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  • Windows Licensing in a VMWare environment?

    Hi,

    I have some questions about licensing Windows VMs within a VMWare cluster.

    1. With Enterprise and Datacentre editions of Windows 2008 R2 you can run one copy of Enterprise or Datacentre plus a number of standard edition virtual guest machines. I presume this is only for Hyper V installations, and not VMWare??

    2. We have been told by our software vendor that if we were to use VMware with Windows virtual guests, the guest Windows license only allows for one migration of a VM to another node in the cluster once every 90 days, and would therefore need 2 Windows licenses per VM. I've never heard of restrictions like this before - is this true? Is this the same for Hyper V too?

    3. We will be installing a SQL Server within a VM and have opted for a 1 processor license. We are now talking about putting 2 CPUs in each physical node. Do we need to upgrade the license for SQL server to a 2 processor license? Or as the virtual guest is only aware of CORES is this unnecessary? (Apologies if this is the wrong forum for a SQL question - will repost if necessary)

    Thanks in advance - I hope I've made some sort of sense!

    db9429

  • #2
    Re: Windows Licensing in a VMWare environment?

    Originally posted by db9429 View Post
    Hi,
    1. With Enterprise and Datacentre editions of Windows 2008 R2 you can run one copy of Enterprise or Datacentre plus a number of standard edition virtual guest machines. I presume this is only for Hyper V installations, and not VMWare??
    We license our ESX hosts per processor with Datacenter and that allows us to run as many VM's on that host as we can fit. i.e. One host has 2 pCPU's. We license the host with 2 x Datacenter and 2 x vmware Entperirse plus licenses.

    2. We have been told by our software vendor that if we were to use VMware with Windows virtual guests, the guest Windows license only allows for one migration of a VM to another node in the cluster once every 90 days, and would therefore need 2 Windows licenses per VM. I've never heard of restrictions like this before - is this true? Is this the same for Hyper V too?
    I've never heard of this before. As long as you have licenses both hosts with the required Windows and VMware then there should be no issues vMotioning across hosts.

    3. We will be installing a SQL Server within a VM and have opted for a 1 processor license. We are now talking about putting 2 CPUs in each physical node. Do we need to upgrade the license for SQL server to a 2 processor license? Or as the virtual guest is only aware of CORES is this unnecessary? (Apologies if this is the wrong forum for a SQL question - will repost if necessary)
    I'll have to pass on the SQL licensing as I really dont understand it

    TBH i think you should speak to Microsoft support or their licensing team and get calrification on exactly what you want and what you need to stay compliant.

    Hope this helps

    Michael
    Last edited by Wired; 20th March 2011, 06:17. Reason: fixed BBCODE
    Michael Armstrong
    www.m80arm.co.uk
    MCITP: EA, MCTS, MCSE 2003, MCSA 2003: Messaging, CCA, VCP 3.5, 4, 5, VCAP5-DCD, VCAP5-DCA, ITIL, MCP, PGP Certified Technician

    ** Remember to give credit where credit is due and leave reputation points sigpic where appropriate **

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Windows Licensing in a VMWare environment?

      Originally posted by db9429 View Post
      Hi,

      I have some questions about licensing Windows VMs within a VMWare cluster.

      1. With Enterprise and Datacentre editions of Windows 2008 R2 you can run one copy of Enterprise or Datacentre plus a number of standard edition virtual guest machines. I presume this is only for Hyper V installations, and not VMWare??
      Not sure if it counts with VMware - check with MS Licencing. However, to add to m80's comments, you do need both theESX licence, AND the windows licences


      3. We will be installing a SQL Server within a VM and have opted for a 1 processor license. We are now talking about putting 2 CPUs in each physical node. Do we need to upgrade the license for SQL server to a 2 processor license? Or as the virtual guest is only aware of CORES is this unnecessary? (Apologies if this is the wrong forum for a SQL question - will repost if necessary)

      Thanks in advance - I hope I've made some sort of sense!

      db9429
      as long as you ensure your SQL server is only assigned one vCPU, your 1-cpu licence is fine, as this is all the guest will see.
      if you want to assign more than 1 vCPU to the guest, you'll need a second-cpu licence
      Please do show your appreciation to those who assist you by leaving Rep Point https://www.petri.com/forums/core/im.../icon_beer.gif

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Windows Licensing in a VMWare environment?

        Hi - thanks for your comments.

        If I get some definitive info from Microsoft re the use of a 2008 R2 Datacentre license and guest VMs, I will post here to let you know.

        Cheers,

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Windows Licensing in a VMWare environment?

          All the answers are correct. I've studied this topic a year back.
          If you buy Win Datacenter licenses per CPU and assign them to all of your ESX servers, you are covered by MS. It does not matter what company is the hypervisor from.
          Please read this:
          http://download.microsoft.com/downlo...ironments.docx

          As for the SQL question, the license you need is per how many CPUs (or vCPUs for that matter) are assigned to the OSE (operating system environment, physical or virtual). It is counted by CPUs, not by cores. You do NOT need to buy a new license if you add a processor to the hypervisor host machine, only if you add a processor to the OSE that is running the SQL instance.

