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back to article Paying for Windows Server 2012: Worse than using it?

Paying too much, getting audited by Microsoft, unused licenses – Microsoft licensing is bureaucratic headache that often detracts from the joy of using the software. Fortunately with Windows Server 2012, Microsoft has made some fundamental changes to the way it boxes and charges that make things easier and clearer. No wonder: …

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Joke

opensource

Remember: Windows is only free - if your lawyer and accountant's time has no value

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Anonymous Coward

The fact that you need a book to understand it

Shows how far this licensing lunacy has gone...

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N2
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Re: The fact that you need a book to understand it

A book to understand it? more like a gang of consultants and lawyers

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Devil

Specifically ...

... refer to the license paragraph concerning the disposition of your soul.

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Linux

Microsoft...

The software company that you pay, pay, pay and pay again.

At the very least you pay for:

1) The OS itself

2) CALs so you can access your own data in your own server

3) TS CALs so you can connect remotely to your server to use your data

4) Support which is completely useless (How many times did MS support solve any complex problem?)

And let's not mention Exchange or MS SQL.

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Re: Microsoft...

MS SQL is easy. its per processor for us. TMG is too. Exchange CALs are a must.

Dont forget external connector licences.

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Unhappy

Re: Microsoft...

Hear, hear!

Just today I was asked by a client to quote for a replacement for their aging Windows SBS server. Requirements are for Exchange and they unfortunately also need SQL server for some weird accounting application.

Any ideas??? With the demise of the SBS range what are the options? I spent an age trying to figure out the options as I've not sold an MS server for a few years now. Anyway it seems like a VERY expensive exercise and not a very easy one at that.

And no, using Office 365 for the Exchange side is not an option either.

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Mushroom

Re: Microsoft...

The equivalent of 'SBS Essentials' is 'Server 2012 Essentials'. http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/server-cloud/windows-server-essentials/default.aspx - Exchange is no longer included in the base product license so that those that move to the cloud will not pay for something that they don't require.

If you have Software Assurance on Windows SBS 2011 Standard, you will receive one Windows Server 2012 Standard license and one Exchange Server 2010 Standard license as your free ungrade entitlement.

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Mushroom

Re: Microsoft...

Per processor SQL licensing is expensive - and is only normally used if you have loads of clients. Usually CAL based licensing is cheaper.

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Mushroom

Re: Microsoft...

Microsoft server licensing + support is still significantly cheaper than licensing an enterprise Linux distribution like Suse or Redhat for an equivalent server OS...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Microsoft...

John, you clearly don't have a clue about Microsoft support. In having used many different vendor's support, Microsoft are a league ahead of anything else on the market.

When we escalate problems to Microsoft, they are generally only complex problems - and they are invariably resolved quickly and efficiently - and within the SLA defined by how critical we state that the incident is - and if it comes down to the problem a bug with the product then Microsoft refund the cost of the support call or credit your number of calls remaining if you have a support agreement.

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Re: Microsoft...

Hmmmm, how big are they? Sounds like OEM copy of server std, SQL express and full exchange 2010 standard would do it assuming the finance app isn't huge. The only expensive part is Exchange - why not Office365 or another hosted mail provider?

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Re: Microsoft...

The whopping grand total of 3 users!!!!

Which is why the expected outlay for Server "Essentials" + Exchange (they want everything on-premise for valid reasons hence no Office365)+SQL will likely scare them as far as pricing goes.

They have yet only mentioned SQL without being specific as to whether that was MS-SQL, in which case I have a choice of any number of Linux based options.

Anyway, the last Windows server system I installed was Server 2003 having ditched MS at that point and moved everything to Linux systems. I had been quite impressed by the direction Windows 2012 (core) was taking but after trying to get Remote Desktop Services (as an example) working recently and having nothing but "license activation issues" not to mention the clusterf%^ of pricing options and I'm thinking " what's the point?"

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Microsoft...

Things start getting crazy when you try to build a website with SQL Server backend as we've just found.

This is a website with maybe upto 1000 transactions a day.. so not exactly Amazon here.

We need some form of mirroring as we just won't be able to catch up with those transactions if that first database looses an hour or twos data.

That counts out SQL Server Web edition.

So SQL Server Standard edition then. With CAL's? No can't do that because then apparently we'd need a cal for every user that accesses our website. OK so core licencing then. That's £2500 or there abouts.

