New Licensing Rules for Windows Server & System Center 2016

In December 2015, Microsoft announced that Windows Server 2016 (& System Center 2016) will be licensed with a core & CAL model.  What does this mean to you and your existing licenses covered by Software Assurance?

The new licensing rules state that all the physical cores for Windows Server 2016 Standard & Datacenter Editions will need to be licensed as follows:

  • Minimum of 8 core licenses required for each processor
  • Minimum of 16 core licenses required for each server
  • Core licenses will be sold in packs of two

Note:  The two core pack for each edition is 1/8th the price of a two processor license for the corresponding 2012 R2 Edition.

Windows Server Standard & Datacenter Edition 2 processor licenses with Software Assurance will be exchanged for a  minimum of 8 two-core pack licenses (16 core licenses) or the actual number of physical cores in use.

Some additional Windows Server 2016 licensing information:

  • Hyper-threading doesn’t change the number of core licenses required
  • Disabled processors do not need to be licensed
  • Nested virtualisation (running a VM in a VM) is licensed as two virtual machines
  • There will be an External Connector licence
  • The Nano Server deployment option requires no additional licensing

    If you are in an existing licensing agreement with Microsoft, such as an Enterprise Agreement or Server and Cloud Enrolment, you will be able to continue to purchase processor licenses through to the end of the agreement term.The SAM Club will assist its clients at the end of an agreement to perform a self-inventory to document the number of physical cores in each processor that are licensed with Windows Server processor licenses with SA.  This will ensure our clients receive the appropriate number of core licenses for their deployments.

    We have updated the Windows Server Summary sheets in clients’ SAM Workbooks to accommodate this.

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