Monday, January 30, 2012

System Center 2012 Licensing

Overview: Microsoft came up with the licensing model for System Center 2012 recently. Here I will discuss some of the key features of the MS licensing model that consultants and cloud evangelists can take to their customers.
Some of the key features of the MS licensing model include are:
  1. High ROI: Microsoft cloud solutions are licensed on per processor model instead of virtual machine or memory model. I believe this is a very important criterion for selling MS cloud over VMWare since
    1. The cost to the customers does not increase linearly as the cloud landscape increases
    2. MS cloud solutions become more lucrative for our customers since the return of investment on MS based clouds will be higher
  2. Simplicity: Microsoft licensing model is simpler to understand than my phone bills. There are 2 server management licensing models which are best suited for the small scale or large scale cloud adoption and are customer centric:
    1. Datacenter – Ideal for large scale cloud adoption
    2. Standard – Ideal for POCs or small scale cloud adoption
  3. Consolidated: Though the System Center suite comprises of multiple products, the pricing for the products is consolidated thereby making System Center 2012 sell out like a single suite.
Per Microsoft's white paper on comparison between MS and VMWare cloud pricing:
  • Microsoft based cloud would cost 1/5th of a VMWare based cloud for a Medium sized business with 6VMs per processor
  • 1/8th for a Large Enterprise scenario with 6VMs per processor
  • 1/16th for a Large Enterprise with 15VMs per processor assuming 42 physical hosts
Server Licensing Models
Datacenter Licensing Model
  • The datacenter licensing model gives unlimited virtualization capability
  • This is good for clients opting for high density private clouds
  • Each license covers 2 processors
  • Requires minimum of 25 licenses to be purchased
  • Includes software assurance that can be opted for 1, 2, or 3 years
  • Datacenter Licensing includes the following System Center products:
    • Infrastructure Management
      • Configuration Manager (SCCM)
      • Endpoint Protection (SCEP)
      • Virtual Machine Manager (SCVMM)
      • Operations Manager (SCOM)
      • Data Protection Manager (SCDPM)
    • Service Delivery Automation
      • Orchestrator (SCO)
      • Service Manager (SCSM)
    • Application Management Interface
      • App Controller (SCAC)
      • Self Service Portals (This is the differentiator that service delivery companies should be eyeing at)

Standard Licensing Model
  • The standard licensing model gives limited virtualization capability i.e. 2 operating system environments
  • This is good for POC environments or early adopters of cloud who are looking at small implementations
  • All capabilities of System Center 2012 are available with the Standard License
  • Includes software assurance that can be opted for 1, 2, or 3 years

 Reference: Microsoft Licensing Datasheet

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