Except actually Microsoft intend to phase out the Mirroring of standard edition. The new AlwaysOn is the way forward. Except that's not actually in anything but Enterprise. Which is £13kish from what we can see.

Oh and what about the funky new Business Intelligence stuff? Most of the interesting stuff appears to be not included in Standard. So there's SQL Server BI... but that's not available on a Core Licence. So again we would have to select Enterprise.

The price of this is just way out of scope for the project though...

Next time we won't be choosing SQL Server.

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Re: Microsoft...

Hi @AC 09:18

1000 transactions a day isn't an awful lot. That's only 50 transactions per hour for a 20 hour day. If your DBs are under 10GB, then SQL Server Express would easily be available to handle 1000 transaction per day, albeit on one processor (if I remember correctly), and the Web edition should have no problem at all with this workload. The Web edition for SQL Server 2008 R2 supports 4 processors (not cores), so with a max. of 16 cores, you should have no CPU problems at all.

How busy is your server at its peak? Do you have I/O problems with your disk subsystem? How big are your DBs? If you are very concerned about losing data, then take your transaction log backups very often - say every 15 minutes.

Mirroring is useful if you need automatic failover of servers. Log-shipping may also be alternative for you.

I hope that helps you somewhat.

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Linux

Re: Microsoft's support

Dear AC,

I personally had to call MS three times in my lifetime as IT person, they are completely useless for problems beyond basic stuff, or mere software set-ups under "official" scenarios.

1) Found an OS bug on Windows 2000 stopping a

MS acknowledged it but said they will not patch, we weren't paying enough bazillions more in support. The fact that we had 2000 users+ using the application and we were paying already lots for support wasn't enough. We got told we were not big enough. We got the recommendation of:

a) Keep running NT4 (Thanks, we knew that already)

b) Move to a MSSQL backend. (For a lot of money of course, and we will have to pay the cost of migration/development)

2) Found an OS bug on WinXP, MS did not acknowledge that one, got patched on SP3 years later.

3) Licensing questions about TS in windows 2008R2, no one at MS, no one could explain me what the policy was regarding a "particular situation" of my customer. In the end I found what the official policy was in an O'Reilly book about Win 2008R2 TS.

4) This one I did not notice but a colleague did, big problem with hyper-v storage killing VMs, MS's response was utter bollocks, in the end a number of large business in the UK agreed to share information about their experiences and found a work around.

This is what happens with most large proprietary software companies today.

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Re: Microsoft...

For exchange you will need an exchange licence (I am assuming that since you used to use SBS then it will be an "all on one server" if you have various exchange servers then this wont work.) and an exchange CAL per PC connected. If you let "non employees" access your exchange server remotely using OWA then you will need an external connector licence too.

For SQL server you have a choice either a "per core" licence so you dont need cals or a licence + CALS. Again it depends how you use the SQL database.

Give someone like "phoenix software" a ring and talk to them (or Pugh or any other software company).

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Mushroom

Re: Microsoft...

It's still an order of magnitue cheaper than Oracle.

If you want to go free like MySQL, etc, you get an order of magnitude more pain and many times more security vulnerabilities instead. It all depends on need versus budget....

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Microsoft's support

JS -

1. Hot fix support is a paid service option. if you dont pay for it, you can hardly expect to get it for free. If its a major bug that impacts others likely they will fix it anyway.

2. Shit happens. If you can demonstrate that the product is not working as it should and they can't fix it then that's a bug, unless it's not specifed functionality then it might be a 'feature'. At which point in that process did you drop the ball?

3. MS for years have had licensing specialists on the end of the phone - as have the vendor that you should be buying your licensing through. This is not a question for MS Support unless its a suspected bug / problem.

4. 'Utter bollocks' is not technically accurate enough to understand the context. Sounds like you didnt demonstrate a reproducable issue that was acknowledged as a bug. With complex problems most of the effort in resolving it can be in collecting enough information and logs to demonstrate where the problem lies.

As I stated I have dealt with many large vendors, and I have to say that Microsoft are one of the best for support.

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Re: Microsoft...

Second the "License Activation" issues. Server 2012 from the MAP can only be activated once - after that it won't activate. So keep this in mind if you're thinking of playing around with it.

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Mushroom

Re: Microsoft...

