Select Plus Retirement

The Microsoft Select Plus agreement has been retired for almost a year. Existing Select Plus customers were given a year to renew their agreement’s Software Assurance (SA). On July 1, 2016, however, no SA under Select Plus will be renewed and purchases will cease after the agreement's next anniversary. Retirement does not apply to academic or government customers purchasing through Select Plus.

Organizations currently enrolled in Select Plus are encouraged to consider moving to other agreements, particularly the Microsoft Products & Services Agreement (MPSA).

MPSA is part of Microsoft’s strategy to modernize the process of buying Microsoft cloud services and software. It is a new foundational “master” agreement that significantly simplifies the Volume Licensing agreement by consolidating common terms and conditions from standard Microsoft Volume Licensing agreements into a single agreement for all organizations. It includes terms and conditions from the Microsoft Business and Services Agreement (MBSA) and Microsoft Select Plus agreement, and terms for purchasing Microsoft Online Services.

Moving to the MPSA

You can sign an MPSA with the help of your channel partner using your existing Select Plus price level to determine the price level through the MPSA. You would then stop purchasing through the Select Plus agreement and begin purchasing through the new MPSA.

MPSA offers flexibility and wider product offerings than Select Plus. Organizations enrolled in MPSA have access to Microsoft Online Services and the ability to work with multiple partners under a single account.

SQL Server 2016

We are pleased to announce the general availabilty of SQL Server 2016, the world's fastest and most price-performant database for HTAP (Hybrid Transactional and Analytical Processing).

SQL Server 2016 is generally available as of June 1, 2016. Anyone can download the free 180-day trial of Microsoft’s latest database software if they’re to eventually make the jump to SQL Server 2016.

Designed with the modern world in mind, SQL Server 2016 simplifies analytics in the way databases simplify enterprise data management. SQL Server 2016 moves analytics close to where the data is managed instead of the other way around, thereby enabling analytics on real-time transactions with great speed and parallelism.

SQL Server 2016 also takes advantage of your existing IT investments. Modern servers can support a large number of cores, can hold terabytes of memory, and provide very high I/O bandwidth with local flash storage. Combine that and SQL Server 2016’s ground-breaking performance optimizations and efficiencies, new levels of performance and scale can be reached.

The four editions of SQL Server

SQL Server 2016 features by edition

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Windows Server 2016

Windows Server 2016 is the cloud-ready operating system that supports your current workloads while introducing new technologies that make it easy to transition to cloud computing. It delivers powerful new layers of security along with Azure-inspired innovation for the applications and infrastructure that power your business.

Add layers of security

  • Prevent risks associated with compromised administrative credentials. Use new privileged identity management features to limit access to “just enough” and “just in time” administration. Ensure only permitted binaries are executed using additional security features such as Control Flow Guard and Code Integrity.
  • Use Hyper-V Containers for a unique additional layer of isolation for containerized applications. Evolve your infrastructure.
  • Protect your virtual machines using the unique shielded virtual machine feature.

Evolve your infrastructure

  • Reduce your datacenter footprint, increase availability, and reduce resource usage with “just enough OS” using the Nano Server deployment option, with an image that is 25x smaller than Windows Server 2016 with the full desktop experience.
  • Upgrade infrastructure clusters to Windows Server 2016 with zero downtime for your workload, and without requiring new hardware, using mixed-mode cluster upgrades.
  • Manage Windows servers from anywhere using the new web-based GUI – Server management tools – which are especially useful for managing headless deployment options such as Nano Server

Innovate

  • Windows Server Containers bring the agility and density of containers to the Windows ecosystem, enabling agile application development and management
  • Run traditional first-party applications such as SQL Server 2016 with best-in-class performance, security and availability.
  • Use the lightweight Nano Server deployment option for the agility and flexibility today’s application developers need. It’s the perfect option for running applications from containers or micro services