Licensing

  • SQL Server 2008 End Of Life - Backing Up to Azure

    sql support life azure

    Technology moves fast, so much so that the newest versions of software often become out of date in a matter of a few years. Older versions of Microsoft products can be daunting to manage from a support and licensing perspective. While 2008 versions of Microsoft products were innovative and new at the time, some of these products are now nearing the end of their support life. SQL Server 2008 is now several versions back so many clients are wondering what to do for their upgrades. Other SQL Server customers who still retain databases on the 2008 version may not even have decided on their precise upgrade plans. Here's the latest news from Microsoft which may assist with decisions regarding SQL Server 2008.

    Support Concerns

    Licensing and support for SQL Server 2008 was originally intended to last 10 years. We are now into that end-of-life support so what are the options for organizations still running databases on this now decade-old version?

    SQL Server 2008 brought a number of new innovations to the marketplace for databases. These new features were incredibly useful for database development at the time, so much so that many businesses have not needed to upgrade some of their databases to the newest versions. In fact, some of these clients still on the 2008 platform may not feel there is an immediate need to upgrade their databases. There may be other factors involved with such a decision such as budgetary concerns. Organizations may still be trying to determine how to upgrade their databases to the latest SQL server platform and may need more time to make all the decisions necessary.

    However, Microsoft does intend for support of SQL Server 2008 to end. This means that software and security updates will no longer be available after the support life for this product ends. While organizations are not necessarily caught flat-footed with this reality, actually completing the upgrades before the end of licensing support may well prove daunting to some organizations.

    Originally, Microsoft planned to deal with end-of-life support issues regarding products such as SQL Server 2008 with a Premium Assurance Program which was implemented last year. This program was intended to add six years of support licensing to the current ten-year limit. The intention was to provide continued compliance and security to existing databases though at an increased cost of five percent which would have maxed out at twelve percent over current licensing costs.

    Previously Existing Options

    But Microsoft has made a more recent change that affects even this Premium Assurance Program with a recent announcement. Previously, there were several options available for organizations choosing to continue using this older version of the SQL server platform. Options for SQL Server 2008 customers who wanted to remain on this version ranged from simply accepting that there would be no future security updates. The downside of this option is that databases may no longer be compliant in various industry requirements.

    Another available option has been to simply upgrade to a newer version of SQL though at some costs unless an organization already used a product assurance program. But with this option, businesses choosing to upgrade the 2008 version might face additional costs with licensing or further upgrade support while not being entirely prepared for such a change for some databases.

    The last option for current business and organizational clients of SQL Server 2008 has been to purchase a custom support license which can also be costly. This third option requires that companies provide a migration plan of some sort to Microsoft rather than keeping open-ended support available for an indeterminate amount of time when newer versions provide better solutions.

    The Latest Option: Cloud Migration with Free Security Support

    Since there are any number of detrimental effects from remaining on the 2008 SQL version, Microsoft has chosen to offer yet another option which many businesses may find extremely helpful. The recent announcement by Microsoft has been to allow product platforms like SQL Server 2008 to be migrated to Azure Cloud Services. Essentially, Microsoft is offering organizations the opportunity to remain under software support for the 2008 version until 2022 if the workload is migrated to Azure Cloud Services. The actual security support and updates are free of charge on the cloud platform and does not require that a company provide a migration or upgrade plan.

    The opportunity is quite useful for many businesses and organizations as this even allows them to use Azure stack which is Microsoft's version of the on-premise cloud system. This option is quite a flexible and useful offer for many businesses and a way for them to move into cloud computing even with this older SQL version. Microsoft is even allowing those customers who purchased the Premium Assurance Program to migrate into the Azure cloud platform on a grandfathered basis since this plan will be discontinued.

    Additional Benefits

    Now corporate and organizational customer can take advantage of Azure Cloud Services for older databases. All Azure features will be available that are relevant to SQL Server 2008. Security across the environment is consistent and provides telemetry for any intrusions. A myriad of backup features are additionally available which can also cut costs as customers look to upgrade these databases to newer versions. Workloads can be more easily managed and even scaled over the next several years while migration planning can continue.

    Additionally, the hardware for currently hosted SQL Server 2008 databases may be aging out of their lifecycles. Consequently, hardware replacement will create higher costs for new equipment, continued security and other business consistency concerns. Azure provides a less expensive way to maintain aging databases until they can be migrated to newer platform versions. Instead of struggling along with both hardware and software concerns, businesses now have the option of implementing Azure versions of their SQL databases where the hardware is no longer a concern since the cloud service keeps all of the instances up-to-date and secured. Business consistency is also addressed when migrating to Azure for this additional time period of support. Azure provides stable backup systems and support for additional security compliance needs.

    With all the additional benefits of Azure cloud services, SQL Server 2008 customers will find that implementing a workload migration to this new option can be highly beneficial as their decisions about upgrades are made over the next several years. Since the security support will remain free, there is an important savings already built into using Azure cloud services to host these older databases. Azure provides business consistency with less concern for hardware changes as well as a high level of cloud-based features which can be beneficial in assisting with upgrades to newer database platforms. Companies and organizations can easily find that their migration concerns are eased by shifting SQL Server 2008 workloads into the Azure cloud. Since Microsoft's cloud services through Azure are proven to already cut costs, Microsoft has generously offered a highly beneficial means of retaining security support for several years to come, one which is far less expensive compared to other immediate options and concerns.

    If you are currently running an outdated version of Microsoft SQL Server and want to explore options, you don't want to leave anything to chance. Contact the Microsoft licensing experts at Royal Discount - your source for all things MS SQL.


  • Choosing between Microsoft SQL Server 2016 Standard and Enterprise Editions

    sql server plan comparison

    When Microsoft released SQL Server 2016 there were a number of changes and improvements to the flagship database. However, when considering the two main editions, Standard and Enterprise, organizations must account for a long list of features before choosing between them. Let's take a look at the main differences between the two editions regarding these available options.

    First, it is important to understand the intentions behind the two different editions. The Enterprise edition provides high end data-center availability, incredible performance, a wide array of business intelligence, unlimited virtualization and user access to data reporting. The Enterprise edition is well worth the higher licensing cost for large enterprises because of how much it offers.

    Meanwhile, the Standard edition of SQL Server 2016 offers many of the same features with limitations. This edition is intended to provide smaller organizations with all the necessary tools and features at a lower cost and less need for IT staff. The Standard edition is a highly effective version for business customers looking for budget relief.

    However, there are those customers who may need to further examine SQL Server 2016 features in order to effectively make choices between the two editions. This is where a careful examination of all the features coupled with licensing can save some companies cost, while others may quickly find they need far more database computing power.

