Software licensing costs are a key consideration across organizations of all shapes and sizes. From finance teams looking to maximize ROI to engineers looking to free up budgets for other initiatives, saving money on software licenses can impact different departments at the company. Thankfully, there are many ways to optimize spending and reduce costs when it comes to software. Even Windows, long a pillar of Microsoft's business proposition, can be optimized in different ways such as looking at how to reduce Windows Server license cost.
One available way to save money while using Windows? Moving to a multi-tenant private cloud.
This post will outline what a multi-tenant cloud is and how migrating to a multi-tenant private cloud can reduce licensing costs for Windows Server.
What is a Multi-Tenant Private Cloud?
A multi-tenant private cloud is architected so that different companies share the computing resources of a single environment securely. The architecture of the cloud is set up so that different businesses are using the same hardware simultaneously while remaining isolated from the other workloads. All the apps that are running within this type of environment are able to run with shared resources.
Multi-tenant private cloud can help with Windows Server license cost, among other benefits.
General Benefits of a Multi-Tenant Private Cloud
The benefits of a multi-tenant architecture are many and include all the same advantages that businesses can enjoy when moving to an Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS)-based platform. These benefits come from being able to leverage shared infrastructure at much lower costs than traditional infrastructure.
One primary example is capital expenditures (CapEx). Instead of each business having to build out its own data center, it can share the costs of the hardware across many different users.
Another advantage of a multi-tenant private cloud model is that it allows for increased business agility. Because companies using this type of architecture can scale up or down, they are better able to handle sudden spikes in traffic (such as during the release of a new product or service) than an organization provisioning resources on top of existing infrastructure.
Challenges to Using a Multi-Tenant Private Cloud
With multi-tenant private cloud, a large number of companies will be using the same set of hardware resources. This means there must be restrictions in place. These restrictions exist to prevent one customer from affecting another customer's ability to access their applications or data. This requires careful planning and communication between customers (or the organization managing the infrastructure) with regard to shared computing resources.
Decreasing Microsoft Windows Server License Cost with a Multi-Tenant Private Cloud
The first thing to consider is that no other Windows Server licensing model offers this multi-tenant capability. You cannot share your Windows Server licenses with another company because each Windows license must be tied to a single server.
A multi-tenant private cloud enables several companies to merge their licensing costs into one. This permits them all to use the same set of hardware resources as if they were their own.
It also eliminates idle time, which means that all users may access those resources at any time.
A multi-tenant private cloud setup does not need much planning for hardware needs. Why? Because there is no need to estimate future growth or to accommodate for varying user loads throughout any given day or week. Every customer receives equal parts of the resources at all times.
These capabilities are a great way to decrease your Windows Server license cost. It allows you to merge those costs into a single larger pool. From this pool, you can further enjoy economies of scale.
If you have been paying for separate licenses for each server in your environment, moving to a multi-tenant would increase your monthly bill but decrease the per-server cost as well as the total cost over time.
For Windows licensing alone, a multi-tenant cloud could save money if there are several users using the same server and database applications.
How Multi-Tenancy Affects Windows Server License Cost
The cost of Windows licenses can be expensive, but with a multi-tenant private cloud, the cost can be decreased. As discussed, in a multi-tenant private cloud, many different customers share the resources of a single environment. This means that each customer can share the costs of the hardware, and no customer is affected by another customer's ability to access their applications or data.
By using a single Windows Server license to support many different users across your organization, your costs are reduced. Instead of each user needing their own server and thus their own license, a multi-tenant model allows for the license to be shared among users.
You will save money because you will not have to pay for separate licenses.
There are also some ways where licensing costs might actually increase when using a multi-tenant private cloud. For example, if your company requires access to networked resources such as Microsoft Exchange Server, there may be additional licensing costs for the Windows Enterprise Edition if Software Assurance is not desired.
Other Considerations for Windows and a Multi-Tenant Cloud
If your company plans to use the Windows operating system on devices that are not mobile (laptops, desktops, etc.), you can save money by moving to a multi-tenant private cloud.
However, if your Microsoft users require access to Microsoft Exchange Server or other networked resources, it is recommended to purchase the Windows Enterprise edition, which does not require Software Assurance.
Also, due to their mobile nature, Microsoft Surface devices do not require licenses and can be used in a multi-tenant environment.
Windows and a Multi-Tenant Private Cloud
Moving to a multi-tenant private cloud and getting the most out of your Windows investments does not have to be difficult. If you want an easy way for customers, partners, or employees with various needs to use one system without competing for resources, your company should consider moving to a multi-tenant private cloud solution.
A multi-tenant private cloud requires fewer people managing individual systems, which means more time spent doing what you love – running your business! Contact us today and we’ll help you determine how to maximize your Windows investments with a Multi-Tenant VMware Private Cloud.
Jake Fellows is the Sophisticated Hosting Product Manager for Liquid Web's Managed Hosting products and services. He has over 10 years experience involving several fields of the technology industry, including hosting, healthcare, and IT-system architecture. On his time off, he can be found in front of some form of screen enjoying movies, video games, or researching into one of his many technical side projects.
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