Posted on: August 8, 2017

The IT landscape of today is evolving at a rapid pace. In this type of environment, countless enterprises are finding themselves walking a very fine line between sticking with their on-premises systems and moving to the cloud. As a growing number of businesses are now moving some of their important applications and infrastructure into the cloud in order to take advantage of its flexibility and scalability, they’re also finding themselves in need of maintaining stable, secure, and workable environments on-premises for those applications that haven’t yet been deployed to the cloud. The total transition process takes time, and often can’t be done in one pass, as some legacy and even mission-critical apps have to remain on legacy servers a bit longer.

While this may sound stressful and frustrating, it doesn’t have to be. Anticipating the struggles of enterprises across the globe, Microsoft has come up with a support model that works to aid in these awkward transitional periods, thereby providing businesses with the ability to explore which parts of their enterprise environment to move over to the cloud – on their own time. How is this done? Introducing Premium Assurance: A smart, simple support model that offers an extra six years of support to users of Windows and SQL servers running on version 2008 and beyond in order to keep their environments up and running without disruption. Here’s a look at everything you need to know about this support model.

Extended Server Security

The standard support lifespan for both Windows Server and SQL is five years of mainstream support. Beyond this, an additional five years of extended support is offered. This means that customers were forced to count on customized support agreements in order to keep getting security updates for legacy deployments after the support ended. With Premium Assurance, though, an extra six years are tacked on to the lifecycle. This means that security updates and any bulletins that have been deemed “critical” or “important” are offered. In this way, enterprises can transition into the cloud in a timeframe that makes sense, without having to worry about support coming to an end.

Who It’s Good For

If the extra six years of support sounds pretty great, you may be wondering if Premium Assurance is a good fit for your business. Keep in mind that the support model is only available for Windows Server and SQL licenses that were purchased through very specific volume licensing programs. These include Enterprise Agreement (including Enterprise Agreement Subscription), Server Cloud Enrollment, and Enrollment for Education Solutions. If your servers were purchased outside of these agreements, you are not eligible for Premium Assurance. It should also be noted that Premium Assurance needs to be bought as an add-on to Software Assurance. Lastly, be advised that although Premium Assurance coverage isn’t a requirement for client access licenses and/or external connector licenses, any client access license or external connector that is utilized for accessing servers covered by Premium Assurance will need to have active Software Assurance.

The Price is Right

If you meet the criteria for Premium Assurance, now is the best time to purchase this level of coverage. Although you may be tempted to wait until a date closer to when your security lifecycle ends, you should know that Premium Assurance comes with a sliding scale that offers a significant monetary advantage to those who buy in early. In other words, the longer you wait, the more you’ll spend.

At Uncommon Solutions, we know that the transition between on-premises systems and the cloud can take some time, and we want to help you stay covered throughout the transitional period. Give us a call to learn more about how Premium Assurance could be the right move for you.