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Acquiring and licensing the Azure who – Operations Management Suite

We present many times to the client this solution, which runs on Azure brings benefits too great for it’s it administrator.

Has been much talked about the who, originally called System Center Advisor, after Log Insights (Using the Azure Log Analytics (OMS) and the SCOM on Same Machine and https://msincic.wordpress.com/2014/05/14/system-center-advisor-preview-news/)

I’m very fond of showing the Health Check solutions (Active Directory and SQL) and Change Log:

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But many do not understand how the licensing to purchase this solution.

What are the possibilities to acquire?

First is good to remember the basic levels that a management space (as they are called the "tenants") can be:

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  • Free – Useful for testing because it does not limit to only a few of the packages, but the collection is limited to 512 KB per day of logs and only 7 days retention
  • Standalone -allows you to collect without restriction of size and retention of 30 days (can be customized), has no price per server/node for storage consumed. However, it does not allow to use all the solution packages that need to be acquired in packages E1 or E2
  • Standard and Premium -allows you to collect without restriction, retention of 365 days and allows use of solution packages, depending on the chosen level
  • Who – this is the bundle E1 or E2 that can be purchased on an as-needed basis, with price per managed nodes and that includes System Center licensing and other services
Which of the models worth?

If your intention is to use the counters and how Healthy Check solutions and some analysis, you can select the Standalone plan where you can use several solutions paying only the log store so much.

But with the Standalone cannot evolve into other solutions, such as network traffic analysis and mapping solutions.

Due to this limitation, the ideal is to have the bundles of who where you will be able to choose the solutions and also include a number of services and built-in consumption, besides all the Licensing System Center.

Who packages E1 and E2

Without doubt the best option for companies, where you get services and packages with System Center included (or via Add-on if you already have) and you can use other services already included in the price.

https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/cloud-platform/operations-management-suite-pricing

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As we see in the image above, the bundles are composed of management packs (image below), services such as Backup and Recovery Site and the licensing of System Center.

This is very interesting when we compare the costs of each of the services and what they include:

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Just compare the cost of each Management Pack with the value of E1 and E2 to notice that it’s not worth a Standalone acquisition/Standard/Premium, only the cost of the Protection/Recovery is already practically the bundle value E2.

What if I already have the System Center or licensing Windows CIS (Cloud Infrastructure Suite)?

In this case do not have to pay twice the System Center, because as the E1 and E2 already include can acquire by add-on, or be added to the package that already has and may choose to continue renewing the CIS/Licensing System Center or converting to who:

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Personally I think it’s good for this case continue with the System Center licensing/CIS, since I use some nodes with who and some don’t depending on the model of monitoring that wish to adopt.

How can I estimate and compare and decide these costs?

Microsoft has a calculator where you select the services and receives the comparison between the bundles who E1 and E2 or standalone purchases: http://oms-calculator-webapp.azurewebsites.net/home

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System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM)–Release 1706

Released the two weeks, the new update has many new features: http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=854075

Some are important because they solve problems and previous demands but the new features are also of interest:

  • Support for SQL Server Always ON (asynchronous backup mode only in this release)
  • Integration with Azure AD for authentication that allows you to install the agent for non-LAN user
  • Improved integration with both Windows Intune 10 as mobile devices (iOS, Android)
  • Ability to import scripts (!!!) https://docs.microsoft.com/pt-br/sccm/apps/deploy-use/create-deploy-scripts
  • Support for the new Windows Update for Business 1703
  • Integration with Operations Manager Suite (OMS)

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Software Asset Management (SAM)-Converting licensing for Azure

This topic is relevant at a time when we’re migrating to Cloud Publishes in many companies.

Continuing the series on SAM, let’s get some other topics and give attention to Azure. To view the list of subjects we’ve covered visithttps://msincic.wordpress.com/2016/05/03/software-asset-management-sam-with-system-center-configuration-manager/

1-Using the Normal Licensing for Windows VMs (SPLA)

To create virtual machines in the Azure is already set that the operating system is Windows and pay licensing embedded as part of the service.

This licensing model is called the SPLA and allows a provider (not exists only in Azure) license VMs as services billed instead of customer purchases the perpetual license as in online environments cause.

The cost of that licensing is measured by comparing values of the same with Windows and Linux VMs in https://azure.microsoft.com/pt-br/pricing/details/virtual-machines/linux/ and https://azure.microsoft.com/pt-br/pricing/details/virtual-machines/windows/

The day I rode this post the hour value of a VM D2 v2 Linux is U $0.159 and the same VM with Windows U $0.251. That is a difference of 43% in the price of the VM.

For this price difference we have options to use other forms of licensing we will discuss below.

2-Using AHUB (Azure Hybrid Use Benefit)

The AHUB is nothing more than using your license already bought on contract with Software Assurance (SA) in Azure and pay the SPLA Licensing.

Note however that your license should have SA hired, namely the right to upgrade, and virtualization. If you don’t know the SA see the post https://msincic.wordpress.com/2016/06/05/software-asset-management-sam-with-system-center-configuration-manager-windows-and-office-desktop/ where we have a topic on this.

