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

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

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.