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Licensing OEM servers after P2V

    Question

  • Hello All

     

    I was hoping someone might clear up a bit of confusion around Microsoft Licencing. I am aware that OEM licences live and die with hardware. I was wondering what the official word is on how to apply a licence to these servers after they are migrated to a virtual environment through a physical to virtual migration.

    Take the following example...

    Customer has 25 physical servers all running Server 2003 standard OEM edition. They have purchased a virtual infrastructure consisting of two virtual hosts configured in a cluster using a SAN for shared storage. These servers will be moving back and forth between the servers during maintenance windows or when one of the physical hosts fail.

    My understanding of the licensing requirements for this scenario is this. When the OEM servers become virtual machines they are essentially unlicenced. In order to bring them into compliance we need to assign a sufficient amount of licences to each physical host to cover the maximum amount of these virtual machines that could be running on that physical hardware. In this case we would need licencing for 25 virtual instances per physical host.

    Assuming I am right so far, this can be achieved three ways

    1) Assign Datacenter licences to each host. A minimum of two datacenter licences must be purchased per physical host and datacenter cannot be installed on a single processor server. So, assuming both hosts have exactly two physical processors we purchase 4 copies of datacenter. This will allow an unlimited number of virtual instances on both physical hosts bringing all the newly migrated VMs into compliance regardless where they end up being run

    2) Assign Enterprise licenses to each host. Each Enterprise licence will allow up to 4 virtual instances so we need to purchase and assign 14 copies of Enterprise (7 copies to each host) bringing all the newly migrated VMs into compliance regardless where they end up being run

    3) Assign Standard licenses to each host. Each Standard licence will allow only 1 virtual instance so we need to purchase and assign 50 copies of Standard (25 copies to each host) bringing all the newly migrated VMs into compliance regardless where they end up being run

    You can do the maths and figure out which licence (standard/enterprise/datacenter) works out the cheapest depending on the number of VMs you are trying to licence but either will do.

     

    That's my understanding having gone over in detail as many official Microsoft publications as I can find including the following blog

    http://blogs.technet.com/b/mattmcspirit/archive/2008/11/13/licensing-windows-server-in-a-virtual-environment.aspx

    Can anyone confirm or correct what I have said above so we can finally put this one to bed. I hear so many different opinions on this

    Kind Regards

    Jay

    Thursday, October 13, 2011 9:55 PM

Answers

  • A Windows Server license is assigned to the server hardware.  In the case of OEM, this license cannot be separated from the server, where in the case of Volume Licensing, the server software license can be reassign, but not on a short-term basis (i.e., not within 90 days of the last assignment.  See PUR for details).  The license is not assigned to the individual VMs, however the license edition of Windows Server will dictate how many Virtual Machine (VM) can run on a given server. 

    ·         Datacenter enables an unlimited number of VM’s on a server.

    ·         Enterprise enables a total of 4 VMs on a server*

    ·         Standard enables a total of 1 VM on a server*

    *These numbers assume that the physical OSE is only being used to manage the VM’s, see the PUR for details.

     

    The VM’s within a customer environment can move from one server to another, as long as the server they are moving to has not reached the maximum allowed number of VM’s on that server.  For example if a server running Windows Server Enterprise is running 4 VM’s and the customer wants to move an additional VM to the server, making the total 5, that is not allowed.

     

    In the scenario below, if a customer wants to run a number of VM’s on a given server, there are a variety of ways in which they can accomplish this.  Using the 25VM on a single 2 proc server example below, here are the alternatives.

    ·         Two Datacenter licenses.  This will enable the customer to run an unlimited number of VMs and may be the most cost effective (per VM) solution.

    ·         Seven Enterprise licenses, which will allow them to run a total 28 VM’s (4VM’s * 7 licenses).

    ·         Twenty-five Standard licenses, which will allow them to run 25 VM’s (1VM * 25 license).

     

    For more information on Windows Server licensing please go to the following resources:

    Product Use Rights

    Licensing Microsoft Server Products in virtual Environments

     

     

    Friday, November 04, 2011 9:28 PM

All replies

  • /bump

    Anyone have any ideas where I would get this information?

