Why you should consider Premium Assurance for Windows Server and SQL Server

In today’s rapidly evolving IT landscape, IT organizations are walking a fine line between transitioning to the cloud and retaining on-premises systems. They’re moving applications and infrastructure to the cloud for flexibility and scalability, but also need to maintain stable, secure, workable environments in house for applications that are not yet suited for cloud deployments. These transitions can take time, and often don’t happen in one fell swoop—mission-critical and legacy applications often have to stay on legacy server versions longer, and ensuring their security is vital to providing continuity and a stable environment. Continue Reading…

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2017 IT Preview: What to expect from our top partners in the new year

We’re only a couple of weeks into 2017, but we’ve already got a lot of technology to look forward to. From the launch of new products to updates of old ones, here’s a glimpse into what we can expect from the biggest names in tech this year. Continue Reading…

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The biggest news at Microsoft Ignite was all about Azure

microsoftMicrosoft’s flagship Ignite conference just wrapped up, and I still have Azure on my mind. The cloud computing platform received considerable attention at the conference, and for good reason: Connectivity and security improvements, as well as new partnerships, set the roadmap for its future.

Microsoft presented dozens of advancements, innovations, and upgrades at Ignite, from nifty upgrades (improvements to the Surface Pen allow it to cross out and delete text) to functional enhancements to core products (Exchange 2016 has better interoperability with SharePoint 2016). Other big stories included Docker’s inclusion in Windows Server 2016 and Microsoft’s push to “democratize AI.” Continue Reading…

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The important date Windows 7 and 8.1 users should know

whats newWindows 7 and 8.1 users, mark your calendars: A critical support date approaches on July 17, 2018.

After then, only critical security support will be available for devices running Windows 7 or 8.1 on new processor devices (such as Intel’s 6th Gen Skylake), according to a Jan. 15 Microsoft announcement. Microsoft recommends upgrading to Windows 10 in advance of that date in order to protect your organization from security, reliability, and compliance shortfalls. Extended support for hardware with legacy processors will end on Jan. 14, 2020 for Windows 7 and Jan. 10, 2023 for Windows 8.1. Continue Reading…

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2016 IT preview: What we’re expecting from the biggest players in tech

coming soonWill 2016 be the year we see the next industry-changing technology? Even if the next big thing doesn’t come, plenty of new products, improvements, and a few discontinuations are scheduled for the year.

Here’s a sneak peek into what we can expect from the biggest names in tech over the next 12 months. Continue Reading…

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Windows 10 is here: Here’s what volume licensing customers need to know

windows-10Windows 10 is live, and with it comes product portfolio changes, adjustments to Software Assurance (SA) benefits, and a bevy of new features and enhancements. But perhaps the biggest change is how updates are delivered.

Here is the breakdown of these changes, and considerations for how to acquire Windows 10 licenses moving forward. Continue Reading…

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The ultimate guide to Microsoft SQL Server licensing

MazeMicrosoft’s grant program for SQL licensing expires on April 1, 2015. If you haven’t taken advantage of the grant’s offer of free per-core licensing, it’s time to determine if you’re eligible and act.

This offer and deadline are just one piece of a larger update to the way organizations license Microsoft SQL Server. While the new rules were enacted with the release of SQL Server 2012, many organizations are still trying to understand what these changes mean for them.

To help you better understand these agreements, we’ve written a primer explaining the main ways SQL is licensed, and the many other factors you have to consider when determining your licensing requirements. Continue Reading…

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Act now before you miss this Microsoft SQL licensing grant

hourglassIf you run Microsoft’s SQL Server, mark April 1, 2015 on your calendar – it could save your organization thousands of dollars.

That’s because April 1 is the deadline for Microsoft’s processor-to-core conversion grant. You might recall that Microsoft updated its licensing policies along with the release of SQL Server 2012. These rules changed the way servers were licensed, shifting from processor-based licensing to licensing the physical core. Now, in order to run SQL 2014, customers with an Enterprise Agreement (EA) must true up their per-core licensing, and doing so before April 1 will grant them blocks of free licenses.

As part of Microsoft’s extended grant incentive, customers that true up their licensing before April 1, 2015 will receive SQL per-core licensing grants for actual cores in use. Organizations that wait to complete this process until after April 1 will receive the minimum grant for only four cores per processor, leaving organizations to cover the rest. Continue Reading…

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5 things to know about Microsoft’s free Windows 10 upgrade offer

UpgradeMicrosoft’s highly anticipated Windows 10 operating system is sounding even better than many expected. When Microsoft presented a deep look at Windows 10 on Jan. 21, it offered customers an added incentive to jump to its newest offering: The company revealed it will offer free upgrades to Windows 10 for qualified new or existing Windows 7, Windows 8.1, or Windows Phone 8.1 devices. For customers who have not yet upgraded to Windows 8.1 from XP or Vista, this provides an excellent opportunity to maximize value, and to modernize their legacy OSes.

Microsoft’s Windows 10 demo and incentive announcement generated a lot of buzz, but also many questions. I’ve detailed five key insights you should be aware of regarding the Windows 10 news, and how it relates to your volume licensing agreements: Continue Reading…

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