Insights from the latest Deloittes report following their global survey.
And of course the investment and value aspects are always front of mind:
Deloittes rightly call out additional measures that organizations should factor into the value equation:
Given the challenges in collecting correct asset utilization data within the organization (29%) and recognition that a greater investment in ITAM tools and technology (25%) is required, it is not surprising that specialist third party support features in the report, in the main operating an on-premise ITAM tool (16%) or providing such as tool through a software-as-a-service (SaaS) platform (14%). Other key areas where external assistance is being sought includes software vendor-specific licensing expertise that is not often readily available in-house (27%), followed by ITAM tool maintenance (20%) or strategic advice to transform ITAM teams (20%)
Lets not forget the ongoing bugbear that is audits ... what did respondents face in the past year:
And finally, we wholeheartedly agree with Deloittes prediction "that the more progressive and astute organizations will increasingly recognize ITAM as a longer-term strategic investment that creates ongoing value across the entire organization going far beyond just their IT team."
They also go on to say "this would be in sharp contrast to the more traditional (and increasingly fading) mindset that perceives this as a tactical one-off short-term fix, primarily aimed at minimizing costs related to IT assets."
... so if you're ready to get started with your SAM program - or want to move faster - we can help, just get in touch!
In this second part of our SAM Foundation series we look at Compliance Reporting and the importance of understanding your deployment position.
In part one of this series we covered the importance of a full data collection across your data sources and contract and licensing information, now we look at how to bring that together into a compliance position.
The first realisation is - wow! - that's a lot of data we have out there! So just as we needed tooling to perform the data gathering exercise we are going to need analytics to decipher not only what's important but how to interpret it all, for which there are two aspects:
Now what exactly do we mean by 'Scale Reporting'? Basically this means a reporting facility that enables you to stipulate variable parameters from product to vendor to company, with the output organised by device in a concise and easily readable form - for example ComplianceWare's powerful python & pandas based analytics engine that slices and organises the data into output as a familiar Excel workbook.
A snapshot of the output as below:
The analytics should also consider base licensing metrics such as server core and PVU minimums, apply relevant bundling rules to avoid double counting, and recognise non-chargeable installations such as clients and free-edition software.
So we now have our first view of what's deployed where - and that's a good start, but it doesn't mean the jobs done. You'll want to perform some spot / sanity checks across the report, and that's where the 'Direct Examination and Querying' comes in. Here, your tool should allow you to easily interrogate your data collection (which can span many millions of rows) for further review and confirmation, and that's accomplished via smart features that enable you to slice, limit and target the fields and items of interest. Again, with ComplianceWare as an example you can easily navigate through the data by vendor, product, data source, and perform smart searches with inclusion and exclusion parameters to dynamically find exactly what you are after.
ok ... we're happy with our deployment report - now what?
Now it gets interesting - does what's reported as deployed match what we're actually entitled to? While some products can be automatically tallied (eg. products with simple install or device metrics) others will require more effort such as resource based metrics like cores or logical licenses such as users, and those in more complex environments such as virtual environments where physical v virtual considerations must be taken into account.
Here there are no short-cuts - it will require a knowledgeable individual (preferably with prior experience in the environment) to work through each product in a methodical and calculated manner to (a) derive the optimal licensing construct and then (b) reconcile against the recorded (and evidenced) level of licensing. As this progresses it is imperative to capture your findings and ensure they are lodged as an artefact for audit readiness and as a baseline for future reporting cycles (again with ComplianceWare this can be stored as 'Verification' material alongside the updating of actual usage figures).
And just how often should the whole exercise be performed? We'd recommend that you cover your major vendors at least annually, and institute a program of work that targets a select number of products or vendors quarterly. The good news is that once you've completed one cycle others become easier as you'll have a baseline to compare or commence from.
So to summarise:
In this series we'll cover the foundations of SAM, and what they mean.
Data is the essence of SAM, much as it is with most of technology. It's all there, somewhere, amassed over time, stashed away in the recesses of the organisation. It may exist (hopefully) in electronic form, or (lamentably) physical records filed and stored, most typically both. So we know the data's out there, the question is how - and where - do we start?
