locked
VM Windows Server licensing in Cluster RRS feed

  • Question


  • If mix of OS editions and versions are running in VMs and hosted in multi nodes cluster. How to license Windows OS.

    Scenario: if a 3 node cluster running total 12 Virtual machine with Windows Server 2008 R2 Enterprise, Windows Server 2012 Standard and Windows Server 2012 R2 Standard edition and DRS is active without any rule specification. It is virtualized with Vmware technologies.

    Regards,

    Wednesday, October 31, 2018 12:21 PM

Answers

  • This is a technical forum; not a legal forum. License questions are legal questions.  To obtain answers that are acceptable to your lawyers and auditors, you need talk with a trained Microsoft licensing specialist.  Any answer you receive here is a technical opinion from an anonymous responder which would be unacceptable by any lawyer or auditor.

    That said, here is an anonymous, technical response.  Remember that Microsoft assigns licenses at the physical level, not at the virtual level.  Therefore, you need to license the nodes in the cluster, not the VMs running on the nodes.  Each license comes with virtualization rights.  Since it is highly unlikely that you can purchase 2012 or 2012 R2 licenses any more, you will most likely need to purchase Windows Server 2016 or Windows Server 2019 licenses and use the downgrade rights to run the earlier versions of Windows Server running in the VMs.  Standard grants the right to run up to two Windows Standard VMs.  Datacenter grants the right to run an unlimited number of Windows Server VMs of whatever edition you have.  In order to run 12 VMs in a cluster, you would generally require six Standard licenses assigned to each node of the cluster because it is possible that all 12 VMs could end up on any node of the cluster.  So for a three node cluster, you would need to have 18 Windows Standard licenses.

    However, I'm not sure you can do it with Standard licenses because you are running Enterprise Edition VMs.   There is no Enterprise Edition available for 2016 or 2019, so I think you would need to purchase Datacenter licenses in order to cover the Enterprise VMs.

    Again, this is my opinion.  It is not binding.  You really, really need to talk with a trained licensing specialist.


    tim

    • Marked as answer by Peeyushsingh Tuesday, February 12, 2019 1:21 PM
    Monday, February 11, 2019 2:56 PM

All replies

  • https://www.altaro.com/hyper-v/virtual-machine-licensing-hyper-v/ contains an excellent overview of licensing for virtual machines.  However, it is always best to have a talk with your Microsoft licensing specialist.  You can generally find one at your authorized Microsoft reseller, or you can contact Microsoft directly - www.microsoft.com/licensing.

    Licensing is done at the host processor level.  Each Windows Server license comes with specific virtualization rights.  Each license also comes with downgrade rights.  That means that you can run the same or 'lesser' versions of the operating system with the assigned license.  For example, if you own an Enterprise license, you can run both Enterprise or Standard versions of the OS.  Datacenter gives the most bang for the buck.  It allows unlimjited number if instances of virtual operating systems.  In a cluster it is generally recommended to license the host nodes with Datacenter because each node needs to be licensed for the maximum number of VMs that can potentially run on each node.


    tim

    Wednesday, October 31, 2018 1:33 PM
  • Hi,

    Just check the situation about your issue.

    Best Regards,
    Frank

    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, November 2, 2018 7:14 AM
  • 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.
    If you resolve it using your own solution, please share your experience and solution here. It will be very beneficial for other community members who have similar questions.
    If no, please reply and tell us the current situation in order to provide further help.


    Best Regards,
    Frank

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

    Monday, November 5, 2018 7:09 AM
  • Hi Tim & Frank

    Thanks for your response.

    I request you to please repond on my scenario

    Scenario: if a 3 node cluster running total 12 Virtual machine with Windows Server 2008 R2 Enterprise,Windows Server 2012 Standard and Windows Server 2012 R2 Standard edition and DRS is active without any rule specification on all nodes of this cluster. It is virtualized with Vmware technologies. How many  Windows Server 2012 R2 Standard edition licenses required to cover the cluster. I do not want to license through Datacenter edition.


    Peeyush Singh


    Monday, February 11, 2019 1:38 PM
  • This is a technical forum; not a legal forum. License questions are legal questions.  To obtain answers that are acceptable to your lawyers and auditors, you need talk with a trained Microsoft licensing specialist.  Any answer you receive here is a technical opinion from an anonymous responder which would be unacceptable by any lawyer or auditor.

    That said, here is an anonymous, technical response.  Remember that Microsoft assigns licenses at the physical level, not at the virtual level.  Therefore, you need to license the nodes in the cluster, not the VMs running on the nodes.  Each license comes with virtualization rights.  Since it is highly unlikely that you can purchase 2012 or 2012 R2 licenses any more, you will most likely need to purchase Windows Server 2016 or Windows Server 2019 licenses and use the downgrade rights to run the earlier versions of Windows Server running in the VMs.  Standard grants the right to run up to two Windows Standard VMs.  Datacenter grants the right to run an unlimited number of Windows Server VMs of whatever edition you have.  In order to run 12 VMs in a cluster, you would generally require six Standard licenses assigned to each node of the cluster because it is possible that all 12 VMs could end up on any node of the cluster.  So for a three node cluster, you would need to have 18 Windows Standard licenses.

    However, I'm not sure you can do it with Standard licenses because you are running Enterprise Edition VMs.   There is no Enterprise Edition available for 2016 or 2019, so I think you would need to purchase Datacenter licenses in order to cover the Enterprise VMs.

    Again, this is my opinion.  It is not binding.  You really, really need to talk with a trained licensing specialist.


    tim

    • Marked as answer by Peeyushsingh Tuesday, February 12, 2019 1:21 PM
    Monday, February 11, 2019 2:56 PM