Following on the theme around licensing, I thought I’d take the opportunity to explain, in detail, for anyone who doesn’t already know, how to license Windows Server Operations Systems in a Virtual Environment. Now, I’m not a licensing expert, but I’ve been through this enough times to understand it, and articulate it correctly, however, if something doesn’t make sense, add a comment! It’s important to note, that everything I discuss below, is relevant for Microsoft and non-Microsoft virtualisation environments.
So, let’s start…
Windows Server 2008 Standard
So, say we’ve bought a copy of Windows Server 2008 Standard, and we install it on the Physical box below.
If we’re not bothered about Virtualisation, this is a very simple licensing scenario indeed – all I’ve done is installed (and thus assigned) this Windows Server 2008 Standard license to this physical box. Easy peasy. From here, I could enable any of the roles of the OS, such as AD, DNS, DHCP etc, and have a great time doing it. If need be, I could downgrade this OS to a previous version of Windows Server (but I’m not going to go through this process today). There are a couple of very important things that we need to get out in the open early on here, as it’s relevant throughout this post.
- First important thing to note is, if I’ve bought this Windows Server 2008 OS on a piece of hardware, through an OEM channel, that license lives and dies with the hardware, so there’s no moving this license to another physical host.
- Second important thing to note is, if I’ve bought this license through a volume licensing program, and I want to re-assign this license to another physical host, I can do this, but, I can’t re-assign it again for another 90 days.
Now, as you know, Windows Server 2008 contains Hyper-V, so, if we enable this role, we can start running virtual machines on that particular host, but, what we do have to think about, is how we license those virtualised Windows Server guest OS’s running on that Windows Server 2008 Standard Host.
So, in this example on the left, we’ve decided to virtualise 1 guest server OS on our Windows Server 2008 Standard Host. We’ll say, for arguments sake, that this is a Windows Server guest OS. Now, with Windows Server 2008 Standard, I get 1 free running virtual instance on that particular host.
What that means is, when I assign a Windows Server 2008 Standard license to a physical box, I get the added benefit of not only being able to install the Windows Server 2008 OS on the physical hardware (and thus enable the Hyper-V Role), but I also get 1 free Windows Server guest OS, which can be Windows Server 2008 Standard or Downgraded
Read that last paragraph, then read it again to make sure you’ve got it.
I used a keyword in that paragraph. That keyword was ‘assign’. The reason I use the word ‘assign’ rather than ‘install’, is because this licensing is Virtualisation agnostic, which means I can ‘assign’ a Windows Server 2008 Standard license to a physical VMware ESX or Citrix XenServer (or A.N.Other!) host, and for free, run 1 instance of Windows Server 2008 Standard (or downgraded) in a VM on those platforms. If you want to run 2 instances of Windows Server Standard on those platforms, assign a 2nd Windows Server 2008 Standard license to that physical host, and that will give you another, and so on.
So, those bright sparks among you are going to say, well, if I not only assign the Windows Server 2008 Standard license to a physical host, but choose to install it on the physical host too (instead of A.N.Other Virtualisation platform), and then I create a Windows Server 2008 Standard (or downgraded) VM, am I not effectively getting 2 OS’s for the price of 1? Well, yes, and no.
The reason I say yes is, because you are getting 2 fully featured versions of Windows Server 2008 Standard – one for use on the actual physical host, and one for use in the VM. However, here’s the caveat. If you are using your maximum ‘free allowance’ of Windows Server VMs on a host (1 in this case), you must use the host machine to purely manage the virtual machines running on it, and nothing else.
So, in the example directly above, that physical box, with Windows Server 2008 Standard & Hyper-V running on it, can only be used to support the VM(s) above it, and not be providing other infrastructure features into the environment, such as Active Directory, Domain Controller, Web Server etc. It should be used purely for Hyper-V and managing the VMs running on it.
So, imagine this scenario:
In this scenario, we’re looking to run 3 Virtual Machines, which, for arguments sake, are Windows Server guests. To do this, using Windows Server 2008 Standard licensing, we’d assign 3 licenses to the physical box, which would not only give us the OS for the physical host, but the 3 guest OS’s we desire. If we wanted to move these VMs to another host, we’d have to reassign the Windows Server 2008 Standard licenses to the chosen host, however we wouldn’t be able to move it for another 90 days. Now, Windows Server 2008 Standard retails at about $999 I believe, so, this scenario will set us back just under $3000, and will go up by $999 for each guest Windows Server OS we want to consolidate. This pricing does not change whether you have 1 CPU, 2 CPUs or 4 CPUs in the physical box. So, a license of Windows Server 2008 Standard on a 1 CPU Dual Core System, is the same price as one on a Quad CPU Quad Core System.
