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Category Archives: Licensing

Mindjet MindManager
MindJet have reviewed their recent move to a ‘subscription only’ model and decided to make MindManager perpetual licenses available again.

Mindjet MindManager is now available as a perpetual licensed package for both Windows + Mac at a new lower price.

A single license of Mindjet MindManager now includes a perpetual license for both the Windows (v.11) and Mac (v.10) version of MindJet 11.

Special pricing is available until 28.06.2013 for this product – €299 ex.VAT. Be warned, the price will rise to €349 ex.VAT after this date!

There is also an Upgrade pricing available FOR ALL existing MindManager customers at €179 ex.VAT.

Click here for more details on MindManager, or email me at sean@micromail.ie

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For the second year running, Micromail headed off competition from all over Europe to win the Microsoft Operational Excellence Award for Large Account Resellers at the Microsoft 2012at EMEA Partner Operations Conference recently held in Dublin.

The prize rewards Microsoft partners for meeting or exceeding Large Account Reseller performance criteria. The award was presented to Micromail’s Willy Kelly and Sean Deasy at a ceremony attended by 300 distributors and resellers from Northern Europe and Scandinavia.

“This award from Microsoft confirms the high quality of our operational standards, and our services to customers,” said Willy Kelly, Technical Sales Director, Micromail.

Many thanks to all our customers and partners for your kind congratulations.

ImageSo you’re buying a server? You’ve decided on the hardware and need to address the licensing. Where to begin?!  First you’ll need to license the Server OS of course but which one and how many do you need? Below I will outline the basics of getting up and running with the licensing surrounding Windows Server OS.

At its heart, this process isn’t too complicated. You’ll simply need to license the server and then each device or user connecting to that server. You can choose which Server license suits best, depending on some factors I’ll discuss shortly. Devices and Users are licensed by purchasing Client Access Licenses, or CALs. The type of CAL needed is usually decided by which is more cost effective, again more on this later.

It is worth pointing out initially that with Microsoft licensing, you must purchase the most recent version of the license. However you can choose to deploy a previous version if you please. This ‘downgrade right’ may come into play if your hardware necessitates a previous version for example. The great thing about this licensing right is that you can always deploy the newer version at a later date if you manage to persuade your finance guys to upgrade your system!

With this in mind, new version releases can see new licensing rules come into play. While you might be planning to deploy the version‘n-1’ of the software in question, your purchase will be governed by the version and licensing rules. In my outline below I will only be discussing Windows Server 2012, as this is the current version.

So, let’s get started – you’ll need to decide what edition of Windows Server you’d like to run. The good news is that with the 2012 release things became a lot simpler – there are now 4 editions of Windows Server – Foundation, Essentials, Standard and Datacentre. I’ll be dealing with Standard and Datacentre below*

Windows Server Standard 2012 will suit standalone servers or servers with low to medium virtualization requirements, allowing two virtual instances of the Server OS to be run on up to two processors for every license purchased. The number of licenses you need per server is determined by the number of processors on that server and the number of virtual machines you plan to run. Note – each license will cover up to 2 processors on any one server. You have a server with 4 processors? You will need to purchase 2 licenses. Want to virtualise? Go for it – up to a limit of 4 Virtual Operating Systems Environments (VOSE) of course (in this case)! You can add as many licenses as you like per server but at a certain point (10 or more) it becomes more cost effective to go with the Datacentre edition, which offers unlimited VOSE.

I’ll pause a moment here to note that the product stack/features of Standard and Datacentre are identical. The difference between the editions is essentially the allowed virtual instances. Why virtual instances? Well to cut down on hardware outlay in short. As long as you can manage and maintain a correctly licensed (!) virtual load, the virtual license rights of these new editions can seriously work to your advantage, more anon…

Windows Server Datacentre 2012 is the top of the line offering – as many users as you’d like to license, unlimited virtual instances and the full stack. Remember the feature stack is the same as Standard – this is where your virtual load plans will come into play. If you’re looking at running 10 or more virtual instances, the Datacentre becomes better value. Again you’re licensing per physical processor here. If you have a server with two processors a single Datacentre license will allow you to run unlimited VOSE (remember each allows for up to two processors per server)! If you have a four processor server, you’ll need to purchase 2 licenses.