The first step is to determine what data sources you can tap into, from the raw systems themselves through other collection platforms you might run such as CrowdStrike, Microsofts SCCM, IBM's ILMT, HCL's Bigix Inventory etc. With larger organisations the issue is always completeness - be it running agents or agentless via remote extracts - how do we know we're capturing everything we should ... and that can be a much more difficult proposition than it seems.
The approach is to source as much data as possible and compare it, merge it, blend it, and massage it to get the best quality information you can - the issue today is not so much sourcing the data, its how to filter through it to find what's important, and to do that you'll need tooling.
That means firstly figuring out what is most workable - and also most repeatable. This could be as simple as providing system logins to run application specific extracts, or remote connectivity as a centralised administrator, or even integrated access via API's. All act as feeds to your SAM system that will then do the hard data crunching and reporting work for you (for which ComplianceWare's pandas driven analytics engine is purposely designed).
So that covers the inventory side of things - collecting the deployment information and associated identifiers (ie. the editions, statistics, capacities etc) necessary to derive your consumption levels, but then you'll need the associated Contracts and Licensing material as well to compare to your entitlements and establish your compliance position, and that's where things can get tricky.
Most organisations - even those that are largely centralised - have some degree of local procurement (all the way down to problematic credit-card purchases) that make it difficult to collate the full and complete record of ownership. So you'll need to start with what is known, match that to the inventory you have identified exposing the shortfalls and gaps, and go looking for those great unknowns.
This can be a long and even fruitless exercise at times, sometimes reliant purely on the knowledge of individuals (if they're still with the organisation that is), extending from business to technology teams, from legal to procurement, all depending on how controlled and robust the procurement processes are. The key here is to capture that information so its recorded and available from there on, and the whole exercise doesn't have to be repeated (as it would in the case of audits).
Ideally your SAM system then allows you to maintain that connection of inventory to entitlements, organised by the contracts they were acquired (and operate) under. Any compliance issues can then be dealt with in a managed and controlled way, along with the potential benefit of savings from license consolidation, decommissioning, harvesting, or reuse, but we'll cover that in Series (#2).
And the kick - data collection isn't a one-off, its an ongoing process that should be repeated as often as necessary based on the frequency and fluidity of change in your environment. On the plus side, once you have established the process it becomes much easier and efficient to rerun, and depending on your SAM system gain more intelligence each time (for example, ComplianceWare can compare different data captures and report the differences so that you can quickly identify what's changed, and what might need attention).
Key takeaways then are:
Keep in touch for the upcoming SAM Foundation Series (#2) - Compliance Reporting.
Extending Software Compliance's services to a global organisation meant expanding ComplianceWare to support multi-entity hierarchies, timezones, and currencies.
In an exciting development for Software Compliance we are very pleased to announce the expansion of our services to the global operation of the Pernod Ricard Group, delivering SAM support built on our flagship ComplianceWare platform across 3 regions, and 18 different countries and companies.
While single entity customers will not notice any (well little) difference in the presentation and operation of the system there have indeed been a number of changes 'under the hood' with some of those features of benefit to all clients such as:
It has been a period of vast growth and development for Software Compliance, and we are very appreciative and fortunate to work with the many insightful people at Pernod Ricard on this continuing journey.
And if you're thinking that Managed SAM Services built on the most cost effective tool in the market could help your organisation, please just get in touch with us to talk about what we could do!
The February 2021 edition of Microsofts Product Terms Document will be the last.
A little under two years ago we reviewed Microsofts new approach to licensing terms in our June 2019 blog here - now its being further revamped.
As announced on the front page of the February PT document:
Please note this is the last Product Terms Word document. Going forward, the terms will be published on the Product Terms site available at https://www.microsoft.com/licensing/terms/productoffering. Archived versions will continue to be available. For more details, go to https://www.microsoft.com/Licensing/product-licensing/products.
What does it look like - the landing page as shown below:
So quite clear and compact, although you will need to be quite savvy with their license programs and models to get the most out of using it.
