Windows Server and System Center 2016 Licensing FAQ

There’s an updated (May 2016) Licensing FAQ for Windows Server and System Center 2016. The last version published by Microsoft was in December 2015 and there are some interesting new things documented that are worth a look.

First of all, there’s some further information about how the transition from Processor-based to Core licences will work: essentially it won’t affect SA customers until renewal, at which point there will be grants of a minimum of 16 Core licences for each Processor-based licence. If customers need more Core licences to cover their existing hardware, then they need to inventory their environment and the additional licences will be granted. See page 3 for details.

There’s also an example on pages 3 and 4 of how an existing Enterprise Agreement customer would proceed with trueing up more Datacenter licences after the launch of Windows Server 2016. You’ll need to read the detail, but essentially it’s all dependent on the renewal date of the agreement. Along similar lines, there’s a new question on page 6 which details that early commitment for a renewal is an option if a customer wants to lock in Processor-based licences for a further agreement term.

And finally, page 6 gives us some more detail on the editions that we can expect. First of all, we learn that Windows Server Foundation and Essential editions will be merged into a single product – Windows Server 2016 Essentials, and that its licensing will continue to be processor-based. Then there will just be a single product for MultiPoint Server – Windows Server 2016 MultiPoint Premium Server, which will be available through Academic Licensing Programs only and not through Open, OEM or retail channels. Interestingly, if required, corporate customers can use the MultiPoint Premium Server role that will be available in Standard and Datacenter editions as long as they also acquire non-Academic Windows Server and RDS CALs.

As usual, find this guide along with all of its Licensing Guide friends here: