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Aviation Manufacturer’s $1M Savings: Anglepoint’s Microsoft SQL Server License Solution

(Januar 2024)

Company Profile

  • Industry: Aviation Manufacturer
  • Size: 150k employees
  • Revenue: $66.8B
  • Region: Global
  • Market: Mid-Market
Analysis:
$1M
cost avoidance

Anglepoint’s Microsoft SQL Server License Solution Case Study | EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

This aviation manufacturing giant operates a vast Microsoft estate, and with upcoming Extended Security Update (ESU) costs, they needed to optimize their SQL server 2012 environment. Having been impressed by Anglepoint’s support on a Microsoft Windows Server 2012 ESU analysis which yielded millions of dollars of annual cost savings, they were the obvious partner to choose.

With a clear view of its SQL Server 2012 estate, the organization would be able to make intelligence-led decisions about which licenses to sunset, reassign, and upgrade. It would also be able to calculate how many Extended Security Update (ESU) licenses to procure, which was vital to ensure that any remaining legacy servers were adequately patched and secured. Through the optimization process, Anglepoint uncovered data gaps that, once addressed, played a crucial role in saving the organization substantial amounts in licensing fees. The program’s success was marked by tangible benefits, allowing the client to avoid costs exceeding $1 million annually over a three-year period.

Anglepoint’s strategic approach not only delivered immediate financial relief but also enabled the client to upgrade away from older versions of SQL Server over time with efficiency and flexibility.

The Challenge

With various versions of over 35,000 Microsoft SQL Server Databases deployed across its infrastructure, the organization has an incredibly complex database environment. A significant portion of these databases operate on SQL Server 2012, providing support for legacy applications that cannot easily undergo upgrades.

Microsoft’s decision to end standard support of SQL Server 2012 in late 2022 created a significant challenge for the organization, as they would be forced to procure expensive ESUs to ensure that any out-of-support servers could be patched and updated for a further three-year period. To minimize these unplanned costs, the organization needed help understanding how many 2012 SQL Servers were deployed across their estate, as well as how they were being used. This knowledge would allow them to optimize the purchase of ESU licenses and streamline their overall Microsoft SQL Server estate.

The Microsoft SQL Server License Solution

For 10 years, Anglepoint has provided ITAM managed services to this client, including general consulting and Software Asset Management services regarding Microsoft. With specific knowledge of the client’s IT environment and a track record of delivering considerable value, Anglepoint undertook a detailed analysis of SQL Server 2012 databases and determined exactly how many ESU licenses would be required for continued operations.

Anglepoint’s software licensing experts collected relevant discovery information from ServiceNow, SCCM, and off-network areas, to determine how many Microsoft SQL Server 2012 devices existed on the network. With Microsoft’s ESU licenses available in two editions (Standard and the more expensive Enterprise edition) across two different metrics in Server/CAL and Enterprise Core, it was critical for the team to establish exactly the functionality needed from each database instance and how many cores each database was using. This strategic approach allowed Anglepoint to assign licenses efficiently and optimize the client’s SQL Server environment.

Anglepoint analyzed the SQL Server data and removed devices that did not require a software license. This included non-production devices, those not scanned in the last 90 days, passive nodes, and retired devices. They also took care to assign licenses more efficiently so that the cheaper Server/CAL Enterprise edition licenses were used first on any server with 20 cores or less, thus only leaving the more expensive enterprise core license for the few larger servers. The analysis, along with the initial ESU required counts, were presented to the SQL Server product manager, amounting to approximately $3.1 required spend on ESU in the first year.

Anglepoint noticed that many of the 2012 SQL Server installs were present on servers with later versions of SQL. As it is unusual for multiple versions of SQL Server to be in use on the same server, this called into question whether the 2012 versions were still in use and therefore would require an ESU license. After working closely with the application owners and the product owner, Anglepoint determined, with a considerable sample size, that several of those servers were not using SQL Server 2012. They then explored the discovery data more closely and found data anomalies that raised additional questions about the accuracy of the Configuration Management Database (CMDB) data. Servers that were “scanned” recently in the CMDB had a mix of software “scan dates” buried deep in the metadata. This meant that any server that was scanned that day might have software on it with both current and past scan dates for the software installation. Anglepoint discovered that ServiceNow was scanning servers for software but in many cases was not deleting software installs if they were no longer found in current scans. This was a huge revelation and with the help of the CMDB discovery team, Anglepoint was able to help rectify the problem so that future scans would be accurate and complete by deleting software not installed from the CMDB.

With this new information, Anglepoint was able to accurately reflect the client’s SQL Server 2012 installations and perform a software license optimization to illustrate what quantity of actual ESUs were necessary. Furthermore, they were able to convey the cost and potential value of the ESUs to the client’s application owners who were the ultimate decision makers on whether SQL Server 2012 ESUs would be purchased for their applications. After the final numbers were analyzed and presented, Anglepoint was able to reduce the required number of ESU licenses by over $1 million per year over 3 years with their Microsoft SQL Server License Solution.

RESULTS

License Reduction:  Anglepoint achieved a 33% reduction for Enterprise Edition and a 17% reduction for Standard Edition of Microsoft SQL Server 2012 ESU licenses.

Cost Avoidance: Through strategic license rationalization, Anglepoint enabled the client to avoid potential costs exceeding $1 million annually for three years.

Cleaner Software Stack: Collaborating with the SQL Product manager, Anglepoint identified servers where SQL Server 2012 could be safely removed.

Trustworthy Data Access: Implementing robust reporting tools and processes, Anglepoint provided the client with enhanced visibility into its software environment.

Microsoft’s decision to end standard support of SQL Server 2012 in late 2022 created a significant challenge for the organization, as they would be forced to procure expensive ESUs

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