Don’t let out-of-control cloud spend turn you into a punchline

TV shows can often be unrelatable—how often do you meet a teenage werewolf, or fight off a horde of immortal ice zombies? But every once in a while, a TV show may throw you something so familiar you wonder if they’ve taken it from your own life. Maybe it’s a particularly complicated breakup, or a conversation with a teacher that really resonated with you. Or maybe it’s overspending on your allotted cloud budget, and scrambling to figure out what to do next.

That last one was a recent storyline on HBO’s “Silicon Valley,” one apparently familiar to enough viewers to warrant airtime. Just like the characters on the show, many companies struggle to control their cloud spend, and often aren’t aware of runaway costs until it’s too late. Unlike the characters on that show, you now have this blog post to help you figure out what to do about it. Continue Reading…

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6 software license terms to consider before moving to the cloud

Some 95 percent of IT professionals have taken to the cloud, according to a recent survey. And if you’re one of them, you might want to check your licensing – you could be breaking your contract.

Many organizations aren’t aware that their existing software license terms may include obstacles to migrating applications to a public cloud. If you’re considering a move, be careful with what you transition—your intentions may not line up with what’s allowed by your contract. The older the agreement, the more likely it will lack clarity on the subject; however, newer agreements can be just as vague. Continue Reading…

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Before upgrading to vSphere 6, read this

stop handYou’ve never seen virtualization work like this before.

vSphere 6, the newest installment of VMware’s cloud computing OS, is available now for upgrade. The latest version has hundreds of new features and capabilities, but its true power lies in its breadth: vSphere 6 can “vMotion” instances across virtual switches, vCenters, and long distances. Now an instance can be moved from any cluster of computers and servers in an organization to another, regardless of where the two clusters are, and regardless of the version of vCenter that the second destination cluster is running.

But as useful as this load-bearing capability can be for spreading virtual machines throughout a network to maintain uptime, it can also create issues with your Microsoft licensing. Before you upgrade to vSphere 6, make sure you know the potential conflicts and take steps to remedy them. Continue Reading…

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How Microsoft Enterprise Cloud Suite licensing affects you

cloud network

This post was updated on Dec. 10, 2015.

Microsoft will launch its new Enterprise Cloud Suite (ECS) offering on Dec. 1, 2014, the latest step in its broader siteseekerft in licensing models to a “mobile first, cloud first” strategy. ECS will be a bundled subscription SKU offering containing Office 365 (O365) Plan E3, Enterprise Mobility Suite (EMS), and Windows Client OS Per User. This new offering will be available to organizations looking to transition to the cloud mid-term, at renewal, or as part of a new agreement.

ECS provides organizations with a true user-based licensing model, removing the per-device licensing requirements on the Windows Client OS. However, with any new licensing change come requirements on how organizations can procure and manage the new offering in their environment going forward. Provided below is an overview of the ECS offering and important considerations when moving forward.

Understanding the changes to ECS

The traditional on-premises Desktop Platform licensing options — e.g., Office Pro Plus and Windows Client OS — have primarily been device based. The Client Access License (CAL) offered per-user or device licensing depending on how an organization’s users/devices were accessing its server technology. With the introduction of O365, Microsoft initiated user-based licensing for Office Pro Plus, available in the form of a standalone Office Pro Plus for O365 subscription or as an O365 Subscription Plan E3/E4.

In April 2014, Microsoft introduced EMS, which provided even more flexibility to procure cloud services in a user-centric approach. The final transformation comes with the release of Windows Pro Per User subscription license, which siteseekerfts from device- to user-based licensing. This change is best illustrated in the chart below. Continue Reading…

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Microsoft’s O365 price change: What every customer needs to know

O365 BannerMicrosoft Office 365 (O365) has seen its fair share of changes, both in features and functionality and in price point. Most notably, in May 2012 and then again in September 2013, Microsoft decreased pricing on O365 by roughly 15 percent in both instances. Now, effective August 1, Microsoft increased pricing by 15 percent on its O365 Service Plans E1, E3, and E4, aligning them with the pricing offered back in May 2012.

This price change affects both Enterprise Agreement direct and indirect programs whereby an organization is adding O365 plan subscriptions to the agreement for net new users or is transitioning qualifying licenses with Software Assurance (SA) to O365 plan subscriptions.

In conjunction with this O365 price change, Microsoft will also be offering a new, discounted SKU for customers that have invested in fully paid perpetual licenses with SA and are looking to transition to O365. This new SKU, called O365 from SA, will be available to purchase at your agreement anniversary date or upon renewal of enrollment. Eligibility is dependent on your organization’s current on-premises entitlements at the time of transition.

The following table illustrates when customers are eligible to apply an O365 from SA user subscription license (USL) to their agreement either at agreement anniversary or agreement renewal. Continue Reading…

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4 questions customers are asking about licensing Office 365

This post was updated on Dec. 4, 2015.

Microsoft has attempted to simplify the licensing of Office 365, but the rules can still be confusing, especially when migrating from a perpetual-based licensing model to a subscription. To clear the air, we’ve compiled and answered four of the most common licensing questions organizations ask when looking to transition to Office 365. Continue Reading…

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