Microsoft Update March 2019

Some of the principle licensing updates for March 2019

  • Microsoft published the pricing for the Exten ded Security Updates for SQL Server and Windows Server 2008. I recommend reading this article
  • Microsoft announce the General Availability of Visual Studio 2019 with Community, and Professional and Enterprise. See the announcement
  • Microsoft General Availability of System Center 2019 See the announcement
  • Microsoft update the Home Use Program FAQs See the updated FAQs
  • Extended Security Updates for Windows 7 See the announcement
  • Microsoft improve website on Microsoft Plans See the Microsoft website
  • Microsoft create playbook for cloud migration for partners
  • CSP grew by 52% in 12 months See the announcement
  • $32 billion in revenue in the Q2 earnings with commercial cloud revenue increase of 48% year-over-year to $9 billion, and Azure by 76%
  • The Azure Expert MSP managed service program has grown to 43 partners that focuses on partners that drive consistent, repeatable, high-fidelity managed services on Azure and are driving more than $100,000 per month in Azure consumption.
  • Microsoft Cloud Agreement forced via API – starting March 22, 2019, Microsoft will require all partners participating in the CSP program using the Partner Center API to confirm customer acceptance to the Microsoft Cloud Agreement. Microsoft’s systems will automatically check if the customer contract is agreed with the customer. If it is not present, the transaction will not be able to be completed. First purchases for new customers will also require the Microsoft Cloud Agreement acceptance. Microsoft FAQs are available here

Read moreMicrosoft Update March 2019

SQL End of Support – Extended Security Updates are 300% the cost of SA

In a recent interview with CIOdive.com and in InformationWeek – I highlighted a ‘compelling event’ across the Microsoft ecosystem to upgrade, re-host, or refactor legacy SQL servers to respond to SQL 2008 and 2008 R2 End of Support on July 17th 2019. With the average business running 43% of their SQL servers in extended support, it is going to drive a lot of activity.

In March of this year, Microsoft also published general availability of Extended Security Updates (ESU) to extend the life-cycle of your 2008 and 2008 R2 footprint for both SQL Server, and Windows Server 2008 and 2008 R2 (with end of support in July 2020).

Notably, the cost of Extended Security Updates coverage for 12 Months, is 300% the price of Software Assurance for SQL Server for the same period, with this price point consistent for both SQL Enterprise and SQL Standard Edition. Microsoft extrapolated the cost of extended support based on 75% of the perpetual ‘license’ cost. Arguably, the logic of this pricing model is weak, and the cost should be extrapolated based on the cost of the maintenance model – Software Assurance (SA), and not based on the current perpetual ‘License’ cost of the software. After 10 years in industry, it is hard not to see this pricing model as anything but a mechanism to drive customer behaviours towards adoption of Azure, and  undermine re-hosting of legacy software to AWS dedicated host, or GCP sole-tenant offerings. 

Here are some key takeaways you should be aware of:

  • You do need to maintain SA for Windows Server or SQL Server footprint you want to buy ESU for.
  • The EOS SKUs are Annual and can be bought at any time. Full 12 Months of coverage.
  • The price list went live on March 1st and are now available for purchase.
  • You pay for the full year, It is not pro-rated from the date you buy.
  • The ESU starts from July of 2019 to July of 2020, and then 2nd Year is purchased later.
  • If the you elect to upgrade, or move to Azure, you can reduce the ESU in future years.
  • ESU is covered when you move workloads to Azure.
  • You are billed at time of purchase.
  • There is no pro-ration and is not co-terminus with the underlying SA/LSA on a Volume Agreement Enrollment
  • The full Year of ESU may not align with your enrollment. You buy the full Year upfront that goes beyond the Enrollment date
  • You cannot buy new coverage in Year 2, If you don’t buy Year 1. So you would buy Year 1 and Year 2 in one go.
  • The underlying SA doesn’t have to be on the EA contract.

