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Everything you need to know about SQL Server 2016

Microsoft | Posted on November 24, 2015

Microsoft SQL 2005 is going EOL on April 12, 2016, and the all-new SQL Server 2016 stands to bring the biggest, most exciting changes to SQL since its inception. Our Microsoft team recently hosted a private webinar for some of our best Microsoft clients, and shared their perspectives on what to expect with the new platform.

I’ve captured some of the key messages from the event. However, if you’d prefer to experience the Softchoice expert-led talk first hand, please watch the recorded broadcast now:

SQL Roadmap: 2005 End of Support

First up on the agenda was some important reminders about SQL 2005’s ever-nearing end of support. Mainstream support is already offline, and has been since July 2014. But for those of you with extended support, you only have until April 12, 2016 to upgrade to a secure, up to date version.

What if you don’t? We reminded our webinar guests that this means three big things: no more security updates; higher maintenance costs; and more likelihood that you may fail on compliance standards.

SQL Roadmap: SQL 2016 Preview

We also touched on some of the incredible new features of SQL 2016 – features that might just speed up your upgrade of 2005 if the risks above aren’t enough to sway you.

SQL 2016 comes packed with more in-depth, encrypted security, in-memory improvements, a mobile-friendly BI and Analytics dashboard, a stretch database for hyper-scale in the cloud, built-in advanced analytics and more.

SQL 2016 Features & Enhancements

Key Licensing Considerations for SQL 2016

Next, we covered the basics you need to know when licensing SQL 2016.
This comes down to two things: knowing which of the three licensing editions is right for you (you can select among SQL Standard, SQL BI and SQL Enterprise) and the new per-core model.

Per-core is a big one. What this means is that SQL is now licensed by core with a minimum of 4 cores per processor. If a server has 2 cores it must be licensed for 4 cores. If a server has 6 cores then 6 cores licenses. Important to note that each SQL license is for 2 cores.

SQL 2016 Licensing options

Assessing your environment

Attendees also learned about the importance of properly assessing their readiness before embarking on a SQL upgrade. Doing so ensures you have the best shot at not over-paying for licenses, and reduces your exposure to compliancy issues.

Softchoice has a proven methodology to help you know exactly what you need, called the SQL Server TechCheck Assessment. The TechCheck will point you to the lowest cost SQL licensing, while keeping you in line with Microsoft’s licensing rules.

You’ll walk away with a full view of your current compliance, as well as a list of possible ways to save, including things like leveraging Azure, when possible.

This is not a small detail – we also shared a case study where a client of ours saved $1.5 million, thanks to consolidations they made after taking our assessment.

Finishing up

We closed the webinar with a brief overview of new SQL deployment options, as well as a Q&A session with our experts. For that, you’ll have to watch the live recording, or simply get in touch with a Softchoice representative today. We’re here to help with all your SQL end of support and 2016 upgrade questions.


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