Not true. If you need to reactivate on new hardware you can phone them. And this is only relevant for the smallest of companies that buy individual shrink wrapped licences. Comanies with an ELA would have an activation key that can be used more than once - and are required to 'true up' to actual use once a year.

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Mushroom

Re: Microsoft...

(It will activate again on the same hardware with no issues. Plus you get 60 days before you have to activate it)

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Microsoft...

Perhaps OpenXchange might suit ?

If it's on 3 users, then it must be the shared calendar they need, yes ?

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I'd appreciate the help

Looking forward to it

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Happy

No thank you.

We dropped MS products after they retired NT - we moved two servers to FreeBSD and never regretted it - they ran for 10 years and were still working when we retired them a couple of months back.

Neither server crashed in 10 years of operation - we just shut them down once a year and vacuumed out the dust bunnies - now that's what I call maintenance.

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Linux

Re: No thank you.

Around 2005, got fed up with a Windows Media Server that kept falling over. Eventually had enough and installed my first ever Linux VM, remotely too. Setup was as simple as can be and took about 45 minutes and that box is STILL running to this day. I don't think I've logged into it in years (yes, yes I know it ain't patched & don't care either).

Anyway that baby has made me £50/month for the past 7 years and besides the running cost of $5 a month has cost me zero.

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Anonymous Coward

I vote we use RICHTO as kindling to light the fire that triggers the rockets that drop both Phobos and Deimos onto Microsoft Licenceing.

Who's with me?

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Anonymous Coward

Bully

This sort of comment is bullying. I admit that RICHTO can be a little annoying from time to time, but this seems to come from a genuine passion for the software he likes. Moving from criticism to trying to get a team together who want to "use him as kindling" crosses a line from legitimate criticism into bullying.

I notice you weren't brave enough to no post with your handle. Me? I don't post with my handle because of bullying and threatening behavior of other commentors in the past.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Bully

Aw, diddums.

Let me see if I can assemble this into words with small enough sylables for you. IT isn't bullying to want to use RICHTO as kindling for the simple reason that turnabout is fair play. The entity known as RICHTO is one of the douchiest entities on the forums, especially to anyone that disagrees with it. If you want a bully, consider the consistently deragotry comments that stem from the fireicon'ed one combined with the incessant ad homeniems directed at anyone who disagrees with it.

More to the point, it outright lies on a regular basis in an attempt to…what? Build hype for its brand? It is a paid astroturfer, and a bad one at that. There is no respect for it. There is no sympathy, compassion, empathy or sense of shared culture. It is a paid extension of a corporate marketing department and as such is entirely fair game.

For that matter, there is absolutely nothing stating it is one individual, although the very strict "in business hours" posting timeframe would seem to indicate this is possible.

Believe me, when I bully someone, you'll know. Lashing out at an already provably thick0skinned astroturfer to let the bastard know it's unwelcome here isn't bullying. It is purposefully lacking subtlety.

But here, take this beer in consolation. Mayhap it will help with the bent feelers.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Bully

Textbook bully.

Still anonymous.

Reacts badly to being called out.

Claims it's not really bullying.

Says it's ok because the person annoys them.

Says that "When I bully people, they really know about it."

You're a wonderful human being.

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Facepalm

Anyone who doesn't understand Microsoft licensing should leave the profession ASAP. It's about as straightforward as it gets, and there is a nice document to explain it all (no, not a book). If you can't be arsed to read this document and hence don't know what OSE stands for then it's hardly their fault you're having a bad day. More importantly, if you can't grasp counting up VOSEs and processors, then installing software let alone designing and supporting a solution is going to be way out of your reach. You may succeed in getting software on the server but your users won't enjoy the experience.

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Anonymous Coward

M$ are watching these posts....

Hey M$! Why don't you sort out Office 2013, i'd rather use Open Office !

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AC 09:10» i'd rather use Open Office !

Then do. Are you being forced against your will to use MS Office?

Personally, I miss Claris MacWrite Pro...

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Anonymous Coward

Some of us don't have much to do with MS (I am a network tech working with Debian and Cisco routers / firewalls), I have little idea about MS Licensing and do not feel I need to leave the profession because of it.

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Life isnt always greener on the other side. Zimbra isnt much cheaper than exchange and due to bundle packs may work out much more. At least with CAL counts you can buy CALs then not bother till annual renewal when you redeclare. Not so with Zimbra.

