Monday, June 4, 2012

SC 2012 Licensing, Let’s Complify. Part I: Teaser.

Postings in the same series:
Part  IIMeet Contoso!
Part III – Know What You Have
Part IV – Time To Do Some Math
Part V – Some Q & A

I know, the word ‘complify’ – as stated in the title of this new series - doesn’t exist and yet it describes beautifully the situation with SC 2012 licensing model.

Down from 200+ SKUs to 2. How hard can it be?
Yes, I agree. It has indeed become much more simpler since we moved from 200+ SKUs for the previous versions of System Center to just 2 for the SC 2012 licenses, Standard and Data Center. Also the Management Servers for any SC 2012 product don’t need SC 2012 licenses any more (compared to the previous System Center versions) and on top of it, SQL Server Standard is FREE as long as it’s used for the System Center 2012 product(s) only. So how hard can it be? Isn’t it simplified now?

In theory very simple and straight forward. But in real life there can be some scenario’s which make the situation which seems so simple a bit more complex. Hence the word ‘complified’ was born. Cameron Fuller thought this one up at MMS and I must say it’s an excellent word for this situation.

Do I like licensing questions? Uh… not really no…
I have tried to stay away from licensing questions for a long long time and succeeded in it as well. Normally I ‘answered’ questions like those by stating it’s a hard job to get it right and just too easy to make it wrong. But recently I’ve had a couple of situations in which this approach wasn’t viable anymore, causing me to take a relative deep dive into the licensing side of SC 2012.

Questions which needed answers, only some answers created new and tougher questions…
On top of it a couple of weeks ago Cameron Fuller, Marcus Oh and me started an interesting discussion all about SC 2012 licensing. Based on that discussion we cooked up an example environment (Contoso or Fabrikam, what ever) and based a SC 2012 licensing scenario on that environment. All of us reached out to our connections in order to get some answers and soon we got them. However, some of those answers were contradicting and one answer even outright strange.  So we ended up with more questions then when we started the whole scenario. It seemed like a complified scenario now.

So it was time for a second attempt during which I reached out to my contacts within Microsoft Netherlands. I described them the example environment, gave them the scenario and the answers we got so far. Soon I got the answers, all of them. Soon the complified scenario was cleared up and explained in a good manner. Awesome!

So THANK YOU Microsoft Netherlands! Really appreciate your help in this one. Always nice to have such good contacts.

A new posting is about to see the light
Soon I’ll post a blog article all about that very same example environment and licensing scenario. Based on that example environment I’ll do some calculations for the costs and show you what’s the best (cheapest) solution and do some Q&A as well.

However, since licensing is a tricky thing (it’s just too easy to mix things up) they agreed with me to write the posting but asked me to send it to them before putting it on my blog. That way they can double check it in order to see I got it right and – when needed – correct it. Which is a good thing since I don’t want to post crappy stuff.

So please wait a few more days and soon (at least that ‘s what I hope) I’ll post THE posting of all postings all about SC 2012 licensing. So stay tuned!

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