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New offerings and Software Assurance essential to your ongoing digital transformation

This post was authored by Mark Jewett, Senior Director of Cloud Platform Marketing, and Tiffany Wissner, Senior Director of Data Platform Marketing.

IT today is in a fundamental state of change, spanning between enabling digital transformation to make their company more competitive, while also maintaining stable and secure operations of existing systems. As part of this changing transformation, many applications are moving fast to the cloud, taking advantage of the agility, scale, and innovation it offers. Some applications aren’t ready to move yet, but require modernization to better utilize more agile development processes and further the organization’s digital goals. Some mission critical and legacy applications just need to keep running without disruption. Your portfolio of applications has a diverse set of needs that will continue to evolve over time.

To provide you with further flexibility as your needs evolve, today we are announcing two new offerings to help you run applications even longer without disruption: Windows Server Premium Assurance and SQL Server Premium Assurance. These offerings add six more years of product support for Windows Server and SQL Server, allowing for a minimum of 16 years of total support (five years each of Mainstream and Extended Support, plus the new Premium Assurance period). The additional support period provides Security Updates and Bulletins rated “Critical” and “Important” (see the Security Bulletin Severity Rating System for definitions) for both products. This helps you continue to meet compliance requirements and ensure security on systems you aren’t ready to update. Furthermore, greater peace of mind on those applications allows you to focus your energy on the applications more core to your digital transformation.

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Premium Assurance extends the product lifecycles for Windows Server and SQL Server

You can purchase Windows Server Premium Assurance and SQL Server Premium assurance separately or together, and both offerings will be available starting in early 2017. Premium Assurance pricing will start at 5% of the current product license cost, and will increase over time (up to 12%). Buying before the end of June 2017 means you will save nearly 60% on the cost of Premium Assurance. The first versions covered by Premium Assurance will be SQL Server 2008 and 2008 R2 (Extended Support ends in July 2019) and Windows Server 2008 and 2008 R2 (Extended Support ends in January 2020).

Windows Server Premium Assurance and SQL Server Premium Assurance are purchased as add-ons to active Software Assurance for each product. In fact, Software Assurance is an essential investment in the journey to more broadly transform your application portfolio, providing the following notable benefits (and more!):

  • To help modernize applications, Software Assurance gives you access to the latest Windows Server and SQL Server innovation at no additional cost. The next version of Windows Server is currently in planning, and will further advance the Windows Server 2016 capabilities around hybrid cloud, multi-layered security, containers, Nano Server, and software-defined datacenter technology. The next version of SQL Server, already available in preview, brings the performance and security of SQL Server to Linux.
  • For applications moving to the cloud, Software Assurance provides unique flexibility and savings benefits. The Azure Hybrid Use Benefit provides up to 40-50% savings on Windows Server virtual machines in Azure. Similarly, License Mobility provides the flexibility to deploy existing SQL Server licenses in the cloud without additional fees.

To learn more about Windows Server Premium Assurance and SQL Server Premium Assurance, and the six additional years of product support they provide, read the datasheet. The new offerings will be available early next year. In the meantime, buying and renewing Software Assurance with all your Windows Server and SQL Server purchases continues to be the best way to get the latest innovation and most flexibility for your application portfolio.