... and when put to the test?
We decided to take on one of their more convoluted product licensing models - Power BI - and, well, it didn't seem any simpler. With prerequisites like "Power Automate per user with attended RPA plan, or Power Automate per flow plan" (ok...), and Extended Use Rights such as "Power Apps Portals that map to licensed Dynamics 365 application context and, Power Apps Portals that map to the same environment as the licensed Dynamics 365 application" (right...), the format might have changed but the content is still not that intuitive is it?
So while access to dynamic and current licensing information is always a good thing, simpler licensing models and metrics would we think resonate much better with software customers in general. After all, we all want to be compliant, so why make it so hard we wonder - any thoughts / comments ?$$?
Vendor results can be a telling indicator of what might lie ahead
We regularly connect with the ITAM Review as a reliable source of information in the software domain and of interest this month is a comprehensive report from Rich Gibbons on the financial performance of some key software vendors - from the $5.6B loss of Google Cloud to the 29% rise in operating income (Q2) of Microsoft.
You'll find the full report here.
In summary ...
Some marked differences in performance - particularly in the cloud space, with a watch and ready advice for some of the poorer performers - we all know where they head when times are tight ...
From February 2nd Atlassian will stop selling new server product licenses and cease development of new features in the entire server product line although maintenance and support will continue to be provided for a further three years.
Mind you, this will come at a cost - there will be both server and data center price increases touted as necessary to:
"ensure the security and maintenance of the server platform while providing you with the opportunity to run a free cloud migration trial."
"make using cloud and Data Center together easier for you and your users through a more unified administration experience and improved integrations between the two offerings."
So what are the important dates here - check below:
... and my options are?
Well with Server, move to the Cloud or move to Data Center. At this stage Atlassian have stated no end of life for Data Center, however you are encouraged to monitor their roadmap in that regard. To learn more start with the migration FAQs that provide a volume of useful information to get you underway.
So as reported in our October blog, not only will there be the myriad of edition upgrades to contend with this year, we expect you'll be presented with more and more platform migrations as well, and while the Atlassian User licensing model is straight forward (although keep in mind it applies to any user who has permission to use the product, not necessarily a user who accesses it - so restrict accordingly) others will likely not be as simple, and that means understanding your license migration options just as well as your technical options as being unprepared with either can prove a very expensive exercise.
A year of challenges and differences to all (recent) others.
Perhaps not surprisingly the IT industry did its part in the battle with Covid-19. Mobility became essential - workers were confined to homes, offices were shutdown, usual communication and interactions were stifled.
... enter video conferencing on a whole new level
From Zoom, to WebEx, to Teams everyone had to find a way to adapt. Not only did meeting online become the norm for but also the stand-in for the social watercooler or coffee break gatherings, or even the swell of welcomes and farewells.
That all worked well and is undoubtedly with us for good.
But what about licensing? If you recall our March Blog we called out the possibility of easily becoming non-compliant in the rush to stay connected to your workforce and customers. With the new year imminent its now time to regroup and review. Are all of those rapid changes squared off? Have you reconciled usage to entitlements? Or are you perhaps uncertain of exactly what state you have now found yourself in?
Be particularly concerned if you used the likes of Citrix to enable access to desktop applications - if unconstrained you could be liable for all potential usage, not just actual usage.
Or if you inadvertently permitted a level of multiplexing by routing traffic or enabling access at the simplest level (think generic logons, or joint application connections) you'd best tidy things up.
Don't be complacent thinking there has got to be some vendor leniency out there - we are already aware of audits being undertaken - there is no compromise when revenue is at stake.
So as always, take stock of your situation - get on top of your compliance position and be ready to assert your view rather than just accept what state your vendor tells you you're in.
... and if you need help to do so, just contact us
If it seems that your vendors are unwilling (they'll say unable) to accept a termination for convenience clause these days, you're not alone. Often this will be justified by citing their companies accounting rules and practices aligned to the 2014 revenue recognition changes post Enron where they'll refer as below:
What they don't refer to is the fact that where termination charges are provided full contract revenue can be recognised:
Of course the "substantive" qualification is the issue - just how substantive should it be?