    Monday, October 24, 2011 4:43 PM
  • A Windows Server license is assigned to the server hardware.  In the case of OEM, this license cannot be separated from the server, where in the case of Volume Licensing, the server software license can be reassign, but not on a short-term basis (i.e., not within 90 days of the last assignment.  See PUR for details).  The license is not assigned to the individual VMs, however the license edition of Windows Server will dictate how many Virtual Machine (VM) can run on a given server. 

    ·         Datacenter enables an unlimited number of VM’s on a server.

    ·         Enterprise enables a total of 4 VMs on a server*

    ·         Standard enables a total of 1 VM on a server*

    *These numbers assume that the physical OSE is only being used to manage the VM’s, see the PUR for details.

     

    The VM’s within a customer environment can move from one server to another, as long as the server they are moving to has not reached the maximum allowed number of VM’s on that server.  For example if a server running Windows Server Enterprise is running 4 VM’s and the customer wants to move an additional VM to the server, making the total 5, that is not allowed.

     

    In the scenario below, if a customer wants to run a number of VM’s on a given server, there are a variety of ways in which they can accomplish this.  Using the 25VM on a single 2 proc server example below, here are the alternatives.

    ·         Two Datacenter licenses.  This will enable the customer to run an unlimited number of VMs and may be the most cost effective (per VM) solution.

    ·         Seven Enterprise licenses, which will allow them to run a total 28 VM’s (4VM’s * 7 licenses).

    ·         Twenty-five Standard licenses, which will allow them to run 25 VM’s (1VM * 25 license).

     

    For more information on Windows Server licensing please go to the following resources:

    Product Use Rights

    Licensing Microsoft Server Products in virtual Environments

     

     

    Friday, November 04, 2011 9:28 PM
  • Hello,

    I try to find out what are the licensing and technical limitation of the following scenario:

    Customer have two servers both purchased with COEM Windows 2008 R2 Datacenter 2CPU Edition.

    Servers are running under control of VMware vSphere and specialized as hypervisors for unlimited VMs (Windows Standard, Enterprise, Datacenter)

    What are the limitation coming from use of OEM version of Datacenter Server especially when customer need to use technologies like vMotion to move working VM (OSE) between servers ?

    Some documents says that moving of VMs between such servers are not allowed. Some suggesting purchase of Software Assurance within 90 days from purchasing OEMs.

    Are purchasing Datacenter Servers as Volume License (for example Open License) fixing this problem ? Or maybe Volume License version also need SA to move VM between servers using technology like vMotion ?

    This is ciritical as a customer is on a stage of taking purchase decision.

    Thanks in advance for explanation.

    Wednesday, March 07, 2012 7:04 AM
  • Hi Jay7nt

    I was just wondering if you received an answer to your query re converting existing windows 2003 oem servers to vm's and reactivating the licences using DC open licenses. I have the same query, the customer wishes to p2-v the existing 2003 servers to maintain all the applications that have been supplied.If you are unable to p2-v the servers then a complete rebuild of vm's would be needed by downgrading to windows 2003 and reloading all the apps, this would seem like a lot of work for something that could be simple using p2-v

    Thanks


    IanB123



    • Edited by IanB123 Thursday, April 19, 2012 9:04 PM
    Thursday, April 19, 2012 9:02 PM
  • Hello IanB123

    Yes, Microsoft confirmed that you can P2V OEM servers as long a you assign a new licence for that server to the host on which it will reside. The OEM licence gets left behind and dies with the hardware. You may have to phone Microsoft to re-activate the server when it detects the hardware change but in my experience this is rare.

    The crux of this problem is getting your head around the fact that a Microsoft Windows Licence is always *assigned* to a *physical* piece of hardware, never a virtual machine. I always thought that the licence goes wherever you enter the product key but it doesn't work like that for virtual servers.

