NET(net), Inc.


IT Sustainability by szolman

Major technology providers are beating street estimates lately as technology spending is seemingly on the mend.

As spending picks up and market conditions change, will Clients and suppliers be able to develop and maintain sustainable agreements that offer best in class pricing, flexible terms and conditions, and serve as a guide on how to do good, long term business together?

The major tenants of IT Sustainability are timeliness and they are published for anyone to see right here http://tinyurl.com/yd7ckf5.

If you are making an investment in IT, find out how you can get maximum value and keep it by clicking the link above.

The Sustainability of your IT investments and relationship is our mission.

Full Article Availble at:
http://www.netnetweb.com/index.php/blog/entry/is_your_deal_sustainable/

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MSFT is betting big chunks of cash on swaying customers to their hosted stuff. (Oracle, CRM, datacenter / cloud) by scottbraden

Microsoft is aggressively discounting its hosted / SaaS solutions in order to gain market share, and I suspect, to sway customers from the EA / Select / perpetual license model, onto the rental / cloud / SaaS model.

Microsoft cuts prices on BPOS, to issue refunds  – 
http://ct.zdnet.com/clicks?t=475224883-f5935ee3a0b078029592318f09b1ea8e-bf&brand=ZDNET&s=5

Microsoft seeks to lure Salesforce, Oracle users with six months free of CRM Online
Microsoft chops prices of its hosted enterprise cloud offerings

 But you’ll note that’s only on the hosted offerings.

Also of note, Microsoft’s huge new billion $ datacenters in Chicago and Dublin are now open for business. With more coming soon.
http://ct.zdnet.com/clicks?t=475224883-f5935ee3a0b078029592318f09b1ea8e-bf&brand=ZDNET&s=5

On the traditional licensing front, Microsoft just announced price increases for SQL Server.

So, clearly, MSFT is betting big chunks of cash on swaying customers to its hosted services, and as a consequence the traditional licensing models are becoming slightly less attractive.  I would advise Microsoft customers to consider the true costs and benefits of moving from a traditional licensing approach, to a model such as BPOS.  As in most things regarding Microsoft’s sales practices, there are hidden factors that may not come to light unless you ask the right questions.

-Scott Braden



What’s In Store For Microsoft, And How Does It Affect You? by scottbraden

Microsoft is entering a period of new product releases; Windows 7 is widely expected to ship in time for Christmas 2009, and Office “14” along with refreshed versions of key products, such as SharePoint, are expected as well in late 2009 or early 2010.

Since many Microsoft customers are evaluating their Microsoft agreements in the next few months, as many Microsoft deals come due at the end of the calendar year, customers are again being asked to pre-pay Microsoft for planned innovations that may or may not ever reach a product release, and when or if they do, may or may not be of interest to customers, who may or may not be able to effect meaningful ROI by upgrading.

Which key product upgrades should customers expect in the next few years? How can customers best optimize Microsoft investments in light of the coming planned upgrade cycles?

NET(net) has researched and summarized the key upcoming product releases so you can effectively plan your organization’s IT rodamap.

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Is an Official Classfication of Data Center Availabilty Capability Important? by davidjyoung

The Uptime Institute developed a tiered classification approach to data center site infrastructure functionality and high-availability that addressed a need for a common benchmarking standard in this area that was usually based on opinion and conjecture up to this point.  This system has been in practice now since 1995 and is often referred to by enterprises and co-location/managed hosting service providers to tout the robustness of their data center.  The tiers classify from tier-I (Basic Data Center), where there is simply a single path for power and cooling distribution, without redundant components, providing to 99.671% availability, to tier IV (Fault Tolerant), where there is site infrastructure capacity and capability to permit any planned or unplanned activity without disruption to the critical load; 99.995% site availability.

The Uptime Institute has recently asserted two things in their leadership role in this area: there is no such thing as “almost tier III” or tier II+; you are either tier III or not adhering to the strict definition.  And you must be “certified” by the Uptime Institute’s certification body or a by an Uptime Institute  trained and certified consultant to refer to your data center as adhering to one of these classification levels.

