Extended Security Updates

Windows Server 2012/2012 R2 and SQL Server 2012 are now out of support but it’s possible to purchase Extended Security Updates licences to receive security updates for a further three years for these products. The idea of ESUs isn’t new, but what IS new is that 1-year ESUs are now available through CSP (rather than just an EA/EES) and there’s a new PAYG option for ESUs through Azure Arc. This is a great page to learn more: https://bit.ly/3QBfgnn, and to get links to further information.

Updates to Extended Security Updates

Extended Security Updates are critical if you want to continue safely running Windows Server and SQL Server workloads on versions that are out of support.

Extended Security Updates have been available for SQL Server/Windows Server 2008/2008 R2 since support ended, but will themselves end on July 9, 2022 and January 14, 2023 respectively. If you’re running these older products in Azure then you get 3 years of free Extended Security Updates, and Microsoft have just announced that one more year of Extended Security Updates will be available only on Azure.

It’s also time to think about support ending for SQL Server 2012 on July 12, 2022, and for Windows Server 2012/2012 R2 on October 23, 2023. 3 years of Extended Security Updates will once again be available and, again, they will be free for customers running these versions in Azure. Customers will also be able to purchase ESUs through an Enterprise Agreement for on-premises workloads if they have active Software Assurance on their licences. They will just need to buy licences for the servers they need to cover, and costs will be 75% of the licence cost for the first year, 100% of the licence cost for the second year, and 125% of the licence cost for the third year.

You can find the announcement here: https://bit.ly/3zg0KWL, find a datasheet here: https://bit.ly/3hMnNm6, and access a Customer FAQ here: https://bit.ly/3iskboG.

Microsoft Hosting and CSP Newsletter

The October 2015 Microsoft Hosting and Cloud Service Provider Newsletter is out.

There are two things of particular note if licensing is your thing; firstly, there’s a recap of the news that Microsoft will soon allow customers to bring their own Windows Server and Windows 10 licences to Azure, and the FAQ is worth a look (http://bit.ly/1jeqDj6).

Then there’s an announcement of a new digital workshop if you want to gain a better understanding of the CSP licensing model which is free for partners to register for (http://bit.ly/1k4TzdG).

Sign up for this free monthly newsletter here: http://bit.ly/1iVEvxV.

Microsoft Licensing and the Google Cloud Platform

Google announced in mid July 2015 that Windows Server 2012 R2 is now supported on the Google Cloud Platform: http://bit.ly/1MxgkST.

Windows Server image pricing starts at $0.02 USD/hour on top of the virtual machine cost. All Windows images are charged for a minimum of 10 minutes and after that are charged by the minute, rounded up to the nearest minute: http://bit.ly/1Pve4Ke. License Mobility for server applications is also supported and Google talks about that here: http://bit.ly/1fkBjJV.

Windows Server 2012 R2 Licensing Guide

It’s always good to come across a new Licensing Guide and this Windows Server 2012 R2 one is pretty comprehensive. It’s dated April 2015 and has all the information contained in previously released datasheets as well as a long FAQ section where you’ll find all the usual suspects as well as a couple of useful Azure-related questions (Q21 onwards) clarifying a couple of Licence Mobility issues.

Definitely worth downloading for your Useful Licensing Guides folder: http://bit.ly/1e3uNa4.

Licensing Windows Server 2012 R2 Essentials

Useful Microsoft blog article on changes to Windows Server 2012 R2 Essentials licensing. There’s a reminder that virtualisation licensing rights have been expanded so you can now install Essentials on the physical server AND in a virtual machine, but more interestingly there’s news of the Windows Server Essentials Experience role that’s been added to Standard and Datacenter editions.

Customers can now turn on this role rather than exercising their downgrade rights to install Essentials BUT the licensing remains the same as for the edition purchased – in other words, you’ll still need Windows Server CALs, and RDS CALs if you’re using the Remote Web Access feature. http://bit.ly/1aado63

RDS 2012 R2 FAQ

Windows Server 2012 R2 RDS FAQ document from Microsoft. Three key takeaways: the licensing model remains the same (RDS 2012 CALs are allowed to access Windows Server 2012 R2, and RDS CALs are required in most virtual desktop scenarios), there will be a new SA benefit for RDS CALs (eventually – “by next year” – they will permit access to hosted Windows Server desktops without an RDS SAL), new prices are confirmed for the RDS CALs (word on the street is that there’s a 20% increase): http://bit.ly/18wY96Z.

WS 2012 R2 Licensing Guide out

There’s a good new Windows Server 2012 R2 Licensing Guide available. Three key takeaways: Windows Server 2012 CALs can be used with Windows Server 2012 R2 (which we’d expect), the price of Datacenter edition has increased (now recommend Datacenter edition for customers who have 13 VMs or more running), and the licensing terms have been expanded for virtualisation in Essentials edition (see the FAQ on page 12). Download the guide here: http://bit.ly/1cPL51I