What is the Cloud Platform Suite?

What is the Microsoft Cloud Platform Suite

The Cloud Platform Suite is a bundled SKU of Windows and Systems Center, which was introduced January 2014. It may seem very similar to the Core Infrastructure Suite but I would like to outline a few key differences.

The Cloud Platform Suite provides virtual guest environments with one management system across multiple server operating systems. The cloud platform suite is the best option for highly virtualized servers running applications built on multiple server operating systems.

Cloud Platform suite is licensed in a host plus guest model. You will purchase a Microsoft Cloud Platform Suite license for the hardware to create the host fabric in which instances can run. This is considered the “host” license. You will purchase individual Microsoft Cloud Platform Guest licenses for each of the virtual instances that it wants to run. This is only if you are virtualized using Hyper-V.

The Cloud Platform Suite only becomes cost effective in a highly virtualized Environment; please reach out to me if you have any other questions.

How to Make the Most of the SPLA Price Increase

How to Make the Most of the SPLA Price Increase?

Hosting companies should now be aware of the double-digit price increase that will be hitting SPLA in 2014.

PRODUCT NAME Estimated %
price increase
Windows Server
Windows Server 2012 R2 Datacenter* 45%
Core Infrastructure Server Suite Datacenter 30%
Windows Server 2012 R2 Remote Desktop Services 27%
System Center
System Center 2012 R2 Client Management Suite 55%
System Center 2012 R2 Configuration Manager 55%
Dynamics CRM 2013 Basic 40%
Dynamics CRM 2013 Professional 30%
Dynamics GP 2013 Full User SAL 15%
Dynamics NAV 2013 Full User SAL 15%
Dynamics SL 2011 AM Full User SAL 45%
Dynamics SL 2011 AM Light User SAL 27%
Dynamics SL 2011 AM ESS User SAL 145%


How to make the most of the Price Increase? VIRTUALIZE – the greatest increase comes with the Data center license, as the license will accommodate unlimited virtual machines whereas before it was limited to four. There will be minimal increase to the standard edition in 2014. The remote Desktop Services Subscriber Access License will become just under thirty percent more in 2014.

The other major increase comes with selected Dynamics Sku’s, a revamp in CRM now brings Professional, Basic, and Essential users. For a complete summary please check the SPUR, or refer to this CRM Online article.

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…]

Licensing Tablets For The Enterprise: A Primer

Tablet guy

As consumers increasingly use tablets in their work life,  IT and licensing managers are facing a new series of headaches. Like it or not, though, tablets in the enterprise are here to stay.

Softchoice wanted to help take the sting out of this brave new world with a primer designed to give guidance for delivering and licensing business apps through tablets.

This new brief, written by Softchoice’s virtualization and licensing experts, focuses on the burdens of trying to license a non-Microsoft OS tablet, such as Google’s Android and Apple’s iOS. In it, we cover three common methods to do so:

  • Method 1: VMware infrastructure
  • Method 2: Citrix Infrastructure
  • Method 3: Microsoft only Infrastructure

Download the eBook

Hopefully, getting you the help you need can turn this tablet predicament into a bright spot. After all – enabling workers to be more mobile, and productive, can be an incredible strategic feat.

As the licensing guidelines become more clear in this area (the laws seem to be getting written, as we speak), our team of licensing experts will report back regularly. If you had any specific questions, today, fill in this request form and we’ll get back to you with helpful advice right away.

Start the year off by saving: new Microsoft promotions

There is no better way to start off the new year than by saving! I wanted to share with everyone a few of Microsoft’s current promotions so you can reinvest the savings in other areas of your organization. We’ll continue to post Microsoft incentives on a monthly basis keeping you and your budget top of mind.

[Read more…]

Why picking a virtualization platform is like picking a horse

The Microsoft-Citrix desktop virtualization combo is a popular one for the data center. But is it the right one for you?

Sometimes there are so many options, picking the proverbial horse can feel a bit like a gamble. Today we are checking out a few best practices to make this process easy and to increase your odds of success.


When picking horses it’s essential to get familiar with the home track first: is it full of mud, or more grassy? All these come in to play when choosing the right racer. It’s no different with virtualization at the desktop level. [Read more…]