James O'Neill's Blog

August 19, 2008

Virtualization: Licensing and support changes

Filed under: Virtualization,Windows Server,Windows Server 2008 — jamesone111 @ 3:33 pm

I was briefed a few days ago about changes to licensing to make life easier for people doing virtualization.  I think our server applications have done a good job of adapting their licences for a world where they run in virtualized machine. That’s all fine and good, but the situation wasn’t so clever when those virtual machines weren’t tied to a single physical server.  The announcement is now up on Presspass. Previously if Exchange, SQL or the others could run on a physical computer, then that computer had to have a licence: unless a physical server was being replaced, you could not move a licence between two servers more than once every 90 days. Build a 16 node cluster with Hyper-V with one SQL VM meant buying 16 licences; as yet relatively few customers have built systems like that, but they have with VMotion and I’ve faced hostile questioning about this point in the past. I suspect a lot of customers thought they only needed as many licences as running VMs: that’s basically the position from today. You should read the Application Server License Mobility brief for yourself, because (a) it gives some good worked examples. (b) It makes it clear what kind of moves are still excluded (c) It makes it clear which products are eligible and which are not. I’ll steer questions to Emma

But there’s more. We’ve updated our application support policy for a whole crop of applications to cover support on virtualization.. The note on Presspass simply links to http://support.microsoft.com and says this covers 31 applications. The full list is in KB article 957006  I’ll try to find an definitive list (I have a list, I just can’t call it definitiveExchange is in though )

But that’s not all. We have a new version of the KB article, 897615 which outlines how we support people running on non-Microsoft Virtualization

for vendors who have Server Virtualization Validation Program (SVVP) validated solutions, Microsoft will support server operating systems subject to the Microsoft Support Lifecycle policy for its customers who have support agreements when the operating system runs virtualized on non-Microsoft hardware virtualization software

I’ve mentioned the SVVP before. There are 5 companies signed up so far with certified products

  • Cisco Systems, Inc.
  • Citrix Systems, Inc.
  • Novell, Inc.
  • Sun Microsystems
  • Virtual Iron Software

The internal briefing said we’d reached out to other vendors.  If they’re not on the list, it’s because they don’t want their customers to be properly supported. Enough said.

Update 1 The Exchange team blog has a post on this.

Update 2 Just be clear that the list on SVVP page is for those who have signed up to get their solution validated and the support statement in KB 897615 talks about having Validated solutions and It should be obvious that one comes  before the other. But I made the mistake of saying the 5 signed up as of August 19th had all completed validation.


This post originally appeared on my technet blog.


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