Read moreSQL End of Support – Extended Security Updates are 300% the cost of SA

Licensing Windows Server on GCP

General

Licenses that are eligible for License Mobility[1] and covered with active Software Assurance (SA), can be deployed to third party shared datacenter environments like GCP shared tenancy.

Google, as an authorized ‘License Mobility through Software Assurance’ Partner,[2] can enable License Mobility on eligible Microsoft Server products on GCP.

The list of eligible server products for License Mobility are defined in the Microsoft Product Terms, including but not limited to: Microsoft SQL Server, Microsoft Exchange, Microsoft Skype for Business, Microsoft SharePoint, Microsoft System Center, RDS CAL, BizTalk Server and eligible Dynamics products. (In this document these products will be collectively referred to as Microsoft Application Servers).

Sole-tenant nodes are physical Compute Engine servers that are dedicated for hosting VM instances for your specific project. Normally, VM instances run on physical hosts that may be shared by many customers. With sole-tenant nodes, the host is dedicated to your business.[3]

GCP sole-tenant is a dedicated server that is physically isolated for use by a single customer. All hardware resources and storage will remain fully dedicated to your use for the term of your subscription.

Each sole-tenant node is associated with one physical server, and is the only node running on that server. You can manually select the location to launch your instances to a specific dedicated host. Node affinity determine which nodes your VM instances use as a host system. You can configure additional affinity labels so that your instances run only on the node groups that you want or share nodes only with instances of the same affinity type. Affinity labels keep sensitive data together on specific node groups and separate from your other node groups and other VM instances running on Compute Engine. It provides you with visibility and control to meet regulatory and compliance requirements.

In this case, the outsourcing documentation within the Microsoft Product Terms will apply[4] and licenses that are not eligible for License Mobility or that do not have active Software Assurance, can be deployed to GCP sole-tenant nodes.

Windows Server

There are two available options to deploy Windows Server on GCP: virtual machine instances and sole-tenant nodes.

Virtual Machine instances: Windows Server per-core licenses are included in the cost of the Windows Server instances purchased on-demand. Whether you bring your existing Windows Server images to run on VM instances or use the pre-built images available in GCP, the license is included in the cost, and Windows Server CALs are not required.

Sole-tenant nodes: GCP provides the option to bring your own licensing (BYOL) for Windows Server with your own images to GCP sole-tenant and remain compliant for Microsoft licensing.

A sole-tenant from GCP is a dedicated single-tenant host that is fully dedicated for your use. GCP will not support two customers to share the same set of resources, such as hardware or storage for the term of your subscription. In this case, the outsourcing wording within the Microsoft Product Terms applies.[5]

Windows Server does not have ‘License Mobility’ rights to enable bring your own licenses to a multi-tenant environment, so we only recommend deployment on our sole-tenant offering. Windows Server licenses can only be assigned to physically dedicated sole-tenant hosts.

Read moreLicensing Windows Server on GCP

Licensing SQL Server on GCP

There are two available options to deploy SQL Server on GCP: virtual machine instances and sole-tenant nodes

Virtual Machine instances: SQL Server per-core licenses are included in the cost of the Windows Server instances purchased on-demand. Whether you bring your existing SQL Server images to run on VM instances, or use the pre-built images available in GCP.

GCP provides images with Microsoft SQL Server preinstalled on Windows Server. For these SQL Server images, GCP manages the license for both Windows Server and SQL Server, and includes the cost in your monthly bill. Create instances with SQL Server and scale to large multi-node configurations when you need them.

Sole-tenant nodes: GCP will also enable you to bring your own licensing (BYOL) for SQL Server with your own images to GCP sole tenant and remain compliant for Microsoft licensing.

A sole-tenant from GCP is a dedicated single-tenant host that is fully dedicated for your use. GCP will not support two customers to share the same set of resources, such as hardware or storage for the term of your subscription. In this case, the outsourcing wording within the Microsoft Product Terms applies.[1]

Software Assurance

Sole-tenant – Software Assurance is not required to bring your SQL Server licenses to GCP sole-tenant.

