bound licenses in Episerver) when hosting customers solutions in Microsoft Azure Web Apps. From 2018 Episerver will remove the old server bound license and we will only sell instance bound licenses.

Now you may think, what?! Why?! How will I as a customer/partner affect by this.

For customers already running server bound licenses you will not need to change anything or upgrade the license. You can choose to upgrade your server bound license to get more flexibility surrounding your hosting environment. For new customers we will only sell one license, the instance bound license. This will make it easier for all to only have one license model in our price list. The license will be activated and checked through our license server.

With the new instance bound licensing we will have more control of all licenses out there for new customers and how many sites/instances the customers running. It will also make it easier for you as a partner/customer activating/deactivating sites/instances directly under admin as you do now for instance bound license.

If you are running physical servers you can equal one instance as one server. 

For more information or questions please contact your account executive (fancier name for sales guy smile ) at Episerver.

Nov 28, 2017


Henrik Fransas
Henrik Fransas Nov 28, 2017 08:21 PM

Great, I like these kind of licenses better than the server bound version, there are a couple of thing though that need to be fixed for them to be great.

1: It increases the server count when another instance are started but it does not decrease the count if the instance are turned of.

2: When backstage’ing (for example copying the production database to development) it is possible to change the site url and so by sql script but you need to manually deactivate and activate the license. It’s actually so that the site gives an error but in the license part in admin it says that it is activated. To fix it a deactivation and activation needs to be done. (I have reported it’s a bug a long time ago I think).

3: Then that’s the question of a true Azure friendly license where I would be able to scale out the number of instances and the scale in again and only pay for the extra severs the time I use them. But that is a bigger question and I have been asking about it since September 2014 so I have pretty much given up on having it.

Marcus Hoffmann
Marcus Hoffmann Nov 29, 2017 10:01 AM

Henrik, the answer to question #3 = DXC Service :) 

Henrik Fransas
Henrik Fransas Nov 29, 2017 10:28 AM

I wish it was Marcus, but there are many cases where you like to run in Azure and take advantage of the scaling there but do not want to run in DXC Service.

DXC Service is great, but not the answer to everything.

I think the answer to #3 is more a updated version of rental license where you "rent" it per server and hour

Nov 29, 2017 01:29 PM

+1 for Henrik suggestion. Almost all the clients that i worked with, at some point, asked for this kind of rental license but the answer is no it is not available.

Nov 29, 2017 01:50 PM

How will this work behind a firewall with no access to internet?

Arild Henrichsen
Arild Henrichsen Nov 29, 2017 02:52 PM

After the discussions about our problems selling DXC over the past years, including an escalated discussion following the Inner Circle meeting in Stockholm, I wish we as partners would not be fed lines like "one answer: DXC!" ever again. The world is a bit more nuanced than that, I'm afraid. +1 for Henrik's and Johan's remarks.

Chris Magee
Chris Magee Nov 29, 2017 04:34 PM

I have the same concerns as those above with everything being "optimized" and pushed towards DXC being the solution. At this point, EPiServer's pricing model favors DXC so heavily it feels as if it's being sold as a hosted CMS as a service rather than the "true powerhouse CMS that can be hosted anywhere" that we all know it is. I have worked with a handful of DXC sites and it is incredibly concerning EPiServer is investing so hard to make it the only option available.

Justin Anovick
Justin Anovick Nov 29, 2017 06:22 PM

Hopefully I can answer a few of these questions here:

1) To be VERY clear - we remain steadfastly dedicated to on premise implementations of Commerce and CMS as we know how important it is to allow those to be run in that manner, in various scenarios.  We have made a clear decision that we will continue to support our on premise customers with the same great releases and capabilities they have always known and counted on.  Of course we are releasing new "services" that we run (eg Insight, Perform, Advance, Find, etc) but can easily be paired with an on premise implementations of Commerce or CMS.

2) We know all roads don't lead to DXC Service, i think the comment above was meant more of tongue in cheek than a strategic decision comment.

3) Instance based licenses can and have been deployed behind the firewall, the correct ports need to be opened in order to gain access (I can provide more details on this later if it's of interest).

4) By moving to Instance only we will finally be able to focus attention and roll out capablitlies like Henrik is asking about - the elastic scaling of the instance to roll in/out without exceeding the licensing limits.

So to recap - we aren't only developing for DXC Service - while it remains the option of choice - it doesn't preclude anyone from going towards on premise if that's the need - our number one desire if to get traction on the products themselves and to help continue making them the best choice in the market.

We truly appreciate the feedback and commentary on this and hopefully you know that we take these suggestions seriously and a lot of what's asked for make it into a backlog.

If you want a more detailed explanation on any of these or other topics including updates on strategy, I can always be reached at

Kevin Miller
Kevin Miller Nov 29, 2017 10:55 PM

I have the same opinion as others in this thread, instance licensing is better than server however my perception is the way the license is structured to actually push clients towards the DXC rather than host on their Azure tenancy, as there are still quite a lot of restrictions and it can get expensive when you start adding more sites and instances.

For example the instance bound is still based on number of sites and instances, rather than a consumption model, so is still out-dated and a perpetual type license. So yes a client can host on the cloud but they really can't get the benefit of auto-scaling as they are limited to a number of instances, and need to buy more licenses for sites.

Other CMS platforms which run PaaS have a consumption base model that allow unlimited sites & auto-scaling, and then charge additional for non-production instances. Which actually gives the client much more flexibility and scalability when hosting in their own Azure.

I would love to see the instance bound licensing change to allow clients to make their own mind up on where to host, as you say all roads don't lead to DXC.

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