Those of you familiar with Server licensing may be confused by the ‘per processor’ terminology used here. In the past ‘per processor’ was used strictly to denote specific server licenses that did not need corresponding CALs. With the 2012 release there was a change in terminology and this is no longer the case…more on this in a later post about SQL Server – feel free to contact me if you have any questions on this. In short per processer now simply means counting the processors per server in order to purchase the correct amount of licenses.

Okay, given the brief outline above you’ve come to a decision on which edition of Server 2012 suits your needs. You will now need to consider licensing those devices and users connecting to the server…

CALs are strictly a licensing requirement. You get nothing ‘in your hand’ as such. You should receive a license confirmation and/or receipt of purchase from your reseller of course but as regard deployment – there is no work to do here. So how do you choose which you need? Again this is relatively simple…Buy Device CALs if you have more users than devices; User CALs if you have more devices than users!

The standard Microsoft scenario for Device CALs is the ‘shift worker’ scenario. A fixed desktop has three distinct users over a 24 hour period – three workers, each working 8 hour shifts. You can purchase a User CAL for each of these workers if you please, or simply 1 x Device CAL – as you can see, it is best to purchase 1 x Device CAL. Likewise there are many examples of when purchasing a User CAL is more cost effective than covering each device an employee may use throughout the day. This scenario is true for the Standard and Datacentre editions outlined above.  See here for more details.

This guide to Windows Server licensing is meant as a beginner’s guide. There are plenty of nuances to Microsoft licensing and server licensing in particular but the above info should be enough to point you in the right direction.

* These are essentially the Volume License options, there are also two options which may suit smaller set-ups:

Windows Server Foundation 2012

Windows Server Essentials 2012 

You can contact Sean: sean@micromail.ie, if you have any queries, or if you are looking for a quote. Our product pages are here (Datacenter) and here (Standard)

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Last May, Adobe launched Creative Cloud for individuals; however this licensing model was not suitable for larger teams, as the membership is tied to an individual, rather than an organisation. For example, you may have members of your design team signed up to Creative Cloud, but if they leave, their subscription could leave with them. Adobes newest offering “Creative Cloud for teams” is the solution to this problem.

What is it?

Adobe Creative Cloud for teams is an on-going membership that provides your organisation access the Adobe Creative Suite 6 applications, as well as:

– Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 4
– Adobe Acrobat XI software
– Adobe Muse
– Adobe Edge Tools & Services
– And more…

What does this mean?

As a member, you are entitled to download and use new features as they are released; you get the best tools straightaway. Membership also includes online services* for storage and file sharing, tools for collaboration for workgroups, and a new publishing service that will help your organisation stay innovative and competitive.

The benefits?

– Get the world’s best tools at a more affordable price
– Enable team collaboration in your organisation
– Publish apps and websites
– Stay up to date
– Simplified license management
– Gold support (direct from Adobe) (which covers 24/7 phone support, knowledge base, customer support protal and remote access with a 1hr target response time.

How is licensing simplified?

Adobe’s creative cloud is available through the Value Incentive Plan (VIP) which is the new membership-based volume licensing program. It makes is easier to manage, purchase and then assign permission to use Adobe software and services based on declared user ID numbers.

You will be provided with an administrator portal that allows you to see what’s been purchased and deployed and to whom – all within the same interface. Thus, the agreement administrator has full visibility over who is using the subscription and can re-assign an existing subscription to another user (allowed twice per sub per pear).

If you need additional subscriptions, just add them via your portal and get your designer to work straight away. You just need to place an order with Micromail within 30 days of assigning the new sub. Even better, membership also consolidates your seats and products into a single agreement and automatically prorates any additional seats you might add after the initial purchase to a fixed agreement end date.

Is Creative Cloud for teams ready for Education training environments?

