James O'Neill's Blog

January 16, 2009

Hyper-V licensing changes

Filed under: Virtualization,Windows Server,Windows Server 2008 — jamesone111 @ 8:00 am

A few days ago I wrote about our licensing for Hyper-V. The boys at VMware had picked up that we required Client Access Licences for clients of VMs running on Windows. The “if it runs on Windows it needs a CAL” philosophy has the virtue of simplicity, but it makes Virtualization projects expensive if you haven’t already got server 2008 CALs.. If there was a degree of ambivalence in that post it was because I like simplicity in licensing, but it just seemed wrong for us to ask for a CAL for a Linux client to access a Linux server.

Well… we’ve added to the IFs ANDs or BUTs count in the product use rights. But I’m not expecting any complaints. Here’s the key part of a “customer ready” mail which we have been given to share with Volume Licence customers

A number of trends, including consolidation and high availability, are driving more deployments and evaluations of Hyper-V. Based on feedback from our customers, we are updating our licensing policies to address these new scenarios enabled by virtualization.

Currently, if your physical server environment is running Windows Server 2003, matching version CALs are required for all users (i.e. Windows Server 2003 CALs). However, if you move your physical Windows Server 2003 Operating System Environments (OSE) to run as virtual machines hosted by Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V, Windows Server 2008 CALs are required. This is per the current use rights. With the change in our licensing policy, Windows Server 2008 CALs are no longer required if you are using Windows Server 2008 solely as a virtualization host. The only exception to this is if you are running Windows Server 2008 virtual machines, which would require Windows Server 2008 CALs.

If you would like more in depth information on this change, please read the updated Volume Licensing Brief (note that for now these terms only customers covered by a Volume Licence)

Oh and a quick tip of the hat to Chris Wolf, who saw this coming.

This post originally appeared on my technet blog.

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