I tend to think that the Uptime Institute’s tier classification has become a de facto standard and it is a little late and disingenuous to assert control now over using this term to describe a data center. I think it is telling that Uptime Institute reports that only “two dozen” data centers have had their tier rating certified.

This type of rating should be within the purview of an international standards body, not an organization, even a not-for-profit organization, that stands to benefit financially from certification. Adhering to a strict definition of a particularly tier level, such as the difference between level II and III, does not necessarily mean the data center is not meeting strict compliance for redundancy in important other areas. There is no allocation to weighting of measures of fail-over and redundancy; it is either all or nothing.

While I am not advocating ‘shades of gray’ when it comes to building a robust infrastructure, there are many factors that come into play when evaluating the availability of the infrastructure. All of this is for naught if the application architecture, the sole purpose of having a data center to begin with, is not built for a sufficient amount of resiliency and failover. No tier IV data center is going to save a poorly architected application.



Microsoft XP “downgrade” from Win 7 update by scottbraden

A closely watched topic for many of our cleints: how long can we continue downgrading our new hardware to XP, after MSFT ships Win7? Answer: April 2011 or upon release of SP1, whichever comes first.

Details from Mary Jo Foley (who’s a great source to keep up with)
http://blogs.zdnet.com/microsoft/?p=3104



Oracle’s Compliance Scheme: Proactively Manage your Licenses by rlachs

It appears Oracle has increased its due diligence in the area of auditing customers.  On the one hand, this exercise may be helpful (as Oracle will profess) in enabling customers to better understand holistically precisely what their entitlements are and to what degree those entitlements are being leveraged.  This is useful information that many customers often struggle to reconcile on their own, and could shed some light on where opportunities for downsizing of entitlements might occur.

On the other hand, customers should be cautious.  In a down economy, where the volume of deals and overall license spending is lower than desired, auditing is a means by which Oracle may be hoping to find opportunities for incremental licensing events.  Especially for customers who either may not have been positioned to actively keep track of utilization trends over time, or who may not be familiar with original agreements and the parameters of utilization in these agreements,  Oracle will be seeking to capitalize whereever possible to bring your license entitlements and utilization back into compliance. 

Resolving compliance issues is likely to be done through a new licensing event.  Unlike a situation where a customer may be giving Oracle an opportunity to earn additional licensing business via a purchase that is not the result of an existing contractual obligation to Oracle, it is more challenging to negotiate a favorable license arrangement to adress compliance matters.  In fact, with certain product families, it is likely that the costs associated with the need to add incremental licenses has already been identified.  With other product families, Oracle is likely to use its standard list pricing as a starting point, and given that the absence of the licenses constitutes a breach of contract in a compliance situation, they are not under as much pressure to discount.  This puts the customer at a disadvantage, not only as it relates to the new license cost, but the associated maintenance costs related with those new licenses too – as the maintenance and support services costs are generally based on the net license value.

Customers would be well advised to invest time in assessing their license entitlements and utilization, and truly ensuring the parameters of their licenses are well accounted for, in advance of Oracle aggressively pursing completion of an audit.  If misalignment is identified, and you find that you will require additional licenses to ensure your utilization needs are met into the foreseeble future, it is better to address that with Oracle proactively with bringing a new license opportunity to them.  Given the possible stakes, this may be an area where enlisting professional help may be a worthwhile investment to either a) ensure you have no exposure; or b) help you address any potential exposure in a way that is most optimal for your organization.



“Microsoft’s free XP, Office 2003 support ends April 14” by scottbraden
April 17, 2009, 12:46 pm
Filed under: Microsoft, Risk Mitigation | Tags: , , ,

Clarification:

Users will still be able to get free “Product-specific information that is available by using the online Microsoft Knowledge Base” and “Product-specific information that is available by using the Support site at Microsoft Help and Support to find answers to technical questions”

Details here:
http://support.microsoft.com/gp/lifepolicy