    Since the SQL Server 2016 database engine is designed for far faster performance, the needs of an organization fall into the specifics designed into each edition. Digging further into the details can provide an assessment which enables Microsoft customers to make the best-informed decision for both immediate and long-term needs. Here are some highlights when to consider among the many options and features of SQL Server 2016 when choosing an edition:

    Scale Limits

    When it comes to scale limits, SQL Server 2016 Enterprise edition provides either unlimited memory or up to operating system limits. However, the Standard edition has a variety of memory limitations which must be considered when designing database applications. It is most important to remember that Standard edition is limited to the lesser of four sockets for 24 cores when it comes to the database engine, analysis services or reporting services. Other components may also be limited in the Standard version so it's important to check for those limitations. But, it is also an important to realize that both Standard and Enterprise editions have a maximum relational database size of 524 PB. 

    RDBMS High Availability

    Comparing RDBMS high availability between the two editions, users will find that there is plenty of overlap available when it comes to features. There are a number of features that are not available in the Standard edition, some of the most important being the lack of always-on availability groups, online page and file restore, online indexing, online schema change, fast recovery, mirrored backups, and hot add memory and CPU. 

    RDBMS Performance and Scalability

    Almost all of the RDBMS performance and scalability features are available in both Enterprise and Standard editions with the exceptions being: resource governor, partition table parallelism, NUMA aware and large page memory and buffer array allocation, and I/O resource governor. 

    RDBMS Security

    SQL Server 2016 Standard edition strongly mirrors RDBMS security from that of the Enterprise edition except for transparent database encryption and extensible Key management.

    Replication

    The Standard edition also comes with many of the same replication features as that of the Enterprise edition, the exceptions being: Oracle publishing, peer-to-peer transactional replication, and transactional replication updateable subscription. 

    Management Tools

    The management tools available in the Enterprise edition are exactly the same within the Standard edition.

    RDBMS Manageability

    Standard Edition possesses many of the same RDBMS manageability features, though there are some which are not included that are available in the Enterprise edition. These features are: parallel indexed operations, automatic use of indexed view by query optimizer, parallel consistency check and SQL Server Utility Control Point. 

    Development Tools

    SQL Server 2016 Standard and Enterprise editions provide the exact same development tools which is a strong benefit either way.

    Programmability

    Almost all of the available programmability features of the SQL Server 2016 Enterprise edition are available in the Standard edition with the exception of advanced R integration and R server (standalone). This means there are a wide array of programming options available even in the Standard edition. 

    Integration Services

    Basic integration services are available in both additions, but advanced sources and destinations as well as advanced tasks and transformations are not available in the Standard edition 

    Master Data Services

    Master data services are only available in the Enterprise edition, making the higher cost a consideration for those organizations in need of these features. Contact one of our specialists for more details. 

    Data Warehouse

    There are several integration services features not available in the Standard edition which include: star join query optimizations, scalable read only analysis services configuration, parallel query processing on partitioned tables and indexes, and global batch aggregation. 

    Analysis Services

    The Standard edition does not provide support for scalable shared databases or synchronize databases, while AlwaysOn failover cluster instances only supports two nodes. 

    BI Semantic Model (Multidimensional)

    Standard edition of SQL Server 2016 does support many of the same business intelligence semantic model (multidimensional) features as the Enterprise edition. Check with one of our specialists for more details.

    BI Semantic Model (Tabular)

    Business intelligence is an important inclusion within the Standard edition of SQL Server 2016. The Standard edition supports all of the same tabular models as the Enterprise edition except for Perspectives, Multiple partitions, and DirectQuery storage mode. 

    Power Pivot for SharePoint

    The Standard edition of SQL Server 2016 does not provide any support for Power Pivot for SharePoint so if this is a major consideration for an organization the Enterprise edition may be the choice since SharePoint is a powerful Microsoft product in wide use. 

    Data Mining

    While the Enterprise edition of SQL Server 2016 does support a wide array of data warehouse features, the Standard edition only supports standard algorithms and data mining tools (Wizards, Editors, Query Builders). 

    Spatial and Location Services & Additional Database Services

    All features and options for spatial and location services as well as additional database services are the same between SQL Server 2016 Enterprise and Standard editions. 

    Other Components

    StreamInsight HA is not available in the Standard edition.

    Conclusion 

    Choosing between Microsoft SQL Server 2016 Standard and Enterprise editions encompasses a wide array of factors. It is very important to remember that with the 2016 version, Microsoft included Business Intelligence features for the Standard edition to provide non-enterprise class customers with these useful options at a limited availability. Likewise, the Standard edition widely mirrors the Enterprise edition in terms of available features, only with limitations to scalability.

    Purchasing an Enterprise edition license most frequently means unlimited scalability for many features not available for the Standard edition. Customers must consider between the two when needs might require the higher-end edition. However, it is also easier than ever to upgrade the Standard edition to the Enterprise edition so expected database growth can also be accounted for with the possibility of business growth. Customers who choose a Standard edition will find it easier to grow as necessary by moving into the Enterprise edition when necessity requires a change.

    To learn more about SQL Server, contact the licensing experts at RoyalDiscount.com- Your online source for cheap OEM, Retail & Cloud products.


  • Azure VMs: 7 Reasons to Switch to Azure Virtual Machines

    Azure VMs: Pricing, Licensing & Features

    Azure storage and VM volumes provide the incredibly useful platform many businesses choose today for cloud solutions. Highly available, well-maintained and adaptable - all with cost in mind, Azure makes VM infrastructures easier than ever to improve business profitability with lower overhead. Azure VM servers can be brought online in minutes and configured for maximum business growth. Here's why businesses look to Azure's platform for VM infrastructure:

    1. OS Flexibility

    Operating systems are chosen with business need in mind. No longer do many businesses operate a single operating system on their servers. With VM servers now a staple of IT environments, Azure's flexible OS offerings make implementation of variable VM infrastructures easier than ever to accomplish. Azure VMs now support more than Windows Server, including Linux, IBM, Oracle, SQL Server, and SAP. Extending data center effectiveness is a breeze with all the choices available from Azure VMs making virtualization an unequaled IT investment for many business organizations.

    azure vm computer

    2. Resource Scalability

    All businesses are concerned with the cost of IT hardware. Scaling hardware can be difficult with budget constraints, especially with costly servers. Starting new projects and implementations can be challenging due to high costs. Arrival of high-end equipment can delay IT progress even further, let alone damaged shipments

    With Azure VMs, scalability creates a nimbler business model. Servers can be put into production in minutes rather than weeks, so development teams can complete requirements of testing and staging of new applications without delays from hardware.

    With a few developed image templates, even large projects can be underway in far less time than it takes to order, deliver and rack servers Scaling is fast and efficient while adhering to organizational goals and policies.

