Windows Server 2012 editions and licensing explained

Microsoft has made changes in the Windows Server 2012 editions. Enterprise Edition is gone. There is now just Standard and Datacenter Editions.

Standard Edition can now handle most of the Enterprise features including Hyper-V cluster with 64 nodes, hot-add memory, use faster NUMA (non-uniform memory architecture), no-downtime failover file server cluster, etc.

Standard Edition lets you create two virtual servers at no extra cost for the virtual servers. Datacenter Edition lets you create unlimited virtual servers.

Standard Edition is $882 a copy and includes two virtual server licenses. Datacenter Edition is $4809 a copy and allows unlimited VMs.

But each Standard or Datacenter Server license only supports two physical processors. So if you have a server with 4 physical processors, double the price. For standard, if you need 4 virual server licenses for Standard Edition, double the price. If you need 4 virtual server licenses with 4 physical processors, quadruple the price of the Standard Edition.

Note that it makes no difference how many cores are on the CPU.

Updated 2012/07/09:

In addition there is the Essential Edition which is licensed on a per server basis and is geared for small businesses with simple administration and no virtualization. 25 accounts can be created.

There is also Foundation Edition which is sold by OEMs, limited to 15 accounts has no virtualization options and is considered a general purpose server.

Small Business Server Standard and Premium Editions are gone. Those with these editions with software assurance will receive a Windows Server Standard license plus either Exchange Server Standard 2010 or SQL Server 2012 Standard [depending on your option].

HPC Edition is also gone. With software assurance, Windows Server 2012 license will be issued plus the HPC Pack 2012. A “CAL waiver” is also included.

Finally Web Edition is also gone. Web workloads running on any Windows Server 2012 edition receive a “CAL waiver”. If you have software assurance, you can continue to use Web Edition 2008 but you also get Windows Server 2012.


About ebraiter
computer guy

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