Microsoft Premium Assurance Plans

Author: Scott Braden

Follow up to our quote in Redmond Magazine around Microsoft Premium Assurance Plans.

Many enterprises deal with the challenges of “legacy” technology solutions, that for whatever reason can’t or haven’t been updated in many years.  In our clients, we frequently see cases for example of core / critical applications running on Microsoft Windows 2008 and SQL Server 2008, or even older versions.  There are many valid reasons to keep using these older installations, including the cost to upgrade / re-platform, lack of vendor support for newer environments, and restrictive licensing rules among disparate suppliers.

Whatever the reasons, the result is that important applications are running on old technology. In the example of Windows Server 2008 / SQL 2008 and older versions, the underlying infrastructure is approaching the end of Microsoft’s normal support lifecycle.  This leaves enterprises with the conundrum: spend a lot of money to upgrade / re-platform the application (for basically zero ROI) or, risk severe threats and downtime by running an unsupported environment.

Recently, Microsoft announced a new offering “Premium Assurance” to address this topic.  Essentially, enterprises pay about 5% extra for their existing SQL Server Software Assurance (for all SQL in the enterprise), and in return Microsoft will continue to provide support for the older versions.

Each enterprise will have to evaluate this offer in their own specific environment.  What’s the total cost to maintain this coverage, compared to the costs to simply re-platform?

Read more on this topic (where we are quoted) in Redmond Magazine online in an article by Kurt Mackie titled, “Microsoft Rolls Out Premium Assurance Plans for Windows Server and SQL Server”.

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