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Changes to Citrix Product Names – Citrix Workspace

From August 23rd the product information pages on Citrix.com will actively reflect Citrix’s new product names and describe how every product fits into its new Citrix Workspace portfolio.

Citrix Workspace - digital workspace

Citrix states that it’s changing its product names to better show how each product fits into its vision of a unified, contextual, people-centric experience.

For most of The SAM Club’s clients the following changes are the most relevant:-

  • XenApp will be renamed Citrix Virtual Apps
  • XenDesktop will be renamed Citrix Virtual Desktops
  • XenServer will be renamed Citrix Hypervisor
  • ShareFile will be renamed Citrix Content Collaboration
  • XenMobile will be renamed Citrix Endpoint Management

A full list & further information can be found here:- Preview new Citrix product names.

SAM Workbooks

In our client’s SAM Workbooks we will use the new names as of 23rd August, but will also show the previous names for some time to help avoid confusion.

Licensing & Portal Health Check

If we might help you by performing a Health Check on your Citrix Licensing and Renewals and your MyCitrix licensing portal please contact us at info@thesamclub.co.uk

Do you use VMware vCenter Foundation?

If you use VMware vCenter Foundation – this tip could be useful. VMware released an update to VMware vSphere 6.5 in July 2017. vSphere 6.5 Update 1 provided some general updates and enhancements, including all the security and bug fixes that were part of 6.0 U3; removing some of the concerns that customers had about upgrading. You can read more about the update here.

SAM Club VMware vCenter Foundation tip

VMware also announced that the number of nodes that vCenter Foundation Edition can manage was increased from 3 to 4.

This is a minor improvement, but may be useful with smaller environments where an extra node could make a big difference.

However, please note that when adding on a further node, you may potentially have to purchase a new vSphere license and a Microsoft Windows Server Datacenter license.

Further information about this announcement from VMware can be found here.

Note : The Essentials Edition of vCenter is still limited to 3 nodes and ESX Essentials or Essentials Plus, can only be managed by vCenter Essentials due to technical limitations.

If you need any assistance with reviewing your VMware or Microsoft licensing, please get in touch with us info@thesamclub.co.uk

Microsoft volume licensing Price Increases from 1st October 2018

Microsoft has announced that it will be adjusting pricing for Microsoft volume licensing programs and making price adjustments to on-premises and cloud products with effect from its 1st October price lists.

Microsoft volume licensing
This extract from Microsoft states that these pricing changes include:

  • 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)
  • 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 (applies to Enterprise & Enterprise Subscription Agreements).In conjunction with the programmatic pricing changes, several changes to product pricing will be made, including:
  • 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

In addition, Windows 10 Enterprise E3 offers will be renamed:

  • 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 (In The SAM Club’s SAM Workbooks we’ll make it clear that these subscriptions are on a device basis).
  • 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

Each of these changes will be reflected on the October 2018 pricelists, with preview on the September 2018 pricelist.

Notes from The SAM Club:-

  1. If your organisation has an Enterprise Agreement, then these price changes will not affect products and services included in your agreement until its expiry date. Your organisation has price protection until the end of your agreement as covered in your Customer Price Sheet (CPS).
  2. If you have an MPSA Agreement & you might need to purchase additional licenses then it would be worthwhile doing so before the end of September.
  3. As Windows 10 Enterprise E3 per device pricing will become the same as Windows 10 E3 per user licensing, then for many organisations the per user plan becomes more attractive as each user can have multiple devices both in and out of their office.

At The SAM Club, we are actively working with our clients on Microsoft renewals or infrastructure refresh plans to ensure this information is considered and taken into account.  To learn more about how we work with our clients and provide independent and unbiased advice, have a look at our client references and for more info please get in touch info@thesamclub.co.uk

Is it too early to upgrade to VMware vSphere 6.7?

We recently published a blog about End of Life for vSphere 5.5 and why it might be time to upgrade to vSphere 6.5. However, the latest version, vSphere 6.7, was released in April 2018.

SAM Club Vmware tips vSphere 6.7

Further information on vSphere 6.7 can be found here.

Michael Adams. Sr. Director for vSphere asks the question: vSphere 6.7 or 6.5 – What Should I Deploy? The article is focused on the business and IT objectives and making the right decision for your organisation: read it here.

Point 2 in Adams article asks if the feature set and value in the 6.7 product release makes sense in your environment? There are a lot of new features which can be viewed here to help with your decision process.

