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Microsoft datacentre licensing and VMware

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  • Microsoft datacentre licensing and VMware


    Got a question with regards to Microsoft Licensing and VMware ESX hosts.

    We have a Microsoft schools agreement and a lot of our windows servers are running standard edition. One is running enterprise. All on physical servers.

    We are virtualising some of our Windows Servers and schools agreement pricing is very favourable if we buy a datacentre license. Its about 70 and it means we can run an unlimited number of Microsoft server VM's in VMware. compared to enterprise which is only 5 cheaper but only allows you to run a maximum of 4 guests.

    Question, I understand that a Windows license for Data centre would be per processor, so if I have 2 physical processorsin each esx host I need to get 2 X datacentre license per ESX host, Is that correct?

    If I purchased 6 data centre licenses (3 ESX hosts with 2 physical processors in each), what version of Windows server can be used, I understand its only standard or enterprise, can someone confirm this? Does this cover Windows XP also?


  • #2
    Re: Microsoft datacentre licensing and VMware

    All sounds right to me (except it doesn't cover XP).

    Might want to check the whitepaper from MS on Licensing in Virtualised environments.

    From memory there are some issues to consider depending on your architecture (eg Active / Passive, DR hosts, VMotion, etc). For example, I think there were some type of 'time-limits' after reloacting to another host before MS considers a license is required, in certain situations..

    Last edited by bunce; 15th July 2009, 19:13.