Monthly Archives: September 2017

  • Windows Server 2016 Licensing Explained

    windows server 2016 licensing

    Licensing Changes & New Features

    As expected with a new release of windows, Windows Server 2016 arrives bundled with a huge array of new features. From Nano-Servers to Docker support, these new offerings work together to form a well-balanced, flexible enterprise Operating System.

    One of the most important releases found in the 2016 version is the hyped Nano Server feature. Nano Server is a stripped-down version of Windows Server that’s designed specifically for cloud environments. Nano Server offers headless installation with up to 92% less footprint of the core server GUI.

    Aside from NANO Server, other newly unlocked features include Server and Hyper-V containers, nested virtualization, Linux secure boot and virtual memory management.

    Licensing - Per Core Vs CAL

    Similarly, the licensing models have also changed. Windows Server 2012 Standard and Datacenter were actually very similar in functionality. The only difference was the number of installations allowed. Previously, with Windows Server 2012, one license covered two processors. Every Processor was licensed separately in the machine (regardless of the number of cores). But with the release of Windows Server 2016, Microsoft is moving to per-core licensing. This means Microsoft only cares about the number of cores in your processor.

    Theoretically you could have a single processor with multiple cores. Another way Microsoft has changed licensing over the years with respect to WS.

    Editions Overview: Windows Server 2016 comes in three editions - Datacenter edition, Standard edition and Essential edition. Apart from the differences in licensing, these editions differ in features as well. Datacenter edition is suitable for big companies and highly virtualized data center environments. Standard edition is for customers with smaller, non-virtualized environments. Essential edition is the most bare bones version of the three, suitable for only small businesses with 25 devices or 50 users. Datacenter and Standard edition require Client Access Licensing (CALs). CALS are offered in core licensing model. Essential edition does not require purchase of CAL licenses.

    innovation with windows server 2016

    Other Licensing Information: To meet licensing requirements, each server must license a minimum of 2 processors with 8 cores each i.e: 16 cores. If your server specs are less than 2 processors, Microsoft still requires the purchase of the 16 core instance. The good news is that licensing costs typically remain the same when compared to Server 2012. Prices do increase when the the number of cores exceeds 8 cores.

    This per core licensing model was designed to increase from high consumption clients. Lower tiered infrastructures will not be affected. This change makes Windows Server very similar to SQL server with respect to licensing.

    Feature Differences: Both Standard and Datacenter edition come with different feature sets. Datacenter is the fully unlocked version and has unlimited hyper-V controllers. Both the editions offer Nano Server and unlimited storage containers.

    Pricing & Versions

    Pricing:

    Purchasing the right version of Windows Server should be simple. Contact Royal, the Microsoft Certified experts to help with all of your licensing needs.

    Have questions about licensing your Windows Server environment? Speak with our licensing department at 1-877-292-7712. Royal Discount is the best place to buy legal, cheap computer software online for over 15 years running.


  • How to License Windows Server 2012 The Right Way

    licensing for windows server 2012

    Windows Server 2012 Highlights

    Windows Server is a server side operating system from Microsoft. Since its inception in 2008, Microsoft released many versions of the OS. Windows Server 2012 is currently the most popular, and stable version of the OS.

    Windows Server 2012 comes with a slew of features and licensing models. New features include a new resilient file system (Refs) - which is an evolution of NTFS. The main focus of refs is availability and integrity. Also included are improved power-shell capabilities, Hyper-V replication, New Server Manager, Direct Access VPN and dynamic access control.

    Versions & Releases:

    Editions Overview: Windows Server 2012 is offered in three different editions, each with their own features and licensing rules. Versions include Standard, Datacenter and Essential. The standard and datacenter editions are mainly similar in features. The primary difference between the two, being the number of virtual instances you are allowed to run. The essential edition is also similar in features but is limited to only one instance per development environment.

    Standard Edition: Designed for small to medium sized organizations. Allows you to run 2 server software per license. Additional licenses can also be purchased.

    Datacenter Edition: Suitable for large scale data centers. This edition allows the user to run unlimited number of software instances.

    Essential Edition: Designed for small organization with 25 devices and 50 users. Limited to one server instance.

    Licensing Models: Starting with Server 2012, Microsoft introduced their new, per-core licensing model. This means Standard and DataCenter editions should be licensed based on the amount of processors their server has. Each license covers 2 processors. A CPU or socket is counted as one processor, cores are not.

    Example: A single processor with 10 cores would only require one license.

