Microsoft last year promised a new “Premium Assurance” product to provide security updates for Windows Server and SQL Server for an additional six years. And now it's delivered: Premium Assurance went on sale as of last week with incentives to cough up sooner rather than later.
Redmond's support arrangements typically see it offer five years of “Mainstream Support”, during which products receive updates to add functionality, bug fixes and full security support. “Extended Support” then kicked in for another five years, during which time users can expect security updates and bug fixes.
Premium Assurance will add six years' worth of “Security updates and bulletins rated 'Critical' and 'Important'.”
Redmond's new support product comes with an big hint to pay now for support you'll receive much, much, later, because the sooner you pay the cheaper Premium Assurance will be.
Here's how that works, as detailed in the Premium Assurance Data Sheet (PDF) :
Pay now for support you may not ever need?
You need an Enterprise Agreement, Enterprise Agreement Subscription, Enrollment for Education Solutions or Server and Cloud Enrollment to be eligible for Premium Assurance.
You also need a long planning horizon: Windows Server 2016's extended support date is 2027. Paying up for another six years support – which will take you through to 2033 - is an extraordinary commitment to any platform! And perhaps even more extraordinary at a time when serverless computing has shown us that operating systems aren't all they're cracked up to be. ®