Windows Server Upgrade - MS Retail, Open, Open Value or Open Value Subscription



  • This year I will be upgrading our 7 Windows VM's from 2K8 R2 as it is EOL in January 2020. I am trying to figure out the best route to take with regards MS licensing programs.

    I found Microsoft's License Advisor and was wondering if those prices are typical? I am guessing they are

    SMB with <70 users (half include clients who use RDS). I have whittled my way down to 7 Windows VM's (2 DC's, 2 RDS hosts, SQL server, Email, and File). In addition, I have two 2012 servers for special purposes but will upgrade one and remove the other at a later date.

    We normally buy outright and skip an OS version but didn't make the move to 2016 for certain reason (unrelated to IT).

    In the small spreadsheet I started this morning, I discovered the following;

    A. Buying outright without SA is cheapest but not the best value.
    B. Open with SA seems more seems to be more expensive over all in the cost vs value.
    C. Open Value is higher cost but seems to have the best possible value (Spread payments).
    D. Open Value Sub seems best Cost vs Value if perpetually staying on Windows

    The extra values that SA brings is mobility and Upgrades.

    I am wondering what the other people's experiences have discovered about which program provides the best value vs cost?



  • @pmoncho said in Windows Server Upgrade - MS Retail, Open, Open Value or Open Value Subscription:

    A. Buying outright without SA is cheapest but not the best value.

    I typically word that as "not cheapest" to avoid confusion. I think I know what you mean, but in theory best value and cheapest should often overlap. Not the cheapest "up front", but SA is generally the cheapest overall.



  • My experience is that SA is basically a foregone conclusion. My rule is "if you don't want SA, then you should rethink having Windows." SA is really just "upgrade support" and why pay for Windows if you don't get support and upgrades - unless the intention is to keep it for one release then migrate to Linux. But once you know you are keeping Windows, you need SA, otherwise you just take on unneeded risks. Keeping software updated is just part of running software in a business. I essentially don't even present SA as an option, it's just part of the cost of acquiring Windows. Everyone wins.

    Beyond that, which plan is best, is more for the finance department to decide. Depends on your cash, tax, income situation. Not something IT should really decide.



  • @scottalanmiller said in Windows Server Upgrade - MS Retail, Open, Open Value or Open Value Subscription:

    @pmoncho said in Windows Server Upgrade - MS Retail, Open, Open Value or Open Value Subscription:

    A. Buying outright without SA is cheapest but not the best value.

    I typically word that as "not cheapest" to avoid confusion. I think I know what you mean, but in theory best value and cheapest should often overlap. Not the cheapest "up front", but SA is generally the cheapest overall.

    Cheapest is not the right word. We can change it to lowest cost and based on the numbers I have found buying outright without upgrading till EOL is the lowest cost. Not the best value though.



  • @pmoncho said in Windows Server Upgrade - MS Retail, Open, Open Value or Open Value Subscription:

    @scottalanmiller said in Windows Server Upgrade - MS Retail, Open, Open Value or Open Value Subscription:

    @pmoncho said in Windows Server Upgrade - MS Retail, Open, Open Value or Open Value Subscription:

    A. Buying outright without SA is cheapest but not the best value.

    I typically word that as "not cheapest" to avoid confusion. I think I know what you mean, but in theory best value and cheapest should often overlap. Not the cheapest "up front", but SA is generally the cheapest overall.

    Cheapest is not the right word. We can change it to lowest cost and based on the numbers I have found buying outright without upgrading till EOL is the lowest cost. Not the best value though.

    Ah, I would consider that a non-viable option and price versus paying for the updates. Certainly not updating at all is "cheaper", but once we start going down paths like that, things like "just not doing the project" come out even "cheaper". There have to be some constraints. Running any software to EOL is an emergency panic situation when something has gone horribly wrong, not a process any business should intend to do, it's a fallback situation.



  • @scottalanmiller said in Windows Server Upgrade - MS Retail, Open, Open Value or Open Value Subscription:

    My experience is that SA is basically a foregone conclusion. My rule is "if you don't want SA, then you should rethink having Windows."

    That I totally get that which is why I moved a few process over to Linux and will be trying to move a few more as I am able to.



  • Our clients are a blend of Open Value Agreement with the Windows Desktop Upgrade/Enterprise license moving to Windows E5 to gain Advanced Threat Protection and security licensing for the desktop.

    When renewing the Open Value Agreement the perpetual licenses stay with the client and the renewal is SA Only.

    Looking long term, an Open Value Agreement pays for itself in the third renewal so years ten, eleven, and twelve all things being equal.

    SA is required or O365 E3 and up (I think) for Office to run in a RDS setup.

    If more than one Session Host is going to be set up then it's a best practice to put Broker/Gateway/Web on one VM and the Session Hosts on the other.



  • @PhlipElder said in Windows Server Upgrade - MS Retail, Open, Open Value or Open Value Subscription:

    SA is required or O365 E3 and up (I think) for Office to run in a RDS setup.

    My understanding as well. To keep that simple, we just go E3 almost always.



  • @PhlipElder said in Windows Server Upgrade - MS Retail, Open, Open Value or Open Value Subscription:

    Looking long term, an Open Value Agreement pays for itself in the third renewal so years ten, eleven, and twelve all things being equal.

