Miro Consulting, Inc. Audit Trails

Microsoft Moves to “Per Core” Licensing for Windows Server

Microsoft has (pretty predictably) moved to “Per Core” licensing for Windows Server, just like SQL Server before it. This is more to the trend of denser servers – that is, with more and more cores per server – and, possibly, in a nod to Azure.

It’s been pretty well documented, but there are minimums:

  • A minimum of 16 core licenses is required for each server.
  • A minimum of 8 core licenses is required for each physical processor.

And, like for SQL Server, there is a “trade in” program, more officially referred to as a “grant” program, that will follow along the same lines as the SQL Server program. Specifically, for every license of Windows Server 2012 R2 that is covered by Software Assurance, the customer will receive an equivalent number of “Per Core” licenses for no additional license charge. Yes, I stressed the word “license” and we’ll get back to that in a minute.

If these large beefy machines are already in place – those with more than 8 cores per processor – then you can get these licenses free of charge as well. You have to make your case, of course, by sending Microsoft information via the Microsoft Assessment & Planning or “MAP” Toolkit. This will validate the servers’ configurations.
Now, I mentioned that there will be no license charge. And that’s true. However, since you must continue to pay for Software Assurance, those fees will be based on the new number of licenses. So if you received an additional 20 licenses, for example, you will be paying an additional 20 licenses’ worth of Software Assurance.
(This will also foul up your Microsoft License Statement or “MLS”, but that’s a different story.)

But there are two somewhat major “gotchas”:

  1. Since forever, the different editions of Windows Server were technologically different. That ended for Windows Server 2012 when the two primary editions, Datacenter and Standard, had the same feature and functionality set. The only difference was in their virtualization rules. Now that has ended. Once again, there are technological differences, including:
    • Storage Spaces Direct
    • Storage Replica
    • Shielded Virtual Machines
    • Networking stack
    • But not Nano Server… that’s part of Standard Edition as well, BUT… Software Assurance coverage is required to deploy Nano Server.
  2. The virtualization practice of “stacking” licenses doesn’t work so well any more for Version 2016. Under the 2012 and 2012 R2 rules, licenses of Standard Edition could be “stacked” to allow more virtual instances to be supported. For example, if Windows Server Standard was deployed on a server with 4 processors, two (2) licenses would be necessary (as each license covers up to 2 processors). This allowed up to 4 VMs on that server because each license permitted up to 2 VMs. If you needed another VM or another 2 VMs, just allocate another license to that same server.

    That doesn’t work with Version 2016. First, all physical cores have to be licensed, so for this server, at least 32 cores – or 16 licenses – are needed. That allows for up to 2 VMs. If another VM or another 2 VMs are needed, then the entire server must be licensed again! That is, another 16 licenses. Maybe that’s not so earth-shaking for our example, but in an environment where many VMs are needed, then it’s logical to assume that it’s a larger server, with more cores. So those 16 licenses could very well turn into 20 licenses, or 24 licenses, or more!

So, clearly, Microsoft has made Datacenter Edition the only practical choice for heavily virtualized environments.

And don’t forget System Center follows suit… as far as “Per Core” licensing and minimums and virtualization rules go…

And, yesterday, general availability for Windows Server 2016 and System Center 2016 was announced for the October timeframe.


Miro Consulting Celebrates 15 Year Anniversary with Record Breaking Growth

Miro Consulting, the world’s leading software license management expert, is celebrating its 15-year anniversary with record breaking growth in revenue and headcount.

“Miro Consulting had an impressive revenue surge in Fiscal 2016, with a record breaking number of new clients. Through our consulting services, our clients were able to save over $100 million dollars this year alone. This success is a testament to our dedicated and talented employees who work as trusted partners with our clients. We are looking forward to Fiscal 2017 where we can further broaden our success while maintaining and improving the prudent advice our clients depend on.” said Eliot Colon, Miro SVP.

