As a University, we want to provide IT services for a local company which is not located on the campus and not associated with the university. We want to provide a service that gives 60 users access to a web application. This application accesses a Microsoft SQL Server 2016 Standard database. Among the 60 user a 4 employees who must have direct access to the database. Database and web application run on virtual servers (Windows Server 2016 Standard) with 2 cores each. How do we need to license this scenario?

Since you want to provide IT services to an unassociated company, this scenario needs to be licensed under SPLA (Service Provider License Agreement) and the Service Provider Use Rights take effect.

Under SPLA, Windows Server Standard is licensed per core, and all physical cores of a server need to be covered by licenses, with a minimum of 8 core licenses per physical processor. If all physical cores are licensed, you are entitled to use the server software in one OSE (Operating System Environement) on the server or in one physical and one virtual OSE if the physical OSE is only used to manage the virtual OSE. If you want to run the software in two virtual OSEs, you must allocate further core licenses to the server (for all physical cores) or license Windows Server Datacenter edition.

Under SPLA, SQL Server Standard can be licensed per core model or per SAL for Server Software model. If you are purchasing SQL Server Standard per core licenses, you can either license physical or single virtual cores on the server. If you are licensing the virtual cores, you must have at least four core licenses per virtual OSE. When licensing per core, you do not have to purchase any additional access licenses.

If you are purchasing SQL Server Standard SAL for Server Software licenses, you must purchase a license for each user authorized to access the server software. That is, users who are accessing the SQL Server database indirectly via the web application require a SAL license as well.

Source: Microsoft Service Provider Use Rights, November 2017