At the moment it’s not an offering that can be used in student labs as access to the Cloud tools are tied into individual email addresses (as opposed to per PC). It just can’t be implemented yet, unfortunately. However Adobe will be addressing this issue.

This does not exclude Educational Institutes entirely however; an excellent educational rate of discount is still available which would suit researchers, technicians and other members of staff.

Micromail is an Adobe certified partner and are offering Creative Cloud for teams under the VIP program now

What to do now?

Review our product page here, get a quote or email us today.

Fionan.

Adobe Licensing Specialist

*Internet connection required. Syncing functionality requires a separate download and agreement to additional terms. Adobe online services, including the Adobe Creative Cloud service, are available only to users 13 and older and require agreement to additional terms and Adobe’s online privacy policy see (www.adobe.com/go/terms). The applications and online services are not available in all countries or languages, may require user registration, and may be subject to change or discontinuation without notice. Additional fees or membership charges may apply.

Windows 8 Step up Promo

Microsoft Windows 8 is out, and with it comes an excellent Step Up promotion. This promotion will run from Nov 1 2012 through to Jan 31 2013. It includes a 40% discount on Open Value Agreement and Open LicenseAgreement with Software Assurance (SA) Volume Licensing Programs, and a 15% discount on Open License Agreement without SA. More about Microsoft Licensing here.

Simply put? That’s a 40% discount on Windows 8 Enterprise Edition with the benefits of SA, and a 15% discount on Windows 8 Pro without the benefits of SA.

Windows 8 Enterprise edition includes premium features designed to meet the mobile productivity, security, manageability, and virtualization needs of today’s businesses. These features include Windows To Go, DirectAccess, BrancheCache, AppLocker, and VDI Enhancements.

Software Assurance includes the right to Enterprise editions, flexible use rights, and other benefits including end-user and IT training and 24×7 support. Customers with Software Assurance also have the option to purchase MDOP with App-V, and other virtualization management products.

WARNING:  With Microsoft Windows XP reaching end of support on April 8th, 2014, it is important that you move to a new version of Microsoft Windows desktop operating system, and the Step Up Promotion to Windows 8 Offer provides the perfect solution.

You can take advantage of the Windows 8 Promo and still deploy Windows 7 under downgrade rights. You can then deploy Windows 8 when it suits you.

The October PUR states: Access Rights for External Users under the Server/CAL Licensing Model
With the 2013 versions of Exchange Server, Lync Server and SharePoint Server, we are consolidating the right for External Users to access the server under the server license assigned to the server on which the software runs. There will be no 2013 version of the External Connector License or SharePoint for Internet Sites. Other existing products will continue to offer separate External Connector Licenses or require CAL for access by External Users. You should refer to the Product-specific license terms for the product you have licensed, to determine what the licensing requirements and/or options are for that product.

Does anyone know what the thinking is behind this? Will it mean an increase in the price of Exchange, SharePoint and Lync 2013 Servers? An Exchange 2010 External Connector costs about 70 times the cost of a Standard Server license, which is equivalent to about 740 Standard CALs. With SharePoint the difference in cost between Server & SFIS Standard is relatively small (little more than double), equivalent to 70 Standard CALs.

As I read the new PUR External Connector licenses are no longer required for external users who require Standard CAL functionality, though Windows External Connector licenses will still be required for users authenticating via Active Directory. External users requiring access to Enterprise functionality will require both Standard & Enterprise CALs.

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Micromail are being contacted by more and more companies who are being faced with a software audit. We have in conjunction with one of the leading SAM vendors put together a white paper so that you are prepared for an audit as it’s a case of when rather than if…..

According to Gartner, there is a 65% chance of an organisation being audited by at least one software vendor. This figure is particularly worrying as audits not only tie-up resources but are also extremely costly (one company togged up a cost of $500,000). But audits happen for a good reason; it is reckoned that around $59 billion worth of software is used illegally (i.e. without a license) globally.

Fortunately, there are steps you can take to minimise the impact that an audit would have on your company, as well as ensure that you are indeed in line with all legal requirements.

Interested? Click here for an executive white paper that explains everything you can do to prepare for (and prevent) an audit.