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Engineering Giant’s saves $6M on Windows Server 2012

(January 2024)

Company Profile

  • Industry: Engineering
  • Size: 140k employees
  • Revenue: $67B
  • Region: 150 Countries
  • Market: Mid-Market
Analysis:
$6M
cost avoidance

Windows Server 2012 Case Study | EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

This global engineering organization is one of the world’s largest and most recognizable brands, with a rich history of developing products that have a positive impact on people’s lives across the globe. To design and maintain its innovative solutions, the company has developed a broad range of proprietary applications, many of which operate on Windows Server 2012.

In 2022, aware that Microsoft would be ending support of Windows Server 2012 the following year, the organization engaged Anglepoint to undertake a comprehensive review of its estate to establish how many of these servers were deployed across its infrastructure, and to understand how they were being used.

With a clear view of its Windows Server 2012 estate, the organization would be able to make intelligence-led decisions about which licenses to sunset, reassign and upgrade. It would also be able to calculate how many Extended Security Update (ESU) licenses to procure – vital if it was to ensure that any remaining legacy servers were adequately patched and secured.

This comprehensive Microsoft program has delivered substantial benefits to the client, avoiding costs of more than $2 million per year over three years.

The Challenge

With 22,000 different versions of Windows servers deployed across its infrastructure, this organization has a hugely complex software estate. A sizeable proportion of these deployments are of Windows Server 2012, which underpins many of the organization’s proprietary applications.

Microsoft’s decision to end support of Windows Server 2012 in late 2023 created a significant challenge for the organization, as it would be forced to procure expensive ESUs to ensure that any out-of-support servers could be patched and updated for a further three-year period. To minimize these unplanned costs, the company needed help understanding how many 2012 servers were deployed across its estate, as well as how they were being used. This knowledge would allow it to optimize the purchase of ESU licenses and streamline its overall Microsoft estate.

The Solution

Anglepoint was already partnering with the engineering organization to manage relationships with its top tier publishers, including Microsoft. With deep knowledge of its IT environment and a track record of delivering considerable value to its client, it made perfect sense to increase Anglepoint’s scope to include this latest project.

The first task for Anglepoint’s licensing experts was to collect all relevant Configuration Management Database (CMBD) information from ServiceNow, Active Directory, and off-network areas to determine how many Windows Server 2012 devices existed on the network. With Microsoft’s ESU licenses available in two editions – Standard and the more expensive Datacenter version – it was also imperative that the team established whether these devices were physical or virtual, how many processor cores they had, and which cluster they were installed on.

During this analysis of the client’s environment, it became evident that the bespoke data sources used to identify virtual machine relationships in the client’s infrastructure were generating stale and inaccurate information. To rectify this, Anglepoint leveraged ServiceNow to build more accurate and robust reports of the organization’s virtual environment. This provided a much more accurate picture of actual usage, which was 20 percent below the original figure.

The discovery phase of this project was completed in late 2022, and – even with more trustworthy data at their fingertips – it was clear that Windows Server 2012 installs were pervasive across the organization’s entire environment. ESUs for all these deployments would come at a significant cost to the client.

To mitigate the impact of this unexpected risk, Anglepoint and the client worked together to optimize the number of ESUs required after Windows Server 2012 support was withdrawn. The Anglepoint team met with all the application owners within the organization to ascertain which could be decommissioned or upgraded to a later version, negating the need for expensive license extensions. The data collected also provided the organization with valuable insights into the density of its remaining deployments. It was clear that some clusters – which would require the more expensive Datacenter edition ESUs – were under-utilized.

With Anglepoint’s expert guidance, the client began moving some of its 2012 servers to less dense clusters, minimizing the overall need for costly Datacenter ESUs. Where this was not possible, the Anglepoint team helped the organization reassign deployments so they could be covered by the more cost-effective Standard ESU licenses.

RESULTS

License reduction: With Anglepoint’s help, the client was able to reduce its need for expensive Datacenter ESU licenses by 54 percent, with Standard ESUs requirements down 5 percent.

Cost avoidance: By rationalizing its licenses in this way, Anglepoint has enabled its client to avoid potential costs of more than $2 million per year for three years.

A leaner infrastructure: By working with internal stakeholders to determine which servers could be reassigned or upgraded, Anglepoint has helped the client streamline its infrastructure and reduce management overheads.

Access to trustworthy data: With more robust reporting tools and processes now in place, Anglepoint has provided the organization with greater visibility and control over its environment.

With 22,000 different versions of Windows servers deployed across its infrastructure, this organization has a hugely complex software estate.

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