Tag Archives: pricing

New HashiCorp Terraform pricing aims for midsize firms, teams

HashiCorp Terraform offers a new midrange pricing tier that may appeal to teams within enterprises who want to use the infrastructure-as-code tool, but don’t want to wait for a capital commitment to Terraform Enterprise.

HashiCorp Terraform Cloud, a hosted version of the open source-based infrastructure-as-code software, came out as a free offering in 2018, which offered cloud-based state storage for Terraform users outside the Terraform Enterprise subscription user base. This week, HashiCorp added features to the free version, and rolled out a paid version, Terraform Cloud for Teams, that bridges the gap between the Terraform Cloud free tier and Terraform Enterprise.

“How do you collaborate with your peers if you’re not in a regulated corporate setting, if Terraform Enterprise is too big?” said Armon Dadgar, co-founder and CTO of HashiCorp, in a keynote presentation at HashiConf this week.

Additions to the Terraform Cloud free tier will flesh out Terraform for this mid-tier scenario, Dadgar said. In addition to state storage, Terraform Cloud free tier will now support remote plan and apply operations for Terraform infrastructure-as-code templates, as well as team-based workflows and collaboration and a private module registry for internal distribution among teams.

For Terraform teams that do want enterprise governance features, Terraform Cloud for Teams comes with role-based access control for private module registries and support for unlimited collaborators in a version priced at $20 per user per month. For $70 per user per month, Terraform Cloud for Teams also includes Sentinel policy as code and advanced policy and permissions features that can be customized among multiple regions and time zones, and enforced as mandatory or suggestions. The $70 per month version also includes a new cloud infrastructure cost estimation feature that alerts users about the projected costs of infrastructure they are about to provision with Terraform.

There will be overlap in the Terraform Cloud for Teams audience between midsize companies that will never need Terraform Enterprise, industry watchers say, and very large companies where IT teams don’t want to go through the politics of instituting a Terraform Enterprise license agreement.

How do you collaborate with your peers if you’re not in a regulated corporate setting, if Terraform Enterprise is too big?
Armon Dadgar Co-founder and CTO, HashiCorp

“Most big customers face a similar internal dynamic where it’s more and more difficult to get capital budget for IT projects, and top-down license agreements take a very long time,” said John Mitchell, formerly chief platform architect at SAP Ariba, a HashiCorp Enterprise shop, and now an independent digital transformation consultant who contracts with HashiCorp, among others. “Terraform Cloud for Teams offers an Opex-based consumption model, with fewer training issues, that gives enterprise teams an ‘end around’ to be able to use the tool from a political and budgeting standpoint.”

HashiCorp can also use these team-based footholds to upsell the wider enterprise on a Terraform Enterprise license agreement where appropriate, Mitchell said.

Terraform Cloud’s features in both the free tier and paid Teams versions also expanded to include workflow integrations with third-party IT management and DevOps platforms, from GitHub to ServiceNow and Slack, Dadgar said. Those tools could trigger Terraform build and deploy jobs in the past, but Terraform teams can now collaborate within those platforms as well. Terraform Cloud webhooks also let users back Terraform in to a broader IT automation ecosystem, including custom applications.

Terraform’s future: Remain ‘Switzerland’ or join a platform?

It’s no coincidence that HashiCorp seems to broaden Terraform’s reach into third-party workflow platforms, as many large enterprise IT vendors race to offer soup-to-nuts DevOps and infrastructure automation platforms for their respective customers. It’s also no secret that HashiCorp might make a juicy acquisition target for such a platform player. However, such speculation has been ongoing for at least a year, without any such acquisition in place, and industry experts are divided on whether HashiCorp will join up with a platform vendor or retain its platform independence while partnering with larger companies.

For HashiCorp loyalists such as Mitchell, HashiCorp’s lack of affiliation with any one infrastructure or software platform provider is key to its appeal.

“The reality is that HashiCorp’s founders have been around long enough to see what happens to most acquisitions done by [large IT vendors],” he said. “Even if the IP technically survives, it’s still part of that bigger machine and economic model. HashiCorp will be more successful long-term than as part of an incumbent, legacy bureaucracy.”

