We just renewed our Microsoft Campus licence. In particular we have now licensed each node in our vSphere cluster for Windows Server and System Centre Suite in their respective Data Centre Editions. This means we all allowed to install any of the following on these nodes:
- Windows Server (any version, any edition, 2003, 2008, 2012, Standard, Enterprise, etc.)
- Hyper V
- System Centre Operations Manager 2012
- System Centre Virtual Machine Manager 2012
- System Centre Data Protection Manager 2012
- System Centre App Controller 2012
- System Centre Configuration Manager 2012
- System Centre Service Manager 2012
Also, we have licensed the Campus for the Education Desktop (OS + Office) with the Enterprise CALs. So CALs for all the above products are covered for client use on our PC estate. Finally we have licensed 6 nodes for SQL Server Enterprise Edition which allows us to mint any number of SQL Server VMs on those nodes – subject to physical memory CPU constraints obviously!
This leaves us some interesting quandaries. Specifically how much should we pay for products which are better in some ways than the Microsoft equivalents listed above. Currently we pay extra for:
- Novell Zenworks: App Controller + Configuration Manager
- RMS Helpdesk: Service Manager
- VMware vSphere Enterprise: Hyper-V + Virtual Machine Machine
- Veeam (back for vSphere) -Data Protection Manager
- VMware View: Included in Windows Server 2012
- VMware ThinApp: App Controller
Together this duplication of licencing runs to in excess of £30,000 a year. Add to this the fact that we are reaching the levels of virtualisation that would require us to purchase VMware Operations Manager, Chargeback and vCloud – all of which appear to be covered already by Virtual Machine Manager and Operations Manager.
So how much should we pay for “best of breed”, if indeed these additional products are best of breed any more?