With Fiscal 2016 over, Miro is reporting a 50% increase in revenue over last year, and a 25% growth in personnel.  In addition, Miro has clients worldwide in all six continents and has recently expanded into the southern California region, with plans to continue growing nationwide.  Miro’s growth isn’t limited to the physical world either, as it has recently worked to transition a major international pharmaceutical company to the cloud, showing its expertise in off premise capabilities.

“Preparing to enter into a very large software negotiation with Oracle is a significant undertaking. You have to be fully prepared and be sure you’ve explored all the angles. And having teamed with Miro, I was able to conduct negotiations with the confidence of a highly informed buyer, and having that peace of mind was key to striking the best agreement with Oracle.” said David Michael, CIO at The Madison Square Garden Company.

Miro Consulting specializes in Adobe, IBM, Microsoft and Oracle in software audit defense, contract negotiation and license optimization and management. Since it was founded, Miro has helped hundreds of clients worldwide to optimize their total cost of ownership and has overseen over $1.5 billion in licensing transactions.

To learn more about how Miro can help with your licensing needs, including Oracle, Microsoft or IBM audits, and for media contacts, please contact Shawn Donohue, VP of Marketing at sdonohue@miroconsulting.com or call 732-738-8511 x1205.

Correction: A previous version listed David Michael as a PR Newswire employee.  He’s now CIO at The Madison Square Garden Company.



Rimini Street loses again to Oracle, fined $28m

On Tuesday, a Nevada judge declared Rimini guilty for infringing Oracle’s software.  The judge also issued a permanent injunction preventing Rimini from providing any Oracle software to its customers.

Rimini, its CEO, and employees are now barred from accessing any non-public portion of Oracle’s website.  Previously, Oracle was awarded $50m in a jury verdict and an additional $46m in attorney fees.

Rimini’s  responded with a press release, as did Oracle.

Third-Party support has its benefits in the many strategies of managing your software licensing estate. However, such news can provide an uneasiness with client’s utilizing such services. Clearly, any concerns should be discussed with your Third-Party services vendor. If an organization is not comfortable with what their vendor tells them or they wish another opinion, then Miro Consulting is available to discuss the short and long term risks and alternatives.

Read more on the decision here.


MEGABYTE Act – New Federal Software Licensing Requirements

CIOs will be required to implement a comprehensive licensing policy to manage software inventories

The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) issued guidance in June on agencies inefficient use of software licensing as well as what it saw as excessive spending.  Now the White House is involved.  President Obama signed the Making Electronic Government Accountable by Yielding Tangible Efficiencies Act (MEGABYTE Act) on July 29, 2016.  It will require agency CIOs to more accurately track their software and applications licenses.  You can review the law itself here.

“The new policy is another step forward in implementing the President’s vision for a modern government, one that leverages private-sector best practices to achieve a Federal Government that is smarter, savvier and more effective in delivering for the American people.”  United States Government CIO, Tony Scott, and CAO, Anne Rung, co-wrote a blog post at whitehouse.gov explaining the reasoning for passing the new law, and what it means for the future.

“Examples of the other work the Enterprise Software Category Team (ESCT) will take on include consolidating software requirements across multiple agencies to begin the process of negotiating two additional government-wide enterprise license agreements by the end of the year, recommending further policy changes, sharing best practices across the government to improve how we buy and use software, and monitoring agency progress toward reducing duplicative agreements.”

Scott and Rung wrote that the government’s ESC Team expects CIOs to solve the problem with experts, not applications.  “It calls on agencies to appoint a software manager to centrally manage software buys and reduce underutilization, to maintain a continual inventory of software licenses and better track usage, to consolidate redundant applications while identifying other savings, and to maximize the use of best-in-class solutions.”

Its not just government agencies that can save on software licensing by making better informed decisions.  Public and private companies with multiple units and divisions can also likely benefit from the same type of software licences central management, leveraging their purchase size to gain better prices and contract terms. “Smarter acquisition strategies typically don’t garner a lot of headlines or attention. But they matter.”

To learn more about how Miro can help your company make better software management decisions and achieve significant savings, please contact us.