At the same time, HashiCorp faces some of the same business model problems as other independent open core software businesses, as major cloud providers threaten to usurp their value. So far, HashiCorp has taken a slightly different tack than players such as Elastic Inc. and Redis that saw open source software lifted by cloud providers such as Amazon — HashiCorp offers its own managed services with Terraform Cloud, and where a third-party provider offers them, such as Microsoft Azure’s HashiCorp Consul Service, HashiCorp’s site reliability engineers retain control over back-end management.

“That has to be part of their strategy if they’re going to remain independent, figuring out how to block or sidestep the obvious invasion by cloud providers,” Mitchell said.

Other industry watchers don’t count HashiCorp out as an acquisition target just yet.

“Terraform has the advantage of being able to deploy applications, while others have to find a way to plug in with CI/CD tools,” said Tom Petrocelli, analyst at Amalgam Insights in Arlington, Mass. “But in a world where platforms matter, at some point they have to pull what they have together as part of a platform to compete with the likes of Ansible.”

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Slack-Zoom partnership could include joint pricing

Analysts expect Slack and Zoom to eventually bundle pricing for their cloud software to undercut the appeal of all-in-one collaboration suites from Microsoft and Cisco.

Team messaging vendor Slack and online meetings provider Zoom signed a contract earlier this year to align their product roadmaps and marketing strategies. So far, the companies have focused on making it easier for businesses to use their products side by side.

A logical next step would be for the upstarts to offer bundled pricing deals to woo businesses already paying for Office 365, which includes the competing app Microsoft Teams, analysts said. It could also help the vendors counter competitors such as Cisco and Google, which sell both messaging and meetings apps.

“Neither of them can own a customer the way Microsoft or Cisco can,” said Jon Arnold, principal analyst at J Arnold and Associates. “So I think for them to get into the enterprise market, where the real dollars are, it’s just got to be a stronger offering.”

Companies have been willing to pay for Slack and Zoom up to this point because their products have offered more features and have been easier to use than many competing apps, said Irwin Lazar, analyst at Nemertes Research.

“That’s not a sustainable advantage. The other vendors are getting better,” Lazar said. “So I think, at some point, they are going to have to figure out how to have combined go-to-market offers that bundle pricing to provide discounts.”

A Zoom representative acknowledged a pricing bundle with Slack wasn’t outside the realm of possibility. The companies are already working together on joint billboards and other marketing initiatives, said Laura Padilla, who directs Zoom’s business development and channel program.

“Around bundling or packaging with pricing, that’s not something we’re willing to discuss right now, but they are considered a strategic partner, so there may be something like that in the future,” Padilla said.

Slack declined to comment.

Slack features coming to Zoom

In the meantime, businesses can expect tighter integrations between the two apps — including ways to access Slack from the Zoom interface.

Photo of Stewart Butterfield and Eric Yuan
Slack CEO and co-founder Stewart Butterfield, left, with Zoom CEO and founder Eric Yuan at Slack Frontiers 2019.

The pair’s integrations to date have focused on making it possible for users to join Zoom meetings from Slack. But the companies have a multi-year roadmap that includes a commitment to build integrations in the opposite direction.

“We’re going to be bringing in a lot more of the Slack features into Zoom,” Padilla said.

The Slack-Zoom partnership bore its first fruit late last month with an update to the Zoom app for Slack. In Slack, users can now view the participants in an ongoing Zoom meeting. They can also set up notifications that let them join Zoom meetings by clicking a button rather than typing a command.

In the future, users will be able to make phone calls in Slack using Zoom Phone, a new cloud calling service.

The partnership sets the stage for a showdown between two models for selling software.

Vendors such as Microsoft offer a cloud-based suite of productivity and collaboration apps able to meet virtually all of a customer’s needs. Vendors such as Slack and Zoom specialize in one type of app to make better software than anyone else in their niche.  

Slack and Zoom both began trading stock publicly early this year and must now report financial results to Wall Street every quarter. To achieve long-term profitability, they each need to sell to larger businesses, a huge chunk of which already uses Office 365. 

More than 15,000 teams have installed Slack’s integration with Zoom, which lets users launch Zoom meetings from Slack. That’s up from more than 10,000 teams in April and roughly 5,000 teams a year ago, showing that companies are increasingly using the two apps in tandem.

“Slack doesn’t have the meetings and Zoom doesn’t have the workstream collaboration,” said Mike Fasciani, analyst at Gartner. “So it really requires a paring of these two to be able to stand up and compete against Microsoft.”

