Licensing, Microsoft,

Will a Microsoft product going end of life (EOL) increase support costs?

Short Answer

Customers might have to re-buy licenses with Software Assurance (SA), pay fees to get Extended Security Updates (ESU) and pay more on their Microsoft support contract.

In-Depth Answer

If an organization is running Microsoft software that is going (or is already) EOL, Microsoft requires customers to buy ESU subscriptions, also call “security patch taxes,” to be able to receive new security patches released after the EOL date. These subscriptions can be expensive with an SQL Server Enterprise 2-core subscription can cost more than $10,500 per year. Moreover, Microsoft requires those same systems to be licensed with SA before being able to acquire ESU subscriptions. If an organization does not have SA on existing licenses, new licenses with SA or subscriptions will be required, essentially rendering the old ones useless.

Both new licenses and subscriptions (SA and ESU) increase annual spend. Pricing for Microsoft’s Unified Enterprise support program is calculated using the size of a customer’s annual spend and associated product categories. Any additional spend under Microsoft contracts is automatically added to the support calculation. There are certain ways to buy licensing and subscriptions that don’t impact Unified Enterprise costs, but the selling organization must provide support and it can take a year to see reductions in support contract costs by moving purchases to different programs.

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