    Thanks for the confirmation. I was running some numbers this weekend, but I was just using MS's site and the numbers only went to year 6. I speculated that OV was better past year 9 and on.

    SA is required or O365 E3 and up (I think) for Office to run in a RDS setup.

    We currently use RDS for an LOB app only.



  • @pmoncho said in Windows Server Upgrade - MS Retail, Open, Open Value or Open Value Subscription:

    @PhlipElder said in Windows Server Upgrade - MS Retail, Open, Open Value or Open Value Subscription:

    Looking long term, an Open Value Agreement pays for itself in the third renewal so years ten, eleven, and twelve all things being equal.

    Thanks for the confirmation. I was running some numbers this weekend, but I was just using MS's site and the numbers only went to year 6. I speculated that OV was better past year 9 and on.

    SA is required or O365 E3 and up (I think) for Office to run in a RDS setup.

    We currently use RDS for an LOB app only.

    I kinda expect MS to ditch OV and value, etc for O365 and M365 in the next 5-10 years. I'm sure there will have pricing breaks for large customers, but the simplification is worth is to MS.

    Though, in typing that, I'm left working about on prem servers. I just can't see those going away in the next 20 years. So there will likely be some form of OV, etc to cover those. And hell, if they are going to cover servers, it's really not that much more to just leave the desktops in there too. /sigh.



  • @Dashrender said in Windows Server Upgrade - MS Retail, Open, Open Value or Open Value Subscription:

    @pmoncho said in Windows Server Upgrade - MS Retail, Open, Open Value or Open Value Subscription:

    @PhlipElder said in Windows Server Upgrade - MS Retail, Open, Open Value or Open Value Subscription:

    Looking long term, an Open Value Agreement pays for itself in the third renewal so years ten, eleven, and twelve all things being equal.

    Thanks for the confirmation. I was running some numbers this weekend, but I was just using MS's site and the numbers only went to year 6. I speculated that OV was better past year 9 and on.

    SA is required or O365 E3 and up (I think) for Office to run in a RDS setup.

    We currently use RDS for an LOB app only.

    Though, in typing that, I'm left working about on prem servers. I just can't see those going away in the next 20 years. So there will likely be some form of OV, etc to cover those. And hell, if they are going to cover servers, it's really not that much more to just leave the desktops in there too. /sigh.

    I'm thinking MS might flip the mobility rights. You purchase through Azure and then have mobility to use a single on-premise DC or DR.



  • Is there anyone out there using OV non-company wide with spread payments?

    If so, I am trying to find out if I should purchase all licenses that I think I MAY need upfront?

    If I can add to my license (additional CAL's or Server License), how is it calculated if it is during middle of the license year?



  • @pmoncho said in Windows Server Upgrade - MS Retail, Open, Open Value or Open Value Subscription:

    Is there anyone out there using OV non-company wide with spread payments?

    If so, I am trying to find out if I should purchase all licenses that I think I MAY need upfront?

    If I can add to my license (additional CAL's or Server License), how is it calculated if it is during middle of the license year?

    It is a lower price, but I don't recall how much lower...

    Here's how it worked the last time I looked. Assuming a 3 year term,
    year 0 - purchase X licenses
    year 1 - added 4 licenses, pay base X fee, pay 4 * 2nd year renewal fee (which is lower than full term cost, but more than full term divided by 3 * 2)
    year 2 - added 2, pay new base X fee (which includes the previously added 4), pay 2 * 3rd year renewal fee (see #2)

    You do save money this way compared to buying X + 6 in the very beginning.



  • @Dashrender

    Sweet. That is what I was hoping. I have a couple 2012R2 servers that I wanted to convert at a later date. This will make it much easier up front.

    In a few other posts, I heard a few good things about PCM. For software licenses, I normally bought retail or went through CDW. Any other good VAR's out there?



  • @pmoncho said in Windows Server Upgrade - MS Retail, Open, Open Value or Open Value Subscription:

    Is there anyone out there using OV non-company wide with spread payments?

    If so, I am trying to find out if I should purchase all licenses that I think I MAY need upfront?

    If I can add to my license (additional CAL's or Server License), how is it calculated if it is during middle of the license year?

    All of our clients, and us too, run Open Value Agreement with the spread payment option. Company-wide was too restrictive so we never did go with it.

    You can always add licenses to the agreement at a later date. Keep in mind years two and three will have two and full payments for the license respectively so the numbers would be higher.



  • @PhlipElder said in Windows Server Upgrade - MS Retail, Open, Open Value or Open Value Subscription:

    @pmoncho said in Windows Server Upgrade - MS Retail, Open, Open Value or Open Value Subscription:

    Is there anyone out there using OV non-company wide with spread payments?

    If so, I am trying to find out if I should purchase all licenses that I think I MAY need upfront?

    If I can add to my license (additional CAL's or Server License), how is it calculated if it is during middle of the license year?

    All of our clients, and us too, run Open Value Agreement with the spread payment option. Company-wide was too restrictive so we never did go with it.

    Here are the numbers I get using MS License Advisor (for part numbers) with pcm.com pricing.
    Does that look roughly correct?

    c26878e2-7acb-4be3-ac54-890c7cc7f7b1-image.png