By Bill Peters
AIS Network Director of Sales
Offering cloud hosting for Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010 for Internet Sites (SharePoint FIS) was a no-brainer for us. After all, digital content creators’ interest in the cloud, and the mobile access it affords, is surging.
Including SharePoint FIS hosting among our product offerings represents the first of several steps that AIS Network will take to expand its cloud hosting services for professionals working in digital content creation fields such as Web development, design, publishing, film, architecture, advertising, marketing and public relations.
Here are some “Frequently Asked Questions” focused on what SharePoint FIS is and how to make some sense of SharePoint FIS licensing. My next entry, Part 2 of this two-part blog, will include specific usage scenarios and how to handle licensing in those cases.
What is SharePoint FIS?
SharePoint FIS empowers creative teams to publish beautiful, interactive external Internet and extranet sites, while dramatically simplifying Web content management and administration.
Who uses SharePoint FIS?
Hosted SharePoint for Internet Sites (SharePoint FIS) is ideal for compliance-focused corporate enterprises, associations and institutions that need to interact with a large number of users via a public-facing Web site. Digital marketers and design agencies, who need to launch multiple Internet/extranet sites quickly and easily, are also making great use of SharePoint FIS. You’ll find some examples on our SharePoint FIS hosting page.
What are my SharePoint FIS licensing options?
SharePoint FIS comes in two flavors, Standard and Enterprise. SharePoint FIS Standard is scoped for a single domain only and has standard SharePoint features for unlimited users (anonymous or authenticated). SharePoint FIS Enterprise, on the other hand, is scoped for multiple domains and has enterprise SharePoint features for unlimited users (anonymous or authenticated). According to Microsoft…
SharePoint Server FIS Standard:
- Helps small and mid-size organizations create public-facing Internet sites or basic extranets.
- Provides licensing for the same features as the Standard CAL for SharePoint Server.
- Designed only to be used for creating and hosting a single site resolved from a single domain name (such as aisn.com) and its subdomains (such as support.aisn.com).
- When combined with active Microsoft Software Assurance, it’s eligible to be stepped up to SharePoint Server for Internet Sites Enterprise for an additional fee.
SharePoint Server FIS Enterprise:
- Designed for enterprises to create externally-facing public Internet sites and secure private extranets using the full capabilities of SharePoint Server.
- Provides licensing for all SharePoint Server features (the same as SharePoint Server Enterprise CAL).
- Offers the rights to host an unlimited number of sites and/or domains.
So, SharePoint FIS Standard is for just one domain?
Yes, SharePoint FIS Standard can only be used to support a single site and its related subdomains on a single domain. Because the licensing of SharePoint FIS is per running instance, you can run more than one site/domain using the Standard edition only if separate running instances are used for each site/domain and a unique license of SharePoint Server 2010 for Internet Sites Standard is allocated for each running instance.
Does SharePoint FIS Enterprise have FAST Search?
Yes. For use in Internet/extranet scenarios, the on-premise server license also includes the rights to FAST Search. You can deploy a single server license of SharePoint FIS Enterprise as a SharePoint server OR a FAST Search server—but not both concurrently. Keep in mind that FAST Search server licensing does not apply to SPLA licensing.
How is SharePoint FIS licensed?
SharePoint Server for Internet Sites is licensed per running instance. No Client Access Licenses (CALs) are required, even for authors creating content. When using SharePoint FIS for licensing external-facing scenarios, you must have a server license for all servers that are used to deliver content to external users – regardless of the farm configuration or whether or not users are directly accessing that server (staging, application, front-end, or index).
Servers in a development/test environment are exempt from this rule assuming they are covered by MSDN® developer program licensing. According to Microsoft, the underlying logic in this is that all servers supporting a specific solution (internal vs. external and production vs. development test) must be licensed similarly (i.e., in the CAL/Server model, the per-server “For Internet Sites” model, or the MSDN developer program). This is independent of the order in which information moves through servers.
What if I only need an intranet built on SharePoint?
Intranet sites are licensed using a Server/CAL (Client Access License) model. SharePoint Server 2010 is required for each running instance of the software, and CALs are required for each person or device accessing a SharePoint Server.
This is so confusing. Isn’t there someone who can help me figure this out?
Yes, you’re not alone in thinking that SharePoint FIS licensing is confusing. I am happy to walk you through it and help you assess your organization’s needs.
Call me at 1-888-401-AISN, or email me at: email@example.com. Or, simply leave a comment below. Good luck!