Extended Security Updates (ESUs) provide customers flexible monthly billing, automated delivery of security patches, and seamless extension of Azure management, security, and governance to hybrid and multi-cloud environments.  

  • Historically, ESUs have only been available directly to customers via EA channels.   
  • However, starting earlier this fiscal year, partners can sell ESU’s through CSP to all customers, including customers licensed via SPLA, unlocking an entirely new market opportunity for Microsoft partners. See previous communication about this.  


Now, staring in October 2023, customers can purchase ESUs via Azure Arc – enabling a faster, more flexible way to extend the security of their infrastructure.  


Below is more information on this latest update, along with links to resources, and a call to action. 




Azure Arc 

Azure Arc is Microsoft’s “hero motion” when ESU’s are required. It acts as a bridge, extending the capabilities of the Azure platform to help customers build applications and services with the flexibility to run across datacenters, at the edge, and in multi-cloud environments. 


This is of particular value to customers using Windows Server 2012 and SQL Server 2012 that need to quickly purchase and implement ESUs through their CSP partner to modernize or migrate their infrastructure prior to the end of support for those products in October 2023. 

  • Volume licensing ESU purchases via CSP require the entire year prepaid.   
  • ESU subscriptions purchased via Azure Arc in CSP bill from October 10, 2023 onwards, but can be discontinued when no longer needed.  
  • NOTE: For SQL Server 2012 Year 2, ESU support started on July 12, 2023. 



For partners, the benefit of customers purchasing ESUs through them and via Azure Arc are: 

  • Unlocking budget for a solution (ESUs) that only Microsoft can address  
  • Opening doors to new ACR revenue streams and Azure incentives 
  • A competitive advantage through Azure incentives and offers  
  • Enabling exploration of new migration and modernization opportunities to further expand their business 


For customers, the benefit of getting ESUs through their partners via Azure Arc are: 

  • The ability to update and protect end-of-support Windows Server and SQL Server 2012 systems, whether on-premises or multi-cloud environments. 
  • Flexible billing and savings: Activate and enroll from Azure to pay for security updates on a monthly basis, giving organizations more flexibility to migrate and modernize to Azure on their terms.   
  • Centralized cost management: Analyze costs using Azure Cost Management and see all Azure consumption in one place.   
  • Greater visibility: Surface enrollment status of Extended Security Updates to highlight gaps and status changes   
  • Organize and inventory assets: Gain visibility and reporting across servers spanning your hybrid, multi-cloud, and edge infrastructure.  
  • Keyless delivery: The enrollment of Extended Security Updates on Azure Arc-enabled machines does not require the acquisition or activation of keys.  
  • Security and compliance: Seamlessly extend Azure security and governance from cloud to edge and stay compliant with supported software.  



Partner Education 

  • Nov 9 (Windows Server) 
  • Nov 16 (SQL) 



Customer Outreach 


Call to action 

GPS team members who work with CSP, LSP and SPLA partners: 

  • Review the linked materials on this page and share them with your partners 
  • Use the partner-facing ESU calculator and ESU scenarios to help your partners understand how to maximize the opportunity  
  • Review the partner’s Windows Server / SQL Server 2012 / R2 EOS opportunity and assist them in deploying campaigns to impacted customers, using propensity lists to identify customers and marketing resources in partner center  
  • If partners have questions, direct them to the linked resources above. If they continue to have questions, direct them to submit a support ticket in Partner Center.  
  • If you have questions, post them to the “Securing the Channel” channel on the Partner Programs Digest Teams site.