    3. Flexible VM Pricing

    Azure pricing is based on subscriptions which can be adjusted at need. No longer do companies need to waste time counting total cost with licenses or specialized equipment. Azure VMs are cost-efficient and easily maintained, reducing cost of ownership far below that of physical servers.

    Based on subscription need, the number of Azure VMs can easily be increased or decreased. A temporary need for additional VMs no longer requires years of financial commitment due to asset life-cycle. A temporary VM can be created and removed without the long-term consequences that physical servers require, especially when considering the cost of support. This reality is especially important when special application requirements call for faster, more powerful computing resources. The cost of the server is no longer spread out over five years but, instead, costs only for what the business needs for a specific time, meaning a drastic savings for companies and their IT commitments.

    Using Reserved Instances for VM in Azure can also reduce cost further. While these reserved instances require some commitment, they can be canceled or shifted as needed, unlike physical servers which are assets that stay on financial books for years and can only be disposed of at a loss. Reserved instances create virtual assets that can be shifted and changed as needed at costs that are even lower than pay-as-you-go plans. Combined with scalability and operating system flexibility, Azure VMs completely change the foundation of a company's IT resources.

    4. Reduction in Overhead & Costs

    IT organizations no longer need a commitment to larger employee support staffing. Budgets are reduced and more stable, creating higher profitability. Streamlined IT staffing no longer burdens the company, allowing for improved support margins and higher productivity. VMs ease the effects of such financial bottlenecks and Azure provides all the benefits of this relief with far fewer headaches for corporate management.

    5. Increased Security

    Azure puts a premium on security at all levels and VMs are no different. Azure Resource Manager ensures companies control access to VMs. Meanwhile, backup or failover goals are easily achieved with Azure Backup or Azure Site Recovery. Safe, well-maintained datacenters with encrypted connections ensure far better up-time and recovery in the event of site outages.

    azure virtual machine secured

    7. Ease of Use

    With templates, Azure VMs can be put into production far faster than with conventional servers. Customers can create their own templates and maintain them or make use of standard ones on Azure Resource Manager. New VMs can be available in minutes rather than weeks creating a nimble IT business model all businesses can enjoy. Development plans are much simpler, especially with migration and planning tools available in Azure Resource Manager making implementation far faster than ever so companies can relieve all internal bottlenecks whether they be support or budgetary in nature.

    7. The Benefits of Azure

    Microsoft's cloud platform has grown and widened in usefulness in recent years, rivaling or surpassing that of competitors. Azure provides a solid VM platform with a wide range of server offerings to satisfy all levels of need. Redundancy and business consistency make VM infrastructure even more effective than ever. Data centers with a wide-range of products complete with high-availability and many related offerings present even the largest of customers with the necessary options for VM infrastructure whether companies need general-use computing, memory optimized VMs, as well as burstable and compute optimized VMs.

    Add SQL instances with the latest features as well as backup and recovery options created for any business class in mind and Azure VMs become a prized asset in an era of increased competition. The latest of the Azure cloud is maintained, patched and secured, leaving management assured of business consistency.

    VMs are now the foundation of cost-efficient IT business models. Microsoft Azure VM instances are a widely used, effective cloud-based model every business can use to achieve lower costs, higher profits, better security, and business consistency while creating a nimble business environment. Find the right VMs for any budget and needs to begin creating a more robust IT infrastructure with Azure and its wide range of VMs.

    To learn more about Azure VMs, contact our experts at  RoyalDiscount.com - your online source for cheap OEM, Retail & Cloud products.


  • The Definitive Guide To Microsoft Azure

    microsoft azure transferring files

    What was once called Windows Azure is now known as Microsoft Azure and if you like to keep up-to-date with current tech-related news, you have probably heard the name a lot. Perhaps though, you have heard about it but have no idea what it actually is. In this post, our definitive guide to Microsoft Azure, we will outline the basics and some important specifics about Microsoft Azure, lifting the lid on what it is used for and why it is important.

    What Then Is Microsoft Azure?

    Microsoft Azure is the computing giant's cloud computing service which in a very similar way to both Google's Cloud Platform and Amazon Web Services, otherwise known as AWS.

    Now before you think you know what we mean when we say Cloud Computing, it's worth pointing out we don't mean that very open-to-interpretation term that is tagged on to every and any consumer service that stores your data and personal data on a remote server somewhere in America.

    Microsoft Azure is actually cloud computing in the form of a service designed for anyone from big organisations and companies to individual users who want to benefit from it.

    In the past, it was normal for organizations and companies to handle the hosting of their own infrastructure. So a company would have its own hardware that handled its own server, be it a web or email server. If it required more power, the company would need to purchase more hardware. The company would also need to pay for a solid internet connection for its customers to use and an individual to take care of hardware administration. As an alternative, many web hosting companies offer hosting for business services using their server hardware inside their own data centres, at cost.

    Cloud computing however, works in something of a different way though. Instead of running your own hardware or paying to use hardware in another company's data centre, you essentially pay to access a directory of resources provided by Google, Amazon, or in this case, Microsoft.

    This gives you the option to host whatever you want, whether it is user directories, virtual machines, servers for storing files, databases, email servers or web servers.

    If you need further computing resources, there is no need to buy new hardware, because as and when you need it, the 'cloud' can share with you the hardware and assigning the work automatically. You only pay for the amount of resources you require and not a set amount of hardware servers, stored away somewhere.

     

    How You Can Use Microsoft And Why You Might Want To

    When you use cloud computing via Microsoft Azure, it costs less upfront. There is no need to spend a lot of money, for instance, on setting up your own data centre, filling it with the necessary hardware and then hiring a workforce to run it. There is also never a risk of paying too much for more hardware than you require and likewise, there is no risk on buying not enough or not having the resources you require.

    Rather you just host the resources you require in the cloud through Microsoft Azure. You pay for what you use, when you use them. When you require more, it can be set up to automatically expand to take on the greater demand. Whereas, if you do not need quite as much, you won't be paying for resources you aren't using.

    This is why everything from an organisation or business's public access websites to their mobile app services to their company email server are being held via cloud computing.

     

    azure cloud hosting

     

    What Can You Do With Microsoft Azure?

    On its website, there is a full directory consisting of numerous services available for you to use, including backups, file storage, databases, full virtual machines and web and mobile app services.

    The reason its name was changed from Windows Azure to Microsoft Azure when it was developed and expanded to handle more than Windows. In fact, you are able to run both Linux and Windows virtual machines with Azure, as you require.

    When you start to browse through the directory of services, you will be see you can use Azure to do just about anything. Anything you need to do that Azure can't do directly, you can create a Linux or Windows virtual machine to host and use whatever software you need. If you wanted or needed to, you could host a Linux or Windows desktop in the cloud using a virtual machine and set up a remote connection to it. This is just another example of how you can use cloud computing resources.

