Virtual Licensing 101

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Licensing.  It can be a headache, it is often misunderstood and things are different in the virtual environment.  There are some great virtualization specific licensing resources I wanted to share to help you navigate these waters.

First of all there are two calculators available online. Calculator 1 lets you interactively build virtual machines running multiple Microsoft server products to estimate the licenses and costs for Windows Server by edition (Standard, Enterprise and DataCenter) and many Microsoft server products. It starts with configuring your server based on virtualization technology, sockets and clustering requirements, and then builds the virtual machines.

Calculator 2 provides two ways to estimate the number and cost of Windows Server Standard Edition, Enterprise Edition and DataCenter Edition licenses needed for your virtualization scenarios to help you determine the most cost-effective edition of Windows Server.

You can find both calculators at http://www.microsoft.com/windowsserver2003/howtobuy/licensing/calculator.mspx

The licensing team has also produced this video that explains virtualization licensing in depth.  It is well worth the 25+ minutes as there are plenty of examples and scenarios covering Windows, SQL, multi-core, multi-CPU and more...


Video: Licensing Microsoft Servers for Virtualization

As always feel free to email us if you need further clarification!

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  • Thinking about virtualizing some of your servers but confused about licensing? You're not alone. My colleague,

  • Avoid the issue entirely: http://www.linux.org.

    No confusion.  No CPU counting.  No virtualization issues.  Just simplicity and freedom.

    Alas, no fancy licensing videos, though.

  • No confusion, no CPU counting with Windows either as all our virtualization solutions are free.  We also support Linux VMs (http://www.microsoft.com/technet/virtualserver/downloads/linuxguestsupport.mspx) and even include free VM licenses with Server OS licenses.  And let's not forget that most major Linux vendors also charge for their products :)

    Again, it is all about choice!  The same reasons we have Microsoft, RedHat, SuSe are the same reasons we have Ford, GM and Toyota or Intel, AMD and PowerPC.  It is all about giving people choices and letting them decide what's best for them.

    Rodney Buike

    IT Pro Advisor

  • I do! I am the first to admit that licensing can be really confusing but there are some tools that can