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December 4, 2015

License changes could see Windows Server users pay the price

News: Customers to be required to pay per-core rather than per-CPU.

By James Nunns

Microsoft is changing its pricing for Windows Server 2016, which could result in customers paying more.

Customers will be required to pay per-core for their licenses rather than per-CPU license, the change will be applied to System Centre 2016 Standard and Data centre editions.

Although licensing costs will be the same for many, those that have servers with two or four CPUs and 10 or 20 cores, may need additional licensing.

The information comes from the company’s licensing datasheet, which says: "The server management licensing of System Center 2016 will move to be based on physical cores. The core based licensing will align with Windows Server 2016 model to provide a consistent licensing metric for managed VMs."

Licenses for servers with eight cores or less will cost the same as in the 2012 R2 two-proc license price.

The document explains that core licenses will be sold in packs of two licenses, with each processor needing to be aligned with at least 8 core. Each physical server, which includes one processor server, will need to be licensed with a minimum of 16 cores.

The reasons behind these moves are so that cores become the common currency when licensing Windows Server.

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This aligns the company’s pricing strategy on Windows Server with Azure, its cloud offering, which uses per-core licensing for on-premises deployments. Microsoft also uses this licensing model for other on-premises software; SQL Server and BizTalk.

Licensing consistency across its services is the goal.

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