Azure and Reserved Instances – strategy to reduce and limit unexpected cloud costs

Azure and Reserved Instances - strategy to reduce and limit unexpected cloud costs

Cost Control of the Cloud: On-Demand or Reserved Instances

Cloud IaaS is increasingly a core component of IT operations strategy in the deployment of new technologies to support business goals. One of the most asked questions before starting any cloud deployment is cost control. Being able to extract the maximum value out of your cloud infrastructure, especially those resources/servers that will be online for long expected periods of time would be a great benefit to many companies. The most common way to purchase IaaS instances in public cloud is in an on-demand model. You pay for what you want when you use it at a predefined price for the increments of time that you use it. Additionally, there are two other means of purchasing an IaaS instance in either Microsoft Azure or Amazon AWS/EC2 today which are spot pricing and reserved instances.

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Microsoft increases seat minimums for corporate Enterprise Agreement

Microsoft Moving Corporate Enterprise Agreement User/Device Minimums From 250 To 500

Earlier this month, Microsoft announced that starting July 1st, 2016 any new corporate Enterprise Agreement (including Enterprise Agreement Subscriptions) will require a 500 user/device minimum. Before we get into the specifics, let’s all take a deep breath.

While at face value this may seem like a major change from Microsoft, in reality, the impact on existing EA customers is minimal. That’s because Microsoft is allowing all current EA customers, including those who sign up now until June, to have the ability to renew one (1) time for an additional 36-month term. That means that customers under 500 seats may still be in an EA for the next 6.5 years (if they sign or renew in June of 2016).

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Did Microsoft just enter the telephony game? Plus, everything else you need to know about Office 365 E5

Did Microsoft just enter the telephony game? Plus, everything else you need to know about Office 365 E5

Enterprises now have access to the new Office 365 E5 Suite, Microsoft’s most comprehensive set of productivity, collaboration, analytics, security and compliance capabilities, of any Office 365 plan ever.

And while the premium SKU – which became available December 1, 2015 – brings with it some impressive new features, it’s the attractive price tag and new communications services that are causing the biggest waves. In E5, Microsoft is rolling out Cloud PBX and PSTN Conferencing services, designed to eliminate the need for legacy telephony systems and third party conferencing providers.

Coming in at $35 for the standard E5 plan, Microsoft estimates it costs just one-third of what enterprises are already paying for all the combined services.

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Why you should do more than just licensing with Office 365

Why you should do more than just licensing with Office 365

This is going to sound like a dumb question, but is Office 365 a cloud productivity solution? Or simply an easier way to license Microsoft apps across the enterprise?

Take a look around and the answer isn’t quite so clear.

While using the Office cloud suite has been shown to unlock a more connected, collaborative and efficient business, there is evidence that many organizations are simply not using it that way. Instead, they’ve bought Office 365 simply to take advantage of a more simplified licensing solution.

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Significant Microsoft Pricing & Licensing Changes Are Coming December 1st, 2012

In the last couple of weeks, Microsoft has discreetly made significantly changes both in terms of licensing and pricing that will go into effect on December 1st.

Since Microsoft is not pushing communications of many of these changes directly to end customers, the supporting info is limited and requires walking through MS pricelists, updated Product Use Rights (PUR), and Partner FAQs.  Below are some of the highlights coming in December.

I highly recommend you touch base with your Softchoice Account Manager and dedicated Softchoice Microsoft Specialist to better understand how these changes will impact your organization along with developing options to best mitigate additional & unforeseen costs.

All Microsoft Server-CAL Products Affected  (Documented in Partner FAQ and will be visible on December price-list available November 1st)

  • All User CAL costs are increasing 15%
  • Device CAL costs remain the same

Microsoft believes it is time to take these steps with respect to the user CALs. The market has changed in the last decade and users are working from many different devices today. Here are the three primary drivers of increased value for customers in the user CAL. [Read more…]

Podcast: Office 365 licensing essentials

Office 365 licensing - looking into

If you’ve ever had questions about Office 365 licensing, this podcast is for you.

Last week Talking Office 365 featured Softchoice in a discussion about hybrid deployment options and key considerations such as the pros and cons of hosting Exchange in the cloud. [Read more…]