    For every standard licence you assign to a host it wil cover 1 virtual servers running on it

    For every Enterprise licence you assign to a host it wil cover 4 virtual servers running on it

    For datacenter licences you must have a host with at least two processors and you must buy a licence for every processor. This wil cover unlimited virtual servers running on it

    Note: in all three cases you are licenced to install Windows Server on the host machine for the purposes of assigning the HyperV role and nothing else. If you install anything else directly on the host e.g. Third party backup software you would be breaking the agreement.

    Finally, if you have multiple hosts configured in a cluster and you either failover or migrate virtual machines to that server you need to have licences assigned to that host to take the machine when it gets there.

    Hope this helps

    Jay7nt

    Friday, April 20, 2012 8:01 AM
  • This so damn confusing.
    The microsoft LAW people have screwed virtualizing up for Hyper-V.

    Better go with XEN, Vmware or anything other and treat the virtual machine as physical for all windows installs.
    Windows Operating system itself thinks it on physical machine.. thats the point of virtual machines afterall.

    The downfall of OEM is that hardware change requires you to reactivate.
    So if you want to change your virtual machine parameters often, go with OLP.
    Problem solved.

    Based on that assumption you should only be able to install
    1 Standard/Enterprise/Datacenter to one XEN/Vmware/... virtual machine.

    Seems that the micosoft term "virtual machine" applies to "hyper-v" only,
    as microsoft is blind to see others.

    Simple.


    • Edited by Smilodon100 Thursday, May 24, 2012 10:25 AM
    Thursday, May 24, 2012 10:23 AM
  • Hello Smilodon100,

    Sorry to hear you get confused.
    About cost saving; i can point you to case study which we had done in March.

    http://www.microsoft.com/casestudies/Windows-Server-2008-R2-Datacenter/DenizBank/Bank-Delivers-IT-as-a-Service-using-Private-Cloud-Model-Avoids-12-Million-Expense/710000000254

    About difference about licensing can you please use The Microsoft Private Cloud Economics Tool to calculate HyperV vs. VMWare Cloud on the following link?
    http://cloudeconomics.cloudapp.net/

    Hope it will give a different look about your confusion.

    Sincerely,

    Murat Demirkiran


    If the post helps you and remember to click “Mark as Answer” on the post that helps you, and to click “Unmark as Answer” if a marked post does not actually answer your question. www.scvmm2012.com (TR Language) Please note that I'm not a Microsoft Representative or SpokesPerson.

    Thursday, May 24, 2012 7:30 PM
  • I run XEN opensouce, my own customized versions.. for small businesses who need multiple VM's in 1 server.
    Xen costs 0$ and no licencing pain for the companies i serve.
    I could also go vith VMWARE free versions (but those have some limitation of how many cores a vm can utilize.)
    Comparing these to Hyper V costs.. well Hyper-V loses..

    In the cloud tool i entered 4 VM's.
    And it suggest tons of Vmware tools i dont need for so few machines.
    I dont even know what all of these management tools are used for.
    I thinks its suits for a server farm, not for a small company with max 4 (commonly tower) servers.

    Besides the discussion is about OEM licencing issues with virtalization.
    Microsoft wants to fix licenses to phisical machine as Jay7nt discovered and explained.

    "For datacenter licences you must have a host with at least two processors and you must buy a licence for every processor. This wil cover unlimited virtual servers running on it"
    ON IT, but not on another server.
    Basically the VM you put into 1 physical machine must stay there forever.

    Simply put i suggested to "hack" the weirdness in microsoft licenses, by claiming that HVM virtual machine = Physical machine.
    This way you avoid the issue of MS OS licence not permitting to move that VM between physical servers.

    And to do that you should also avoid Hyper-V, because it is not clear if you can treat Hyper-V HVM virtual machine as physical machine. As soon as MS OS under virtual machine has some awarenss of being virtualized, MS license should consider it virtual i think. WHich also fixes it to the physical machine where Hyper-V runs.

    Or do the lawyers of microsoft disagree ?
    I would be happy if they would.

    Thursday, May 31, 2012 8:11 AM