In the case of using the AHUB the price difference calculated in previous item does not exist, since the licensing is now done in recruitment in Enterprise Agreement, MPSA or even OPEN. The contract type depends on the value and is acquired by a Microsoft licensing partner (LSP).

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Microsoft already provides the templates for VMs AHUB but is also possible to use PowerShell with the –licencetype parameter. In case if you use the portal, simply create the VM stating that:

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However it is important to note that the AHUB is a Windows machine created with the price of Linux and it’s not possible to make the change through the gate. That is, you must re-create the VM if it already exists in the normal template.

Of course there are easier ways:

  1. Delete the VM, but not delete the disk
  2. Create a new VM as AHUB
  3. Attach the VM disk that was deleted
3-Using CPP (Compute Pre-Purchase)

The CPP is an old acquaintance who uses AWS, with the name of RI (Reserved Instance), but with a difference. See the following link, but he doesn’t have many details: https://azure.microsoft.com/pt-br/overview/azure-for-microsoft-software/faq/

While at AWS customer buys a given type VM/layer, the CPP of Azure the customer buys compute hours of given type/VM layer, following some rules:

  • Equivalent buying 744 hours of a determined based on type of VM
  • Are purchased for 12 months regardless of the anniversary of the contract (no-rata)
  • Are not linked to a VM specifies, works as a reduction in the total hours
  • May not be used or relocated to other types of VM as if it were proportional
  • Is paid upfront, that is the value of 12 months

The cost reduction is significant, but the value depends on the type of contract that the customer has and the level of discount, in some cases reaches 60% to customers and.

To understand the calculation, let’s use a simple table of HYPOTHETICAL cost:

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More a time it is important to note that these VMs cannot be assigned to another type, the CPP covers for 12 months 744 hours monthly from a determined based on type of VM.

However, some customers use the CPP to upgrade since it allows cost reduction with the same value already provisioned for Azure 2 up to 3 layers the existing VMs!

4-Using CPP + AHUB

It is possible to combine the CPP with AHUB? YES!!!

Taking into account that the above calculation of the CPP was hypothetical, we use the value U $0.251 reference for Windows VMs in CPP with $0.16 U value, namely a VM with Windows SPLA Licensing.

Join the discount that the proportional AHUB, you can buy Linux VMs and use licensing that already has under contract, for example the value of the same VM D2 v2 of U $0.159 Linux would fall to U $0.12 with Windows using the existing licensing.

CONCLUSION

With PPC you can save 25 to 60% without having to make any effort, and with the AHUB you can create much more VMs account using the existing contract with Windows.

Clear that the CPP is much more attractive, since it does not require change in VM template, but both the AHUB as the CPP must be included in licensing agreements.

Now have fun, see licensing your partner and see how much you can save with these two licensing options!

Windows 10 Creators Update-Information for Administrators

Last week Microsoft released the new version or build of Windows 10.

Last year we had the Anniversary Update and continuing the Windows life cycle 10 this year’s Creators Update.

Some questions are interesting to consider.

How to download Windows 10 Creators Update

The recommended method is to wait for the Windows Update being released by regions and in Brazil should start this week.

But it is also possible to download a wizard in https://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?linkid=846364

Another option for administrators who need to create an image is to use the MSDN Library and download the ISO or use the link http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=691209 and download the tool from generation to pen drives.

What are the new features that version for Admins

Many news! See the link https://blogs.technet.microsoft.com/windowsitpro/2017/04/05/whats-new-for-it-pros-in-the-windows-10-creators-update

Some stand out as the new options in the Windows Hyper-V 10 as the new viewing options that disturbed enough as DPI, zoom and resolution.

But one of the news that the attention is the Windows Configuration Designer (https://www.microsoft.com/pt-br/store/p/windows-configuration-designer/9nblggh4tx22#), a tool that allows you to customize an image or create a file of standardization.

Before the WCD needed to install all Windows ADK to use MDT or other features, and now we can just use the GUI-mode Windows 10 WCD:

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Who can download Windows 10 Creators Update

As an update, any machine that already has Windows 10, noting that the offer of free Windows upgrade finished already for a long time.

For it administrators is good to remember that we now have the Windows Enterprise E3 and E5 with specific resources delivered as a service.

Who use the Windows Enterprise needs to recreate the image if you have used the LTSB in deployments.

For details of the Windows Services: https://technet.microsoft.com/itpro/windows/update/waas-overview

Site for Network Test with Azure

Very common when we at projects with Azure terms the questioning about the costs and resources available outside local datacenter versus latency.

To equalize this kind of situation, we can use the site http://www.azurespeed.com/

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Besides the latency test we can do tests of download and upload, ranges of IP used for each datacenter, and other interesting information.