VMware vSphere 6.7 what's new

Another factor to consider is the lifecycle plan for vSphere. We discussed in a previous blog that End of General Support for vSphere 5.5 is happening on 19th September 2018 with vSphere 6.0 being supported until 12th March 2020.

Currently VMware vSphere 6.5 and 6.7 both have the same End of General Support dates, namely 15th November 2021.

See the official VMware Lifecycle Product Matrix for more information on the support deadline for each product.

So, if you have decided to upgrade, you now need to look at – How? There is another great blog from Nigel Hickey who is a Technical Marketing Engineer, working for VMware R&D in the Cloud Platform Business Unit, which can be found here. This takes you through the Why, How, Planning and Upgrade Considerations.

If you need any assistance with reviewing your VMware licensing, please get in touch with us info@thesamclub.co.uk

You may also be interested in some of our other VMware blog posts:

Is it time to upgrade to VMware vSphere 6.5

Have you come across a VMware Audit?

Splitting a VMware vSphere license

VMware Country of Use versus Country of Purchase

Citrix XenApp & XenDesktop End of Life

Citrix XenApp & XenDesktop versions 7.0 to 7.13 went End of Life on 30th June 2018 and Version 7.14 is scheduled to go End of Life on 27th December 2018.

Software Asset Management - Citrix Xenapp

End of Life means that technical support and product downloads are no longer available and technical support for issues is limited to information contained in the Citrix Knowledge Center and Support Forums.

So, if you are running earlier versions it’s recommended that you upgrade to the latest version, which is version 7.18.

The Citrix blog says it’s the hottest release of the Summer because they have dedicated this release to improving the overall experience for both user and the IT admin. There are some functionality enhancements for the user and monitoring and reporting enhancements for the IT Admin. If you are considering upgrading have a look the free step by step guide to Citrix XenApp Upgrade and Migration here.

The SAM Club can help check that you have active support and maintenance cover to enable you to upgrade.

Also, we offer a full Health Check on your MyCitrix Licensing Portal. If you have a Service Contract with The SAM Club, then this is included as part of your service agreement so get in touch to find out more.

End of Life dates on all Citrix products/versions can be found here.

Look out for our next Citrix blog article that will cover changes to Citrix’s policies for late/overdue support and maintenance renewals.

Is it time to upgrade to VMware vSphere 6.5?

Why upgrade to vSphere 6.5

VMware vSphere 5.5 End of General Support is fast approaching. From the 19th September 2018 general support will no longer be available, so it’s time to start thinking about upgrading to vSphere 6.5. There is an option to purchase extended support on a per year basis up to 19th September 2020, but now is the time to start reviewing your VMware infrastructure.

If you are considering upgrading your vSphere environment, here is a good resource to help you through the process: Upgrading to vSphere 6.5

This detailed e-book is specifically designed for vSphere administrators and takes you through three phases of upgrade. Pre-upgrade, upgrade and post upgrade; offering some useful interactive tools such as YouTube videos, tutorials and documents to download. If you are short on time there is a key resources list at the beginning of each section to scan through.

This handy infographic from VMware gives the Top 10 reasons to upgrade to vSphere 6.5.

Infographic vSphere 6.5

vSphere 6.7 has also recently been released which our next blog article in a few days will focus on.

You may be interested in other recent VMware articles we have published:

At The SAM Club, we work with our clients to ensure their software estate is licensed properly. If you would like more information or an internal review of your VMware estate then please contact us at info@thesamclub.co.uk

World Cup fever is over – now it’s time for the big one! SAM Club Kickers Fantasy league

World Cup fever is over, we thought it was coming home – but not yet it seems. Now it’s time for the big football event of the year – the SAM Club Kickers Fantasy Premier League!

Last year’s winner, Jonathan Bush from Bytes brought it home and looks jubilant with his fabulous trophy.

SAM Club KIckers Fantasy league winner 2017-18

The 2016-17 winner, was Liam O’Mahoney from Frontier Technology, taking it all in his stride looking very cool and relaxed about his win.

Winner of SAM Club Fantasy league 2016-17

Now’s the time to join the SAM Club Kickers Premier Fantasy league for 2018-19.

If you took part last year, get involved again. Using your login from last year you will automatically be added to this year’s competition: Re-join the SAM Club Kickers Fantasy League

If you are new to the league – sign yourself up! You don’t want to miss out on the action. Joining the league couldn’t be easier. Simply use this link and you’ll be added automatically after you’ve entered the game: Join the SAM club Kickers Fantasy League

You shouldn’t need the league code, but just in case here it is: 648498-142635.

Enjoy the game!