If I was consolidating Linux guest’s onto this platform, perhaps open-source rather than commercial distributions, then the guest OS’s would effectively be free.
From a licensing perspective, using Windows Server 2008 Standard Edition is the least beneficial and flexible when compared with Enterprise and Datacenter editions when it comes to Virtualisation.
Windows Server 2008 Enterprise
So, hopefully you’ve got the gist from reading the bit above. Now, licensing Enterprise is very similar indeed, however, this time, instead of getting 1 free running instances, you receive 4 free running instances when you assign a Windows Server 2008 Enterprise license to a physical host.
So, in this scenario, we’ve simply assigned the Windows Server 2008 Enterprise license to the physical box, and we receive 4 free running instances of Windows Server 2008 Enterprise, or downgraded, in virtual machines. We could have 100 virtualised Windows Servers on this particular box, but the license gives you 4 free running instances at one time.
So, if you assign this license to an ESX or XenServer host – no problems, you receive 4 free running Windows Server instances. If you assign and install it, you’re getting a Hyper-V platform for free, and the 4 free running instances. Same rule as above applies – If you are using your maximum ‘free allowance’ of Windows Server VMs on a host (4 in this case), you must use the host machine to purely manage the virtual machines running on it, and nothing else.
This licensing is cumulative too, so if you want to assign 2 licenses of Windows Server 2008 Enterprise to the physical host, for 8 free running instances, just do it! Or assign 3 licenses for 12 free! It just keeps going, but remember, you can’t reassign Windows Server licenses from physical host to physical host more than once every 90 days. Another key area to be aware of is when you are using migration technologies, like Quick Migration on Hyper-V, VMotion on VMware’s platform, or XenMotion on the Citrix platform to name but a few. So, take this scenario:
In this example, we’ve assigned a Windows Server 2008 Enterprise license to both physical nodes, and we’re using our maximum 4 free running instances on both nodes. All is great :-)
We encounter a situation (Manual, DRS etc) where we need to migrate a virtual machine from one node to another. Technically, not a problem, however a move is going to put us out of compliance from a licensing perspective, because what we may find is that we’re running more than 4 guests on one of the nodes and less than 4 on the other. On the node that’s running less than it’s maximum of 4, there’s no problem. It’s just we’re incorrectly licensed on the node that’s now running more than 4.
One way to counter this, is to assign 2 Windows Server 2008 Enterprise licenses to each node, giving us a free allocation (or, breathing space) of 8 free running Windows Server VMs on each node. Whether we choose to use all 8 on each node is up to us, but if we do, we could get into a similar situation as we found before if we’re not careful. If it’s only a very temporary situation, i.e. you’ve moved all VMs onto physical host 2 for a short window whilst host 1 is patched, then you should be fine – Microsoft’s licensing is based on a trust model and understands the importance of temporary maintenance etc.
In the same way Windows Server 2008 Standard was licensed per box, so is Enterprise, so again, this pricing does not change whether you have 1 CPU, 2 CPUs or 4 CPUs in the physical box. So, a license of Windows Server 2008 Enterprise on a 1 CPU Dual Core System, is the same price as one on a Quad CPU Quad Core System. The retail price of Windows Server 2008 Enterprise is $3999, which, if you think about 4 free VMs per license, it works out at about $1000 per VM, so roughly the same price as Windows Server 2008 Standard, yet you get the Enterprise features like Clustering etc, inside the VMs.
Also remember, that any of these VMs can be downgraded to older Windows Server versions, such as 2003, or 2000. 2000 SP4 is the earliest supported version on Hyper-V, and runs great! :-)
Windows Server 2008 Datacenter
OK, so, we’re on the home straight here – just Datacenter edition to go! Stay with me!