    Pricing: The DataCenter edition with all the bells and whistles will run you about $5988 for the base 2 core license. While the standard edition costs $689. Both of these editions require Client access licenses (CAL) while the essential edition does not. This is an approximate pricing which is subject to change.

    One Processor with 12 OSE’s require one Datacenter edition while 6 Standard edition licenses, since standard edition allows the running of 2 virtual instances per license.

    One 4-processor server non-virtualized server require 2 standard edition license and 2 datacenter edition licenses.

    How to Properly License CALs:

    Client Access Licensing: Windows Server 2012 standard and Datacenter require both device CALs and user CAls for each user or device connecting to the system. The essential edition does not require CALs, it only allows maximum of 50 devices.

    Still have questions about Windows Server 2012 licensing? Speak to our experts. Royal Discount has been helping individuals and businesses with Microsoft for over 15 years. Contact us directly at 1-877-292-7712.


  • Which Versions of Microsoft Office Include Access?

    office versions including microsoft access

     

    Microsoft Office is a productivity suite developed by Microsoft. It includes various products like Word, Outlook, Excel, Access and Publisher. Up until the early 1980’s, all these products were available as standalone programs. Today, Microsoft has bundled these programs together to create what is now known as the Microsoft Office Suite. This suited aimed to increase the overall productivity of the workplace by providing seamless compatibility & control.

    Microsoft Office 2013 and Office 2016 are the two latest versions in the long line of products that the company has released over the years. Both of these versions have different features, which in turn, come with different sets of applications. Office 2013 and Office 2016 are both available in Home, Standard, Professional Edition and Professional Plus Edition. All of these editions come with different packages of applications and features.

    What is Microsoft Access?

    Microsoft Access is an application found in Office, and is a Database Management System(DBMS). Access allows the users to create and maintain relational databases. This Relational Database Manager (RDBMS) uses a JET database engine along with forms, reports, graphics and visual basic for custom program execution. Long story short, access provides a seamless platform that integrates with a variety of database instances.

    Users are able to create databases with little prior knowledge. This easy to use, all-purpose DBMS gives the non-developers the ability to create database solutions without the help of Professional Developers. MS Access is scalable, and allows connections to SQL server databases for virtually unlimited database size. This application seamlessly integrates with various data sources like ODBC, SQL server and other MS databases. With multi user support, individuals can edit data without chance of error. All of these services come included with Access, at no additional charge.

    Which Versions of Office Include Access?

    Microsoft Access is only available in the Professional and Professional Plus versions of Office 2013 and 2016.

    Office 2016 Professional ships with the latest version of Access and runs $389. Users will also get full versions of their favorite applications like Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, etc. Each license is good for one computer for lifetime usage (without any monthly fees). Office Professional also comes with free technical support to help with any hiccups.

    Professional Plus is essentially the same package as Professional but with Volume License support. Companies who are looking to dispatch multiple licenses can do so easily with Pro Plus. Ms Access is included in this edition as well.

    For more information on Microsoft Access, or to speak with our Microsoft Licensing experts call our help desk. We have over 15+ years of Microsoft experience and can help you find the right product for your needs. Dial 1-877-292-7712 or contact us directly.


  • Microsoft Focuses on its Partners Amidst a $4.5 Trillion Cloud Opportunity

    Microsoft's Move to the Cloud - Small Business Edition

    The world of technology is dramatically changing, and the use of cloud-based storage systems is something that presents both businesses and network providers with a wealth of new opportunities. The use of hybrid cloud networks has enabled businesses to transform the way they store data by offering them increased accessibility, security, and data storage capacity.

    Experts have estimated that this digital transformation—migrating from traditional servers to a cloud-based network—presents itself as a $4.5 Trillion (yes, trillion) market opportunity. In response to recognizing the tremendous opportunity available, Microsoft has become increasingly committed to its network and product providers. The company has created a new partner-focused program that helps accelerate the promotion of Microsoft Azure, and simultaneously focuses on developing the businesses who use their products.

    Microsoft 365 Business & Microsoft 365 Enterprise

    Microsoft 365 Business—which will be available for public preview August 2nd—has been applauded for its focus on making it easier than ever before for businesses to gain a competitive advantage through the use of superior information technology. The factors that distinguish Microsoft 365 Business from the ordinary addition of Microsoft 365 (unveiled in July) are 365 Business’ capacity to be used by up to 300 unique users, its security features (such as a centralized console), and its uniquely management-oriented software.

