Windows Thread, Windows Server Licensing and vMotion in Technical; Morning all
I was wondering if any of you might be able to help me find the answer to this ...
31st July 2012, 10:21 AM #1
Windows Server Licensing and vMotion
I was wondering if any of you might be able to help me find the answer to this question (I don't fancy trying to find out from Microsoft as they just pass you between departments!). We have a VMware virtualised platform, 3 hosts and a SAN.
What is causing confusion is whether or not we need a Windows Server license for each host that the VM could run on.
For example... we have 3 hosts and 6 VM's. Do we need...
- 3 licenses for Windows Server 2008 R2 Standard (Standard licenses license you to run 2 VM's on one physical box).
- 18 licenses for Windows Server 2008 R2 Standard to allow any/all of the machines to be run on any 3 of the hosts at any one time.
- 6 licenses for Windows Server 2008 R2 Datacenter and be done with it (2 processors per host)?
Thanks in advance!
IDG Tech News
31st July 2012, 10:33 AM #2
2 and 3 are both correct
I suspect 2 is cheaper than 3 though because you have a minuscule number of VMs.
31st July 2012, 10:35 AM #3
When we did what you are doing we went for option 3 as it makes life much easier and moer flexible. I don't think option 1 will work, as when we last looked at it, Server Standard only allows 1VM use + 1 physical use on the same box, i.e. if you're using HyperV, you can install Server Standard as the hypervisor and then one guest, but even if you're using Vmware/other it doesn't free up the physical license to be virtualised.
Option 4: Server Enterprise edition allows 4 VMs + the physical host which if you're only having 6VMs would work nicely.
One thing I would say is that 3 hosts for 6 VMs seems like way overkill unless you have some pretty heavy workloads on those VMs, you could save some licenses and only have 2 hosts.
31st July 2012, 10:41 AM #4
Has the Windows 2008R2 Standard license changed? Last time I looked into it the license allowed you to run either 1 physical copy or 1 virtual copy not one of each or two VM's.
Enterprise cost the same as Datacenter (about £180) but is priced per machine and limited to 4 VM's.
DataCenter is per (physical) processor and unlimited VM's so gives the most flexibility. We bought 2xDC for each of our 3 virtual hosts - but then again we do run about 20-22 individual (virtual) servers.
31st July 2012, 10:44 AM #5
Thanks for your advice.
We have ~12 VM's at the minute (6 was just for example). So I'm correct in thinking we need enough licenses 'allocated' to each host to allow all the VM's to run on one host should the other 2 fail?
According to the 'Microsoft Virtualisation Calculator' if you're running a 3rd party hypervisor (Citrix XenServer, VMware ESXi) then you can run 2x VM's with 1 license. If you're running Hyper-V, plus 2x VM's you would need 2 licenses for Standard or an Enterprise license.
31st July 2012, 10:57 AM #6
I would just go for Datacenter then, you could go for 3x Enterprise licenses, but it means you wouldn't be able to vMotion or HA without transfering licenses between physial boxes (which is all or nothing, i.e. you would have to move all VMs off of the server) and you wouldn't be able to expand without purchasing more licenses. I'm pretty sure that the cost of Standard will be higher than Enterprise in your scenario.
Originally Posted by Chris_
The licensing for Standard might have changed, I remember it from 2008, so it might be different in R2 now. And its all going to change again in 2012, but thats a different story!
31st July 2012, 11:03 AM #7
We spoke to a chap from Insight UK about server licencing, have to say he was brilliant and worked out the cost comparison between the different licence models for us. The datacenter licence for us was the best value, as it means we can create servers at will on our two ESXi boxes.
I didn't realise that standard licences had to be 'allocated' to a host?? I thought that standard licences were just per VM regardless of which host the VMs were running on, so for 6 VMs between 2 hosts you would still only need 6 licences, as you will never be running more than 6 VMs at one time, between the two hosts. However this is Microsoft Licencing...
31st July 2012, 11:15 AM #8
If you are looking to make sure you have enough licenses on any 2 host should a third fail then, if my maths is correct, you need 6 valid licences per host
6 x Standard
2 x Enterprise
2 x Datacenter (I'm assuming hosts have 2 physical processors)
At about £80 a copy, 6xStandard would set you back £480, 2x Enterprise and 2x Datacenter are the same price at around £360. (These are based on the last Education Select Volume License Prices I obtained).
My advice - get 2x Datacenter for each host. Not only could you then run any combination of any exiting virtual machine on the three hosts as you need, but you are only limited by hardware on the number of VM's you can run - so you are well and truly future proofed.
31st July 2012, 11:32 AM #9
Originally Posted by Chris_
See the above link. Standard allows 1 Physical and 1 virtual, but not two virtuals, and the physical box could only be used to 'manage and service' the virtual machine.
As for having to buy 6 licences per host? I have never heard of this, standard is licenced per server ie per VM?? So you would need 6 overall???
31st July 2012, 11:38 AM #10
If you have 12 servers you need 12 Standard Licenses. its not until Server 2012 you need to license the Physical hosts.
31st July 2012, 11:40 AM #11
This is why we all love M$ licensing soooo very much, no two people can ever agree the same interpretation of the same sentence (this is especially true for any two M$ employees).
Originally Posted by Jamo
My understanding is the VM is restricted/attached to the physical license used to "manage and service". The physical license isn't transferable between physical machines and therefor neither is are the VM's. In essance - to run 6 virtual machine using standard license you also need effectively running 6 physical licenses on the host to manage the 6 virtual licenses, even though there is actually only 1 physical copy physically running.
Confused? some am I!
31st July 2012, 11:45 AM #12
I always love the volume licencing part:
Originally Posted by tmcd35
So I buy Windows as an OEM licence, can I install the VL version?
Ah no you have to buy the Volume Licence version of Windows to do that for each of your clients.
Oh ok, so can I not buy the OEM and just buy the VL version.
No sorry the VL version is an 'upgrade'.
I know M$ have the best enterprise client OS by a mile, but it is sooo frustrating!!!
Virtual Desktop licencing is also a COMPLETE nightmare! Basically making it totally un-affordable to even consider!
31st July 2012, 11:47 AM #13
Originally Posted by Jamo
31st July 2012, 12:37 PM #14
2008 R2 Standard, Enterprise and Datacenter licenses are all assigned to the physical host. The only difference is with the Datacenter Edition - you buy licenses for each physical processor in your host(s). See Licensing Windows Server in a Virtual Environment for more details.
Originally Posted by Jamo
For Windows Server 2012, see Windows Server 2012 Licensing In Detail instead.
31st July 2012, 12:58 PM #15
MS really don't make things easy do they!!
Originally Posted by Arthur
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