Well there are no firm guidelines in that respect, other than simply compensating a supplier for services or deliverables provided up to the effective date of (early) termination will not be regarded as substantive. Guidelines only advise that "judgment has to be applied with consideration given to quantitative and qualitative factors". Government contracts typically require a termination for convenience clause and will state (in part) something similar to the below:
Having negotiated the termination for convenience clause we're now comfortable that all is good right? Well no, there are further issues to contend with. If (and thats a big 'if') the matter gets to court there would likely be consideration as to whether the contract was 'illusionary' based on the very right to terminate at will, or that the termination was not enacted in 'good faith', or even as far as not following the termination right explicitly which opens the door to damages!
So what other options are there? Well that of course depends on what exactly is being contracted, but consider the following:
Key to all of the above is explicit language that clearly defines the criteria by which the clauses can be invoked - when things break down to termination your vendor will not be overly receptive to subjective positions, ambiguities, or plain old opposing points of view.
And while the lawyers are endlessly debating the virtues of limitations of liability and insurances and everything else basically immaterial just ask yourself when you actually last went to court, and then ask what typically goes wrong with your contracts - invariably its performance based and for that, you just need an appropriate provision for ...
... a hasty, unequivocal exit, at the lowest possible cost!
About to be hit by the RHEL6 and Windows 2008 double whammy?
If you're just organizing your Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 Extended Life (ELS) phase for the end of November don't forget Windows Server 2008 Extended Security (ESU) phase is about to rollover to year 2 in January!
Unlike RHEL6 with WS2008 you'll need to cover all of the base licenses with ESU entitlements, and at 75% of the current list price that can prove to be a very expensive exercise. So if you won't have time to migrate off WS2008 your best option - depending on numbers - is to isolate them, either via host affinity in your virtual farms or by pushing them onto physical servers.
Fortunately Red Hat licensing allows the choice of either physical sockets or virtual machines, so you can mix and match to suit. The tipping point is around 6 VMs, and again you can limit your exposure by applying host affinity rules in your virtual farms. There has been some conjecture as to whether the VM license covers one or two VMs - we are reliable informed that it does indeed cover two.
The bottom line is of course, keep ahead of product lifecycles - it will always be more cost effective from a licensing point of view, but of course often difficult in the business context. The same situation will be upon us soon enough with WS2012 and RHEL7, so time to look ahead, ramp up the urgency, and get migrations on the agenda.
So what do I get and what will it cost?
Firstly - Microsoft:
You'll need to be an Windows Server (for as many servers as need cover) Active Software Assurance (SA) customer. Costs are then dependent on the type of installation:
In Azure: Customers running Windows Server in an Azure Virtual Machine will get Extended Security Updates for no additional charges above the cost of running the virtual machine.
On-premises: Customers with active Software Assurance or subscription licenses can purchase Extended Security Updates for approximately 75% of the on-premises license cost annually.
Hosted environments: Customers who license Windows Server through an authorised SPLA hoster will need to separately purchase Extended Security Updates under an Enterprise or Server and Cloud Enrolment, either directly from Microsoft for approximately 75% of the full on-premises license cost annually or from their Microsoft reseller for use in the hosted environment.
For Red Hat:
You must have already have paid for a Red Hat Enterprise Linux subscription before purchasing the ELS Add-On subscription for it. ELS Add-On is applicable to Standard or Premium subscriptions and can not be applied to self-support subscriptions. Note that ELS should be purchased prior to the start date of the ELS period (December 1, 2020 for RHEL 6), otherwise the ELS Add-On subscription will be back-dated to the start date.
The cost on the Red Hat store is US$250 for Standard or US$775 for Data Center, so around AU$500 (2x VMs) to AU$1500 (Socket Pair).
What do you need to do?
All services, products, and offers in Open License program today will remain available until January 1, 2022. To plan for future purchases, ask the partner you’re currently buying software licenses from about your options. Your partner can help you decide the best steps for you, whether that’s new licenses or online services subscriptions. If you don't have one, you can Find a Microsoft partner.
