I thought I would update a post I wrote previously regarding virtualization. In this article, I want to touch on three specific products (Windows, Core Infrastructure Suite, and the new Cloud Platform Suite). Pay attention, this could save you money!
Windows must be reported, but oddly enough it is the most under licensed product during an audit. (along with SQL). You have to license every processor on the host machine that will allow you to run 1 virtual instance (either Linux or Windows) for Windows Standard edition. If you spin up another instance, you have to license every processor again! In other words, to run two instances licensing Windows STD on a 2 processor machine would need 4 licenses! Datacenter- you must license every processor on the host machine that will allow you to run unlimited VM’s. Great bargain if you are highly virtualized! Only caveat, it is going up in price in January.
Core Infrastructure Suite
CIS is a bundled SKU that includes Windows Server and System Center. There are two editions, Standard and Datacenter. They both come with the same technology, the only difference is virtualization. Standard will allow 1 instance, Datacenter will allow unlimited. This SKU is licensed by physical processor and follows the same logic as Windows virtualization mentioned above. Pay attention to the number of instances running on each host!
Cloud Platform Suite (CPS)
This is the baby of the SPLA family. (actually hasn’t been born if your reading this prior to January, 2014). I wrote about the basics in a earlier blog. I think this could be a HUGE plus for service providers who report SPLA licenses and run Hyper V. Why? Mobility rights. CPS is a bundled SKU of Windows and System Center. The differences between CPS and the Core Infrastructure suite is the way you license the guests. CPS you have to license the virtual guests, Core Infrastructure you don’t (as long as you license datacenter edition). What will make CPS attractive is the cost. The cost per host processor is a lot less than the cost of the Core infrastructure processor license. Secondly, because you also license the guest (not that cheap but pretty valuable), the guest OS can move as long as you license both the guest and host. This reduces your compliance risk tenfold. If VM’s can migrate and you cannot track that virtual instance, this is the way to go. Why wouldn’t you use CPS? If you are not running Windows 2012, System Center 2012, and Hyper V (a requirement) you should stick with Windows Standard or Datacenter. If you are heavily virtualized in Microsoft technology and running System Center, stick with Core Infrastructure Suite Datacenter. You will need to sit down with your reseller and review your options. That’s why you need to work with someone who understands SPLA and has your best interest. I always say “Make sure your compliant, but make sure you are licensing the most cost effective way.”
Good news is you have options, just make sure you pick the right one!
Thanks for reading.