Hopefully you understand what I’ve been talking about so far, because it’s very important when devising solutions based on Microsoft server technologies, regardless of the Virtualisation platform. I wouldn’t want to be a customer, who’s paid good money to embrace VMware’s technologies (for example), and been told incorrect information about Windows licenses running on those ESX hosts, which has resulted in the customer buying more licenses that necessary. Not good. It’s therefore critically important that both customers, and partners understand and can articulate this information.
So, what’s the deal with Datacenter edition, and is it too ‘big’ for my business? Well, let’s dip into a little history first – In previous versions of Windows Server, i.e. 2003, you could only buy Datacenter edition on hardware. There was no other channel, bar OEM, that organisations could get hold of Datacenter, so, in many cases, it would have been restricted to the larger organisations who were buying whopping hardware. That’s changed for 2008.
Update - As Mike rightly points out in the comments section "Windows Server 2003 Datacenter became available through normal channels in October 2006 - the same day these virtualization rights were introduced. You still get the rights with Windows Server 2003 and 2008 and can use the downgrade rights for earlier versions of the OS"
For the first time, Datacenter edition of Windows Server is available through regular Volume Licensing channels, so it’s instantly more mainstream and accessible for many more people, but, why would you want it? Well, if you take Windows Server 2008 Datacenter as an OS, it’s our most scalable version of the Windows Server 2008 versions, supporting the highest number of procs/cores, but feature wise, it’s pretty much the same as Enterprise. Where it changes massively, is when you bring in Virtualisation.
The Hyper-V bits themselves are identical to those in Enterprise, scaling up to 1TB RAM in the physical box, 24 cores with the latest Intel 6-core chips, 64GB RAM per VM etc etc. It’s the Virtualisation licensing that’s pretty darn different than Enterprise. Here’s the scenario:
Imagine we want to achieve a 16:1 consolidation ratio, so, 16 VMs (in this case, Windows Servers) running on 1 pretty powerful box. Seems pretty achievable I’d say, but what’s the most cost effective way of licensing it? Well, so far we have Standard edition, which gives us 1 free VM per assigned license, so we’d need 16 licenses @ $999 each, so we’re talking around $16k. We don’t have much flexibility using Standard edition, plus we can’t use any Failover Clustering, so we’re putting quite a few eggs in one basket here! What are the alternatives?
We have Enterprise edition, which, as I detailed above, provides 4 free running instances per assigned license, so, for 16 VMs, we’d need 4 Enterprise licenses assigned to this box. 4 Enterprise licenses @ $3999 per license weighs in at $16k, so pretty similar to Standard edition really, but with greater scalability and features under the hood. Final option? Datacenter Edition.
Now, first important point, Datacenter edition is licenses per physical processor, not per box, like Enterprise/Standard are. So, in our scenario, imagine the box on the left has 2 physical procs, each with quad cores.
So, in this case, we’d need to assign 2 Datacenter licenses to the box on the left, as it has 2 physical processors. Datacenter licenses go for $2999 per processor. That would mean that this scenario would cost us just under $6k. But what are we getting for our money? I haven’t mentioned any ‘free’ virtual machines yet….
Windows Server 2008 Datacenter Edition, when assigned to a host, allows an unlimited number of free running Windows Server guest OS’s on that host. So, for our scenario, where we want a 16:1 ratio, assigning 2 Datacenter licenses to that box (for a total of just under $6k) gives us what we need, and more. I could double, triple or even quadruple (and more!) the number of Windows Server Guest OS’s on that box, and still only ever pay $6k. This would only change if I upped the number of physical procs in the machine. So, $6k Datacenter, vs. $16k for Standard/Enterprise. Double the ratio to 32:1 and Datacenter is still $6k, but Enterprise & Standard are now coming in at around $32k – in fact, Standard would probably have hit it’s limit by that point, depending on how ‘big’ the VMs are (Standard edition supports 32GB RAM in the host).
The great thing to mention about Datacenter Edition (aside from the great Virtualisation licensing benefits!) is that it really eases the licensing headache around migration of virtual machines between hosts. If you have a 3 node cluster, each with Datacenter licenses assigned, it will never matter how many Windows Server VMs you’re running on each physical node. You can have 20 VMs on one, 10 on another, and 35 on another, and never have to worry about being incorrectly licensed from a Windows Server perspective. Excellent.