Are there any other options available?
Yes - depending on what you want to purchase you can make use of the Open Value or the Open Value Subscription program:
Here's a reminder of the differences between the current programs:
So nothing alarming in this announcement, more just an evolution of a 20 year old program to align with Microsofts contemporary go to market structures. While 2022 might seem some time away you can be sure the changes will begin to emerge through 2021, so just something more to be aware of and prepare for in the ever changing world of software licensing!
Thinking to drop some Oracle product from maintenance to save some funds?
... think again.
You'd of course think that dropping product from your annual maintenance renewals would be treated as a simple removal of the line item and its associated cost - why wouldn't it be - you're keeping those remaining as-is so what's the problem?
Now this gem of a policy states: In the event that a subset of licenses on a single order is terminated or if the level of support is reduced, support for the remaining licenses on that license order will be priced at Oracle's list price for support in effect at the time of termination or reduction minus the applicable standard discount.
Wait? ... What??
Yep, just because you were so brash as to drop maintenance on product you no longer needed, whatever you're retaining on that order is going to be repriced - and by reprice they of course don't mean down!
Oh but the good news is in the next sentence: Such support price will not exceed the previous support fees paid for both the remaining licenses and the licenses being terminated or unsupported, and will not be reduced below the previous support fees paid for the licenses continuing to be supported.
So rest assured loyal Oracle customer - any repricing will not exceed what you were already paying, it'll just match it. So those dollar savings that you put forward saying 'we're gonna drop product x, y, and z from the next renewal and save bucket-loads' is probably the opposite - depending on whats left you might end up paying exactly what you were before!
So, what has the uptake of Java SE Subscriptions been like?
There have been regular communications from Oracle promoting the value of their Java SE subscription service since version 8 went end-of-public-update (EoPU) in January 2019, but what has the uptake actually been like?
The latest (July 2020) statistics have been published as below, with 57 vulnerabilities reported since the EoPU of Java 11, with 7 attaining a CVSS (Common Vulnerability Scoring System) of 7 or more (reflected below). The question being, is that enough of a concern to pick up the phone and make the call to your Java Business Rep?
A reasonable question, and one for which we don't have a definite answer. Anecdotally, the view would be not generally, however this is unsubstantiated so we'd be keen to get a view from the industry - please take the time to complete our quick 2 question poll below:
Thanks for taking the time to contribute - we'll publish the results soon!
An innocuous Announcement Letter may be more telling than it seems ...
While discounts will remain for hybrid and cloud platforms, as of 1st July these will no longer apply to your on-premise installations. With statements such as:
"where we will continue to focus our investment and innovation"
"it is recommended that your company evaluate and plan a transition to the equivalent, cloud- and/or hybrid cloud-based offering"
The message seems pretty clear that the future as IBM sees it is all in the Cloud, certainly if you're looking for discounts on your next purchase of PA software. It will be interesting to see what might follow in IBM's plans to further 'encourage' cloud migration, and how others might adopt similar strategies.
Data Recovery Environments using Copying, Synchronizing or Mirroring Standby and Remote Mirroring are commonly used terms to describe these methods of deploying Data Recovery environments. In these Data Recovery deployments, the data, and optionally the Oracle binaries, are copied to another storage device. In these Data Recovery deployments all Oracle programs that are installed and/or running must be licensed per standard policies documented in the Oracle Licensing and Services Agreement (OLSA). This includes installing Oracle programs on the DR server(s) to test the DR scenario. Licensing metrics and program options on Production and Data Recovery/Secondary servers must match.
Servers – Disaster Recovery Rights: For each Instance of eligible server software Customer runs in a Physical OSE or Virtual OSE on a Licensed Server, it may temporarily run a backup Instance in a Physical OSE or Virtual OSE on either, another one of its Servers dedicated to disaster recovery, or, for Instances of eligible software other than Windows Server, on Microsoft Azure Services, provided the backup Instance is managed by Azure Site Recovery to Azure. The License Terms for the software and limitations apply to Customer’s use of the backup Instance.
