Server 2012 licencing on vmware cluster


  • We are commissioning a new vmware ESXi cluster of 4 hosts (2 CPU each) and I've been reading the Server 2012 licencing information and FAQs - And think I have my head around the virtulization entitlements and have spoken to a rep from our reseller but I would like validation on my understanding?

    • With Server 2012 there are now only Standard and Datacentre Editions. Both versions have the same functionality, the difference is in licencing.
    • A Server standard licence lets you run 2012 Standard, or 2008 R2 /2008 / 2003 Standard or Enterprise.
    • Datacentre allows any version of 2012 / 2008 R2 / 2008 /2003
    • Each Server licence covers up to 2 physical CPU, additionally there is a virtualization entitlement referred to by Microsoft as VOSE (virtual operating system environment)
    • Each Standard Edition licence = 2 VOSE
    • Datacenter = unlimited VOSE on a single physical server / host
    • When licencing for virtualization the licences are assigned to hosts not VMs

    So if the above is correct then I can purchase a Datacentre licence for each of the 4 hosts and run unlimited VMs on the cluster?

    Thanks / Kind Regards

    Thursday, November 01, 2012 5:35 PM


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