If these were the requirements of a project, on the top right, the first thing to note is, Standard Edition is pretty much out. It doesn’t have the clustering element to it, so it would have to be Windows Server 2008 Enterprise of Datacenter. I’m using Hyper-V as my virtualisation technology here, as I’m getting it as part of my license anyway, but if there was a requirement for a VMware or Citrix (or A.N.Other) deployment, then you’d factor those costs on top. So, Enterprise and Datacenter licensing assigned to the physical hosts will give me the features I need in terms high availability, and migration with minimal downtime.
So, do I choose Enterprise, or Datacenter for my licensing? Well, I think these results speak for themselves – I’d save $30k on these 3 nodes alone by using Datacenter. I could double my CPUs in each node too, up to 4 CPUs in each node, and it would still only come to $36k using Datacenter, so it would still be cheaper than Enterprise, and I get the added flexibility that Datacenter brings, plus, and this is a key point, future scale-up growth at no cost. I wouldn’t get this with Enterprise. For every 4 VMs I wanted to scale up, I’d be paying an extra $4k per license with Enterprise. Datacenter really is a compelling choice from a licensing, and a cost saving perspective.
Well, phew, we made it! Hopefully that’s made sense – if it hasn’t, that’s what the comment box is for on this post! Let me know! Hopefully this has given you clarity around licensing the different versions of Windows Server in virtual environments, and also some of the caveats you need to be aware of, like not being able to move OEM licenses around, or re-assigning licenses to hosts more than once every 90 days. You should also remember that the keyword is assign, not install. Microsoft would be naive to think that just because someone has bought Windows Server 2008 licenses, that they will always use Hyper-V as their virtualisation platform. Using the word ‘assign’, clears this up; simply assign a Windows Server license to a physical box, and you get the free VM rights. Whether you choose to utilise the added benefit of a free virtualisation layer in the form of Hyper-V on that system, is entirely up to you…
Yet again, I find myself blogging about these IPD guides!!
My last update on the IPD guides was towards the start of October, but a couple of new ones have just been added. I always include a refresher of what they actually are, so here you go:
The Infrastructure Planning and Design (IPD) guides are the next version of Windows Server System Reference Architecture. The guides in this series help clarify and streamline design processes for Microsoft infrastructure technologies, with each guide addressing a unique infrastructure technology or scenario”
Basically, they are there to provide background information, design ideas, key decision areas etc, that are important prior to rolling out the technologies.
“Each guide leads the reader through critical infrastructure design decisions, in the appropriate order, evaluating the available options for each decision against its impact on critical characteristics of the infrastructure. The IPD Series highlights when service and infrastructure goals should be validated with the organization and provides additional questions that should be asked of service stakeholders and decision makers”
IPD consists of the following downloadable packages:
I’ve taken an exert from the SCCM 2007 R2 IPD Guide, which highlights the decision flow around planning an SCCM 2007 R2 rollout:
Get the full list of IPD’s here or download them all in a one-shot here.
I blogged about USB support in a virtual environment a good while back now, and it seems like it was quite a popular post – a number of comments reference the ability of some technologies out there, such as VMware Workstation and the new VMware Server that already support USB inside VMs, which is great, however this isn’t currently the case with Hyper-V, or ESX.
One of the comments that was made was that AnywhereUSB (highlighted in the original blog post), doesn’t yet support Windows Server 2008 or Vista. However, the Fabulatech solution, namely, USB over Network, does support Server 2008 and Vista for both 32-bit and 64-bit. It’s also very cost effective, at just under $150. This will allow you to access a USB device, from inside a Virtual Machine, so things like, License Keys on USB keys don’t mean that the Server bit can’t be virtualised.
Check out all the information here: http://www.fabulatech.com/usb-over-network.html and see the online tutorials here: http://www.fabulatech.com/usb-over-network-tour.html
If you’re a Microsoft Partner, you’ll know it’s sometimes difficult to obtain all the collateral you need to effectively market and sell your Microsoft-based solutions. If you can’t find the resources quickly, you’ll typically end up creating your own materials from content that is in the public domain, and whilst the information is correct, current, and useful, it’s the time you’ve wasted creating the content that could have been better spent.
With this in mind, I’d like to take the opportunity to point Microsoft Partners towards a unified page for Sales and Marketing resources. This library, which can be found here: http://www.microsoft.com/uk/partner/marketingresources, is a one-stop shop for the Sales and Marketing collateral you need.
