Interlink Cloud Blog
Matt Scherocman

Top 5 Benefits to Upgrading Your SQL Server 2005 Databases

Top 5 Benefits to Upgrading Your SQL Server 2005 Databases

Time is winding down as extended support for SQL Server 2005 ends. For users still on this version, this milestone means no more hotfixes and security updates. In addition, you may also be missing out on a few very important benefits and costing your business more money.

By upgrading your SQL Server 2005 databases you can realize the five following benefits:

1. Better Compliance:

With an upgraded version of SQL Server, you can rest assured your data is protected and you’ll stay on top of regulatory compliance and internal security audits. As reporting requirements change and your business scales, make sure your systems are tracking every step along the way. The best way to do this is to stay current with SQL Server.

2. Faster Performance:

SQL Server 2014 delivers 13x performance gains relative to SQL Server 2005 and 5.5x performance gains over SQL Server 2008. If you’re looking to speed up your business processes and streamline operations, this is the area to focus on.

3. Reduced Total Cost of Ownership (TCO):

Azure Virtual Machines can help you reduce the TCO of deployment, management, and maintenance of your enterprise database applications as it’s all managed and maintained in the cloud instead of under your roof!

4. Easier Migration:

Microsoft Azure SQL Database has enhanced compatibility with SQL Server that makes it easier than ever to migrate from SQL Server 2005 to SQL Server 2014 and Microsoft Azure SQL Database. With helpful tools and support directly from Microsoft, upgrading does not have to be an overwhelming task that results in a ton of downtime for your business.

5. Short Payback Period:

You can maximize your IT spend by seeing a return on your investment quicker than ever! According to the Forrester Total Economic Impact of Microsoft SQL Server study, you can also experience a payback period of just 9.5 months for moving to SQL Server 2012 or 2014.


If you need help with your SQL Server Upgrade, Interlink offers a SQL MODERNIZATION ASSESSMENT or POC.

SQL Modernization Assessment Ad

These offers help you learn the right approach, technologies, and tools for a data platform modernization to either SQL Server 2014 and/or Azure SQL Database.*

Contact us today!

* Some organizations may qualify for free Microsoft funding to cover the assessment and POC.

Matt Scherocman

What Are the Storage Limits of SharePoint?

storage limits sharepoint

Customers are frequently asking what kind of storage they get with SharePoint Online. Microsoft has recently released updates for SharePoint Online via their Office 365 Roadmap:  

Quick Summary for E plans:

  • Each Tenant (SharePoint Online instance) gets 1TB of storage space included. Then each user of the E plans will add 500MB of storage space into the shared pool. This is up from 10GB per tenant and 500MB per user.
    • For example:  A client with 250 users would get 1TB + 125GB (500MB x 250) for the main storage on SharePoint. Each extra GB is 0.20 per month, so an additional incremental Terabyte would only be about $200 per month.

Improvements for SharePoint Online and OneDrive for Business 2b 1024x379
Example of a large CAD file successfully uploaded into a Team Site Document Library in SharePoint Online.

  • The pooled storage is used across all sites on SharePoint Online, Office 365 Groups, and Office 365 Videos
  • Upload larger files, up to 10 GB each
    • This applies to files uploaded to Team Sites, and OneDrive for Business, as well as for videos uploaded into the Office 365 Video Portal.


This posting is provided “AS IS” with no warranties, and confers no rights. 

 

Matt Scherocman

The Azure Hybrid Use Benefit – Don’t Purchase Windows Server Twice

microsoft azure hybrid use benefit

One of the primary reason companies move their software to the cloud is because of the cost savings, but there are still ramp-up expenses to consider even if it’s not a capital expense anymore. As companies undergo the transition to the cloud, whether it be a hybrid solution or all in the cloud, every little bit of savings counts.

Until now, many organizations have owned Windows Server licensing through a licensing agreement and then purchased access to Windows Server again when they setup a new virtual machine on Azure. Many clients were paying for the same functionality twice!

The Azure Hybrid Use Benefit has changed all of that. As of February 1, 2016, the Azure Hybrid Use Benefit lets those owning Windows Server Licenses with Software Assurance to use that existing license on Azure, which saves money. For each Windows Server 2 processor license with Software Assurance, customers may run two virtual machines with up to 8 cores each or one virtual machine with up to 16 cores.

Azure hybrid use benefit savings chart

Savings based on a D2 instance in US East 2 Region, operating at the full time hourly rate, and including the cost of Software Assurance. (source)

Next Steps

The Azure Hybrid Use Benefit is Microsoft’s effort to help you get the most value from licenses, on-premises and in the cloud. But first find out…

  • Do You Qualify? The Azure Hybrid Use Benefit is currently available for customers with Windows Server licenses covered with Software Assurance.
  • What Next? The Azure Hybrid Use Benefit is applied by creating a Windows virtual machine through PowerShell and setting the new license Type property for each virtual machine. Windows virtual machines with the new property are billed at the base compute rate, with a specific notation in the bill that the benefit has been applied.

Do you want to save with this new Azure Hybrid Use Benefit? Check out the FAQ here and contact us to learn more!

* Base compute rate is described in the FAQ.

Matt Scherocman

Important Notice About Certificate Expiration for Exchange 2013 Hybrid Customers

Attention customers running Exchange in hybrid mode

Microsoft is making a change on April 15th that will possibly break mail flow from your on-premises environment to the Office 365 platform.  

This will have no impact on you if you are not running Exchange in hybrid mode. Please see the full details below on who will be affected. 

Our team is standing by to assist you with this change if needed to ensure mail flow is not interrupted.  


