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Licensing and roadmap update for Power BI Report Server

Headshot of article author Christopher Finlan

Since Power BI Report Server launched in June 2017, it’s been adopted by thousands of customers in a variety of industries, giving them a way to use and share Power BI reports on-premises. As the BI industry has evolved over the last three years, we continue to see more and more customers choosing to make the switch to the cloud. The availability of paginated reports in the Power BI service enables organizations to centralize and manage their BI workloads in one single global location – Power BI.  This is why we’ve always positioned Power BI Report Server as an on-premises solution for reporting today, with the flexibility to move to the cloud tomorrow.  As more customers than ever take that next step in their cloud journey, we’re taking steps to help these customers make the transition successfully.  

We’ve recently updated our licensing terms to allow SQL Server Enterprise customers with software assurance to deploy Power BI Report Server on Azure VM’s for production use by leveraging their Azure Hybrid Benefit.  For many customers, moving their internal servers to Infrastructure aa Service (IaaS) offerings in the cloud represent the first step in their digital transformation.  By making this license benefit available, SQL customers can now move their entire environment to Azure with their existing licenses and reduce the operational costs associated with managing an on-premises data center. 

In the coming months, we’ll also being making VM templates in Azure for both Power BI Report Server and SQL Server Reporting Services to enable one-click deployment options for customers as well.  These images have been very popular with customers, and we’re pleased will be making these optimized images available for production use cases for the first time.  We plan to offer images for standard and enterprise editions and give customers the option to either purchase with the license included (Pay as you go), or customers may take advantage of their Azure Hybrid Benefit to reduce the IP cost. 

Please note: As Power BI Report Server is only available to customers with software assurance, there will be no pay as you go option available for those images.  

Power BI Report Server continues to play an important role in our product strategy, and you will continue to see us bring a steady stream of value to it.  Just as we do today, three times each year we’ll continue add the new Power BI report features from the monthly desktop releases and make them available to customers.  These will be the primary focus of our feature investments in the product moving forward, allowing us to accelerate our work in making the Power BI cloud service the final destination for every customer in the years to come.  For this reason, areas such as new data sources, AI and natural language capabilities will continue to be focused entirely on our cloud offerings, but we’re still committed to providing the same level of quality and support around all the existing features you see today and ensure we roll any fixes into each new release as well.     

We hope you’re excited about these key licensing changes and taking this journey with us.  We look forward to hearing your feedback in the comments below.