Windows Server 2016 Licensing Guide

There’s a brand new (May 2017) Windows Server 2016 Licensing Guide released by Microsoft. It’s a delicious 31 pages of licensing loveliness, but here are our highlights:

  • Core Packs: there’s confirmation of the new 16-core packs on page 7, but an interesting note points out that although the cost of eight 2-packs equals one 16-pack, they may not have the same point count in Volume Licensing programs where this matters – MPSA or Open, for example. There’s also confirmation on page 21 (Q4) that the licences from a multi-pack can be split across servers, they’re not joined forever at purchase point
  • Nano Server: this is a deployment option available only if you have SA on your Windows Server licences, and page 6 confirms that you also need SA on any Windows Server CALs too
  • Core Migration: there’s a lot of guidance on migrating from Processor-based to Core licences and, in particular, there are a couple of pages of FAQs starting on page 26, including what happens with Core licence grants if you have a subscription agreement, and how the grants appear in your licensing portal
  • Standard or Datacenter: there’s a useful table on page 25 which shows the breakeven point for virtual machines running on a 2-processor server which has 8 cores per processor. You’ll find that if you’re running 13 or more virtual machines on this server, then it’s cheaper to license with Datacenter edition

As usual, you can find this Licensing Guide with all of its Licensing Guide family and friends at:

Premium Assurance

Microsoft announce Premium Assurance on 8 December 2016 ( which is a way of adding six more years of product support for either Windows Server or SQL Server.

There’s a useful datasheet which gives more details, but here are the highlights: you need SA to be able to purchase Premium Assurance, and you must purchase it for ALL servers with active SA in an EA, EES or SCE. You also need to acquire Premium Assurance for a product before it goes out of support, and the price will go up over the next few years – from March 2017 it will be 5% of the licence cost rising to 12% from July 2019.

You can find the datasheet in the Core Infrastructure section in our Licensing Guides emporium: