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Nerdio for Azure Fundamentals: Licensing and Transacting with Nerdio

0 commentsMay 11, 2019Videos

Joseph Landes
In this session, we are going to walk you through some of, the licensing options for Nerdio for Azure. How we have set Nerdio for Azure up to focus on a consumption based model, how to interpret your bill from Nerdio and the difference between our two desktop focused SKUs, Professional and Enterprise. Enjoy the session.

Vadim Vladimirskiy
We are going to start out by talking about licensing and transacting Nerdio. The first concept that I wanted to bring up is, this distinction between a licensed usage, versus consumption based usage. A lot of times this could be somewhat confusing. I want to make sure we clarify that from the get go. Licensed usage is I think what most of our us are used to.

Vadim Vladimirskiy
Initially when we deal with subscription based services, if you think about Office 365 … Let’s say you’re buying an E3 SKU. You buy X number of licenses of that SKU. Soon as you buy it, those licenses become available to you. They can then be assigned to individual users. Whether, or not they are assigned, does not affect whether you pay for that. You can buy 100 licenses, assign one of them and still be paying for all hundred, because you’ve committed to Microsoft in this case, that you are going to be purchasing 100 licenses of that particular SKU, that particular product.

Vadim Vladimirskiy
Nerdio private cloud, NBC is licensed in that way. A consumption based model is more like … Let’s call it like electricity. When you get your bill for electricity, you’re getting a bill in arrears, meaning you’re getting a bill in the month that’s subsequent, to the month when the electricity was consumed. That is a similar model with all the public clouds. You are consuming things only for the time that they’re used. If you’re buying a VM, or you’re buying a certain amount of storage, or VPN or bandwidth, you don’t really know in advance, how much you’re going to need. You’re basically … You’re allocating or you’re starting to use that particular product.

Vadim Vladimirskiy
In Azure terminology, you provision, or your deploy it. While it’s deployed, and provisioned, the meter is, so to speak, running. There’s literally a meter associated with each and every resource in Azure that has its own pricing information as we looked in the previous sessions. And then, at the end of the billing period, maybe a month, it may be some other period, you get an invoice, which is the sum total of all of, the different resources, how long they ran. Billing is per second billing, of how many seconds they ran, at what rate, et cetera. It’s a much more, sort of complex view of the world. It’s a lot more precise and exactly aligned with how much usage you’ve gotten out of the system.

Vadim Vladimirskiy
The pro to licensing models is they’re easy to understand, easy to budget for. The con is, that you’re not always using all of the licenses. You’re not always able to anticipate the need for how many licenses you need at any given time, as opposed to on the consumption based model, you’re only paying for what you consume. You’re not paying for anything you buy in advance, without using it first. It’s a lot more difficult to predict, what that consumption is going to look like.

Vadim Vladimirskiy
Why am I telling you all this? It’s a license model, in Nerdio for Azure. It’s a consumption model, which follows those principles where you get billed, or the partner gets billed on consumption in the month following the month when the licenses were consumed in the previous months. For instance, today is January. January first, an invoice was generated for each and every partner in the system, that basically will be the sum total of all of their accounts, inside of Nerdio for Azure, and how many licenses each one of those accounts consumed.

Vadim Vladimirskiy
Let me show you an example of what that looks like. Let’s go in to Nerdio for Azure. Let’s look at some sample invoices here. If you go under invoices, you can see here, that these are the invoices for a particular partner. Let’s look at, I don’t know, this simple code invoice. We click on details. Under here … There’s only one account here. We’ll look at another one in a second. You can see the invoice looks like this. It shows you who the partner is, which account it is, what license SKU is being used. We’ll go into the distinction of the different plans or additions or SKUs in a minute. And then, it shows you the total number of licenses and then the unit price, and the total and then any discounts that may apply, and then sort of the grand total that takes the discounts into account.

Vadim Vladimirskiy
What you’ll notice here is there is a non integer number of licenses, even though you can obviously only assign integer number of licenses at any given time. Why is that? The reason for this is, if you click on the, reconcile button what you’ll see is a report that shows you how many licenses were being consumed on every given day of the previous months. This is the December invoice. That means we’re looking at November usage. You can see that we had 5-5-5-5, and then a license was removed on the 16th, and it was four and then it was added back on the 17th.

Vadim Vladimirskiy
There were 1500 users added on the 19th and then all of them removed on the 20th, or the account was deleted at this point. If you look at this consumption or this usage on a daily basis and you average it out for the month. You have some days they were at zero, some days they were really high, and some days there were four or five, you get this number as the average. And then, this is the average that gets multiplied by the unit price of this particular SKU, this particular plan.

Vadim Vladimirskiy
Let’s look at another account, one that maybe has a few more customers. If you look at this partner account, go to view details, here again, you can see this is the partner, who’s getting this invoice. Their invoice includes all of these various accounts. It shows you what plan each one of those accounts is using. It shows you the date range. And then, it shows you the licenses. Again, you’ll see that these are non integer numbers as a result of the utilization varying day-to-day. You can see how it can vary day-to-day.

Vadim Vladimirskiy
A common scenario is, you manage … Somebody, a partner brings on a customer on the first day. They may have four licenses, then they start adding a group of test users of let’s say, 20 users. Now they have 24, and then as they go live, it may be mid month or end of the month, and they have 100. When they get their invoice on the first of the next month, it will take that daily usage into account. Licenses are always going to be based on these, reconciliation and invoice reports. They’ll get them always on the same day of the month. It always comes out on the first day of the month. It’s always for the prior month, and it’s always prorated based on the daily usage for each, and every one of their accounts.

Vadim Vladimirskiy
Imagine if you have a partner who’s reselling multiple accounts. In this case, we have one, two, three, four, five, six, seven customers. This is obviously all available as CSVX reports as well, where they can can filter the day then, and do all kinds of manipulation with it. Just from a presentation standpoint, there are sex or seven accounts here, each one has its own usage and cost, and then it’s all rolled up into this total. Any discounts that are relevant apply, and then you get a grand total on the bottom.

Vadim Vladimirskiy
Okay? This is what a partner would pay Nerdio. And then, if they wanted to know, “Okay, well how much do I bill each one, or maybe not how much do I bill each one of my customers, but at least how much of this 101 dollars, is attributed to a particular customer.” You can look it up here, and it will tell you, okay, it’s 870, or 8%, 8 1/2% of this total is associated with this particular customer, 5103.

Vadim Vladimirskiy
Now, if someone says, “Well, this looks really strange. Why am I getting billed for only 0.71 licenses. I would have expected this to be either lower or higher,” then they can dig in more. They can click, reconcile. They can find that particular customer, and then they can … Here’s 5103. They can see what they’re usage was and like, “Hey. Look. You only had this account at 4-4-4, during those three days, at five during those days and then it looks like the account was deleted. There is no more utilization for the rest of the month.

Vadim Vladimirskiy
The Professional is really meant for smaller organizations that have very basic IT needs. Enterprise is meant for more complex, fully featured product for more complex environments, or organizations that are larger. What do we mean by smaller organizations? This is typically organizations with 25 users or less. The out of the box configuration, what gets provisions right out of the box, when you deploy Nerdio.

Vadim Vladimirskiy
In all cases you get the main controller file server, an RDS gateway and an RDS session host. In the case of Enterprise, you also get, you get an ADFS proxy, for single sign on. You get an image for golden desktop image for VDI. VDI is not a capability of the Professional plan. Again, given the fact that this is for smaller organization with simpler needs, and then the way Professional comes out, is it comes out in these templates.

Vadim Vladimirskiy
If you look, if you click on that, a few templates box, it will show you the three available templates. They don’t affect the cost of or the price of NFA. The price is still eight dollars per user or per desktop user, per month. Depending on the size of the environment, that this is being provisioned for, you get to choose one of these three options. They could be tweaked once their provisioned. They come pre-configured. You can see for a P5w, which is meant from one to five users, you could do really small domain controller, really small file server, really small gateway and RDS session host. You get 512 gigabytes of shared storage, backup is enabled for a file server, an RDS session host. There’s no VPN, assuming that an organization of such a small size, doesn’t need it.

Vadim Vladimirskiy
If you go to P15, you get slightly larger infrastructure. You get more robust backup. You also get VPM capabilities, and then P25, again, slightly larger environment to support that number of users. This is really convenient. When you provision one of these, it’s already sort of set up to the right size. When you do Enterprise, it actually comes out, sized very small, with the intention that, well, you may have an indeterminate number of users. It may be 10 users, it may be a thousand users. The administrator who’s doing the provisioning of the account will then need to go in and tweak the environment based on the size that it needs to be.

Vadim Vladimirskiy
Under infrastructure, you get server management, the main management, VPN management, onboarding tool set, logs, and audit trail in both editions. With Enterprise, you also get something called, Azure hybrid usage support that we talked about, right? That’s something that’s available for larger organizations. Smaller organizations don’t use AHU. Hybrid active directory, we’ll deal with that in detail later on. On-ramp regions, RDS collections, automated notifications, and support for Azure reserved instances is actually available in both.

Vadim Vladimirskiy
When you go to, manage users, you can do user management for RDS users. VDI users is only available in Enterprise. GPU users only available in Enterprise. You can manage Office 365, users and license assignment. To use AD Federation, you have to have Enterprise. Group management, and shared mailbox management is available in both. From a security standpoint, you get content and thread filtering available in both products.

Vadim Vladimirskiy
Firewall management only with Enterprise and two factor authentication is also something that’s available only for Enterprise. Backup and DR, you get backup with both. DR only with Enterprise. On the optimization side of things, you get a performance monitoring, desktop auto-scaling, and scheduled server auto-scaling, only part of Enterprise. And then, partner tools, things like, cost estimator, white labeling and support, you get with both products. I would say the Enterprise plan, used much more frequently than Professional plan, and even in environments that have small number of users. The caveat for using Professional is, you kind of have to meet two criteria. You have to be a small organization, as defined by 25 users or so or less. You have very basic needs.

Vadim Vladimirskiy
Now, if you are either not small, or your needs are not basic, then you jump right into the Enterprise tier. An example of that would be … Let’s say you have a 10 person company that maybe wants to maintain their existing active directory, and wants to deploy something like Hybrid AD, or they want to take advantage of RDS collections for some auto-scaling capabilities, or they need to use Azure Hybrid usage. Any of these features, which are generally more prevalent in larger organizations, but could certainly be used by smaller organizations, if any of those are necessary, then even though the company may have fewer than 25 users, they automatically switch into the Enterprise tier, due to the complexity and the requirements of the environment.

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