Announced some time ago, they are now scheduled for rollout: Microsoft is all set to launch the new versions of Windows Server in the second half of 2016. Besides necessary product modifications and new cloud-inspired features, there will be a number of changes to the license rights. Similar to its raising of the threshold for Enterprise Agreements, Microsoft will also align its Windows Server license model with the cloud. Read on to find out what is about to change. And above all: How to dodge any risks of elevated costs.
What will change in the Windows Server 2016 licenses?
In a nutshell: Microsoft is switching from 'licensing per processor' to 'licensing per core'. In previous models the number of cores fitted to a processor was supremely irrelevant to calculating the licensing requirements. But now it is the central aspect. Licenses so far have applied per processor, but now they will cover two cores. The total license requirement is then based on the number of cores per processor. There will be a minimum of at least eight licenses for each server, whereby at least eight cores need to be licensed per processor.
In the new model, the price of a license for 2 cores is therefore 1/8th of the old license fee.
What are the consequences?
The switch will not lead to any changes in prices for normal machines (up to 2 processors à 8 cores). But customers will be asked to pay extra for higher performance machines. Licensing of access rights (CALs) for the Windows Server remains the same.
By the way: The minimum thresholds will not make things any cheaper – e.g. for equipment with fewer processor cores.
Put succinctly: Plenty of customers will be asked to pay more. But help is on hand.
How can additional costs be avoided?
The solution? Software Assurance offers an elegant way to dodge the added license fees. Of all the manifold and useful advantages that customers acquire from a maintenance and support license, there is one that stands out as particularly beneficial: Software Assurance covers all new versions that are launched during its term. This is why it is well worth investing now in the acquisition of a new version together with Software Assurance.
Here are two examples:
Company A plans to purchase a Windows Server 2016 license for a server with 2 processors and 10 physical cores each.
The solution: Windows Server 2012 R2 license with SA
Company B plans to purchase a Windows Server 2016 license for a server with 4 processors and 16 physical cores each.
The solution: 2 x Windows Server 2012 R2 license with SA
It is also possible to assign existing licenses with Software Assurance to new hardware.
The license for a normal server is re-assigned internally to a higher performance machine (remember to observe the 90-day rule for re-assignments).
The required server license for the normal server can be purchased at no additional cost (2012 R2 or 2016).