Although Software Assurance is not required to bring your own SQL Server licenses to a dedicated sole-tenant, you will be able to leverage your legacy licenses for prior software versions. The use rights for the originally licensed version will still apply.

GCP sole-tenant is ideal for leveraging licenses where active Software Assurance has not been maintained, or licenses were purchased without Software Assurance. Additionally, sole-tenant will support per-core, per processor, and server with CAL based license models to take advantage of your prior software licensing investments.

However, it may be beneficial to maintain active Software Assurance to enable access to ‘New Version Rights’ as new software versions are released[2] and to leverage Software Assurance Benefits.

Read moreLicensing SQL Server on GCP

Licensing Windows Desktop OS on GCP

Google will enable you to bring your own licensing for Windows Desktop Operating System to GCP sole-tenant[1] and remain compliant for Microsoft licensing.

Assigning a License

Before you bring your own Windows Desktop OS license to GCP, you must first assign a Windows Desktop OS license to the end-user, referred to as a “licensed user”, or “licensed device”, typically a personal computer.

To ‘assign’ a license means simply to designate that license to a user or device that can access the Windows Desktop OS in a virtual machine.

Running Windows Remotely

You can bring your own Windows 7, Windows 8.1, or Windows 10 desktop and run iton GCP sole-tenant and remain license compliant. Under the assigned volume license, you may access Windows Desktop OS remotely in a virtual machine as a benefit of Software Assurance for Windows.

GCP will ensure isolation of the hardware and other resources to make sure it remains fully dedicated to your use.[2] GCP will not support two customers to share the same set of resources, such as hardware or storage for the term of your subscription.

License Model

User Subscription Licenses – Remote use of the Windows desktop OS deployed on a GCP sole-tenant is allowed for the licensed user, who is the primary user of at least one device, which is their primary work device. There must be a qualifying Windows desktop OS installed and licensed via an OEM license, on the accessing device.

Per Device Licenses – Remote use of the Windows desktop OS deployed on a GCP sole-tenant is allowed for the licensed ‘primary’ user, of the licensed device, or for any other user, from another separately licensed device. There must be a qualifying Windows desktop OS installed and licensed via an OEM license, on the accessing device.

Microsoft defines the ‘primary’ user an individual that would use the licensed device more than 50% of the time in any 90 day period, so a per-device licensing model may not be suitable for some shift workers or workers in shared workspaces.

VDA[3] User Subscription Licenses – Under this licensing model, remote use of the Windows desktop OS deployed on a GCP sole-tenant is allowed for any assigned licensed user or device. There is no minimum ‘primary’ user requirement for the end-user accessing device, or a requirement for a ‘qualifying’ Windows OS to be installed on the accessing device.

This licensing model is more suitable for businesses that plan to use Google Chrome books, or other client devices where there is no OEM licensed Windows desktop OS on the accessing device.