Fix for SCCM 2016 build 1610 in the OSD for Windows 10

As is known to all that have updated to SCCM 2016, now the builds are downloaded and installed directly on console (https://msincic.wordpress.com/2016/10/03/new-sccm-2016-updates-model/)

However, with the update to build several 1610 had problems of “0x80091007 (Hash value is not correct)” in the OSD log when applied Windows image 10, an error that was not documented.

Well, Microsoft has released on Monday a Hotfix for this problem and a few others who are described in KB 4010155: https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/4010155/update-rollup-for-system-center-configuration-manager-current-branch-v

If you have SCCM 2016 Build 1610, between the console and wait for the hotfix installation to download then install it:

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New RoadMap and Licensing Windows Server 2016

After the release of Windows Server 2016 received several questions about the future (roadmap) and the Windows Server licensing.

This post ir part of series about SAM: https://wordpress.com/post/msincic.wordpress.com/907 

New Life cycle for Windows Server

As an example, the Windows 10 was released on build 1511, upgraded to 1606 and other builds are already available for those who are part of the program Windows Insider.

The same concept will be adopted with Windows Server, which guaranteed 10 years of useful life with updates, but with two options:

  1. Windows Server 2016 Desktop Experience (installation pradrão) and Server Core – in this version the lifetime will be of 10 years. This model is the same 10 Windows called LTSB (Long Term Service Branch).
  2. Windows Server Nano -in this version the lifetime is 10 years and the updates are for build and Windows 10. This model of updates is called CBB (Current Branch for Business) and complies with the “Modern Lifecycle Policy”.

Reference: https://blogs.technet.microsoft.com/windowsserver/2016/07/12/windows-server-2016-new-current-branch-for-business-servicing-option/ and https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/lifecycle/search?alpha=windows%20server%202016

We will better understand what it means and how it is different from the current model.

In Windows 2012 new features were always added in R2 and Service Packs, IE, it was necessary to wait up to two years to get the new features of the OS.

For installations of Windows Server 2016 Full and Server Core updates will be sent for update rollups, like a Service Pack. The most current for Windows 10 and Windows 2016 is the Anniversary Update. New features will be sent along with these packages.

In the Windows Server 2016 Nano updates carry new features, namely a new feature released in Windows will be sent to the servers as an optional package of 3 to 4 times a year. There is no need to wait for the update rollup to have access to new features.

In short, we have a Windows updated for 10 years. If you use the Full version will need to wait for the annual cumulative updates for new features. If you use the Nano version can access very quickly when new features stay available.

Licensing

Already known in SQL Server licensing for 2012 CORE becomes the default for Windows Server.

The change has a very simple reason, the number of processors (sockets) to a low and medium profile (e.g. Xeon E3 and E4) began to slow and the number of CORE (stacking) increase with the increased miniaturization of components.

In times past it was common for a machine to 4 Sockets (processors) each with 4 or 8 CORE. Today is much more common 2 Sockets and 48 machines. For example, the Xeon E5-2650 has 10 CORE and the E7-8890 has 24 CORE.

Based on that, manufacturers are changing the charging SOCKET for CORE and imposing a minimum CORE for each server.

To better understand how if earning before a server and what now, taking into account that each license is purchased for 2 or 2 CORE Processors:

SO Procs COREs Total Licensing Licenses Needed
W2012R2 1 2 PROC 1 license 2 Socket(Proc)
W2012R2 1 10 PROC 1 license 2 Socket(Proc)
W2012R2 2 8 PROC 1 license 2 Socket(Proc)
W2012R2 3 24 PROC 2 license 2 Socket(Proc)
W2016 1 2 CORE 8 license 2 CORE (Minimum)
W2016 1 10 CORE 8 license 2 CORE (Minimum)
W2016 2 8 CORE 8 license 2 CORE (Minimum)
W2016 3 24 CORE 12 license 2 CORE

That is, all the physical servers that you have will need to be licensed to at least 16 CORE even if he only has 4 CORE (Xeon E2).

But don’t be alarmed, the value that it paid for a 2-processor license is equivalent to that paid by 8 2 CORE licenses. That is, financially for common servers there will be no difference.

And how are the licenses that already own per processor?

This is the most common question and the answer is simple: for each current license of 2 processors/Socket (Lic2Proc) Microsoft will automatically convert and consider how 8 CORE licenses (Lic2CORE).

But what if I currently have a server with 2 processors and CORE 24, I’m going to have to buy 8 CORE (2 Lic2CORE licenses)?

In this case it is important that you run a SAM (Software Asset Management) before renewing your contract or immediately before changing your server to document that there was this situation.

Once SAM filed and documented, you can count on the 24 CORE licenses on another server, but require attention:

  1. Currently own a 24 CORE server and buy another of 36 CORE: Need to buy 6 licenses (Lic2CORE) to complement
  2. I buy two new servers with 12 CORE each: You will not be able to “break” the 12 licenses, as they are converted to a server and not independent licenses
CONCLUSION

Run a SAM immediately to document the situation of your current servers.

Remember, you only need to pay if you don’t document!!

For further reading and conversion examples, download the licensing document: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/licensing/product-licensing/windows-server-2016.aspx#tab=2