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Windows Server 2016 Core Licensing clarification? RRS feed

  • Question

  • Hello,

    We have a host (single socket, 4 cores) that is running Windows Server 2012 R2.

    The bare machine only runs the Hyper-V role. There is a VM running on there that is also running Windows Server 2012 R2.

    From a licensing view, this is all OK since we have this host licensed for Windows Server 2012 R2 Standard that gives us rights to run virtual machines.

    Now if I want to upgrade the VM running on this host from Windows Server 2012 R2 to Windows Server 2016 how does this affect me? Since the bare OS is still running Windows Server 2012 R2.

    The Windows Server 2012 R2 license is under volume licensing with software assurance.

    I am OK to install/upgrade the VM to 2016? Or must I upgrade the bare OS and the VM to 2016?

    I know that the 2012 R2 under our VL/SA will convert 1:16, so this 2012 R2 Standard license is essentially a 16-core license or 8-pack license under the new licensing for Server 2016.

    Before:

    • Host: Windows Server 2012 R2 Standard
    • VM1: Windows Server 2012 R2 Standard

    After:

    • Host: Windows Server 2012 R2 Standard
    • VM1: Windows Server 2016 Standard

    Thanks.

    Thursday, August 23, 2018 7:49 PM

All replies

  • Hi,

    Thanks for your question.

    The CALs have to match the server OS version,and you need new CALs to match the new version you're using. 

    • You can buy a CAL for VM windows 2016.
    • Or buy a CAL for host ,and update windows 2012 r2 to 2016.

    Best regards,

    Travis


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    Friday, August 24, 2018 2:23 AM
    Moderator
  • Hi,

    Was your issue resolved?

    If you resolved it using our solution, please "mark it as answer" to help other community members find the helpful reply quickly.

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    If no, please reply and tell us the current situation in order to provide further help.

    Best Regards,

    Travis


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    Monday, August 27, 2018 8:59 AM
    Moderator
  • Not quite, my question is if I have Windows Server 2016 Standard license (8x2 core license packs) under an enterprise agreement with software assurance (which allows me to downgrade the OS); can I mix and match the OS version?

    Lets assume the host this is being installed on is a single processor and no more than 16 cores.

    From the licensing terms: Standard edition permits use of one Running Instance of the server software in the Physical OSE on the Licensed Server (in addition to two Virtual OSEs), if the Physical OSE is used solely to host and manage the Virtual OSEs.

    So if I install only the Hyper-V role on the bare OS I can spin up two additional VMs. My question is around mixing the server os version on the bare metal and the VMs.

    Am I able to run any of these combinations (specifically Case 1):

    CASE 1: Hyper-V Host OS: Windows Server 2012 R2

    • Hyper-V VM 1: Windows Server 2012 R2
    • Hyper-V VM 2: Windows Server 2016

    CASE 2: Hyper-V Host OS: Windows Server 2012 R2

    • Hyper-V VM 1: Windows Server 2016
    • Hyper-V VM 2: Windows Server 2016

    CASE 3: Hyper-V Host OS: Windows Server 2016

    • Hyper-V VM 1: Windows Server 2012 R2
    • Hyper-V VM 2: Windows Server 2012 R2

    CASE 4: Hyper-V Host OS: Windows Server 2016

    • Hyper-V VM 1: Windows Server 2016
    • Hyper-V VM 2: Windows Server 2012 R2

    I already know I can run any of these scenarios:

    CASE 5: Hyper-V Host OS: Windows Server 2016

    • Hyper-V VM 1: Windows Server 2016
    • Hyper-V VM 2: Windows Server 2016

    CASE 6: Hyper-V Host OS: Windows Server 2012 R2

    • Hyper-V VM 1: Windows Server 2012 R2
    • Hyper-V VM 2: Windows Server 2012 R2

    Can someone please confirm this?



    • Edited by techy86_ Monday, August 27, 2018 6:23 PM
    Monday, August 27, 2018 6:20 PM
  • Hi,

    Thanks for your reply.

    In my opinion, you can use downgrade rights to run WS2012 on a WS2016. I have never heard of the reverse.

    Legal licensing questions should be directed to your reseller's trained licensing specialist or ask microsoft directly.

    https://www.microsoft.com/Licensing/servicecenter/Help/Contact.aspx 

    Best regards,

    Travis


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    Tuesday, August 28, 2018 7:11 AM
    Moderator
  • Hi,

    Just checking in to see if the information provided was helpful.

    Please let us know if you would like further assistance.

    Best Regards,

    Travis


    Please remember to mark the replies as an answers if they help.
    If you have feedback for TechNet Subscriber Support, contact tnmff@microsoft.com

    Friday, September 7, 2018 9:32 AM
    Moderator