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Are you ready for Microsoft Windows Server 2016 licensing changes?

Please note this is an update to our previous blog: Microsoft Teases Us with Windows Server 2016 Licensing Details


When Microsoft Windows Server 2016 was introduced the licence metric changed from processor to physical cores.

To work out the licensing requirements the below data will be required for each physical server:

  • Processor count
  • Core count
  • Number of OSE running per Server

Microsoft Windows Server 2016 is sold in two-core packs (like SQL Server). Each pack costs approximately 1/8th of a current Windows Server 2012 licence.

The minimum requirements for core licences are 8 cores per physical processor and a minimum of 16 core licences per physical server.

However, the main ‘gotcha’ with this licence metric change is when your current agreement comes up for renewal. Existing customers who have Software Assurance will transition from processor based licensing to core based.

Microsoft will apply a conversion rate, which covers the minimum requirement of 8 core licences per processor and 16 core licences per physical server.

However, if your physical server has more cores than the minimum requirement you are eligible to receive additional core licence grants where you only pay Software Assurance.

Be aware that there are conditions that need to be met in order to receive additional core licence grants.

Other ‘gotchas’ to look out for are:

  • Unlike Windows Server 2012, 2016 Editions have different features beyond the number of OSE’s allowed per licence.
  • It is worth noting that for 2016 it no longer references Virtual OSE’s, only OSE’s.
  • Don’t forget that you still need your Windows CALs!

If you need help with your Microsoft Windows licensing why not join us on our Microsoft Training courses:

Licensing Essentials for Microsoft

Advanced Licensing for Microsoft

Alternatively, please contact ITAMS.

T:  03704 050508
E: info@itamsolutions.com

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