Windows Server 2016 Licensing Datasheet

The licensing model for Windows Server will change to Core + CAL when the 2016 version launches in the second half of 2016, and there’s a new licensing datasheet which details the changes.

Here are the key points:

  • All physical cores in the server must be licensed
  • A minimum of 8 Core licences are required for each physical processor in the server
  • A minimum of 16 Core licences are required for servers with one processor
    Core licences will be sold in packs of two
  • SA customers will exchange Processor licences for Core licences at SA renewal
  • Processor licences will be exchanged for 16 Core licences or the actual number of physical cores in use
  • EA and SCE customers may continue to purchase Processor licences through the term of their agreement

Some things will stay the same:

  • Users or devices are licensed with CALs which may access multiple Windows Servers
  • Additional CALs are required for Remote Desktop Services or AD Rights Management Services
  • Standard edition provides rights for up to 2 OSEs and Datacenter edition licenses an unlimited number

Find the licensing datasheet in the Core Infrastructure section here: to read the detail and to see a useful table which compares pricing as the licensing model changes between Windows Server 2012 R2 and 2016.