Dealing with new licensing rules can look like a pretty daunting task, right? We did it in 2012 with the new SQL licensing, and now we’re working through the transition to the 2016 licensing framework.
There are a few key elements of the 2016 release that are important to note:
- Along with the changes below, Microsoft is trying to make it easier for their customer base by adapting the system in a way that lets us have the same licensing model for on premise Windows Server workloads, in addition to those held in Azure. This is a great opportunity to simplify your server environment while you’re already making changes to your licensing.
- From a dollar perspective, things have essentially flipped. With Windows Server 2012 it was more cost-effective to have less physical servers with more robust CPU’s – processors that had more cores.
- The 2016 release re-organizes things so that it’s now beneficial to have more physical hardware, with less cores per CPU. Let’s break that down a bit:
- Under the new licensing rules, servers with 8+ cores/CPU will have to pay an increased licensing fee.
- Don’t worry though, there are a few ways to work around these new fees, we’ll go over them below.
- This new system means that we need to re-think our IT infrastructure, especially in datacenter, and consider adding an additional physical server to reduce the capacity requirement on the others in order to be cost-effective.
When we consider the implications of the 2016 changes, there are a few steps to take now:
- Remember back when we said servers with 8+ cores per CPU would have to pay more? You might not! There are 2 main ways to reduce those costs – core licensing grants from Microsoft, and exemptions for servers with Software Assurance. The trick is, you need to have a clear idea of what you’re working with to take advantage.
- First, find out what inventory you have that has 8+ cores/CPU and is covered under Software Assurance.
- These servers are allowed to use the old model at the 2012 rate until the end of your Software Assurance coverage.
- Second, consider reallocating your licenses for servers with less than 8 cores per CPU to the 2012 or earlier versions – you might be able to save a few steps and some of your
budget by doing this.
4. Consider applying to Microsoft for core license grants for your servers that have Software Assurance, and more than 8 cores/CPU. Here are the keys to making sure this is effective:
- Do a very thorough inventory of your current server environment and document everything – especially as it relates to cores and CPU’s, as this is how Microsoft will evaluate your eligibility for grants. Store this information in a secure way that can be easily accessed so you can provide it to MS.
- If you can’t prove that information to Microsoft, they will apply the new 2016 standard transition with additional charges for 8+ cores/CPU.
Now that you have the basics of Microsoft’s 2016 server licensing changes – let’s talk!
We’ll walk you through the next steps to server modernization, cloud readiness, and the best ways to keep your IT infrastructure moving forward.
Drop us an email at email@example.com, or call us at 1 (855) 326-0533.