Adobe Moves Away From Audits, But You’re Not Off the Hook Yet

by Phara McLachlan

Adobe’s Richard Atkinson confirmed that they are moving away from the audits program. While this removes the labor-intensive audit process that companies face, it doesn’t remove the actions that need to be taken post-audit, which will likely result in un-forecasted expenditures and additional implementations.

The reason for Adobe’s move away from audits is Adobe Genuine, which runs validation tests. While Adobe has eliminated the complexity of the audit, don’t be fooled that an enterprise with non-compliant software won’t have to worry anymore. They do and it’s highly likely they will need to procure Adobe licenses.


  1. Adobe Genuine “sniffs out” pirated software. Similar to a post-audit, Adobe will need to take action and the organization will have to purchase the software.
  2. Invalid licenses will be discovered by Adobe Genuine resulting in re-purchasing of licenses.

While Adobe has moved away from formal audits, Adobe Genuine’s “validation test” is basically Adobe’s automated discovery tool. It wouldn’t surprise me if many more software vendors move to this model.


IBM will release its new Power9 processor chip in 2017

IBM will release its new Power9 processor chip next year. There’s a lot of promise with this new architecture regarding new technology, machine learning, and overall speed. It will support both Linux and Unix and be available with up to 24 cores, optimized for 2 sockets scale-out servers.

IBM expects their low-end Power9 servers to be over $6,000 in mid-2017. Other manufacturers may offer Power9 servers for less. Additionally, IBM will license Power9 schema to others to design and build custom chips. (IBM’s Power processors were exclusive to IBM servers prior to IBM partnering with the OpenPower Foundation in 2013.)

What will this mean for Intel’s x86? X86 is a favorite in data centers, including cloud based. Will overseas manufacturers churn them out as affordably as the x86 servers? Google has already expressed interest for Rackspace if Power9 offered a 20 percent savings on either performance or price.

Will software licensing be factored into any possible hardware upgrade?

  • Oracle offers a general 2 to 1 software licensing advantage to x86 technology over pSeries. Will the compute ability of Power9 be superior to two x86 cores and not be an issue?
  • IBM licensing does not offer an advantage to either hardware choice – x86 or pSeries. However, migrating to new hardware with IBM software may still change the core factor (PVUs per core).

Oracle’s Compliance and Optimization Licenses Service Unit (COLS) is closing down

The Register is reporting that Oracle’s “Compliance and Optimization License Services Unit (COLS) is being shut down.  With about 150 people in the UK and EMEA, COLS was created to support the LMS division, which was reportedly not meeting its goals.

Where LMS operates in a more precise manner when reviewing licensing compliance, COLS was more of a division of the sales operation, specializing in cutting deals and giving discounts.

The Register’s source is reported as saying “LMS auditors do make mistakes so customers should do their own due diligence before making any claim.”

Miro is the leading expert in conducting license compliance due diligence for companies using Oracle products.  With COLS ceasing operations, its more important than ever to ensure your organization is in compliance before you receive an audit letter from Oracle.

To discuss how this change may affect your organization, please email Miro VP of Marketing, Shawn Donohue, at sdonohue@miroconsulting.com.

Read more at the Register

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Data Breach at Oracle’s MICROS Division – KrebsonSecurity.com

Krebsonsecurity.com is reporting that a Russian organized cybercrime syndicate has compromised MICROS point-of-sale support portal. Oracle responded that they had “detected and addressed malicious code in certain legacy MICROS systems”. The hackers placed malicious code on the MICROS support portal and captured customers usernames and passwords when they logged in. Its reported that over 700 systems have been infected.

Oracle will force all support accounts on the MICROS portal to do a password reset, adding “We also recommend that you change the password for any account that was used by a MICROS representative to access your on-premises systems.”

Security issues like this may prompt Oracle customers to review their Oracle annual support entitlement and cost. If your organization has had security or other problems with Oracle annual software support, Miro recommends reviewing your overall annual support structure and inventory as well as discussing options for support.

To learn more about Oracle annual support renewal and how Miro can help optimize your support coverage and annual support investment, please contact us.

Read more about this issue at krebsonsecurity.com