If its not specifically called out in the VMware Product Guide it will need licensing, and that means everything other than Continuent and vRelaise for Log Insight. Surprisingly, VMware deem an install to be 'use' of the software - yep - just binaries sitting on a disk.
RHEL Linux Subscription Guide: Cold backups: The server has software installed and configured, but it is turned off until the disaster occurs or for periodic disaster recovery procedure tests. For Red Hat Enterprise Linux, this means that the customer is allowed to preload the bits as a courtesy. However, Red Hat Content Delivery Network cannot be used to update the system until the disaster happens. Then, the paid subscription on the failed machine transfers to the cold backup sever. In this case, a customer does not need two subscriptions. The customer will consume only one subscription at any point in time. Red Hat will allow the customer to pre-provision the software bits onto the cold backup machine as a courtesy. If a customer is found to be running more units of Red Hat Enterprise Linux than the customer has subscribed for because the customer has found a use for these pre-provisioned servers other than this cold backup use case, the customer is obligated to pay Red Hat.
Backup Use Defined: For programs running or resident on backup machines, IBM defines 3 types of situations: “cold”; “warm”; and “hot”. In the “cold” and “warm” situations, a separate license for the backup copy is normally not required, no additional charge applies, and IBM does not need to be notified. In a “hot” backup situation, the customer needs to acquire another license. All programs running in backup mode must be under the customer’s control, even if running at another enterprise’s location.
All might not be as it seems - check this list of ILMT gotcha's
Here are out top five tips for trimming your PVU sub-capacity report counts:
1. Incomplete Vitualisation - the 'TVM' predicament
If your ILMT configuration is not fully or properly implemented you're likely to find incomplete virtualisation heirarchies in your VM Manager connections, which result in every affected VM being treated as a stand-alone physical machine at the highest PVU rating of 120 PVUs per core). This can quickly add up where you might otherwise be entitled to the likes of 70 PVUs per core.
2. Missing Software Classifications
Central to the accuracy of ILMT reporting is the much dreaded 'Software Classification' process. If you choose to ignore this painstaking requirement you can be sure you'll pay the price either in real terms or in time-draining dispute at your next audit. Essentially, every exempt PVU count in your environment needs to be catagorised as such, meaning instances that are to be excluded from PVU counts (which depending on the License Terms are likely Developer, DR, or Test installs) need to be individually identified as such via this (ongoing) activity.
3. Unrecognised Bundling
As a follow-on to the Software Classification issue above, you'll then likely notice that where you have installed Supporting Programs on a different server - where entitled to do so under the License Terms - the program will magically form part of the PVU count, ie. bundling is not recognised across servers. So once again you'll need to identify these instances and exclude them from the relevant count, making sure you add comments to qualify the classification.
4. Reallocation High-Water Marks
So you dutifully maintain your vCPU's to your level of entitlement, which, as you're permitted to do, includes the occasional reallocation across servers to match processing and performance needs. Given you've balanced the core counts out all is good - right? Well ... no, ILMT will track the high-water mark for each server in the 90-day reporting period, so for example a taking a core from a 4 vCPU server to assign to a 3 vCPU server will see both reporting as 4 vCPU servers for that period.
To be in a position to challenge this make sure you have or take - and keep - separate records that evidence the reassignment of cores to negate any double counting.
5. Ghost Decommissioning
Similar to the above, you might think that decommissioning one server to deploy another would be quite within your rights as long as you (as always) don't exceed your level of entitlements. Well ... no, the decommissioned server will also report within the same 90-day period as the new server - potentially a bigger problem than the issue with high-water marks. So again you'll need to either classify the server accordingly, or ensure you have the right artefacts to contest any double recognition, or both.
... a lot of overhead right?
And that's where a secondary source of truth can prove essential ...
The world is certainly a different place than it was just weeks ago. From what was a normal days work to stay-at-home advisories, self-isolation and lock-downs, business and workers face enormous challenges.
In such adverse times it's not possible to predict what the landscape will look like in the months ahead, but with the unfortunate loss of jobs and closure of businesses all we can know is that it will be a dramatically different place.