          Once per 90 days.... Thats a sad story, but it's true. It's also documented in the docx from MS that is attached to this post. Here is the logic (presuming we are not covered by datacenter licenses all the way):
          You must assign a windows license to a hardware machine. So, let's say you have two ESXes and 20 VMs, 10 per ESX. You are obligated by MS to "assign" 10 win licenses to each server (per each OSE). If you need to move a VM from one ESX to the other, you are breaking the license terms, unless: a. you are reassigning the VM's license to the second ESX (can be done minimum once per 90 days, not less) OR b. you are already covered by another license on the second ESX (hence the "buy two licenses" per VM scenario).

          It's a little complicated topic so I suggest you read the docx first and if you still have questions, feel free to ask them here.

          P.S.
          Also, take a look:
          http://www.microsoft.com/licensing/a...ion.aspx#tab=1
          Last edited by venom83; 21st March 2011, 10:39.
          Regards,
          Leonid

          MCSE 2003, MCITP EA, VCP4.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Windows Licensing in a VMWare environment?

            Originally posted by venom83 View Post

            Once per 90 days.... Thats a sad story, but it's true. It's also documented in the docx from MS that is attached to this post. Here is the logic (presuming we are not covered by datacenter licenses all the way):
            You must assign a windows license to a hardware machine. So, let's say you have two ESXes and 20 VMs, 10 per ESX. You are obligated by MS to "assign" 10 licenses to each server. If you need to move a VM from one ESX to the other, you are breaking the license terms, unless: a. you are reassigning the VM's license to the second ESX (can be done minimum once per 90 days, not less) OR b. you are already covered by another license on the second ESX (hence the "buy two licenses" per VM scenario).
            You learn something new every day!!!
            Michael Armstrong
            www.m80arm.co.uk
            MCITP: EA, MCTS, MCSE 2003, MCSA 2003: Messaging, CCA, VCP 3.5, 4, 5, VCAP5-DCD, VCAP5-DCA, ITIL, MCP, PGP Certified Technician

            ** Remember to give credit where credit is due and leave reputation points sigpic where appropriate **

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Windows Licensing in a VMWare environment?

              Venom83 - thanks for your comments, exactly the info I need.

              Just out of interest, does the 90 day rule apply to Hyper V Hosts too (for instance if it was 2008 R2 Standard?) I would guess so...

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Windows Licensing in a VMWare environment?

                Just out of interest, does the 90 day rule apply to Hyper V Hosts too (for instance if it was 2008 R2 Standard?) I would guess so...
                Yes, the rule is actually binding the virtual OSE and it does not matter what is the hypervisor version or vendor.
                Regards,
                Leonid

                MCSE 2003, MCITP EA, VCP4.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Windows Licensing in a VMWare environment?

                  Well I think it's a piece of crap that you shouldn't be able to move a VM without breaking license agreements. If I read one doc quickly you are not allowed to re-assign a license to a different VM. I couldn't find a doc about using vMotion, Live Migration or what ever a product is calling it. Can you tell me which doc describes it really well?

                  It's on the same storage so basically I don't move it... Just using resources on a different system.

                  If Microsoft is going to do this I really need to contact all my customers and tell them they should going to pay double, triple or whatever. Microsoft will going to praise them selfs out of the market and Linux will grow...

                  Time for a new study I guess
                  Last edited by Dumber; 22nd March 2011, 00:01.
                  Marcel
                  Technical Consultant
                  Netherlands
                  http://www.phetios.com
                  http://blog.nessus.nl

                  MCITP(EA, SA), MCSA/E 2003:Security, CCNA, SNAF, DCUCI, CCSA/E/E+ (R60), VCP4/5, NCDA, NCIE - SAN, NCIE - BR, EMCPE
                  "No matter how secure, there is always the human factor."

                  "Enjoy life today, tomorrow may never come."
                  "If you're going through hell, keep going. ~Winston Churchill"

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Windows Licensing in a VMWare environment?

                    You are right. Here is the new study
                    As for the application licensing, there is a change: in a per-CPU scenario licensing for an application server (let's say SQL 2008 R2), you may count the number of physical processors supporting the OSE (meaning the number of CPUs, not cores in the ESX/Hyper-V host) and as long as you are not crossing this number, you are covered. You may use vMotion, but there are geographical limitations. Please read this:
                    http://download.microsoft.com/downlo..._Mobility.docx

                    As for the Windows Server itself:
                    "For Windows Server software, except in a few cases (see “Assignment of Licenses” above), licenses may only be reassigned to new hardware after 90 days. This, however, does not restrict the dynamic movement of virtual OSEs between licensed servers. As long as the servers are licensed and do not simultaneously run more instances than the number for which they are licensed, you are free to use VMotion and System Center Virtual Machine Manager to move virtualized instances between licensed servers at will. " Page 10 of "Licensing Microsoft Windows Server 2008 to Run with Virtualization Technologies" document.
                    http://download.microsoft.com/downlo...ironments.docx
                    Now, if we try to understand this: "do not simultaneously run more instances than the number for which they are licensed"
                    You may use vMotion as long as your ESX does not support more vOSE's than you assigned it. It means you have to buy for each ESX as many licenses as max of vOSEs it may support at any given moment.
                    EDIT:
                    There is a better explanation in this docx under "Clustering, Failing Over, and Moving Instances".

