Windows Server 2016 and System Center 2016 Pricing and Licensing FAQ

There’s a December 2015 Pricing and Licensing FAQ for Windows Server and System Center which gives some more detail on the upcoming 2016 versions of these products. Here are the new and interesting things revealed:

Windows Server

  • Windows Server 2016 is licensed by physical cores, therefore using hyper-threading does not change the Core licences required
  • If processors are disabled for use by Windows then the cores on that processor do not need to be licensed
  • Windows Server 2016 supports nested virtualisation – a VM running inside a VM – which counts as two virtual machines from a licensing perspective
  • There will be an External Connector licence for Windows Server 2016
  • Nano Server is a deployment option within Windows Server 2016 and requires no further licences


Azure hybrid-use benefit

  • Anticipated to be available in the first quarter of 2016
  • Customers with Windows Server with SA can use Windows Server images in non-Windows VMs in Azure
  • Each Windows Server 2012 R2 Processor licence allows customers to run 2 instances on up to 8 cores each, or 1 instance on up to 16 cores
  • When the benefit is used with a Standard edition licence, that licence may no longer be assigned to another server, but Datacenter licences can continue to be used for unlimited virtualisation in an on-premises deployment


System Center

  • System Center 2016 will also move to the Core licensing model
  • The Core Infrastructure Server Suite will also be licensed with Core licences


Find this jolly useful FAQ here: – look in the Core Infrastructure section.