System Center Software Subscriptions

Microsoft extended the range of Software Subscriptions in CSP by adding System Center in November 2023. Both Standard and Datacenter Core licences are available in 2-packs for terms of either 1 or 3 years. In addition, the requirement for a customer to have a minimum of 16 System Center Core licences before they can choose to license by virtual machine is removed.

Find the Product Terms entry here:

System Center Configuration Manager is now Microsoft Endpoint Configuration Manager

Microsoft Endpoint Manager is the name for all of Microsoft’s endpoint management solutions, and includes System Center Configuration Manager and Microsoft Intune. The benefit of Microsoft Endpoint Manager is that it makes it easier for organisations to concurrently manage Windows 10 devices with both Configuration Manager and Microsoft Intune, a configuration called co-management. Bringing everything up to date, the July 2020 Product Terms updates the name of System Center Configuration Manager to Microsoft Endpoint Configuration Manager.

In terms of co-management licensing, organisations don’t have to buy both Configuration Manager and Intune licences: if they are licensed for Configuration Manager then they are automatically licensed for Intune for co-managing Windows PCs, and if they are licensed for Intune, then they are also automatically licensed for Configuration Manager for co-managing Windows PCs. There are some management scenarios which aren’t covered with the co-management rights and this article has some useful instances of when you would also need a full Intune licence when you have a Configuration Manager licence, for example:

There’s a name change but there aren’t changes to the licensing of Configuration Manager. As a recap, there’s a current branch and long-term servicing branch (LTSB) for Configuration Manager, with the current branch providing an active servicing model as you would expect. Customers who have active Software Assurance or a subscription to EMS E3 (for example) may use this branch. Configuration Manager must always be purchased with Software Assurance through a Volume Licensing agreement and the LTSB is intended for customers who have perpetual licence rights to Configuration Manager but have let the SA expire. This is a useful article if you want to learn more about branches and licensing:

And finally, there’s a Microsoft Endpoint Manager FAQ document which you may find useful here:

General Availability of System Center 2019

Microsoft announce the General Availability of System Center 2019 with no changes to the licensing or pricing.

There will no longer be Semi-Annual Channel releases, but new features will be delivered through Update Rollups. Note that System Center Configuration Manager will continue with a current branch release cadence of three times per year.

Find the announcement here:

Retirement of System Center Global Service Monitor

Microsoft announce the retirement of System Center Global Service Monitor. Currently an SA benefit for System Center customers, this service will retire on 7 November, 2018 and customers are recommended to move to web application monitoring capabilities powered by Azure Application Insights. Current GSM customers will be notified of the retirement, and may migrate tests and alert rules to Azure Application Insights at no cost.

Find the announcement and some FAQs here:

Windows Server 2019

Microsoft announce that Windows Server 2019 is now available in preview with general availability in the second half of 2018, along with System Center 2019. This release will be a Long Term Servicing Channel release and there will be a corresponding Semi Annual Channel release at the same time. Licensing will be the same as for Windows Server 2016 but with a likely increase in CAL pricing.

Find the announcement here:

System Center 2016 Licensing Guide

There’s a new System Center 2016 Licensing Guide from Microsoft.

It confirms that the licensing model will be the same as Windows Server 2016, so it’s gone to Core licensing with a minimum of 8 Core licences for each physical processor and a minimum of 16 Core licences for each server.

Read the guide to find out comparative pricing information and what organisations should do at SA renewal when they come to convert from Processor to Core licences.

You can find it here amongst the other Microsoft Licensing Guides we’ve gathered together:

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.

Microsoft Operations Management Suite

The Microsoft Operations Management Suite (which manages Windows and Linux workloads across a Windows Server datacenter, as well as Azure, Amazon Web Services, OpenStack and VMWare environments) was released in July 2015.

The Suite services are available separately charged as Azure consumption services, or via an Add-on for System Center Standard or Datacenter.

The final page of this OMS datasheet details pricing for the Add-on – for which there’s a promotion until 31 December 2015, as well as listing all of the Azure services that make up the Suite: