Monthly Archives: April 2017

  • 4 Secrets to Saving Big on Software Costs

    Tips When Buying Discount Software 

    As software has become increasingly more complicated over time, the need for the user to be conscious of their purchases has become increasingly important. Every smart enterprise is undoubtedly looking to save money, and this requires it to remain well-informed. There are indeed a lot of ways in which the uninformed user can be driven to overpay for their software, or driven to purchase a product that simply does not fit their needs, but fortunately, keeping just a few simple tips in mind can help every consumer make the best purchase possible:

    1. Work with a licensed Microsoft partner.

    Though software licensing agreements (SLA) may appear to be uniform for every user, they can actually be adapted and customized to meet the user’s particular needs. Many enterprises can save upwards of thousands of dollars by negotiating more flexible payment schedules, licensing swaps, and by restructuring the terms and agreements of their SLAs. In order to avoid confusion—or in some cases, outright scams—working with a licensed Microsoft partner can assure the most accurate information possible is provided. Only by engaging directly with their software provider can the user discover and negotiate their most workable solutions.

    Learn about Microsoft incentives and licensing factors.

    Many incentive and software licensing programs can be rather complicated, but, fortunately for users, there are many useful resources from which they can acquire information. Microsoft is one of the largest and most diverse software companies in the world, and there are many details of this company that often go unnoticed by its users. The Volume Licensing Service Center (VLSC) is a good place to begin learning about Microsoft’s intricate licensing program and begin dissecting these details. An organization’s specific licensing agreement will depend on a wide variety of factors, such as the specific number of computers it may use, its desire to enter a perpetual or non-perpetual agreement, its long-term goals, and many others. As a company of its size, Microsoft offers incentives in order to satisfy the niche needs of every user, and these incentives can each offer a tremendous amount of savings.

    3. Avoid questionable retailers.

    Unfortunately, in the modern world of software sales, there are many ways in which even the most cautious users can be harmed or deceived. When shopping for discounts on software—or anything digital, for that matter—it is absolutely vital for users to be conscious of the retailer they are dealing with. A good retailer is one that is willing to present information in an objective manner, assure that their customer’s information will remain protected, and offer continuous support throughout the entire purchase process. Most good retailers ought to have plenty of available reviews and information about themselves online, and if the company seems to be avoidant of consumer’s inquiries or have a generally bad reputation, it may be one that would be better off avoided.

     

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    4. Look for holistic solutions and long term support.

    If any enterprise hopes to remain competitive and survive, it knows it cannot just be thinking about its particular needs in the status quo—it needs to be thinking about the future. With the purchase of any Microsoft software, the license holder is entitled to comprehensive support from the company, and this support can be crucial in the long run. Having support from a team of knowledgeable specialists can save a substantial amount of money over time due to the avoidance of unexpected costs associated with the alternative. Furthermore, holistically integrating all of an enterprise’s technology into a unifying source can avoid costs by avoiding redundant payments and avoiding multi-device incompatibility. The best solutions for any problem are the ones that are the most comprehensive, and holistic planning alongside long term support are necessary for creating real value.

    Ultimately, it seems that thinking with a “big picture” mindset is what will best enable the user to realize big savings. For more information on software licensing, or to speak to a member our staff with questions, contact us here.


  • New Features Found in Windows Server 2016

    Why Buy Windows Server 2016?

    Windows Server, part of Microsoft’s Windows NT family, is a server operating system. This Operating system offers enterprise level management and provides the same features of a normal OS, alongside side several management features. Windows Server 2016 is the latest and greatest in the long line of server operating systems.

    New Features in Windows Server 2016

    As it is expected with a new release of windows, Windows Server 2016 arrives bundled with a huge array of new features. The fully baked version of Windows Server illustrates a strong emphasis on security and cloud services. From Nano-Servers to networking improvements, all the new features work together to form a well-balanced and extremely useful enterprise level Operating System. Some of the top new features of Windows Server are:

    Nano Server:

    Nano Server is a stripped-down version of Windows Server that’s designed specifically for cloud environments. Nano Server offers headless installation (No local UI and no local console).  The overall footprint of Nano Server is 92% less than Windows Server Core GUI    (Graphical User Interface). Nano Server comes with a minimal UI called Nano Recovery Console that can be used to perform initial configuration tasks. Some advantages of using Nano Severs are:

    • Nano can easily be ported across Servers and data centers.
    • Few reboots are necessary as less updates are required.
    • Nano can host the common Windows Server workloads like Hyper-V host.

