We understand that IT Budgets are shrinking, and the pressure is on you to ensure you are spending those budget dollars wisely. Our goal is to empower you with an honest and reliable estimate on the costs to assess your SQL Licensing environment to help you budget for your project. This SQL Server Tools and Consulting Assessment pricing guide will help you develop an initial budget and plan for the costs associated with the different types of assessments that we offer. Want more details on how SQL Server Licensing and pricing works? Check out our blog post on this topic.
Cost of SQL Server Assessments: A few things to consider…
There are a few things to consider when looking at the costs of these types of consulting engagements:
• The size of your SQL Server Environment • The complexity of your architecture • Is SQL in the Cloud (AWS or Azure) or 3rd party datacenters? • Any tools that you currently have for inventory or Software Asset Management (SAM)?
• Is there any customization in your contract? • Do you have a good accounting for all your license entitlements? • Are you mixing and matching licenses from multiple contracts? • Do you purchase Software Assurance on all licenses?
• How much (or how little involvement) do you want from a consultant? • How experienced is the consultancy staff? Are they junior and just starting out; or do they have years of experience? • Amount of training your consultant provides its staff? • What level of customer service do you need?
Your answers in the three categories above will have a definite impact on the cost of an engagement. We always remind people that a Single SQL Enterprise Server can cost $35,000 or more. With the right program and team in place committed to finding ways to reduce the costs on a couple of these servers will more than pay for the cost of your entire engagement.
Now let’s look at how each of these categories factor into pricing:
Obviously, the more SQL Servers you have, the more time it is going to take to collect, process and analyze the data needed to determine an Estimated License Position. A complex environment (multiple domains, multiple toolsets, 3rd party data centers, etc.) will also contribute to the overall costs of an engagement. Environment size and complexity are things that add to the costs of the engagement, but effective tools can decrease costs. Tools that provide accurate inventory versus tracking via a spreadsheet (or anything in between) also impact the price.
Do you have an accurate inventory of what you own, and do you fully understand what your contractual rights are for Microsoft SQL Server? The more places you purchase from (we have clients that have 30 or 40 contracts), the more difficult it can be to get a complete picture of what you own. Although these factors may have a limited impact on cost – clients are often surprised with just how long it might take to gather this information.
There are a lot of people out there that are ex-vendor or licensing experts. This could be anyone from your reseller, a small consulting firm that specializes in licensing and Software Asset Management, to the big consulting firms. You want to make sure you partner with someone that understands you and is going to invest the time in constantly training their people. By some reports, Microsoft makes almost 500 changes per year to their licensing programs. MetrixData 360 prides itself on the quality of our staff. We spend hundreds of hours each year training all of our staff on licensing changes and industry trends. Your data is where we really shine. Our clients will happily serve as references for us on our ability to take your data and make information clear and concise so you can make informed decisions on your SQL Server Licensing requirements.
Depending on the type of SQL Servers Assessment you are looking for the costs will vary. To use our curated toolset for a do-it-yourself approach the costs for a SQL Assessment start as low as a $5000 one-time set-up fee + $20 per SQL Server. Assessments that are done as a consulting engagement or assessments to make your SAM Tool work for you range in price from $10,000 to $50,000+. SQL Cloud assessments are typically annual engagements where we monitor your on-premise servers and your cloud environment to decrease overall costs to run SQL in VMware, Azure, or AWS environments (these engagements typically include all your Windows Servers as well). These assessments start at $7500 one-time set up fee + $150 per year per instance.
Meet “Amir”, Director of IT Infrastructure for a leading healthcare services company *
Amir’s team had a hard job. Growing over the years through many acquisitions and divestitures there was no centralized view of what was in their IT environment. Each facility was responsible every year of passing an internal audit (that includes a software audit), but there was no centralized view of anything. Knowing how complicated SQL Licensing is, Amir was very concerned that the organization subject to stringent regulatory standards may have some compliance exposure.
That’s when Amir reached out to MetrixData 360. He was right to be worried – because they did have exposure.
“Ben and Danny at MetrixData 360 are my new secret weapon. I thought it would be impossible to get a centralized view of all our facilities, let alone truly understand what we needed from a licensing perspective. Boy was I wrong. I now have a clear picture of where I stand, and I have the MetrixData 360 team give me an updated view each month, so I never have to worry again. MetrixData 360 leveraged their extensive knowledge to point out installations of software no longer supported that we still had deployed in a couple facilities. I was able to get that taken care of too! To say I sleep better at night now is quite an understatement!”
* We value and protect our clients’ rights to privacy – client names are withheld as a result and individual’s names have been changed. Upon request for references, NDAs will be put in place and we will happily provide you the accurate information at that time
Meet “Susan”, Director of IT Asset Management for a global information provider*
Susan’s company was being audited by Microsoft and had a very hard time defending themselves to the auditors effectively to the auditors who didn’t understand the data themselves… but reported it back to Microsoft as factual regardless. Susan’s biggest area of concern was with their SQL Server count. With thousands of instances across multiple data centers, it was almost impossible to make sense of the data. Not being able to make sense of it made it impossible to defend the penalties Microsoft was preparing to hit them with.
After nearly 6 months of working with auditors and getting nowhere, Susan’s boss (the CIO) was almost ready to throw in the towel and write Microsoft a very large check. They knew the $5M shortfall in licensing that the data presented at face value was wrong but they simply couldn’t prove it and they didn’t know what to do about it anymore. Making sense of the hundreds of thousands of rows of data was an exercise in futility for them – let alone help the auditors see it differently.
That’s when they called MetrixData 360 … and that call changed everything!
“With MetrixData 360’s help, we were finally able to organize our data in a manner that was MUCH easier to understand. MetrixData 360’s reporting tools not only organized our data, but their licensing expertise helped us understand how to effectively argue against the costly misrepresentation that the auditor’s data reports gave to Microsoft. Internally, we were able to make sure that we were licensing only what was needed and we were able to effectively defend ourselves using the auditor’s data to prove it! The result? We owed nothing! That’s right! MetrixData 360 saved us from spending $5 Million dollars we didn’t need to!”
In order to not get themselves into this position again, they decided to implement ServiceNow’s SAM Pro module. When they couldn’t get the results from the tool they needed, they turned to MetrixData 360 once again.
“Once again we found ourselves in the position where the data was saying one thing (that we had a large true-up for SQL Licenses due) but our gut was telling us something different. MetrixData 360 came in and with their tools and knowledge, helped us understand our ServiceNow data and get accurate SQL Licensing positions created!”
*We value and protect our clients’ rights to privacy – client names are withheld as a result and individual’s names have been changed. Upon request for references, NDAs will be put in place and we will happily provide you the accurate information at that time.
Data Information Provider saves over $2M on SQL Licensing not once but twice with MetrixData 360’s help (write story of HIS for pop up)