Licensing virtual machines: Windows Server 2008 Standard, Enterprise or Datacenter edition?

Licensing remains a difficult problem in today’s virtual infrastructure. Some things are easy to understand and some are not. After visiting a session on Microsoft licensing one day, I heard a number of new things that I wanted to share with you. I will give you a few definitions used in Microsoft licensing and a number of examples.

My most important sources can be found here: Microsoft Volume Licensing, I’m giving you a summary of the most important parts*.

*Disclaimer: Remember that I’m not using any legal talk to explain things, so when the Business Software Alliance is on your doorstep, you can’t say, “I did it because Gabe told me to.

Full article at: SearchVMware.com

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  • heinoskov

    Hi Gabe,

    Nice post. I do however have one question regarding this sentense:

    For applications like Microsoft SQL, Exchange and BizzTalk, the “short-term” restriction has been removed and you are allowed to move the application instance multiple times, just as long as you stay within the same server farm. A server farm consists of up to two data centers each physically located in the following areas: In a time zone that is within four hours of the local time zone of the other (Coordinated Universal Time [UTC] and not DST), and/or within the European Union (EU) and/or European Free Trade Association (EFTA).

    Would'nt this only apply to processor based licenses and if you assign licenses to every physical CPU that you have in for instance your DRS cluster?

    So if you buy Server / CAL licenses the 90days rule still apply?

  • Yes, only for processor licenses. The Server / CAL licenses still have the 90 days rule.

  • heinoskov

    Hi Gabe,

    Nice post. I do however have one question regarding this sentense:

    For applications like Microsoft SQL, Exchange and BizzTalk, the “short-term” restriction has been removed and you are allowed to move the application instance multiple times, just as long as you stay within the same server farm. A server farm consists of up to two data centers each physically located in the following areas: In a time zone that is within four hours of the local time zone of the other (Coordinated Universal Time [UTC] and not DST), and/or within the European Union (EU) and/or European Free Trade Association (EFTA).

    Would'nt this only apply to processor based licenses and if you assign licenses to every physical CPU that you have in for instance your DRS cluster?

    So if you buy Server / CAL licenses the 90days rule still apply?

  • Yes, only for processor licenses. The Server / CAL licenses still have the 90 days rule.