Licensing Model

Windows Server 2016 is in the starting blocks. Alongside many technical improvements, commercial features have also been changed. Windows Server 2016 sees Microsoft break away from its old licensing model. Microsoft will switch from its socket-based (physical CPU-based) licensing model to a per-processor-core basis.What does this mean in terms of the new generation of Intel processors?

Licensing rules

The following rules apply to all types of 2016 Server licensing

  • All physical cores of a server must be licensed
  • At least 8 core licenses are required for each processor
  • At least 16 core licenses are required for each server
  • For standard licenses, all physical host cores must be re-licensed for other virtualization rights according to the rules above.

What does this mean in reality?

The diagram below provides a representation.

As soon as a server has more than 16 cores, licensing costs will be more expensive than has been previously the case. In terms of the latest Intel processor generation, it will generally mean an increase in costs (one Xeon E5-2640 v4 has 10 cores already, for example). The general price categories of the various versions is expected to stay the same. Find out more by reading our second part on Windows Server licensing. 

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