Read moreLicensing Windows Desktop OS on GCP

Microsoft Update January 2019

Some of the principle product and licensing updates for January 2019

  • MyAnalytics now more broadly available to Office365 and M365 Users, and the standalone SKU is retired. Initially as an Outlook Add-In but features will improve until there is parity with the standalone offering.
  • Office365 Cloud App Security will be wrapped into Microsoft 365 Cloud App Security from February 2019. The standalone SKU is retired from the February 1st price file.
  • Microsoft finally acknowledge PowerBI, Phone System and Audio Conferencing as potential E5 blockers, offering incremental access to advanced Compliance and Security services across the expansive E5 stack.
  • The Add On ‘mini bundles’ are targeted at Microsoft365 E3 customers, offering a ‘scale up’ model programmatically as a bundle, a new option in addition to standalone SKUs. A welcome addition in my opinion, even if the price point and product balancing is off.
  • Advanced Threat Intelligence (ATI) finds it’s home in in Advanced Threat Protection P2 within the new Identity & Threat Protection (ITP) bundle.
  • New Identity & Threat Protection (ITP) bundle is a new  ‘Add On’ for M365 E3 users – later renamed to a simpler ‘ E5 Security‘.
  • New Information Protection & Compliance (IPC) bundles is a new ‘Add On’ for M365 E3 users – later renamed to a simpler ‘E5 Compliance‘.
  • The new E5 Security ‘mini bundle’ SKU now includes:
    • O365 ATP P2 (Price decrease for existing Threat Intelligence at anniversary)
    • MCAS
    • Azure ATP
    • AADP2
    • Windows Defender ATP
  • The new E5 Compliance ‘mini bundle’ SKU now includes:
    • O365 Advanced Compliance
    • AIPP2
  • The Office365 Cloud App Security SKU will be discontinued.
  • The standalone MyAnalytics SKU will be discontinued.
  • Microsoft accelerated their strategy to  service customers directly as part of their wider ‘Modern Commerce’ strategy, with a  direct-to-customer move to target Azure customers and syphon relationships away from their channel. Initially targeting direct Azure-Only SCE’s to be replaced by a new Microsoft Customer Agreement (MCA). One stated objective was to reduce cost of sale via the current partner-enabled SCE model. The important dates you should know –
    • 1st March 2019 – Sales Motion for SMC/Unmanaged Accounts to MCA
    • 1st April 2019 – Extended out to Enterprise/Managed Accounts
    • 1st August 2019 – No New or Renewed Azure-Only SCE’s
    • FY20+ – Expand to Hybrid SCE, Indirect EA and Public Sector
    • Extended Term Still Available
  • Microsoft expand Azure Reserved Instance (RI) reservations, with RDS to be released, 1 or 3 years upfront, akin to server subscriptions and can be tied to RI instances

Thanks All

Read moreMicrosoft Update January 2019

Microsoft Update November 2018

Some principle licensing updates for November 2018

  • Office 2019 perpetual entered General Availability in the Product Terms
  • The November Product Terms 2018 – Updated for Exchange and other Productivity Servers are updated for new 2019 versions. https://goo.gl/wyYFMZ
  • Microsoft  announced for any CSP partner, starting November 7, 2018, you’ll need to confirm that a customer has accepted the Microsoft Cloud Agreement by providing information about the person who signed it. See ‘Confirm a customer’s acceptance of the Microsoft Cloud Agreement’ for more details. https://goo.gl/bnJJT8 
  • Effective November 2018 – Group Based licensing management is now (finally) Generally Available for Azure AD. Developer APIs in Microsoft Graph to allow you to programmatically read group-based licensing assignments on groups, as well as programmatically get assignment status and errors. Includes ability to reprocess group-based licensing assignments for a single user.
  • Microsoft Intune announces device-based subscription for shared resources https://goo.gl/t6euQA and updated in the November Product Terms https://goo.gl/wyYFMZ
  • Microsoft recognize silo of labels under Azure Info Protection (AIP) and O365 DLP polices, and merges unified labelling under Microsoft Info Protection in the Microsoft Security Compliance center. https://goo.gl/L3V2KP

Microsoft announced Extended Security Updates (ESU) for SQL Server and Windows Server

Read moreMicrosoft Update November 2018

Microsoft Update October 2018

As Microsoft push forward with 47% revenue growth in Q1 for commercial cloud, Microsoft push towards higher cost and expensive licensing ‘bundles’ to achieve record growth, implementing a swathe of price increases in October 2018.

