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Micromail has once again won Microsoft Ireland’s prestigious LSP Partner of the Year award. The 2016 award was presented at Microsoft’s annual Irish Partner Awards dinner at the Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC) in Toronto on 12th July.

The LSP Partner of the Year award recognizes excellence in licensing solutions & services, along with the highest levels of customer service. It confirms Micromail’s position as the most successful LSP (Licensing Solutions Partner) in the country.

Congratulations to all the Micromail team. This award is a tribute to their expertise in software licensing, and their dedication to exceptional customer service.

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:, if you have any queries, or if you are looking for a quote. Our product pages are here (Datacenter) and here (Standard)

Micromail are delighted to present Adobe Acrobat XI. Just next week, we will be hosting a joint demonstration with

Adobe on the 25th of October in the Morrison Hotel (Lower Ormond Quay); it’s an open invite, so please feel free to pass this on to anyone interested.

Please note spaces are limited.

An Adobe product specialist will be highlighting all the best and latest features of Acrobat XI.

Date: Thursday 25th of October

Venue: Morrison Hotel (Lower Ormond Quay)
Time: 09.45 – 12.00

Register Now! 


09.45 – 10.00 Registration & Coffee/Tea
10.00 – 12.00 Acrobat Demonstration & Q&A Session


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.

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

Micromail Operational Excellance Award 2102

Sean Deasy and Cormac Hayes accepted the award for Micromail. Contrary to belief, beards were not mandatory on the night.

The prize rewards Microsoft partners for meeting or exceeding Large Account  Reseller performance criteria. The award was presented to Micromail’s Cormac  Hayes 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

Combined with retaining our Gold Partner status for the 6th consecutive year and our recent ISO certification its been a great 25th anniversary so far!

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

Micromail is celebrating a successful quarter-century!

As we are feeling misty eyed (for a moment or two), we would like to share some of that history with you. We were set up in 1987 to supply software to computer users, along with manuals and books on every aspect of computing & IT. Our first website and an online shop were added in 1995. Our areas of expertise grew over the years in response to technological developments and to customer demand, and we developed the range of competencies which has made us one of Ireland’s leading suppliers of software licensing and services.

Our first 25 years in business have been full of interest and incident. We witnessed the rise, fall & rise again of Apple & the late Steve Jobs. When we entered the industry Lotus 1-2-3 and WordPerfect reigned supreme, only to be displaced within a few years by Microsoft Excel & Microsoft Word. In the nineties we sold thousands of books about the amazing growth of the internet, and in 2000 and 2001 we experienced the dotcom boom & bust: among the casualties were several of our own customers.

We have partnered with Microsoft since the early years of its rise to dominance, and forged strong and enduring relationships with other major software vendors like Adobe, Symantec & Embarcadero. We have enjoyed playing an active part in the challenging, demanding and ever-changing IT scene. We have no doubt that each successive wave of innovation will create even more astonishing new technologies in the future.

We look forward to the next quarter-century, ready for the challenges ahead, and hope that you, our loyal customers, will continue the journey with us.

Happy Birthday to Us!