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Increases expected from new Microsoft Dynamics 365 pricing

Upcoming changes to Microsoft Dynamics 365 pricing will lead to lower licensing fees for some users while possibly raising the cost of the cloud-based business applications platform for organizations with 100-plus seats.

Microsoft described the changes, scheduled to take effect Oct. 1, in a blog post this week. The company gave partners advance notice of the new pricing scheme at last week’s Inspire conference in Las Vegas.

Midsize and larger organizations that use more than one application could face significant increases, because of Microsoft’s decision to unbundle Dynamics 365 apps and sell them a la carte. Currently, the cloud apps come priced as bundles, with many companies on a Customer Engagement Plan at $115 per user/month. The plan includes five core applications — Sales, Customer Service, Field Service, Project Service Automation and Marketing.

The new individual pricing would cost $95 per user/month for one app, with $20 “attach licenses” for additional apps. Alysa Taylor, corporate vice president for business applications at Microsoft, said in the blog post that customers preferred having the option of adding or removing applications as their companies grew and changed over time.

 Microsoft Dynamics 365 pricing to take effect October 2019
Microsoft Dynamics 365 CRM ‘attach pricing’

But users of Dynamics 365 CRM software would likely pay more for that convenience, Dolores Ianni, an analyst at Gartner, said. Those customers typically employ multiple applications in the Customer Engagement Plan.

I feel that a majority of renewing customers are going to be substantially impacted by this change.
Dolores IanniAnalyst, Gartner

“If you’re using four applications and you had a thousand users, well, your price went up 158% — it varies wildly,” Ianni said. “I feel that a majority of renewing customers are going to be substantially impacted by this change.”

Microsoft claims 80% of its customers are using only one application, but anecdotal evidence indicates otherwise. Conversations with Microsoft customers — and a review of their contracts — show that the largest enterprises with 1,000 or more users could pay substantially more in some cases, Ianni said. Organizations with 100 or more users could also pay more, even if they’re using only one application. Companies with more than one application would get hit harder.

Microsoft could offer its largest customers promotional deals that would mitigate the price hike, Ianni said. The company often provides such breaks when changing pricing.

Readiness tips for Dynamics 365 pricing changes

Organizations should prepare for the new pricing structures by analyzing which employees use which applications today. Businesses can sometimes find ways to cut costs after getting a complete understanding of how workers are using the software.

“They’re going to have to do their homework to a much greater degree than they did in the past,” Ianni said.

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Cisco ASR 9000 router gets usage-based pricing

Cisco has introduced pay-as-you-go pricing for the latest line card of the ASR 9000 router, offering service providers a more flexible licensing model as they evaluate 5G infrastructure suppliers.

Cisco’s new licensing model, unveiled this week, applies to the new line card and subsequent generations. The latest hardware has a maximum throughput of 3.2 Tbps, uses a half watt of power per gigabit and is available with 32, 16 or 8 ports of 100 GbE. The cards fit into existing ASR 9000 chassis.

The pricing change lets service providers buy a license for ASR 9000 capacity across sites, but only pay for what they use. The cost would increase as ports are activated, said Sumeet Arora, the head of engineering for service provider network systems at Cisco.

Previously, service providers had to buy an ASR 9000 license for each site based on expected demand. As a result, the customers would pay for capacity they weren’t using, Arora said.

The ASR 9000 router in 5G

Cisco is making its pricing more customer-friendly as service providers consider technology like the ASR 9000 to support future 5G business and consumer services. The fifth-generation cellular technology delivers speed, capacity and latency improvements that will enable new products for healthcare, manufacturing, entertainment and the auto industry, proponents have said.

However, analysts do not expect the 5G services market to take off for several years. Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins recently told financial analysts that he didn’t expect significant 5G sales until 2020.

ASR 9000
ASR 9000 router with 32 100 GbE ports

Until the 5G market opens, Cisco is aiming the new ASR 9000 line cards at the network edge where service providers deliver virtual private networks and other business services. Other “big use cases” include internet peering, data center interconnects and the IP infrastructure for mobile services, Arora said.

The ASR 9000 router competes with products from Juniper Networks, Huawei and Nokia. The latter two vendors, along with Ericsson, comprise the top three suppliers to service providers.