    Docker-based Containers:

    Container provide the users with a way to isolate the application and services in an easy to administrator way. Such Containers were only a part of Linux/Unix based OS but now Microsoft in collaboration with Docker is bringing Docker-based containers to Windows Server 2016. Microsoft’s new approach is of open-source technologies.  This feature comes with two different types of controllers:

    • Hyper-V Container which offers a super-isolated containerized instance of Windows Server that is completely isolated from the host server and other containers. Such Containers are preferred for high-priority workload.
    • Windows Server Container is usually preferred for low-trust workloads. Such Containers are isolated from one another but use some common resources.

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    Resilient File System (ReFS)

    Windows Server 2016 comes with a stable version of the Resilient file system which is intended as a high-performance file system to be used with Hyper-V workloads and Storage Spaces Direct.

    Nested Virtualization

    This feature allows a virtual machine to host virtual machines itself. This feature was previously not available with Windows Server Hyper-V, but with version 2016 this feature is available to users.

    Advanced Remote Desktop Configuration

    Depending on what kind of setup you have, you can configure the Remote Desktop Services (RDS) solution for two types of virtualization. Session-based virtualization and VDI.

    • Session-based virtualization: Utilize the processing power of the compute power of Windows Server to provide a cost-effective multi-session environment to drive your users’ everyday workloads
    • VDI: Leverage Windows client to provide the high performance, app compatibility, and familiarity that your users have come to expect of their Windows desktop experience.

    Linux Secure Boot

    Secure Boot is a UEFI standard which protects the machine against the boot-time malware or rootkits injection. Windows Server 2016 now allows users to deploy Linux VMs under Hyper-V without the need of disabling this Secure Boot Feature.

    Hyper-V HOT-Add Virtual Hardware

    Lastly, Hyper-V Server allowed users to add virtual hardware and allocate resources to a virtual machine with a catch of first powering down the machine. Users can now add virtual hardware to a running machine without the need of turning it off in the latest version.

    The aforementioned features are just some examples of the new and innovative features in Windows Server 2016.  

    For more information, or to speak to a licensing expert, contact us today.


  • How to License SQL Server 2016 - The Comprehensive Guide

    How To License SQL Server 2016 - The Comprehensive Guide

    SQL server is a relational database management system (RDBMS) developed by Microsoft. It is a feature-rich database system designed to compete against Oracle and MySQL. Microsoft offers SQL server in several editions, each with their different set of options and features. Database Administrators prefer the Enterprise Edition because of its features; while organizations tend to prefer Standard Edition due to the lower costs.

    These editions come with their own licensing and pricing options.

    • Standard: Developed for small and medium size organizations. Offers basic database, reporting, and analytics capabilities.
    • Enterprise: Designed for large corporations with complex data sets and requirement. Has all functionalities/features. Contains all the basic features of Standard Edition plus tools for analyzing business and financial data, mission-critical applications, and data warehousing features
    • Workgroup: Targeted towards small organizations.
    • Express: Free for distribution.

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    Licensing Models

    Licensing has always been one of the more puzzling aspects of any new product. SQL server is no exception. Selecting the proper licensing model can prove to be a daunting task; with so many different types of licensing to choose from, one can easily get confused. Microsoft basically offers two types of paid licenses for SQL server. The client access licenses (CAL) are offered for Standard edition. It is usually used when the number of clients are pre-determined.

    Core-based licensing is offered for the Enterprise as well as the Standard Edition. Majority of users opt for core based licensing since CAL rarely fits every database model and is one more thing to manage. Core based licensing requires customers to purchase licenses for all the cores in the system for a physical server.

    Core licensing

    Core Licensing is an option for the SQL Server 2016 Standard edition and is a requirement for the SQL Server 2016 Enterprise edition. With the release of SQL Server 2016, Microsoft shifted from per Processor licensing to Per Core licensing. Such licensing can be availed for both physical and virtual servers. Core based licensing is appropriate when you are unable to count the users/devices using the program. A minimum of four core licenses are required for each physical processor on the server.  If you are using SQL server on a physical server, enough copies of the licenses are needed to cover all the cores in the system you plan to use.  Hyper threading is not considered – only the physical cores are counted. There is no need for CAL alongside with Core licensing. Microsoft offers these licenses in packs of two. Here is more information on the SQL Server Core vs Cal licensing model.

    When to use core-based licensing?

    • Preferably used when deploying to the Internet or Extranet.
    • When counting, users is impossible/impractical.
    • Mandatory use with Enterprise
    • When Comprehensive performance from demanding database is required.

    When to use CAL?

    • Deploying standard edition
    • Deploying SQL Server BI
    • Utilizing numerous SQL Servers within the organization