    In the next part of our post we will now take a look at some more of the specifics of Azure and how it can be used. We will cover:

    • Azure Backup
    • Azure VM
    • Azure Active Directory
    • SQL In Azure
    • Major Benefits Microsoft Azure Brings To Businesses

    Azure Backup

    As the name suggests, Azure Backup is a service that enables you to protect or backup data into Microsoft's cloud. This service can be used therefore to replace any existing off-site or on-site backup facilities you may already have with a solution based in the cloud that is not only affordable, but secure and reliable.

    This service offers various components that you can download and use either in the cloud or on an appropriate server or computer. The particular agent or component you use will depend on the what you need to backup or protect. All of the available components of Azure Backup can be used for backing up data into a vault for Recovery Services within Azure.

    Why Would You Backup With Azure?

    Normal solutions for backup have developed to use the cloud merely as a static storage location in in a similar way to tapes and disks or an endpoint. Although this is a simplistic approach it is also restrictive and therefore translates to an inefficient and rather expensive backup solution because it doesn't make use of any underlying cloud platform.

    Further to this, other backup solutions are expensive as you end up paying a lot for storage that is not useful for you or storage that is the wrong kind. Also, they are inefficient as they do not provide you with the amount or kind of storage you require or administrative tasks involved with running them take up too much time.

    Azure Backup, on the other hand, delivers key benefits such as:

    • Auto Storage Management
    • Unlimited Scaling
    • Multiple Storage Options
    • Unlimited Data Transfer
    • Data Encryption
    • Application-Consistent Backup
    • Long-Term Retention

     

    azure portal

     

    Azure Active Directory

    Azure AD or Azure Active Directory is cloud-based identity and directory management service. It is a combination of application access management, advanced identity governance and core directory services. Azure Active Directory also provides a comprehensive and platform based on standards that allows developers to offer access control for applications based on central rules and policy.

    Azure AD for IT administrators provides an easy and cost-effective solution for business partners and employees to access numerous SaaS applications in the cloud via an SSO or single-sign on. Applications such as Concur, DropBox, Salesforce.com and Office365.

    Azure AD for developers of applications, enables you to focus your attention on building your applications by making it simpler and quicker to create integrations world-class identity management solutions utilized by literally millions of individuals and organizations throughout the world.

    With Azure Active Directory, there is also a whole identity management capability suite that includes:

    • Security monitoring and alerting
    • Rich auditing
    • Application usage monitoring
    • Role-based access control
    • Privileged account management
    • Self-service group management
    • Self-service password management
    • Device registration
    • Multi-factor authentication

    What Are Azure Virtual Machines?

    Azure Virtual Machines or Azure VM gives you the versatility to virtualise a wide array of computing solutions, such as data centre extensions, application running, development and testing. It gives the freedom of open source software that has the configuration you require. Consider this like another rack in your data centre, that gives you the ability to deploy a specific application not in the weeks it took in the past, but in mere seconds.

    You Get More Choice

    When it comes to Azure VM it's all about the range of choice you have. You can choose either Windows or Linux and then can choose whether you want it to be in the cloud on the premises or both.

    Scaled To What You Require

    A Combination of supercomputer performance with the cloud's scalability. Scale it from either one virtual machine to thousands. You can easily scale worldwide, to be closer to your customers, thanks to the increase in regional Azure data centres.

    SQL Azure

    You may have heard of SQL Azure - it is an important part of Windows Azure and is a services suite that provides data services web services infrastructure and hosted computing. This component of Azure, combines cloud computing service functionality with an SQL Server's complete relational database functionality. This is service is hosted from Microsoft data centres across the world.

    This is normally a good option when you require the services of a database. However, there are few aspects of business that SQL Azure would be particularly useful for:

    Collaborating - SQL Azure can be used to help establish a hub for collaboration, by storing your data in the cloud. In order to share information access across various boundaries within organisations, from one branch office to another etc. When you make use of hosted services, you can keep your data safe and secure, while eliminating roadblocks on the network.

    Scale - One of the biggest advantages of cloud computing is being able to add infrastructures when required. This makes it easier for you to scale up and expand or scale down the capacity of an application as and when it is necessary. Which is especially useful when there are dramatic changes to hosted application peak usage.

    Consolidation - As the relational database functionality need increases and starts to trickle down to specific work groups and departments, it can be a challenge to database sprawl internal management. With SQL Azure you can consolidate simplified management, turn-key provisioning with work group and departmental databases, to enable administrators can meet the needs of departments much easier.

    Hosted Applications - If you have already started using Windows Azure to host various workloads, it will be easy to integrate workloads of hosted relational databases. It can also assist in maximizing performance of applications by decreasing the volume of traffic on the network.

    Cost-Effective - It depends on the workloads you want to install, but cloud computing offers a PAYG model that may be the most effective approach in terms of expense.

    Major Benefits Microsoft Azure Brings To Businesses

    Now that we have discussed a little more about Microsoft Azure, it is worth understanding the actual benefits it can give businesses.

    Microsoft Azure Is Very Fast In All The Important And Best Ways

    In any business, speed is crucial and is generally seen as a advantage over competition. Azure benefits businesses in speed in three specific ways -

    • Deployment Speed
    • Operation Speed
    • Scalability Speed

    Even the most experienced and successful cloud providers would find it virtually impossible to compete against a business with all three functions firmly in place.

    Microsoft Azure Helps Increase Business Agility

    Businesses that make use of Azure have faster cycles for deployment than those using solutions on-premises. This enables them to become more iterative and benefit from greater amounts of responsive feedback while they develop applications.

    This then provides them with the opportunity to explore technology outcomes in a way that will suit the objectives of their business.

    In terms of finances – these cycles enable a measure of suitability without a complex infrastructure set up or outlay that costs too much.

    Business agility, we are sure you can see, is about failing faster, but growing quicker, rather than only maintaining standards.

     

    azure hosting security

     

    Your Global Reach Can Be Matched By Azure

    If your clients need data capabilities built for a worldwide scale, it can be hard if you are just relying on traditional data centres. In this regard Azure offers a huge advantage in that it can adapt to coincide with the utilisation and performance requirements of your business. This then reduces the necessity for a team to monitor behaviours and rather, focus on your business objectives.

    From the point of view of users, their experience will always be great and how great it is will not be determined by their location.

    While there is an argument that smaller organisations are the only kinds of businesses that can exploit this scale. This is not strictly true. BP, for example, only recently utilised this functionality of Azure as a migration driver.

    The Integration Development Environment

    Along with what we have already stated Azure benefits from Visual Studio – the leading development environment in the world. Which really is a game-changer. This means the dramatic reduction in the learning curb that comes with using a new platform. This is great in two important ways:

    It helps you to avoid a skill mismatch

    Enables teams to be deployed quickly and to learn while they work on a project or task.