                    Here is the main site:
                    http://www.microsoft.com/licensing/a...efs.aspx#tab=4

                    Forum disclaimer: these are my interpretations of MS licensing. We all know that it's a confusing topic and if someone feels something is not clear, it's their responsibility to dig further, not mine
                    Last edited by venom83; 22nd March 2011, 08:56.
                    Regards,
                    Leonid

                    MCSE 2003, MCITP EA, VCP4.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Windows Licensing in a VMWare environment?

                      Well I interpreter it as for example, you have 20 ESX hosts, and 100 Windows VM's.
                      If you have licensed all the 100 Windows VM's and then you aren't allowed to install VM 101.

                      But if you have 90 Windows VM's and payed for 100, you are still allowed to add 10 more VM's.
                      Marcel
                      Technical Consultant
                      Netherlands
                      http://www.phetios.com
                      http://blog.nessus.nl

                      MCITP(EA, SA), MCSA/E 2003:Security, CCNA, SNAF, DCUCI, CCSA/E/E+ (R60), VCP4/5, NCDA, NCIE - SAN, NCIE - BR, EMCPE
                      "No matter how secure, there is always the human factor."

                      "Enjoy life today, tomorrow may never come."
                      "If you're going through hell, keep going. ~Winston Churchill"

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Windows Licensing in a VMWare environment?

                        Originally posted by Dumber View Post
                        Well I interpreter it as for example, you have 20 ESX hosts, and 100 Windows VM's.
                        If you have licensed all the 100 Windows VM's and then you aren't allowed to install VM 101.

                        But if you have 90 Windows VM's and payed for 100, you are still allowed to add 10 more VM's.
                        Marcel, to my understanding, when it comes to windows OS licensing (OSE), you have to assign licenses to each ESX (or any other hypervisor for that matter), not group of hosts, datacenter, cluster or whatever.

                        I gave a wrong link previously, this is the right one:
                        http://download.microsoft.com/downlo...ef-Jan_09.docx

                        Look here for "License for Peak Capacity". This means that all your ESX servers should be assigned the maximum WinOS licenses as number of VMs they would run at any given moment. So in your example if we have 20 ESXes and 100 VMs, lets say normally each ESX is running 5 VMs. Should one of them fail, the VMs from failing ESX will be split between all ESXes and some of the hosts will run 6 VMs. So this is the peak number and you have to buy:
                        20 (ESXes) x 6 (peak number) x 600$ (for STD WinOS) = 72000$.
                        Very nice, MS!!!
                        From the other hand, it you, let's say, turn DRS to manual and not use vMotion more than per 90 days... you could use this formula:
                        100 x 600 = 60000$

                        I'm not saying anyone should do that
                        Regards,
                        Leonid

                        MCSE 2003, MCITP EA, VCP4.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Windows Licensing in a VMWare environment?

                          In our case it's become much more cost effective to purchase datacentre licenses, which allows us to be compliant when vMotioning VMs.

                          Thanks again Venom for your insight...it's very easy to get lost in the sea of documentation of licensing. We've confirmed everything you have said with someone from Microsoft and it all checks out.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Windows Licensing in a VMWare environment?

                            IF This is true Venom, Microsoft will loose there market share in the future.
                            Your still licensed the same system, either if it's physical or virtual.
                            It's for example the SAME Exchange Server, basically never has changed accept on a different physical box.

                            If Microsoft is going to consist this mechanism I think a lot of customers will make there switch to Linux or other Operating Systems since this licensing mechanism is just BullShit.

                            I would like to see an MS licensing engineer who can explain this completely.
                            Marcel
                            Technical Consultant
                            Netherlands
                            http://www.phetios.com
                            http://blog.nessus.nl

                            MCITP(EA, SA), MCSA/E 2003:Security, CCNA, SNAF, DCUCI, CCSA/E/E+ (R60), VCP4/5, NCDA, NCIE - SAN, NCIE - BR, EMCPE
                            "No matter how secure, there is always the human factor."

                            "Enjoy life today, tomorrow may never come."
                            "If you're going through hell, keep going. ~Winston Churchill"

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Windows Licensing in a VMWare environment?

                              Well, thats another thing...unless the app (SQL or Exchange) is OEM, I don't think you need additional licenses for the app for vMotioning/Live Migration, its just the peak capacity virtual OSE's you have to consider, right?

                              I guess if the apps WERE OEM, then technically you couldn't live migrate them?

                              Comment

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