Those that can and do keep operating are an imperative for the economy, both now and through recovery, and whilst it would be reprehensible of vendors to audit companies when the corner is turned, there are those that inevitably will still do so.
So while there is much to contemplate and deal with in just keeping your business running, a quick check on some basic principles could avert some later issues. Consider some of the most common licensing pitfalls with typical BCP scenario's:
Working From Home
Working from Home means mobility - if you are allocating laptops and notebooks be wary of installation or device based licenses, all of which might be overlooked with the rapid deployment of SOE's and new devices. There may even be restrictions on what category of device the software can be installed on, or even where physically it can be used (eg. designated offices or specific geographic locations). Where applicable, check you mobility rights cater for your intended use, and are current (eg. Microsoft SA Benefits).
Remote access can be another minefield where in the rush to get staff connected controls that would normally be in place might get overlooked. While solutions like an F5 BIG-IP Edge Gateway provide user based licensing to their own resources via secure VPN, other storefront and virtualisation products such as Citrix Gateway with VDI if not properly administered can be at greater risk of exposing applications unintentionally - make sure your access controls eg. AD Groups etc) are aligned to your licensing, and any additions to those secure groups have corresponding entitlements.
If you are in the position of having to invoke your DR (or partial DR) things will undoubtedly be more complicated. License transfer rights, powering servers up, or moving capacity from cold to hot can easily lead to over use. Migrating (or worse, extending) production workload to DR will certainly have conditions and constraints that if over-looked will leave you visibly non-compliant at a later date via audit trails such as SCRT or license server logs. Keep appropriate records that will help to mitigate any action you needed to take, and make sure you enable/track license migration alongside any workload you move.
While we'd like to think some leniency would be afforded through these difficult times, keeping a good handle on your compliance position just makes good business sense.
So stay compliant, but mostly, stay well, and stay safe.
Software Compliance partners with Digital Resilience
Deployment Planning Services
FastTrack is now Microsoft's primary implementation support offering applicable to Azure, Microsoft 365, and Dynamics 365 engagements. All on-premises Deployment Planning Services offerings and the respective engagements will be available until January 2022 and you can continue to redeem your deployment planning days through the current process from qualified partners or Microsoft Consulting Services to help you plan your deployment—whether on-premises or in hybrid environments.
Training vouchers can still be used until January 2022 with the exception of Azure training, which will be removed from the Software Assurance course catalog in February 2020. The Training Vouchers benefit will be fully retired on January 1, 2022.
The right to access training vouchers expires with your Software Assurance coverage. If you create a training voucher before the expiration of your Software Assurance coverage, the voucher remains valid for 180 days after the date it was created.
Software Assurance E-Learning was replaced with Microsoft Learn on November 1st 2018, which offers a free-of-charge way to learn about Microsoft products and services. Instructor-led training is available, and Microsoft are introducing role-based courses and advanced workload courseware, along with new certifications.
24x7 Problem Resolution Support
Customers will no longer earn a limited number of support incidents based on spend, agreement type, and product(s) but instead will get as-needed support with a Software Assurance spend of $250,000 or more annually.
Starting in February 2021, customers that spend more than US$250,000 per year on Software Assurance will get as-needed basic phone support for Severity A and online support during business hours for Severity B and C with a 24-hour response time. Customers will also have the option to upgrade to Microsoft Unified Support.
Customers that spend less than US$250,000 per year on Software Assurance with no enterprise support agreement (Premier/Unified) will be directed to a partner for support or purchase Professional Support incidents from Microsoft.
Check out this October announcement - It could save You Thousands!
- Failover servers for high availability – Allows customers to install and run passive SQL Server instances in a separate operating system environment (OSE) or server for high availability on-premises in anticipation of a failover event. Today, Software Assurance customers have one free passive instance for either high availability or DR
- Failover servers for disaster recovery NEW – Allows customers to install and run passive SQL Server instances in a separate OSE or server on-premises for disaster recovery in anticipation of a failover event
- Failover servers for disaster recovery in Azure NEW – Allows customers to install and run passive SQL Server instances in a separate OSE or server for disaster recovery in Azure in anticipation of a failover event
Answer for Q1: Yes. The benefit applies to all supported releases of SQL Server.