    As part of this integration, Azure shows the willingness of it to adapt to what developers need. From a day to day perspective, developers are who benefit the most from Azure.

    The Full Integration Delivery Pipeline Provided By Azure

    When trying to show the true benefits of using Azure that Google and AWS don't provide,, it is more about the whole package rather than just the storage.

    So when you look at Azure from the perspective of architecture, you need a unified delivery pipeline. When it comes to Azure, this is:

    • Source control
    • Unit testing
    • Integration testing
    • Delivery
    • Go live tools

    Along with this, many could argue that it would benefit businesses to make use of specific tools from a variety of different providers. Ensuring greater ease of use for the majority of providers through APIs etc. Although, when it comes to fears regarding issues of integration and improved continuity, you are in a better position when all the tools you are using are all in the same place.

    When it comes to future updates though, Azure does this in a way that is still of benefit to others in their pipeline. This ensures that there is going to be long-term success.

    Azure Solves The Problem of Recovery Disasters

    If you have a business that has a worldwide footprint, you may need a solution that coincides with your need to transfer data on a global scale. Along with this, the CSOs have a stronghold to maintain so that disaster recovery capabilities are considered, including objectives for recovery points and locations for fail-overs. Azure has this covered.

    They do this by having:

    • Fail-over options on a global and regional level
    • Standby models both cold and hot
    • Capabilities for rolling reboots

    All of these can be worked with straight from the box. Which puts them far ahead of the standard options available from on-premises platforms.

    Although the topic of data recovery may not always be considered the most important business decision, a company could face disastrous legal implications if they are separated from their data at all for even just a day.

    Flexible Expenditure

    Although it is perceived to be cheaper than using private cloud computing, Azure isn't really. This is not a problem, though. One particular advantage of computing in the cloud with Azure is you're able to test band new solutions and how they impact, in a cost-effective way. Once you have finished this, you are then able to scale the areas that give the best outcomes for your business in a very tactful way.

    Increase Your SQL Databases' Return On Investment - While your costs may increase, your ROI is likely to improve, while decreasing the amount you pay for resources that are inefficient. When you choose to make changes to revenue models or experience differences from season to season, you only need to adapt things in your Azure Portal. Your CFO will see this as a success in the long-term.

     

     

    Using Azure To Become Securer

    One of the most important and impactful parts of Azure's security is the facility for seamless and secure logging on and off for users. Whether that is with regards to business to consumer or business to business.

    Users have easy access to all relevant platforms without having to remember complicated passwords, using Azure SSO. By doing this, you are able to decrease the chance for hackers to access important accounts, while enabling controls that are device and location specific.

    Azure Can Help You Meet Compliance Regulations

    Taking the bigger picture into consideration, organizations do not want to consider that solutions they choose or their data is meeting policies based on locations or meeting industry standards.

    It is likely that you would rather focus in on the outcomes of business.

    The heritage of Microsoft enables them to provide platforms suiting this requirement constantly, and have taken on all the heavy lifting. Particularly within sectors such as finance, which with data policies and GDPR, they have been able to establish solutions that give great scope with maintaining the sovereignty

    You Can Deploy Azure Absolutely Anywhere

    Unlike other cloud providers, such as Amazon Web Services for instance, that try to push of a future where cloud-first is a way of life in business, others consider it to be more appropriate to adopt a more hybrid model.

    Microsoft built the Azure Stack offering, with the above in mind, as a way to ensure their customers and clients benefit from all of the different benefits we have mentioned above and Additionally to practices and patterns. This is done while making use of wide array of providers of proven hardware for all their requirements on-premises.

    Moving forward, as a business you can select exactly where you want your data to reside. The change can actually be a lot easier than you suggest when choosing to press on with Azure.

    For more information on Microsoft Products or Services, contact our team at Royal Discount. Your source for Microsoft software and licensing. Reach our azure licensing desk directly at 1-877-292-7712.


  • Azure Site Recovery Migration & Deployment Guide

    azure site recovery migration

    Starting from the Beginning

    All the research has been completed. All the decisions have been made to use Azure Site Recovery. Now the real work begins with planning the deployment. Beyond creating an Azure Portal account and budgeting for cloud storage and other services, decisions must now be made to execute the move to the cloud and/or site recovery. Current information is needed for determining what VM servers can be migrated or replicated to the cloud.

    Fortunately, new and old customers of Azure services alike can take advantage of one tool to assist with planning and completing a Site Recovery implementation. The Site Recovery Deployment Planner for VMware and Hyper-V presents a handy set of features that easily assists with planning your Site Recovery project, so you can successfully complete the project while meeting all the requirements defined for business consistency and disaster recovery.

    How the Deployment Planner Assists

    The latest version of the planner is now available for enterprise customers and provides insights into an IT environment. The tool delivers enterprise customers with three key types of information:

    1. Customers with either VMware and/or Hyper-V VMs can determine the scope of their on-premises network requirements based on their current number of servers and application demands.

    2. The planner also assists with calculating storage requirements for satisfactory replication to Site Recovery storage.

    3. Also, the planner assesses infrastructure needs for test failover or application failovers.

    With these key data points, customers can determine their precise infrastructure requirements to estimate their total costs involved for meeting disaster recovery needs. With the tool, total cost estimates and licenses can be determined for an associated subscription with currency specified to generate a report that includes needs and pricing for compute, storage, network and Site Recovery. The tool's reporting can be completed without installing any software or creating a negative impact on the existing VM environment since it collects performance data directly from VM environment host servers (either Hyper-V or VMware hosts).

    Information Gathered by the Deployment Planner Tool

    By using the planner, the following information will be extracted to discover infrastructure topography and meet project objectives with precision:

    · Compatibility Assessment - VM servers are assessed for eligibility for use in Azure with Site Recovery

    · Network bandwidth needs versus Recovery Point Objects (RPO) - this provides estimates for required bandwidth for delta replication, expected throughput for Site Recovery between on-premises equipment to Azure, what RPO can be achieved given existing bandwidth, and any impact to RPO for choosing a lower bandwidth.

    · Required Microsoft Azure infrastructure - determine the following factors based on VMs: type of storage needed (standard or premium), the total number of accounts necessary (standard or premium) when setting up replication, storage-account placement of all VMs, how many cores will be needed for test and application failovers, and Azure VM size recommendations for on-premise VMs

    · Required on-premise infrastructure - the required free storage of volumes for Hyper-V volumes for successful replication, copy frequency maximums for Hyper-V replication and requirements for the number of process and configuration servers for VMware replication to Azure scenarios.

    · Guidance for initial replication batching - the planner determines the number of VMs that can be initially replicated.

