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Licensing Questions Thread, Windows Server 2008R2 Enterprise VM rights in Technical; Hi all, Me and my Development Manager have been doing our yearly license count, and an interesting question has arisen. ...
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    Windows Server 2008R2 Enterprise VM rights

    Hi all,

    Me and my Development Manager have been doing our yearly license count, and an interesting question has arisen.

    According to 2 suppliers, the Windows Svr 2008R2 Enterprise licence covers the host and 4 VM's (if the Host OS only supports the VM's on it), but what we didn't know, is that is the maximum amount of VM's allowed, we can't install as many Linux Vm's as we want on top for example, without buying more Windows 2008R2 Enterprise licences to add another 4 VM's. The 4 instance is for windows and linux.

    This sounds absurd to me, I would have thought the 4 instance is for Windows Server, and if we wanted to run a bunch of Red Hats or Ubuntus, we should be able to under there respective licences.

    Anyone want to confirm or deny this? Or even(hopefully) have some official MS documentation to the contrary or to confirm. Everything I can find for R2, is ambiguous at best and makes mention of non-windows servers, but no definitive, you can do this or you can't.

    This has really annoyed me, I now have to move my little support linux VM's to other older servers, running hyper-visors that are free!

    My 3 R710's with their 72GB of RAM, now sit happily running 4 VM's each, hardly even breaking a sweat!

    And yes, we will probably licence Datacenter next year, instead of Enterprise, but I've seen some other ambiguous documents saying that DC is not available for single processor servers! It never ends!

    Thanks

    James

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    FN-GM's Avatar
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    Rubbish. You can add as many VM's as you like. Your only limited to 4 Windows server virtual machines. I am also certain the host doesnt need to run Windows either, but you can assign one enterprise to the host just to use the VM licenses.

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    That's what I thought, but we need proper MS documentation to back it up. Both RM and a Dell partner we use have told us it is 4 only, Linux or Windows. Even the virtualisation calculator on the MS website, states that if running non-Microsoft or 3rd party, pick windows server from the list

    Thanks

    James

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    Michael's Avatar
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    This is what I found:

    2008 R2 Enterprise:

    Run up to four software instances at a time in virtual operating system environments on a server under a single server license.
    To me it seems pretty clear. Four instances, 1 x 2008 R2 Enterprise license. I agree with your two suppliers.

    You could either buy another 2008 R2 Enterprise license, which would give you an additional 4 instances, or buy 2008 R2 Datacentre which offers unlimited instances. Datacentre is megabucks however as you'd expect.

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    Mr.Ben's Avatar
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    Datacenter isn't that much more under an EES/OVS agreement.

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    Ah well!

    Anyone got any other proof?

    Sorry if this has p****d on anyone's cornflakes, but it's annoyed me too Time to shave down the VM's or see if I can free some budget for DC licences(we pay 80ish for an enterprise, so hopefully DC isn't much more for our 2 single proc and 1 dual proc R710's, we are on OVS) or we will have to wait until the end of the agreement and do DC next year.

    James

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    I didn't know this either but it looks like you are correct that 2008 R2 Datacenter licenses cannot be used on single processor servers. I have just read the pricing and licensing guide on the 2008 R2 website and it states on page 9:

    Windows Server 2008 R2 Datacenter Edition may only be run on servers with a minimum of two processors and requires a two-processor minimum purchase.

    Typical Microsoft.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave84 View Post
    Typical Microsoft.
    You're forgetting that not everyone buying Windows Server licenses can get EDU pricing. If a business is going to spend over £2,000 on a datacenter license I am sure, a) they can afford a server with a second processor and, b) will want as many guest VMs as possible on that server. It wouldn't make financial sense to stick the datacenter edition on server with just one dual or quad-core processor.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael View Post
    This is what I found:

    2008 R2 Enterprise:



    To me it seems pretty clear. Four instances, 1 x 2008 R2 Enterprise license. I agree with your two suppliers.

    You could either buy another 2008 R2 Enterprise license, which would give you an additional 4 instances, or buy 2008 R2 Datacentre which offers unlimited instances. Datacentre is megabucks however as you'd expect.
    Four instances of the 'Windows Server' software at a time. Hyper-V is a seporate thing and is even free when seporate. You can stuff as much *nix as you want on it as it is not covered by MS and Hyper-V is not Windows Server.

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    @SYNACK but it says 'virtual operating system', which would mean Windows and Linux for example.

    If it said 'virtual Windows Server' then I would agree with you.

    As I say, the RM and Dell partner would no doubt have come across this type of question all the time, so to give out bad information would look bad on their part. I'm sure if you contacted Microsoft Licensing themselves, they'd clear this one up once and for all.
    Last edited by Michael; 28th March 2012 at 05:09 PM.

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    Microsoft's definition of a operating system environment does sound like it would apply to Linux guest VMs too.

    Operating System Environment

    To understand how licensing works under virtualization, it is critical to understand the definition of an operating system environment (OSE).

    An “operating system environment” is:

    1. all or part of an operating system instance, or all or part of a virtual (or otherwise emulated) operating system instance which enables separate machine identity (primary computer name or similar unique identifier) or separate administrative rights, and
    2. instances of applications, if any, configured to run on the operating system instance or parts identified above.

    There are two types of operating system environments, physical and virtual. A physical operating system environment is configured to run directly on a physical hardware system. The operating system instance used to run hardware virtualization software (for example, Microsoft Virtual Server or similar technologies) or to provide hardware virtualization services (for example, Microsoft virtualization technology or similar technologies) is considered part of the physical operating system environment. A virtual operating system environment is configured to run on a virtual (or otherwise emulated) hardware system. A physical hardware system can have either or both of the following:

    1. one physical operating system environment
    2. one or more virtual operating system environments

    OSEs that include all or part of an operating system instance require separate licenses. Likewise, OSEs that include all or part of a virtual instance and enable separate machine identity or separate administrative rights require separate licenses.
    Last edited by Arthur; 28th March 2012 at 06:35 PM.

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    I realise some people worry about such things but I think you really shouldn't.

    Microsoft has always been fairly non-aggresive when it comes to licencing their products and I'm sure that they will sleep at night if you've purchased the right license to run their OS on some hardware.

    Once you've done that, then what you run on top (as long as it isn't another copy of their OS) is NONE of their business and they are not never ever going to bother you

    (If your running some sort of hypervisor program - then its fair enough that licensing covers any OS running on it but if your just running a standard OS then stick what you want on top)

    Now just because you've asked someone the question and they've given you an answer doesn't mean that you need to follow it or its even correct - like I say - MS won't be bothered - they've had a bit of money andas long as they get a bit of money off everyone in the world and everyone keeps upgrading that something then they are happy - they can do the maths and £x times billons is a lot of money

    There are more important things to worry about in IT.

    Si

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