    Like the highly anticipated 365 Business product, Microsoft 365 Enterprise is another option that is specifically designed to meet the security and performance needs of a large scale operation. Particularly, it has been praised for the way in which it enables large groups to work together comprehensively on a common project—something many businesses have been hoping to be developed for a long time.

    microsoft-office-cloud-services

    Microsoft Azure Stack

    As more companies hope to shift to the use of a hybrid cloud platform, Microsoft Azure Stack is another product that has attracted a considerable amount of attention from both critics and users alike. Azure Stack is a uniquely versatile hybrid cloud platform that prides itself for its ability to be easily accessed from anywhere in the world, and furthermore, its ability to adapt to the specific needs of businesses that are either in transition or rapidly expanding their use of information technology. In fact, although Amazon still maintains the largest share of the cloud networking industry, Microsoft’s ambitious rate of development has enabled it to be the fastest growing in the market this year.

    In an effort to take advantage of the massive prospects presented by this $4.5 trillion market, Microsoft has created a profit-sharing network in which—contrary to the tradition of using single-lined contracts—both the company’s intermediary partners and Azure users can mutually benefit from each other’s well-being. By allowing its partners to earn up to 10% of the ultimate profit from the distribution and installation of Azure, the world will be more quickly motivated and able to find workable cloud-based networks, and the individuals making this possible will be justly compensated for their role in this transformation.

    A Newfound Appreciation for Microsoft Partners

    Microsoft is a company who has boldly claimed its mission to empower everyone to achieve more. As the company has continued to expand its global presence, it has consistently praised the ability of its partners to bring such a wide-reaching mission to life. In fact, as of 2017, Microsoft partners employ over 17 million people worldwide, and the company is expecting that its new profit-sharing system will enable them to earn upwards of a trillion dollars themselves. The company is one who stands by what it believes to be the most important: its high-quality products, its extensive distribution network, and the effectively well-being of those who use its products.

    For more information on cloud services, or to speak with a Certified Microsoft Partner, contact Royal Discount today. Helping businesses and organizations properly license Microsoft for over 15 years. Have Questions?

    Contact Our Licensing Desk Here - 1-877-292-7712


  • Windows Server Now Part of Microsoft's Semi-Annual Release Schedule

    Windows Server Moves to Semi-Annual Releases

    Windows Server, part of Microsoft’s Windows NT family, is a server operating system used for enterprise level management. Windows server provides the same features of a normal OS, but with several additional server management features. Windows Server 2016 is the latest and greatest in the long line of these Server operating systems, and is the first major release since Windows Server 2012. With Windows Server 2016, instead of a release every few years Microsoft moves to the semi-annual release cycle.

    In accordance with this semi-annual release cycle, the Microsoft will release Windows Server updates every Spring and Fall, over 18 months. This new release method is in cadence with the Windows 10 and Microsoft Office 365 release strategy. Microsoft’s goal is to bring new, cutting-edge features to customers, faster. This update cycle will enable the software to react quickly to changes in market demands and reduce the number of unsupported use cases.

    Windows Server 2016 News

    Want to Upgrade for Free? Opt for Software Assurance

    These updates will be accessible to all users who are part of Microsoft’s Software Assurance Program along with Windows Server Standard edition users. Datacenters without the access to the Software Assurance Program however, will not be able to update. These updates will be automatically become available on Azure Cloud as software images. Enterprises can opt out of this update cycle and Microsoft will continue to offer Windows Server in LTSC (Long Term Servicing Channel) with 16 years of support.

    This new update cycle will also include Server Core and Microsoft’s data center tool. MS now encourages the use of Server Core for hosting virtual machines and for infrastructure workloads. This will ensure consistency in hybrid IT environments. Nano Server, Windows Server designed for containers, will not be a part of this update cycle. It will have a consistence release every 6 months. Microsoft aims to make Nano Server even smaller, claiming to reduce its size by 50% in the next update. Microsoft is emphasizing the use of Nano Server only for building containers and away from infrastructure related roles.

    Added Linux Support

    Perhaps most anticipated, is included support for Linux containers. Microsoft is also bringing bash support for windows server just like with Windows 10. Additionally, Windows Server users will get to choose when to update. As with Windows 10, there will be a preview program for the users who want accelerated updates and are willing to take the risk of running beta software. Such users can opt for this functionality by joining the Windows Insider Program.

    Microsoft Windows Server 2016 is a part of the company’s recent push into cloud space along with Azure stack. This new release cycle will address one of the biggest breakthroughs in Microsoft unified Windows Development.

    Royal Discount is a certified Microsoft Partner specializing in licensing and sales of Windows Server. To learn more, or to speak to one of our Certified Licensing Experts, contact us.