The SAM Club vs Software Installation Discovery Tools

A SAM Discovery Tool is a software product designed to collect software installation data from your network and to create compliance reports. There are many Discovery Tools on the market. Some are expensive whilst others are free of charge.

Discovery is just one element of Software Asset Management – it is NOT a credible SAM strategy in itself. To manage software assets you need to know the licenses you own, understand your license entitlements and how these can be applied to your current installs, management of the process of requesting and approving new software installations, and management of the procurement process.

Discovery is a critical component of SAM, but only when you include license and ownership, approvals management and deployment. Do you have a credible SAM solution with just a SAM Tool?

Compliance reports are great, and if understood can save your company on licensing costs while helping to avoid legal costs related to software licensing violations. However, understanding the complexity around licensing isn’t straight forward. It requires someone with a full understanding and one who keeps up to date with Vendors changing licensing models & product use rights (PURs).

This is where The SAM Club comes in. We do not promote any particular Discovery Tools. Our service is to work with you and provide assistance and guidance where you use a SAM Tool to ensure the information provided is understood and used in the correct way in conjunction with our unique SAM Workbook.

If you do not use a Discovery Tool, The SAM Club can still assist with our unique SAM Workbook. The SAM Workbook contains data on what licenses you own, your entitlements and how these licenses are deployed. From here, with access to your Vendor licensing portals, we can provide the information and advice you need around licensing and compliance, together with inputs to budgets and technology road maps.

SQL Server 2005 : End of Support 12 APRIL 2016

As the end of support for SQL Server 2005 draws close, The SAM Club highlights the 2 types of support Microsoft offers during a product lifecycle: Mainstream Support and Extended Support.

Mainstream Support is typically available for 4 to 5 years after product release. In the case of SQL Server 2005, Mainstream support ended April 2011 and included:

  • Paid incident support
  • Security updates
  • No-charge incident support
  • Non-security hotfix support
  • Design changes/feature requests

Warranty claims Currently Microsoft offers Extended Support which includes only a few of the Mainstream Support options. SQL 2005 Extended Support which ends on 12th April 2016 includes:

  • Security updates
  • Paid-per incident support
  • Ongoing use of Microsoft Knowledge base

Thereafter Microsoft will offer custom support contracts but there are high priced.

Click here for further information on Microsoft Product Lifecycle dates.

How can The SAM Club help?

  • Work with us to get your Server Summary spreadsheet up to date within your SAM Workbook. Within this we complete a SQL Server license reconciliation which either confirms you are compliant or identifies any additional SQL Server licenses required.
  • We can provide budgetary figures for new licensing and obtain competitive licensing quotes to upgrade your SQL Servers. We will make sure you only purchase what you actually need to be compliant.
  • We can help with cash flow by ensuring your orders are only placed when the licenses are required.
  • We can provide cost comparisons between the server & CAL licensing model compared to the SQL 4 Core model to determine the better option for your organisation
  • We can advise if you need software assurance cover for license mobility

New Licensing Rules for Windows Server & System Center 2016

In December 2015, Microsoft announced that Windows Server 2016 (& System Center 2016) will be licensed with a core & CAL model.  What does this mean to you and your existing licenses covered by Software Assurance?

The new licensing rules state that all the physical cores for Windows Server 2016 Standard & Datacenter Editions will need to be licensed as follows:

  • Minimum of 8 core licenses required for each processor
  • Minimum of 16 core licenses required for each server
  • Core licenses will be sold in packs of two

Note:  The two core pack for each edition is 1/8th the price of a two processor license for the corresponding 2012 R2 Edition.

Windows Server Standard & Datacenter Edition 2 processor licenses with Software Assurance will be exchanged for a  minimum of 8 two-core pack licenses (16 core licenses) or the actual number of physical cores in use.

Some additional Windows Server 2016 licensing information:

  • Hyper-threading doesn’t change the number of core licenses required
  • Disabled processors do not need to be licensed
  • Nested virtualisation (running a VM in a VM) is licensed as two virtual machines
  • There will be an External Connector licence
  • The Nano Server deployment option requires no additional licensing

    If you are in an existing licensing agreement with Microsoft, such as an Enterprise Agreement or Server and Cloud Enrolment, you will be able to continue to purchase processor licenses through to the end of the agreement term.The SAM Club will assist its clients at the end of an agreement to perform a self-inventory to document the number of physical cores in each processor that are licensed with Windows Server processor licenses with SA.  This will ensure our clients receive the appropriate number of core licenses for their deployments.

    We have updated the Windows Server Summary sheets in clients’ SAM Workbooks to accommodate this.

January 2016 Newsletter

Includes news on The SAM Club, licensing news on Microsoft, VMware and Citrix.

Articles on The SAM Club partnership with Snow Software and the new licensing rules for Windows 2016

Tips & Tricks: Did you know that the MPSA Licensing Manual contains the following on copies for training/evaluation and backup?

Breaking News:  Microsoft have announced they are changing their minimum Enterprise Agreement (EA) seat count from 250 to 500 effective 1st July 2016.

Jan 2016 Newsletter digital

September 2015 Newsletter

Includes new software release information on Exchange 2016, SQL Server 2016, Windows Server 2016, Visual Studio 2015, System Center Configuration Manager 2012 SP2

Articles on SQL Server license costs savings, Select Plus retirement and SAM Club new partnerships with DH2i, Snow Software, Discount Licensing and Citrix

Tips & Tricks: SQL CALS and Software Assurance for License Mobility for the cloud / third-party shared servers
Newsletter September 2015 – digital

April 2015 Newsletter

Includes New Software Release information on WMware vSphere 6, Skype for Business, Windows Server 2016, Visual Studio 2015, Symantec BackupExec 15. 

Articles on reselling your redundant Microsoft Licenses, Windows Server 2003 and SQL Server 2005 end of support information.

Tips & Tricks:  Office Licensing and the difference between Office Standard & Office Pro PlusNewsletter April 2015 – digital

Windows Server 2003 : End of Support 14 July 2015

What does this mean?
Basically, there will be no patches or security updates, putting your applications and business at  risk. New threats won’t be addressed and your Windows Server 2003 systems will become a security risk.  Are you planning to upgrade and / or replace your Windows Server 2003 installations?

Do you have an action plan?

In most cases your best and most logical option will be to migrate and upgrade the physical server.  It’s likely the server itself is several years old. Start with your action plan, and start as soon as possible.  Best practice planning for your Windows 2003 server migration should include phases for project scope (technical and project management), resource allocation, capability (i.e. programmers and testers), and budget.  There will be more granular components to your planning, but this will be a good start. Are you able to fully test your applications on the upgraded server before they go live to ensure there are no functionality errors?

How can The SAM Club help you?

  • Work with us to get your Server Summary spreadsheet up to date within your SAM Workbook which will help review the operating systems within your physical and virtual servers. We will optimise your licenses in the most efficient way taking into account what you actually own and are entitled to use.
  • We can help provide budgetary figures for new licensing and can obtain licensing quotes to upgrade your servers. We will make sure you are covered.
  • We can help you with your cash flow to ensure your orders are only placed when the licenses are required.