  • As a CSP partner, 31st  October 2018, you can now change the billing frequency of a Subscription for the Online Services from monthly to annual, and vice versa. Updated billing article: https://goo.gl/gJ85zS
  • Mainstream support for Office Professional Plus 2016 ends 13th October 2020, and Microsoft extends support to October 2023. Extending interoperability with Office365 services.
  • Microsoft Product Price Changes, and Level A Waterfall Adjustment – Effective October 1st
  • Establishing a single, consistent starting price across all programs aligned to web direct for online services (OLS)
  • Removing the programmatic volume discounts (Level A and Open Level C) in Enterprise Agreement (EA)/EA Subscription, MPSA, Select/ Select Plus, and Open programs (Open, Open Value, Open Value Subscription). A programmatic approach to drive purchasing behaviours towards CSP for SMB customers.
  • Aligning government pricing for on-premises and online services to the lowest commercial price in EA/EAS, MPSA, Select Plus, and Open Programs
  • Delivering a newly designed Customer Price Sheet that better outlines how a customer’s price was derived (direct EA/EAS only)
  • Office 2019 commercial prices will increase 10 percent over current on-premises pricing
  • The price increase will include Office client, Enterprise CAL, Core CAL, and server products
  • Windows Enterprise E3 will now refer to the per user offer only- Windows 10 Enterprise E3 per User becomes Windows 10 Enterprise E3
  • Windows 10 Enterprise E3 per Device becomes Windows 10 Enterprise
  • The price of Windows 10 Enterprise will be raised to match the price of Windows 10 Enterprise E3
  • Windows 10 Enterprise E5 per device will be discontinued

Thanks All

Read moreMicrosoft Update October 2018

Microsoft Update February 2019

Some of the principle licensing updates for February 2019 –

  • There is a new and improved licensing guide for Dynamics365 including (most) of the latest licensing updates – search for the January 2019 document.
  • Microsoft365 for Non Profit is now available in CSP
  • Changes to Office365 Student Use Benefit
    • New O365 A3/A5 offers in EES (Enrollment for Education Solutions)
    • Will provision correctly to the right set of service entitlement as part of Student Use Benefit
    • Existing customers to continue on original SKUs through agreement term
  • Azure Reservations expand availability – Reservation Discount now applies to:
    • Classic VMs or cloud services
    • RI’s must have ‘instance size flexibility’ option enabled
    • Dev/Test Subs
    • Can now centralise RI purchases by disabling the ‘Add Reserve Instance’ setting on enrolment
  • New CSP Direct to Indirect capability
  • Azure Visual Studio Cloud Subscriptions – Annual Subscriptions Removed and Monthly Subscriptions now Availabl
  • Microsoft announced CSP Multi-Year Subscriptions Pilot, reflecting their roadmap towards ‘Modern Commerce’. Initially available for Dynamics365, for 1-3Years. Microsoft support Annual or Monthly Billing. Narrow focus on Dynamics365 in Pilot, with Customer Engagement Plan, Unified Ops Plan, Device/Activity, and Team Members.Thanks All

    About

    This website is a way to give back to the licensing community and as an information resource for all customers that work with Microsoft software and licensing. I hope you find it of value.

    Tony Mackelworth is Head of Microsoft Advisory Services at SoftwareONE

    If you would like to reach out for a coffee or a meeting under NDA, Email or connect via Twitter or LinkedIn

    Copyright – Softspend Limited 2019. All Rights Reserved.

Microsoft Update July 2018

Some principle recent Microsoft solution and licensing updates, for July 2018

  • Technical Dependency- Office 2019 (C2R) and Office 2016 (MSI) cannot run concurrently on either Windows or Mac. https://goo.gl/uuirPq
  • Technical Dependency – Office 2019, there is no MSI version offered. https://goo.gl/uuirPq
  • Licensing –  Office 2019, there is no MSI version offered. “Office 2019 (for both Windows and Mac) is a one-time purchase and does not receive feature updates after purchase. Office 2019 includes a meaningful subset of features found in Office 365, but it is not part of Office 365.” https://goo.gl/uuirPq
  • Roadmap Lifecycle – Configuration Manager 2007 reaches the end of its support lifecycle on July 9, 2019. SoftwareONE recommend that customers migrate to the latest version of SCCM (current branch) as soon as possible.
  • Licensing – Microsoft confirm Windows Autopilot licensing requirements https://goo.gl/Z2EjoE
  • Reference – Microsoft publish Windows Autopilot solution documentation at https://aka.ms/WindowsAutopilotDocs
  • Roadmap Lifecycle – SQL Server 2008 and 2008 R2 will be end-of-support in less than 12 months, effective July 9th 2019 https://t.co/qqwPpb83Og

Read moreMicrosoft Update July 2018