It’s easy to use
You’ll find the library grow over coming weeks and months, so you should always be able to find what you need! There is also the opportunity within the tool, to provide feedback, so if you think something could be improved, or if you don’t agree with something, ‘share the pain’ and send some feedback.
Again, you can access the tool here: http://www.microsoft.com/uk/partner/marketingresources – you’ll need to sign in with your Partner-Associated Live ID.
So, you’ve deployed Hyper-V, downloaded all the latest Windows Updates for your hosts, finished with the reboots, and you’re all set to install System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008 to more effectively manage those Hyper-V hosts.
So, you go ahead, download the evaluation of SCVMM 2008, install the SCVMM 2008 Server Components, then the Admin Console, and the Self-Service Portal should you want that too – so far so good, no problems, too good to be true?
SCVMM 2008 fires up, you’re logged into the Admin Console, but you’ve no hosts, so you import your up-to-date Hyper-V hosts into the console, and all goes well, except, you’re hosts have a little yellow triangle next to them, with a ‘Needs Attention’ message. If you go into the host’s properties, status tab, under Virtualisation Service Version Status, you’ll see that the status isn’t up-to-date and that there is an upgrade available! What’s that about!!?
Well, there are a couple of updates that need to be applied to the Hyper-V hosts for SCVMM 2008 management:
They’ll require a reboot (just one!), so be prepared for that.
If you’re in London on the 19th November, and you have an interest in Hyper-V & System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008 (and beer/pizza), then you may be interested in popping along to this event. The Vista Squad have monthly get-together’s, each of which are split into an hour of developer type technology stuff, and an hour of IT Pro related stuff. This month, the IT Pro stuff is being delivered by Jeremy Pack, who’s not a Microsoft employee – he’s a HP consultant who’s worked with Hyper-V & SCVMM for a while now – he also did a Microsoft webcast on SCVMM & PowerShell that you can still watch!
PowerShell is one of the real hidden gems within a number of Microsoft technologies; System Center especially, so, if you’re free on the night of the 19th November, it should be a good one and very worthwhile.
You can get all the details here: http://vistasquad.co.uk/blogs/announcements/archive/2008/10/16/vista-squad-2010-a-rosario-odyssey-19th-november.aspx and if you’re going along, make sure you pop a note on the website to let them know you’re coming so they can assess numbers! It starts at 6pm and runs to around 9:15pm.
I’ve said this before, and I’ll say it again. Microsoft licensing is a complicated topic to understand. Those who do understand it fully (yes, there are a few!) will agree that’s it’s a black art in many cases. For many Partners in the Microsoft Ecosystem, having a dedicated employee who ‘understands’ Microsoft Licensing may be out of scope, and that’s where Partnering up with a Licensing Partner becomes very important.
I’ve been in a number of Partner discussions recently, where licensing crops up, and whilst I can (fairly) easily articulate the Microsoft licensing around virtualisation, when we start to get into specific scenarios, this is where you need a licensing specialist, and if you don’t have one in your organisation, how do you ever give your customers the right answer, or more importantly, the right solution? One way is to use your benefits as a Partner and contact the licensing helpdesk within Microsoft (email@example.com). An alternative to this, is to work with a licensing Partner.
Using a licensing Partner, you can more accurately understand what the customer currently has in terms of licenses, and how what they’ve got, maps on to what they need. This can therefore provide you with a stronger base to propose a solution that meets both the budget, and feature requirements of the customer.
The Expertise You Need to Make Sound Buying Decisions
In today’s tough economic climate, you need to be more confident than ever in your buying decisions. You’ll want to be sure you have the right information to help you stretch your IT budget as far as it will go. Many organisations will see IT as a cost center, not a business enabler, and whilst Virtualisation will always bring a good ROI, and help those green-ies, implementing Virtualisation is rarely completely free, and if it isn't free, you can guarantee it’s going to get scrutinised when it’s put in front of the board, so it’s important that you’re getting the right technology for your money, whilst maximising the investments you've already made.
Many customers do their own research every time they buy software. Or they may be happy to trust a Microsoft partner to set out your best buying options. Perhaps they ask colleagues, or fellow professionals? Maybe a mix of all three if they have the time. When it comes to getting the best quality of advice to support important buying decisions, who should they turn to?
