SQL Server 2016 is now available. Key considerations before you migrate.


On June 1, 2016, Microsoft officially announced the general availability of SQL Server 2016.

While a few enterprises have already made the upgrade, many IT leaders have just begun asking questions about the new database solution, trying to define its place on their roadmap.

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Microsoft’s SQL on Linux announcement is a sign of changing times

Microsoft’s SQL on Linux announcement is a sign of changing times

Microsoft’s SQL on Linux – an inevitable transformation?

The recent announcement that Microsoft is extending SQL Server to run on Linux is great news for businesses, Microsoft and the industry in general. And its relevance goes way beyond the—albeit huge—announcement itself.

On its surface, this will mean flexibility and choice for users of SQL Server, which Gartner has placed in the top right of its magic quadrant. The database server will offer a consistent platform across Windows Server and Linux environments, whether on-premise and on the cloud. It is, in fact, all part of Microsoft’s own cloud play with Azure, and it is great news.

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Everything you need to know about SQL Server 2016

Everything you need to know about SQL Server 2016

Microsoft SQL 2005 is going EOL on April 12, 2016, and the all-new SQL Server 2016 stands to bring the biggest, most exciting changes to SQL since its inception. Our Microsoft team recently hosted a private webinar for some of our best Microsoft clients, and shared their perspectives on what to expect with the new platform.

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Two Big Improvements to Hyper-V You Need To Know About


So, Windows Server 2012 is finally here with a lot of big changes. In particular, Hyper-V has been enhanced significantly with regard to scalability.

While my role at Softchoice is on the vendor-neutral storage and backup side of things, my customers have been asking a lot about these new features and what they mean to them, and I wanted to take the time to point out two massive improvements to Hyper-V that pertain to storage.

At the Server 2012 launch, Microsoft announced two new protocols: ODX (Offload Data Xfer) and SMB 3.0 (which is the new version of the Windows file sharing protocol). These two protocols are going to be huge for our customers looking to save some money on their existing Hyper-V deployments as well as those customers looking to deploy Hyper-V for the first time.

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How To Use SQL Enterprise 2012 Under A Service Provider Licensing Agreement (SPLA)

I once had a sales leader say to me “where there is change, there is opportunity.” What we”ve found regarding SQL 2012 is there is a lot of confusion around virtualization, how this will affect the datacenter environment, and ultimately how will this affect costs. At the same time, it might mean opportunity!

I wrote in a previous blog post about SQL 2012 in a general sense, and today I would like to review my two reasons on why switching to SQL Enterprise 2012 may be a good move.

  1. SQL Enterprise  2012 allows unlimited virtualization
  2. SQL Enterprise 2012 allows license mobility

Those two things alone “might” be a reason to switch. With unlimited virtualization, you can license every physical core (minimum 4 cores per processor) on the host machine that allow you to spin up as many virtual instances of SQL on that host machine. This is a good move considering the cost of SQL Datacenter 2008R2 was outrageous. The issue now is SQL 2012 is licensed by the core not by the physical processor. For those service providers that built very robust servers with multiple cores this may be a price increase. (Thus, the “might” part in my explanation above in reasons to switch.)

So now that you have unlimited virtualization, what happens if those virtual instances (VM’s) can move from host to host or even across data centers?Theoretically you would need to license those physical hosts right?

To quote ESPN’s Lee Corso… “Not so fast my friend.[Read more…]

SQL EAP Licensing changes now in effect (long term benefits still remain)


Customers who Signed By to April 1st Saw Advantages in EAP Agreement Terms

In a recent survey conducted by Softchoice in March, nearly 70% of customers surveyed had either never heard of an EAP Agreement (Enrollment Application Platform Agreement) or expressed specific interest in learning more. Surprisingly, only 15% of customers were currently leveraging EAP advantages in their organization.

As of April 1st, significant changes took effect with regards to the minimum number of processors required for an initial EAP and not everyone took advantage.

Prior to April 1st, Microsoft outlined a 6 processor requirement to enroll in an EAP and after April 1st, the new EAP requires a 50 core minimum (12.5 processors at an average of 4 cores per processor). This change effectively doubles the amount of processors running SQL needed to get into the enrollment.

If your organization was one of the many who took advantage of an EAP before the licensing changes of SQL 2012 took effect on April 1st, well done!  The decision will yield benefits for years to come.  But what if you didn’t act in time?  SQL 2012 packs many reasons why customers should look to switch or upgrade.  The EAP is still the best purchasing vehicle for customer running SQL and should be investigated in most circumstances.

Although we’ve outlined the benefits of an EAP several times with content provided in our SQL 2012 Licensing Field Guide and via our blog in postings like this, here’s a quick recap on how working with an EAP through Softchoice can help you navigate the SQL licensing waters.

What is it? [Read more…]