Plus I second the microsoft licences explanations. It is a lot clearer now than it used to be and there is a simple table that explains a per processor (redundant now), per core and the necessity of CALS. They have simplified when you need an external connector and now publish details on schemes such as EES etc.

Newer licences come with VM included which is also a bonus.

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Mushroom

You might want to start learning. Many companies are starting to have real concerns about putting OSs with very high vulnerability counts like Enteprise Linux distributions in potentially exposed roles.

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Mushroom

What do they need to 'Sort Out'? - it works fine here.

If you can use Open Office then good luck to you, but it's not a credible option for most people working in the real world...

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Mushroom

SQL Server

Have you seen the processor pricing of SQL 2012!!!! Scary, scary times.

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Re: SQL Server

SQL Server 2012 prices are now per CORE not PROCESSOR anymore.

Microsoft wants to play with the big boys now.

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Mushroom

Re: SQL Server

Oracle RAC starts at $100K per CPU without extra options!

If you dont want per CPU SQL server licensing then you can buy CALs instead...CPU licensing is for unlimited users which is why it is expensive

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Linux

2012 licensing - not as easy as Linux

So MS have made it easier to pay them.. Thats nice from a company that taxpayers around the world are forced to fund.

I think we'll stick to Linux thanks, licensing is really easy on that platform.

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Mushroom

Re: 2012 licensing - not as easy as Linux

That is at least true - with Linux you just have to sign one really big cheque each year...A larger one than for the equivalent Windows server + support in most cases:

https://www.redhat.com/apps/store/server/

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Anonymous Coward

Re: 2012 licensing - not as easy as Linux

Getting someone else to do the work for you will always cost, though with GPLd software the inner-workings are not hidden from view. In either case (proprietary or GPLd), if you want to pay someone to help then brace for monetary extraction.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Pay???

Please give it a rest with the fanboyism and the ridiculous claims and accusations you make about Windows and Linux - it's as bad as RICHTO. I use both Windows and Linux servers and workstations on a daily basis and they're both pretty good. Each OS is better at some things than the other.

I get really sick of the fanboys on both sides making me feel that people think I'm like them whenever I make a comment about Windows doing something that Linux can't or vice versa. It's getting to the point here where you can't say anything positive or negative about an OS without being accused of being rounded on and slagged off.

In conclusion: Fanboys: Shut up, because other people will think I'm like you.

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Re: Pay???

I can probably get a working server 2008R2 with exchange, IIS, DHCP and DNS faster than I could a debian server. Sure thats because my knowledge of linux is far worse than my windows knowledge. Making a squid caching proxy took longer.

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Mushroom

Re: Pay???

If you are going to post such claims then at least post proof, otherwise all i have to do to refute them is point out that almost none of these claims are true...in fact i think *open standards, open source* is the only one that cant be refuted.

I will just ask you to demostrate 2 things. Find me a Linux VM with 1 million IOPS throughput, and a Linux hypervisor that can manage to support such a VM:

http://blogs.vmware.com/performance/2012/08/1millioniops-on-1vm.html

http://blogs.technet.com/b/schadinio/archive/2012/07/07/over-1-million-iops-from-a-single-vm.aspx

Secondly find me a Linux fileserver that can outperform the 16.8GB a second that you can get from a Windows based one:

http://www.boston.co.uk/press/2012/09/mellanox-enable-the-highest-performance-for-cloud-database-and-storage-infrastructure.aspx

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Headmaster

A modest proposition.

Regularly speaking with S Africans, I'm not afraid of not ignoring a double negative or two, but still:

Why not change "Redmond COULDN'T AFFORD NOT to make some changes" into "Redmond HAD to make some changes"?

Or are there pay-per-word ElReg assignments? I think we should be told.

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Happy

RE: A modest proposition.

Hey, back off Marvin... Double negatives are great! Well done Register for creating a doozy ;)

"Redmond COULDN'T AFFORD NOT to make some changes" .. makes you think and hurts your brain! :D

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"RICHTO

Re: Microsoft...

Microsoft server licensing + support is still significantly cheaper than licensing an enterprise Linux distribution like Suse or Redhat for an equivalent server OS..."

Hmm, I have a whole enterprise on SLES with support, it's 15-20% cost of MS !, did you forget to add CAL costs ?

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