    · Estimates for disaster recovery (DR) cost with Azure - specifics for total DR cost with detailed cost analysis for each VM

    · Determining growth estimates - future demands for on-premise workload and demand growth are assessed for future planning and budget projections.

    Deployment Planner Modes and Output

    The planner runs in three modes to generate effective reports, so enterprise customers can create the most complete picture of their IT needs and the scope of the project:

    1. Profiling mode gathers information for on-site VM equipment and existing VMs to gain an overall profile of performance by connecting to host servers for Hyper-V or VMware hosted VMs. A number of performance counters are gathered over several days up to a month for an accurate picture of site needs for storage, compute, network, and Site Recovery infrastructure as well as bandwidth discovery.

    2. The planner summary mode generates a report from the data created while in profiling mode. A generated report in the form of a spreadsheet details: current information, creates recommendations, determines storage needs, details which VMs are compatible and which are not, assesses Hyper-V requirements for storage and batching as well as provides cost estimates.

    3. Network bandwidth is determined with the Throughput Calculation mode. With this mode, bandwidth needs, and recommendations are provided even if throttling is necessary.

    With the Azure Site Recovery Deployment Planner, enterprise-class customers can achieve all expectations and requirements from Microsoft Azure for best outcomes of deployment. To learn more about Microsoft Azure Site Recovery and the Deployment Planner for VMs, contact our experts at RoyalDiscount.com - Your online source for cheap OEM, Retail & Cloud products.


  • Azure Portal Changes - ARM - What You Need to Know

    Microsoft Azure Portal

    Azure Classic Portal Closes

    Azure portal has been in use for some time now with all new features available. Azure Classic Portal will no longer be available as of 1/8/2018 and, while users need not be concerned with their access to resources, there are new features available in the updated version of Azure Resource Manager. Find out what you can expect from the Azure portal change.

    First, Azure Classic Portal users shouldn't be concerned with the change. All services and resources will be retained in the new portal. All functions and features are improved as the closure of the previous version allows Microsoft to streamline portal management functions.

    New Portal, New Features

    The latest version of Azure Portal, also known as Azure Resource Manager, features several new features, allowing users to take advantage of resource management improvements over Azure Classic Portal:

    · Search features improve user resource management by finding objects with greater ease. Available from the navigation bar, productivity is much easier as users can find anything from resources, to documentation to services with a quick search.

    · New browsing for resources adds additional improvements for managing Azure components and assets. Using a variety of filters, you can now browse through resources for monitoring and management information whether by subscription, location or both.

    · Users can also execute actions on multiple Azure resources for quicker, easier management. For instance, one, or several VMs can be chosen for starting with just a few clicks.

    · Additionally, Azure resources can now be better managed with tags. Resources can now be grouped using these tag annotations to find them by customizable grouping such as applications or type. Tags are even available for review of billing information and multiple resources can be annotated or removed from tags at one time.

    · The ARM interface is now consistent for ease of use. Common overviews of VMs and other resources are displayed including metrics, available actions, resource information, core platform capabilities and much more. Appearance patterns are consistent across type of resource to reduce confusion during management functions.

    · Users can now customize the portal by views, observing what's most important for resource management needs in Azure. Customizations include items in the left navigation bar, 4 available themes, support for 18 languages, browse list columns, and the following…

    · A variety of dashboards provide visual information designed to afford users with timely, helpful monitoring information and access to resource management. Dashboards can be managed by dragging and dropping tiles or with programmatic controls, then shared with other Azure portal users. For example, these fully customizable dashboards could include Azure Resource Manager tiles for Data or Actions. Add a VM instance to these tiles to respectively see information or available commands.

    · The integrated console allows both GUI and command line control, the latter via use of Cloud Shell. Shift to either Bash or PowerShell with a click and gain authenticated, browser-based command-line functions.

    · Azure Resource Manager provides many resource management templates for improved control of automation in the Azure environment. With over 600 searchable templates, users can find batch commands and edit them for specific uses. Quick-start templates can be loaded and executed from the gallery, then saved to a library of customized templates. Additionally, templates applied to any resource or grouping is displayed in resource information along with code for running automations for even an entire group whether in CLI, PowerShell, .Net or Ruby

    · Azure Advisor displays essential information for cost and planning. Available in the left navigation pane, the advisor is a valuable tool for obtaining best recommendations for cost, security and planning and more for all subscriptions in an account.

    · The new Azure portal offers improved resource monitoring. The monitor is also available in the left Navigation Bar and uses the same UX patterns as discussed earlier for ease of use.

    · Additionally, the Azure portal allows for greater ease of resource cost optimization. Users can easily understand charges in the Azure portal with a single click to analyze billing and cost effectiveness.

    · Users now have access to needed resource information via the Azure Portal Mobile App, available anytime, anywhere. Connection and control of Azure resources are just a touch away after downloading the app to a mobile device.

    · The Azure portal also provides access to preview upcoming changes to the portal so that users can provide feedback before implementation of new features and updates. Clicking the Preview stamp allows you to engage with new features and send your feedback.

    The new Azure portal offers all the necessary features plus new ones with ease of use and flexibility that user's need. Find the portal and or explore other solutions like Azure Backup. To learn more about Microsoft Azure Portal accessibility and features, contact our experts at RoyalDiscount.com - Your online source for cheap OEM, Retail & Cloud products.


  • Microsoft Project Pro vs Project Standard - What's the Difference?

    microsoft project 2016 comparison

    Introduction

    Microsoft Office offers a wide range of products, ranging from the most commonly used Word and Excel to more specialized applications like PowerPoint, Access, Publisher, Outlook and OneNote. These applications are more widely used among the various Office editions available.

    One less commonly used Office application is Project. This application, as the name suggests, is specialized to managing projects. Let's take a deeper look at Project and perhaps you'll find it needed in your functions more than you realized.

    What is Project?

    Many different fields, such as engineering and construction, require constant project management. Microsoft Project is frequently used to manage large projects by tracking progress in many ways. Scheduling and resource management are key in guiding projects and Microsoft Project is a primary application many project managers use during their daily tasks. But other industries and businesses can use Project to manage their internal projects and resources with the same functionality.

    Oversight of business costs are very important with project management and Microsoft Project packs in tools to fit the bill. As with all other Office products, Project includes templates to help get started faster but these can also be customized for even greater ease of use. Gantt charts and pulldown menus ease the workload of management while getting tasks for the project scheduled. Additionally, out-of-the-box reports of varying kinds are also available. Information is even available across a Windows, iOS and Android devices.

    If you have a project that needs organizing and scheduling. Project is just the application that keeps you making progress while tracking finances, materials, manpower and schedules. Read on and see what's new as well as which edition best suits your needs.

    What's New in Project 2016?