One way to be sure a Partner has a high level of how-to-buy expertise is to ask for the Microsoft Licensing Competency. Just like technical competencies, Partners can only earn the licensing competency when they have a minimum number of Microsoft Certified Professionals. So you can be confident that they know their stuff. (Tell me more about partner competencies)
Who has this competency in the UK?
You can find details of partners that have the Microsoft Licensing Competency by clicking on one of the links below:
There are two distinct types of expertise under this competency:
You may know exactly what Microsoft licensing options are right for you and your business. But if you would like some expert advice, choose a Microsoft partner with the licensing competency. It could save you a lot of legwork, time and money.
So, in summary, if you’re a Microsoft customer, I’d strongly suggest you have a quick look at the links above, and, should your preferred consultative Partner not have the licensing skills, work with both the consultative and licensing Partners to get the right deal for you. If you’re a Microsoft Partner, I’d strongly suggest you have a quick look at the links above, and think about cross-partnering with one of the licensing Partners. It’s gives you an extra, trusted and reliable arm to your business, and at the same time, it gives the licensing Partner someone to recommend should a consultancy type implementation come up after a licensing conversation.
Baldwin and his team have done it again. Release after release they are adding great features into the free MAPs tool, making it even more of a must-use tool in planning and analysing for an infrastructure change. So, as a recap for those who are new to my blog, or who haven’t heard of the MAP tool before:
“Many of our customers do not know what computers are in their IT environment or what applications have been deployed. The Microsoft Assessment and Planning (MAP) Toolkit 3.2 makes it easier for customers and partners to quickly identify what servers, workstations, and network devices are in their IT environment. MAP also provides specific and actionable IT proposals and reports to help customers get the most value out of Microsoft products and infrastructure. Over 510,000 Microsoft customers and partners have already used MAP and its prior versions including Costco Wholesale Corporation, Continental Airlines, and Banque de Luxembourg.”
Pretty popular then! Plus it’s free to download, so it doesn’t cost you anything to try it, and as a Partner, it may be a great addition alongside any of your current assessment tools, like VMware Capacity Planner, or PlateSpin’s PowerRecon.
MAP is a scalable and agent-less assessment platform designed to make it easier for our customers to adopt the latest Microsoft technologies. In this version, MAP has expanded its assessment capabilities to include SQL Server 2008, Forefront/NAP, and Microsoft Online Services migration, as well as providing a Power Savings assessment to help customers “go green.”
In summary, MAP 3.2 assessment areas now include:
Download Microsoft Assessment and Planning Toolkit 3.2 (RTM Bits)
Just a quick post to make you aware of an upcoming Partner Live Meeting, which will provide a technical drill-down into how you can achieve disaster recovery of SharePoint, through use of 2 key System Center technologies; Data Protection Manager 2007, and System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008.
The Live Meeting will take place on November 18th, and will run from 16:00-17:00 GMT (08:00-09:00 Pacific Time), but if you can’t make it ‘Live’, I’m sure the session will be recorded so you can catch it at a later date.
They say an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. With a little advanced planning, SharePoint customers can be prepared to handle the simplest to the most complex data loss situations for their Microsoft SharePoint infrastructure. Together, System Center Data Protection Manager (DPM) and System Center Virtual Machine Manager (VMM), part of the System Center Suite Enterprise (SMSE), pair together to deliver an effective solution for disaster recovery of the SharePoint environment.
Disaster recovery, including planning and preparing for how to restore the SharePoint Server implementation, after a technical failure or disaster is a key part of business continuance and compliance planning. Join our Academy Live session to learn more.
If you’re a Microsoft Partner, you should be able to register here.
If you’re interested in other management sessions, you can find a list here.
A couple more Partner Live Meetings to add to your diaries:
WVC20AL: Client Virtualization - Presented by Fei Lu
Friday, November 14, 2008 - 17:30-18:30 GMT
If you’re a Microsoft Partner, you can register for this session, here.
If you’re interested in other Microsoft Virtualisation sessions, you can get the full list, here.
WNS72PAAL: Microsoft Virtualization Solutions - Presented by Vipul Shah and Jim Schwartz
Tuesday, December 02, 2008 - 16:00-17:00 GMT
If you’re a Microsoft Partner, you can register for this session, here.