If you’re running Exchange 2013 and you’ve configured a hybrid deployment with Office 365, this post contains important information that might impact you. Please evaluate this information and take any necessary action before April 15, 2016. 

On April 15, 2016, the Office 365 TLS certificate will be renewed. This certificate is used by Office 365 to provide TLS encryption between Office 365 and external SMTP servers. The new certificate, which will help improve the security of mail sent to and from Office 365, will be issued by a new Certificate Authority and it will have a new Issuer and Subject.

This change has the potential to stop hybrid mailflow between Office 365 and your on-premises Exchange servers if one of the following conditions applies to you:

  • Your on-premises Exchange servers are running Exchange 2013 Cumulative Update 8 (CU8) or lower.
  • You’ve upgraded the Exchange 2013 servers that handle hybrid mailflow to Exchange 2013 CU9 or higher. However, since upgrading to CU9, you HAVE NOT re-run the Hybrid Configuration wizard (either from the Exchange Admin Center or via the direct download link).

If one of the previous conditions applies to your organization, hybrid mailflow between Office 365 and your organization will stop working after April 15, 2016 unless you complete the steps below.

Note: This only affects hybrid mailflow. Regular mailflow and TLS encryption is NOT affected.

How to keep hybrid mail flowing (MUST be completed before 4/15/2016)

Let the new Hybrid Configuration wizard do it for you

You can use the latest Hybrid Configuration wizard (HCW) to configure your Exchange 2013 servers to work with the new TLS certificate. Just follow these steps:

  1. If the Exchange 2013 servers handling hybrid mailflow are running Exchange 2013 CU8 or lower, follow the instructions in Updates for Exchange 2013 to install the latest cumulative update on at least one server.
  2. After you install the latest cumulative update, download the new HCW application and run the wizard following the instructions here.

Note: For information on which releases of Exchange are supported with Office 365, see Hybrid deployment prerequisites.

Manual update

If you can’t upgrade Exchange 2013 to latest cumulative update right now (although we would like to remind you of our support policy), you can manually configure your servers to work with the new TLS certificate. On each Exchange 2013 server that’s used for hybrid mailflow, open the Exchange Management Shell, and run the following commands:

$rc=Get-ReceiveConnector |where {$_.TlsDomainCapabilities -like "**"}

Set-ReceiveConnector -Identity $rc.Identity -TlsDomainCapabilities "mail.protection.outlook.com:AcceptCloudServicesMail

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Matt Scherocman

The End of SQL Server 2005 Support is Near - Does Your Database Need an Upgrade?

sql server end of life interlink

Databases can sometimes be forgotten - hidden behind the applications that they support. Yet, if you find yourself without support and your datis left exposed – even temporarily, you may be putting your organization at risk.

For those organizations still running SQL Server 2005, it may be time to seriously start evaluating an upgrade. On April 12, 2016, after ten years of going strong, extended support for all versions of SQL Server 2005 is coming to an endThe good news is, over the last decade, Microsoft has continued to invest in this technology and SQL Server has evolved to be an enterprise-class solution to support the growing business needs of organizations - large and smallUpgrading is not just a maintenance task, but an opportunity to provide new value to your business. 

With April 12th right around the cornerthere's no better time to start the evaluation process. 

Depending on the type of application, the migration destination, the scale of the move and resources allocated, migrations can take several months, and without extended support you will no longer get security updates and may also experience:

  • Higher maintenance costs

  • Potential compliance issues 

Watch this short video Is It Time To Upgrade You Database? to help you determine if it’s the right time to migrate and begin achieving breakthrough performance with a move to SQL Server 2014 and/or Azure SQL Database.

In addition to deciding if it’s the right time for you to upgrade, you'll need to weigh all your migration options. 

  1. SQL Server 2014 (On-Premise Server) 
    SQL Server 2014 can provide very fast performance with built-in technology to speed up applications compared to older versions of SQL Server. In fact, SQL Server 2014 benchmarked 13x faster than SQL Server 2005 and 5.5x faster than SQL Server 2008. Reduced downtime, increased mission-critical uptime, fast failover, improved manageability, and better use of hardware resources are just some of the benefits that users report after leveraging SQL Server 2014

  2. SQL Azure (Cloud)
    With SQL Server 2014 available on Azure, you can prioritize cost savings and minimal administration.There are currently two options for hosting: SQL Server workloads in the cloud through Azure SQL Database (Software-as-a-Service/ SaaS) or SQL Server on Azure Virtual Machines (Infrastructure as a Service/ IaaS).  We can walk you through which options make the most sense for you.  
  1. Hybrid Approach: On-Premise Server + Cloud
    Microsoft has added several hybrid cloud options to SQL Server 2014 that is showing real value, even for those who continue to run on premise. The hybrid cloud options don’t require you to move your entire SQL Server databases to the cloud. Instead, you can extend to on premise SQL Server instances to the cloud where it makes sense for your business. With enhancements to SQL Server 2014’s Backup, AlwaysOn Replicas, and SQL Server Data Files, these hybrid options can cover all the bases of a complete and secure SQL Server setup. 

  2. Disaster Recovery As A Service – DRAAS
    Allows on premise database to sync out to the cloud for backup and disaster recovery. This can be the best of both world while it allows for fast on LAN speeds and full operation ability in the cloud.  

 

What is the best path for you?

Utilizing Microsoft-based funding, Interlink is currently offering a detailed SQL Modernization Assessment along with a Proof of Concept for SQL Server 2014 and SQL AzureThrough both the assessment and POC, our team can help you determine the right approach, technologies and tools for data platform modernization for SQL Server 2014 and/or SQL Azure Database. The scope, activities, and deliverables for each will vary based on your unique objectives, ultimately tailoring the right fit for your organization the first time.

SQL Assessment

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