Last week, Juniper Networks announced a partnership with Ericsson to sell a collection of products for moving 5G traffic. Cisco announced a wide-ranging partnership with Ericsson in 2015, but that deal has stalled, and many analysts believe it is nearly dead.

“The Ericsson-Cisco partnership was a nonstarter, and both parties did not follow up on the promise that they had articulated during the announcement,” said Rajesh Ghai, an analyst at IDC.

Amazon Prime Video to Launch on Xbox One X and is Available Globally on Xbox One Today

Editor’s Note: We have removed regional pricing from this post. Please consult Amazon.com for the most up-to-date pricing of Amazon Prime for your home territory.

Starting today, the Amazon Prime Video app will be available for download globally through Microsoft Store. Prime Video members  will be able to enjoy streaming of leading TV shows and movies on Microsoft’s Xbox One family of devices, including the Xbox One X, once it makes its global debut on November 7.

Last December, Amazon Prime Video launched for customers in more than 200 countries and territories around the globe. From Australia to Canada and even Bhutan to Uzbekistan, Amazon Prime Video members are now enjoying popular new original series like the superhero comedy “The Tick,” the most-watched Prime Video series worldwide –  “The Grand Tour” – from Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May, and popular and award-winning Amazon Original Series like “The Man in the High Castle,” “Transparent,” “Mozart in the Jungle,” “American Gods,Sneaky Pete” and more, along with popular Hollywood movies and TV shows.  Prime Video also has titles available in 4K UHD meaning customers can enjoy their favorite movies or series with unprecedented picture clarity – details are sharper with smoother lines so that even up-close images seem clearer and more realistic.

New customers can sign-up for a Prime Video membership at PrimeVideo.comto stream on Xbox One and many more connected devices. Members can also download all movies and TV shows for offline viewing on mobile devices—that means watching on a plane, train, anywhere, it’s completely up to you.

For existing Amazon Prime members, you can start watching today at no additional cost to your Prime membership. Interested in getting the latest from Amazon Prime Video on Xbox? Head over to the Microsoft Store and download the app today!

For Sale – Various Parts (PSU, Case, SSD)

Thanks for reply, I will admit I have been out of the loop on pricing for a while now.

I’m going to have to stick to my original response, if I have no luck on here then I will stick the GPU on eBay as they seem to fetch a lot more on there. Apologies.

Thanks for the offer, I’m definitely keen to shift the two as a set. Do you have any intention of using the stock CPU cooler? If not I would like to accept your offer based on being able to place the CPU in the box with the motherboard which will save me finding a box from somewhere and probably a bit of postage too. :thumbsup:

Click to expand…

For Sale – Various Parts (PSU, Case, SSD)

Thanks for reply, I will admit I have been out of the loop on pricing for a while now.

I’m going to have to stick to my original response, if I have no luck on here then I will stick the GPU on eBay as they seem to fetch a lot more on there. Apologies.

Thanks for the offer, I’m definitely keen to shift the two as a set. Do you have any intention of using the stock CPU cooler? If not I would like to accept your offer based on being able to place the CPU in the box with the motherboard which will save me finding a box from somewhere and probably a bit of postage too. :thumbsup:

Click to expand…

For Sale – Various Parts (PSU, Case, SSD)

Thanks for reply, I will admit I have been out of the loop on pricing for a while now.

I’m going to have to stick to my original response, if I have no luck on here then I will stick the GPU on eBay as they seem to fetch a lot more on there. Apologies.

Thanks for the offer, I’m definitely keen to shift the two as a set. Do you have any intention of using the stock CPU cooler? If not I would like to accept your offer based on being able to place the CPU in the box with the motherboard which will save me finding a box from somewhere and probably a bit of postage too. :thumbsup:

Click to expand…

For Sale – Various Parts (PSU, Case, SSD)

Thanks for reply, I will admit I have been out of the loop on pricing for a while now.

I’m going to have to stick to my original response, if I have no luck on here then I will stick the GPU on eBay as they seem to fetch a lot more on there. Apologies.

Thanks for the offer, I’m definitely keen to shift the two as a set. Do you have any intention of using the stock CPU cooler? If not I would like to accept your offer based on being able to place the CPU in the box with the motherboard which will save me finding a box from somewhere and probably a bit of postage too. :thumbsup:

Click to expand…