    Here are a few new features found in the latest version of Project:

    • Resource Engagements - requesting resources for approval has been added for improved decision-making
    • Additional Resource Manager Involvement - resource managers can respond to requests within a Project without using full versions
    • Resource Capacity Heat Maps - coupled with new, intuitive reporting, Project 2016 uses heat maps to easily see under and over-utilization within the project.
    • Tell Me - this feature allows users to speak to the application and request what they need. A button is used to take a user directly to the needed information.
    • Timelines - visualized, stacked reports allow managers to see comparative project progress across a myriad of main and sub-projects.
    • Read/Write Office Add-ins - full read-write access of Office add-ins are available from the App-store and allow integration of a variety of office features.

    Differences Between Professional and Standard Versions

    PC-based Project installations come in two versions: Professional and Standard. Each edition is built to meet needs of any size and demand.

    Standard Professional
    Fully installed, up-to-date Project desktop application Fully installed, up-to-date Project desktop application
    One license covers 1 PC per use One license covers 1 PC per use
    Manage project schedules and costs Manage project schedules and costs
    Manage tasks Manage tasks
    Manage reports and business intelligence Manage reports and business intelligence
    Collaborate with Skype for Business presence
    Manage resources
    Sync with Project Online & Project Server
    Submit timesheets to capture project and non-project time spent for payroll, invoicing, and other business purposes

     

    With Project Online and Project Server, additional uses can be leveraged for larger organizations such as SharePoint integration.

    Why Upgrade to the 2016 Version

    Project 2016 includes all the functionality of previous versions and can open files of previous versions back to the 2007 edition. However, this latest version adds additional features that include business intelligence management, a new heat map for spotting under and over-utilization, availability of use on a variety of devices and much more detailed above this section.

    Upgrading to the 2016 version is a clear move forward in project management for greater control of resources and costs.

    Why Upgrade to Professional

    The professional edition of Project offers many collaborative features. If you company is growing, or is already large, collaboration is likely an issue. The ability to use Skype from the office and field is integral for improved business presence. Consider an upgrade for this reason as well as leveraging timesheet management and syncing with the online and server versions for additional collaborative needs.

    To learn more about Microsoft Project 2016, contact our experts at RoyalDiscount.com- Your online source for cheap OEM, Retail & Cloud products.


  • Visio Pro VS Standard - What's the Difference?

    microsoft visio comparison vector

    Introduction

    Some of the Microsoft Office suite of applications are widely used. Word, Excel and Outlook are almost synonymous with the software brand. Other applications offer more specialized functionality but are quite effective to use. Among the lesser used but highly effective applications is Visio, which is used for diagramming most anything - from information technology topographies to organizational charts and much more.

    What is Visio?

    With its wide variety of templates and shapes anything from network diagrams to flowcharts, floor plans and engineering designs can be created with Microsoft Visio. Other functions include Process Modeling and Data Visualization. The application is easy to use and creates highly effective visual diagrams that can be ported into many other applications like PowerPoint and Publisher. Visio is the handiest of tools to have showing the design or schematic of anything whether it's for internal use or business clients. Visio is another Microsoft Office application that adds productivity both easily and effectively.

    What's New in Visio 2016

    Microsoft Visio 2016 came with several new features that improve upon an already effective application. Here are five new features in Visio that can help you:

    • Microsoft Visio 2016 comes with an array of starter templates complete with prompts to get users going. Additionally, these helpful starters come with contextual tips covering the fifteen most-used types of diagrams. It's an amazing starter for inexperienced users who can leverage simple to complete diagram with initial efforts with great visual effects.
    • Like the other applications of Microsoft Office 2016, Visio comes with the Tell Me function that use hundreds of commands. Ask Visio to do something and users will get a list of ways to accomplish the task at hand and all from a displayed drop-down list.
    • With new industry compliance standards, Microsoft incorporated a vast number of shapes that meet specifications for UML 2.4, IEEE (which is new) and BPMN 2.0. Accomplishing any diagramming task leaves users with highly visual results that meet design standards.
    • With one-step data linking, Visio 2016 Quick Import capabilities bring real-life diagrams into the application for amazing data linking. Conversion to data is simple with linking to shapes and graphics made easy in Visio.
    • With Information Rights Management, Visio 2016 creates security for sensitive information while providing even individual user level document rights to preserve collaborative functionality.

     

    Differences Between Professional and Standard Versions

    Standard Professional
    Versatile Templates and Thousands of Shapes
    Smart Shapes
    Import DWG Files (import AutoCAD files with support up to DWG 2010)
    Support for Industry Standards
    Fast Startup with Starter Diagrams
    Easy Flowcharting
    Tell Me Intuitive Searches
    Built-in Themes & Effects
    Live Data Overlay ●v
    Data to Diagram
    Data Graphics
    One-step Data Linking
    Data Refresh
    In-app Commenting
    Co-authoring (requires Office 365 or SharePoint)
    Integration with Skype for Business (licensed separately)
    Secured Diagrams
    Easy Diagram Sharing
    Anywhere Access (web & iPad Apps)
    Full Fidelity (for use with web and iPad apps with pan & zoom)
    Operational Dashboard

     

    Why Upgrade to 2016?

    Based on the chart above, reasons to upgrade to the latest version of Visio 2016 abound. New features mean gaining the latest capabilities for creating and sharing vital information that's sure to impress management or clients. Improved diagram tools, intuitive searches, and Skype for business capabilities all add to existing visual output. Access via tablet and handheld devices enables remote or field users the ability to view files via web and iPad apps with intuitive pan and zoom functionality.

    Why Upgrade to Professional?

    Visio 2016 Professional adds increased functionality where needed. While the Standard edition packs newer features, business needs may dictate upgrading to the Professional edition. Collaborative features may well be necessary in larger organizations while some business requirements for secured data may further drive need for an upgrade to Professional. Likewise, users who need to import real-world data into Visio files can take advantage of the new Live Data Overlay, Data to Diagram, One-step Data Linking and Data Refresh features. Additionally, organizations using Office 365 or SharePoint can easily leverage co-authoring capabilities. Discuss your Visio needs with one of our representatives for the best fit to the dynamics of your business.

    To learn more about Microsoft Visio 2016, contact our licensing experts at Royal Discount1-877-292-7712 Certified Microsoft Experts - call in today at Monday - Friday.


  • Microsoft SQL Server 2017 New Features: Speed, Flexibility & More

    Overview

    Microsoft's SQL Server 2017 is now on the scene with more new features which offer faster processing, flexibility of use and cost savings as a result. Version 2016 provided numerous improvements which Microsoft termed as a big leap forward. If 2016 was a big leap, 2017 promises all that and so much more of what corporate customers need at any level. Added performance from Adaptive Query Processing, new flexibility with cross-platform capability and new integrations for statistical and data science analysis, this new version adds solid technology with cost savings. As companies look for nimble hardware and operating solutions, SQL Server 2017 offers database customers just what is needed in a diversified tech climate.