VMware: Have you come across a VMware Audit

VMWare audit compliance

When it comes to software audits, Microsoft have led the way. However, we have recently seen an increase in other vendors following suit and have seen our first VMware Audit. 

As per section 5 of the VMware End User License Agreement, your organisation is required to complete the questionnaire that is provided.  If this exercise is not completed accurately and in a timely fashion, then VMware may perform a full audit as a follow up to the notification received.

The VMware audit is conducted by the Global License Advisory Services department, to help facilitate customer compliance in line with VMware’s software licensing terms and conditions. Depending on the results, there may be a need to discuss entitlement and deployment management options at the end of the self-audit process.

The information for the audit is exported from vCenter and includes for example; Machine/Host Names, Physical Processor (CPU Count) plus product information including version and edition.  

Some things to consider are; how up to date is the information in your vCenter and does it match with the licenses held on your MyVMware portal?  Are license keys being used correctly for multiple locations? For example, do you have a single license key for say 8 CPUs for vSphere Enterprise Plus that are used for more than one location?  Can you provide the evidence to show licenses (keys) aren’t being used more than once?

You may be interested in other recent VMware articles we have published:

At The SAM Club, we work with our clients to ensure their MyVMware portal contains folders for the Host Clusters and the license keys assigned correctly. This can then be mirrored back to vCenter to help with the overall management of your VMware licenses. If you would like more information or an internal review of your VMware estate then please contact us at info@thesamclub.co.uk

 

 

Winner of this year’s SAM Club Kickers Fantasy football league

SAM Club Kickers Fantasy football league - Top 15 chart
SAM Club Kickers Fantasy football league – Top 15

Every year we run a fantasy football league with our clients and partners as a bit of fun and healthy competition.

We are pleased to announce this year’s winner is Jonathan Bush with his team West Sham United. Well done Jonathan, the prestigious SAM Club Kickers trophy will be winging its way over to you very shortly!

The competition was a close call with our very own Ian Nicholls hot on Jonathan’s heels, with the Curly Bee’s scoring a whacking 2136 points. But luckily Jonathan pipped Ian at the post with a score of 2158.

Last year’s winner Liam O’Mahoney and his team Fresh, came in at fourth place and our top client performer was Alex Bethell from Lewis Silkin in sixth place with his team; Who wants to be King!

Well done everyone and make sure you get involved in next year’s league to be in with a chance to be the next SAM Club Kickers champion.

VMware : Splitting a vSphere License

VMware vSphere license split

We have been looking at a series of interesting facts around VMware software licensing that can often catch organisations out when managing their software assets. This tip is about splitting a vSphere license.

When a VMware license is purchased, an ‘instance’ number is generated within VMware which is like a unique number of a database. So, if you purchase 8 x vSphere Enterprise Plus licenses, this order will be associated with one instance number.  Note : The instance number and license keys are not the same.

When renewing, upgrading or making any other license changes, VMware will always require the instance number otherwise the order could be processed incorrectly. Unfortunately, VMware don’t display the instance number anywhere on the MyVMware portal.

Continuing with our example of a purchase of 8 x vSphere Enterprise Plus licenses, when it comes to ‘splitting’ a license, this can be completed in two ways and can cause confusion:

·       If the licenses were purchased for 6 CPUs for Site A and 2 CPUs for Site B then the License Key on the MyVMware portal can be split but this won’t affect the instance number in the background.

If the 2 CPUs for Site B are now combined with other vSphere Enterprise Plus licenses to form one new license key, the instance number for the original purchase doesn’t change.  Therefore the new license key for Site B would contain numerous instance numbers which could have different SnS expiry dates. As time moves on and the renewal dates are co-termed or the license key is split again, then you can see how the scenario of managing the VMware licenses can become complex.

·       It may become necessary to split the instance number; this could be due to a technology refresh and for example and only 4 CPUs of the 8 CPUs x vSphere Enterprise Plus licenses are required for SnS renewal.

VMware will need the instance number to perform the split in the background to allow a SnS renewal order to be processed.  The instance number can be obtained via an IBR report from VMware. However, this report does not link to the MyVMware portal via the license keys, which can add to the complexity of ensuring the right instance number is identified for the split. When VMware complete the license split, a new instance number is generated further complicating the issue.

At The SAM Club we work with our clients to document their VMware environment and assist with the management and use of the licenses. Please contact us if you would like to know more about our software asset management service.

The SAM Club, are independent trusted advisors who work with organisations to help them manage their software assets, allowing them to focus on their business needs. Being independent means, we do not resell any software, so we are completely unbiased in our advice.