For each of its Primary Workloads, Customer is entitled to:
- One Fail-over OSE for any purpose, including high availability, on any Server dedicated to Customer’s use (subject to their new Outsourcing Software Management clause); and
- Two Fail-over OSEs specifically for disaster recovery purposes:
- one on any Server dedicated to Customer’s use (subject to their new Outsourcing Software Management clause) and
- one on Microsoft Azure servers
Lets Straighten out On-Premise Rights Included with M365
But we all know that relying on commentary - even on the Microsoft site - is not enough ...
... so where to?
The Product Terms of course.
The definitive descriptor of Microsoft's Software licensing terms.
IBM Announces its new "Authorised SAM Provider" Offering (IASP)
OKAY, SO WHAT's THE OBJECTIVE?
HOW ABOUT the APPROACH?
... And THE Benefits?
As with many IT functions companies are finding that they need help - they just don't have the in-house skills to perform every role, task and responsibility they need to cover.
... nor should they have to.
While the IASP program from IBM targets large, specially invited customers with just 4 select partners, our purpose is to assist all organisations - small, medium or large - with the same goal:
Provide the skills, tools, knowledge and process to solve your software licensing issues.
terms related to outsourcing rights and dedicated hosted cloud services Change 1-Oct.
- On-premises licenses purchased without Software Assurance and mobility rights cannot be deployed with dedicated hosted cloud services offered by “Listed Providers” being Microsoft, Alibaba, Amazon (including VMware Cloud on AWS), and Google (the changes don't apply to any other providers - yet - and if/when they do you'll get 12 months to get compliant).
- Microsoft licenses with License Mobility through Software Assurance can now be used on dedicated hosted cloud services with any Listed Provider who is also an Authorized Mobility Partner.
- Microsoft licenses with Software Assurance can be used with the updated Azure Hybrid Benefit, including on the newly launched Azure Dedicated Host.
Do the updates to the Outsourcing Software Management clause affect my rights to deploy licenses with an Authorized Mobility Partner? License Mobility through Software Assurance rights will be expanded to permit deployment of licenses with License Mobility coverage with Listed Providers’ dedicated hosted cloud services for those Listed Providers who are Authorized Mobility Partners. (and importantly) Rights to deploy licenses on Authorized Mobility Partners’ shared servers are not impacted by the outsourcing update.
- Use of Windows Enterprise licenses with Listed Providers dedicated hosted cloud services will require Windows VDA E3/E5 user licenses, so if you’re in this situation but have existing SA coverage or E3/E5 subscriptions you’ll have until October 1, 2020 to migrate away from the Listed Provider if you want to avoid having to buy these additional licenses.
- A number of products do not have License Mobility through Software Assurance and are therefore not permitted to be run with Listed Providers’ dedicated hosted cloud services, such as:
- the option to license by virtual machine (Datacenter or Standard), or to license by physical host, but allocate core licenses only for the number of cores available to you (Datacenter only)
- use is governed by the Online Services Terms (OST) and therefore does not require base CALs
- permits you to host solutions on Azure for access by your customers
- equivalent of on-premises fail-over rights for SQL Server, and in the case of SQL Server Enterprise Core licensed at the host level, the equivalent of onpremises unlimited virtualization rights
- Both SQL Server and Windows Server are eligible for Disaster Recovery Rights and new version rights
- Run your licensed software and manage its OSEs on shared servers under the terms of your volume licensing agreement;
- Deploy your Licenses only with Microsoft Azure Services or qualified License Mobility through Software Assurance Partners; and
- Complete and submit the License Mobility Validation form with each License Mobility through Software Assurance Partner who will run the licensed software on their shared servers.
NOW INCLUDING CLOUD CONSUMPTION REPORTING
- Microsoft Azure and O365 (AAD)
- Oracle Cloud (OC)
- IBM Cloud Platform (ICP)
- Google Cloud Platform (GCP)
- Amazon Web Services (AWS)