Windows Server 2012 – new versions, new licensing

Windows 2012 has now been released and with its arrival comes new versions and new licensing rules

Windows Server 2008 is no longer available; Windows  Server 2012 has now been released and with its arrival comes new versions and new licensing rules. The current enterprise, Web Server, Small Business Server (SBS) and High Performance Computing (HPC) editions will all cease, to be replaced with a more simplified and standardised product line up [to match other infrastructure products] divided into ‘four flavours’:

  • Windows Server 2012 Datacenter edition for highly virtualized private cloud environments (which includes unlimited virtual instances)
    • Datacenter licence prices have doubled, but they do now provide for two processors instead of the one, so the overall pricing remains the same
    • Unusually for Microsoft, Datacenter requires both a processor license and Client Access Licenses (CALs) for every user or device accessing a server.
  • Windows Server 2012 Standard edition for non-virtualised or lightly virtualized environments (which includes two virtual instances only)
    • Standard receives a price increase of around 22 per cent on the non promo pricing because of the increase in functionality due out in 2012 edition [as well as the second virtual machine the customer will be entitled to when upgrading to 2012]
    • The new standard version will not have a transition promo pricing point
    • Again, like Datacenter, Standard will require a processor license and Client Access Licenses (CALs) for every user or device accessing a server
  • Windows Server 2012 Essentials edition for small businesses (with up to 25 users running servers with up to two processors)
  • Windows Server 2012 Foundation edition for small businesses (with up to 15 users running on single processor servers)

More info from Microsoft:

Microsoft’s Pricing and licensing FAQ

Licensing and pricing datasheet

Pricing and licensing training webinars

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