    New Features

    Days of slow queries and transactions will be over with an upgrade to SQL Server 2017. Microsoft packed even their lower-end versions with basic Adaptive Query Processing while the Enterprise (and Developer) boasts Advanced Adaptive Query Processing. Organizations with less demanding database needs will see benefits from the basic services while enterprise-class clients with heavier processing demands can ramp-up their processing with SQL Server too. Adaptive Query Processing speeds queries as much as 100 times faster while transaction also gets juiced by as much as 30 times previous versions. If you have the need, SQL Server 2017 has the speed.

    microsoft-sql-logo

    Improved Statistical and Data Science Analysis

    Microsoft wasted no time and effort in this newest version of SQL Server, adding integrations for R and Python. With advanced analytics, database performance is vastly improved. With all the new information and added graph data support, this latest version leverages BI even more than the 2016 version. Basic features are available in Express and Standard while Enterprise and Developer editions flex their database muscles with the advanced version.

     

    Cost Reduction? You've Got It!

    With the plethora of organizational needs abounding in today's business climate, Microsoft answered the bell with sensitivity toward diverse and changing needs. Customer looking for hybrid solutions as they grow will find that License Mobility provides nimble solutions as needed. If databases need to be moved to VMs on the cloud licensing provides that ability especially with HA use of active-passive licensing. Coupled with faster processing, easier upgrading and superior security, costs are driven down - and that's just the beginning.

     

    Cross-Platform Flexibility

    Open-source database providers may offer flexibility but Microsoft built SQL Server 2017 for even more functionality in many environments. Now available for use on Linux and Docker platforms, SQL Server can run anywhere and requires no third-part support and development while it reduces overall risks with it's industry-recognized security. Couple all these details with Visual Studio that can be coded for Linux and Mac OS and this database version of SQL is just what companies need whether it of the available three production editions: Express, Standard or Enterprise.

     

    Reasons to Upgrade - It's Easy

    SQL Server 2017 includes a solid bridge to upgrade from older SQL versions as far back as 2008 with an upgrade wizard. Additionally, when organizations need to shift over to the cloud or back, databases can be moved with ease using a migration tool. In the case of migration, Mobile Licensing as part of a Software Assurance package keeps cost lower.

     

    New Tools for New Uses

    Microsoft listened to the needs of its customers with its two latest versions, culminating with SQL Server 2017. In 2016, mobile availability and BI were key factors. With 2017, such features are well leveraged with analytics, better processing, development flexibility and platform flexibility all coupled with licensing and security that can better trusted to meet heavy demands. Whether it's on the cloud, on-premises or a hybrid of the two. IT providers can couple with Azure services and power databases like never before. Older implementations have simplified solutions with cost efficiency to upgrade while reducing risks from intrusion to data recovery.

     

    To learn more about SQL Server 2017, contact our licensing experts at Royal Discount.com- You're online source for OEM, Retail & Cloud software for cheap prices.

     

     

     

     


  • Office 2007 End of Life Is Here - What You Can Do & Stay Protected

    microsoft-Office-2007-end-of-life-is-here

    Planning for Microsoft Office 2007 “End of Life”

    Perhaps one of the things that gives life so much meaning is that from the day we are born, we never quite know how much time we will have on Earth. Born just ten years ago, Microsoft Office 2007 once experienced a similar sense of wonder, but now with its “end of life” date looming on the horizon, it has become clear that this once highly-applauded piece of software is just as mortal as we are.

    As we approach the end of our lives, we might find ourselves asking a number of different questions. Could I have done more? What is the meaning of all this? How could an infinitely powerful and benevolent company like Microsoft allow its innocent products to die so young?

    While some of these questions remain beyond our mortal ability to answer, this guide is here to help you prepare:

    When is the scheduled end of life date for Microsoft Office 2007?

    For some of Office’s lesser used features—such as Exchange Server, Accounting 2007, and Interconnect 2007—the end of life date has already occurred on April 11th of this year.

    For the remainder of Microsoft Office 2007’s applications, the end of life date will occur on October 10th (2017). These applications include, but are not limited to:

    • Microsoft Excel 2007
    • Microsoft Outlook 2007 (including Business Contact Manager)
    • Microsoft PowerPoint 2007 (both home and student versions)
    • Microsoft Word 2007
    • Microsoft Project 2007
    • Microsoft Visio 2007 (both professional and standard versions)
    • …essentially all Microsoft Office products from the year 2007

    If you currently have any files that have been created using Microsoft Office 2007, it is a very good idea to backup, save, and store them before the end of life date.

    What exactly does the “end of life” date mean?

    The end of life date does not mean that all of your files are going to be deleted. It is does, however, mean that these files are now much more at risk of being permanently lost than before.

    Essentially, the “end of life” date really just means the end of Microsoft’s support cycle. According to the company website, this means the end of both security and non-security updates, both free and paid assisted support options, and online technical content updates.

    If you do not use Microsoft support services very often or at all, you might not be immediately affected by this rather grimly named point in time. However, if you need support in the future due to the technical difficulties that will inevitably emerge from using a product that is now an entire decade old, you will be completely out of luck.

    Will I continue to be able to use Microsoft Office 2007?

    Even after the end of the support lifecycle, you will still be able to use Microsoft Office 2007, you will just be doing so at your own risk. This is not the first time Microsoft has ended the support lifecycle for its software products, and since the software itself is rather well-made, many people have been able to continue using it for even years on end without support. However, as time goes on, the bigger the risk of using unsupported software becomes.

    Really, the biggest risk you face will be from the lack of future security updates. Though these updates can often be annoying at times, they are still very important in a world with increasing sources of cybersecurity threats. When deciding whether or not to migrate to a newer version of Microsoft Office, you ought to begin by asking yourself, is it worth the risk of losing security?

    Microsoft Word - Bring Out Your Best

    What are my current options for purchasing Microsoft Office?

    Essentially, Microsoft recommends one of two migration options. You could either subscribe to the newest version of Microsoft Office which is known as Office 365, or you could purchase a different version of Office that is currently supported, such as Office 2016. Migrating to both of these platforms will allow you to benefit from the latest (and at times, quite helpful) product developments and also continue receiving the essential product upgrades you need.

    If you are looking to make a seamless migration away from Microsoft Office 2007, consider contacting the Experts at Royal. Royal Discount is an officially licensed Microsoft partner specializing in business and personal software licensing. Here, you will be able to receive personalized service and advice from our help desk. Give us a call and let us help you with your migration away from 2007, affordably - 1-877-292-7712


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