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Tag Archives: Windows 2012

Licensing options in a virtual world

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

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.

SPLA Man

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The Cloud Platform Suite (CPS)

The Cloud Platform Suite (CPS in Microsoft language) is a new SKU coming January, 2014 and will be in the next release of the SPUR.   (there’s a lot of acronyms in this post). CPS is a bit out of the norm for SPLA;  the licensing is by processor and by guest instance.  CPS combines Windows Server 2012 and System Center 2012 in one SKU (similar to the Core Infrastructure SKU (CIS)).  To add to the complexity, the core infrastructure suite is not going away. I wrote an overview recently that provides great details in licensing Windows, CIS, and CPS at “Licensing in a virtual world”

On the surface, CIS and CPS appear to be the same SKU, but there are significant differences.  To reiterate, the Core Infrastructure Suite is licensed by processor on the host and will allow you to run virtual instances depending on the SKU in which you report – Datacenter= unlimited VM’s/Standard= 1 VM.  CPS is licensed by processor on the host and by virtual instance.   CPS will allow the VM to move to different hosts, as long as the underlying host is licensed and you report the highest number of VMs.  The other caveat – you must RUN Windows 2012, System Center 2012 and HYPER V.  If you are not running Hyper V, you cannot license CPS.

Why would you report one over the other?  It really boils down to the number of VM’s deployed.  You need to calculate the total cost of the solution (both the number of hosts and VM’s), and whether or not you decide to install 2012.  If not, you cannot license CPS.

In my opinion, if you are virtualized, but not highly virtualized, CPS is your answer.  If you have high number of VMs, stick with Datacenter.  Remember, under CPS you have to license each guest separately.  (except if it’s Linux, no “guest” fee is charged for Linux VMs running on the Cloud Platform Suite “host”).  The cost is not astronomical per VM, but if you run 100’s of VMs, the cost can add up quickly.

Clear as mud?  Probably. It’s Microsoft licensing.  That being said, I think this is a good SKU for smaller environments and provides more options for service providers.  In Microsoft eyes, this SKU will encourage their customers and partners to deploy 2012R2.

Hope this helps and thanks for reading. There will be more insight on this as we get closer to January.  Stay tuned!

SPLA Man

 
5 Comments

Posted by on November 1, 2013 in Cloud Platform Suite

 

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Why Timing is Everything

Whether you’re signing a new SPLA or renewing your old one, timing is everything.  When you sign an agreement, you are bound by the use rights at the time of sigining.  For example, if you sign a new SPLA in April, 2013 you will be bound by the SPUR (product use rights) for April 2013. 

Why is this important?  As with technology, licensing is always evolving.  As an example, with the release of SQL 2012, Microsoft switched from a processor based licensing structure to a core based licensing structure.  Since the 2013 SPUR only has core licensing (not processor), you will be forced to license by core when you sign a new SPLA regardless of which version you have installed. In other words, anyone (whether renewing or new) who signs an agreement after December 31st, 2012 will be forced to license by core. 

Windows 2012 is another change that can impact your usage reporting.  With the release of Windows 2012 last August, anyone who signs a new SPLA after August 31st, 2012 will be forced to license by the 2012 use rights.  You can run previous versions such as 2008, but you will need to license by the current SPUR. 

What happens if you sign a new SPLA in August before the license change?  You will have 3 years (SPLA is a 3 year agreement) to license the old way.  The catch? If you migrate any servers to the 2012 version you will have to license those servers by the 2012 use rights.  For example, if you are running SQL 2008 R2 Standard edition and decide to migrate to SQL 2012 Standard edition, the new server will need to be reported by the core not by processor!

Ask in advance for the licensing impact before renewing your SPLA agreement.  Better yet, follow this blog for the latest updates and you will be well prepared!

Thanks for reading-

SPLA Man

 
17 Comments

Posted by on May 29, 2013 in Compliance, SPLA General

 

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