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Windows Server 2003 R2 Datacenter is coming soon to a via a volume license! Although this was announced a while ago at the World Wide Partner Conference in July, as of October 1st you will be able to purchase Windows Server 2003 R2 Datacenter Edition through volume license channels. So what does this mean to you?
Well if you are using Virtual Server 2005 R2 in your production enviroment, it can have a huge impact on your licensing costs. Windows Server 2003 R2 Enterprise Edition allows for a single installation on a physical server, but also allows for up to four (4) virtual machines running any version of Windows 2003. Windows Server 2003 R2 Datacenter Edition takes this one step further allowing for UNLIMITED virtual machine licenses. Yes I said unlimited!!!
Just to drive this point home, you have one physical server, you purchase one OS license for said physical server, you then install Virtual Server 2005 R2 and install as many virtual machines as you require without the need (limit of four with R2 Enterprise Edition). This could lead to some signifigant cost savings and most definately easy your license management.
A while back I posted about the licensing changes around Virtual Server 2005 R2 and Windows Server 2003
Mike Neil's blog post on the Microsoft Virtualization Strategy is an important read if you are in this