MS Licenseing for Windows Server 2012

Hi Friends,

Here I need your expert advice for Microsoft Licenses as per my below requirements:

No of Physical Servers = 2 nos
No of VM Servers = 10 nos (5 on each)
Product to be used for VM = VMWare vSphere5
Storage for VMs = NetApp 2240-2
No of MS 2012 Std Licenses = 5 nos,

For your ready reference here is the attached raw diagram,

Now the reason to choose two physical servers is...like if one VM#1(from Physical Server#1) is down due to xyz reason VM#1 should be booted up from Physical Server #2)

Kindly advice can i user these 5 win2012 licenses & can downgrade to 2008 which can fulfill my requirement?

Thanks in advance for your valuable advice..
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dxbdxb2009Asked:
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Luciano PatrãoICT Senior Infraestructure  Engineer  Commented:
hi

Honestly I did not understand you question.

What is your plan?? To have redundancy?? To have hight availability??

If you have 5 or 10 VMs(doesn't matter the number), that you need to be running all the time, if you have 2 hosts, then with HA or/and DRS enable you can do that.

If there is a problem in a host, all VMs will migrate to the other host.

The licenses for the Microsoft are the same. No extra for running on the host01 or host02

You need 2 Enterprise ESXi licenses(the number always depends the number of CPUs on each host) to have this features.

Hope this what I understand on our question.

Jail
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Schnell SolutionsSystems Infrastructure EngineerCommented:
This is exactly like Jail says

The Licensing rules are the same for your VMs. So... it means that you have rights to downgrad a WS2012 license to W2008 R2 or any previous versión
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David Paris VicenteSystems and Comunications  Administrator Commented:
Yes you can downgrade for any version.

But for a better understanding please see this file. MSLicensing Win 2012


Regards
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Bill HerdeOwnerCommented:
You can downgrade if you purchased and open license.  If you have box product or OEM, you cannot downgrade.  

It sounds like you may be planning to have your second VM host as a standby.  If this is the case, these need to be 'cold' standby to be legal.  

If you are purchasing Vsphere5, the essentials package is fairly inexpensive and makes life a lot easier by setting up a small HA cluster.  Then you build just the machines you are licensed for and let HA run them where they will.
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ronnypotCommented:
Additional to the previous comments, you'll need six windows 2012 standard licenses.

A Windows server 2012 standard license gives you virtualization rights for 2 vm's but these are bound to 1/2 processors and so cannot split over to devices.
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dxbdxb2009Author Commented:
@ BestWay : thanks for your valuable reply,

"To have redundancy?? = Yes
"To have hight availability?? = Yes

"If you have 2 hosts" = Yes I have two Host
" then with HA or/and DRS enable you can do that" = pls advice if it can be done with vSphear 5-essential edition

"If there is a problem in a host, all VMs will migrate to the other host" =exactly this is what we need.

"The licenses for the Microsoft are the same. No extra for running on the host01 or host02" = sorry...did not understand your sentence...

You need 2 Enterprise ESXi licenses(the number always depends the number of CPUs on each host) to have this features" = Can I use vSphear 5-essential edition to archive HA?

Hope this what I understand on our question = Yes you are right.... now pls advice accordingly
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dxbdxb2009Author Commented:
@ granwizzard : still reading your link....

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@ billherde : yes it is a open license,

It sounds like you may be planning to have your second VM host as a standby = No, all 2 host will have 5-5 VMs, so in case VM#1 is failed in Host#1 then can boot up from Host#2 automatically with vSphere5  

If you are purchasing Vsphere5 = Yes we have chosen the same....

"Then you build just the machines you are licensed for and let HA run them where they will = this is my main concern ...how to licensed them...pls advice....

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@ ronnypot :

Additional to the previous comments, you'll need six windows 2012 standard licenses = why I need six?

A Windows server 2012 standard license gives you virtualization rights for 2 vm's but these are bound to 1/2 processors and so cannot split over to devices =  how about if I downgrad to Win2008 with 2 processors in each host?

Pls advice...
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ronnypotCommented:
Windows Server 2012 standard / dc is licensed per processor or better you need a license per every 2 processors in your server.

Beside that windows 2012 standard gives you virtualization rights to install 2 virtual machines for every 2012 standard license.

So if you have a dual processor server and 5 vm's on one server you need three windows server 2012 standard licenses to cover those vm's.

If you have another dual processor server with 5 vm's on that server you need also three windows server 2012 standard licenses to cover those vm's.

You cannot split on windows server 2012 license and use it on both servers.

downgrading does not make any difference, you may downgrade windows server 2012 to 2008 but the licensing will be the same
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robocatCommented:
Stricktly speaking you need 10 W2012 standard licenses (5 for each physical server).

Why? If server 1 goes down and all VMs move to server 2, then you should have enough licenses on server 2 to run 10 VMs. The licenses from the first server don't transfer with the VMs. You need enough licenses for the worst case scenario, even if this only occurs once in a few years.

Volume licenses do allow this transfer once every 90 days (so move A->B but not B->A again until 90 days have passed).

I said "stricktly speaking", because most companies don't comply or even know about this rule.
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Luciano PatrãoICT Senior Infraestructure  Engineer  Commented:
Hi

First every implementation/design depends on the budged. That is the first rule.

"The licenses for the Microsoft are the same. No extra for running on the host01 or host02"

You have 5 VMs with Windows 7(2012 whatever) in host01(or 2 in host 01 and 3 in host 2), if you have a problem with on of the hosts, the VMs will migrate to the host that is available.
So the Microsoft Licenses on that VMs are the same if they run on host 01 or host 02. No need to have double VMs(copy's or clones) to have them running all the time(in double, or just in stand by) in case of host failure.
So regarding Microsoft licenses there is no issues.

The only product that we need to have attentions regarding Licenses running in different hosts is Oracle, that is different. But that is not the case here.

Here you can compare the versions and features
http://www.vmware.com/products/vsphere/compare

Without Enterprise licenses HA will not work. You can still migrate the VMs from the other server(in a shared storage like your NetApp). But this need to be done manually.
You will need to add the VMs that were in the other host to the host that is still running.

Like I said in the beginning, all depends on the budged.

hope this help

Jail
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dxbdxb2009Author Commented:
@ robocat : thanks for such valuable information, I basically never knew this at all,

"Stricktly speaking you need 10 W2012 standard licenses (5 for each physical server)" = for 100% HA & redundancy....correct?

"Why? If server 1 goes down and all VMs move to server 2, then you should have enough licenses on server 2 to run 10 VMs. The licenses from the first server don't transfer with the VMs. You need enough licenses for the worst case scenario, even if this only occurs once in a few years"  = so you mean I have to have 10 licenses all the time to have 100% HA or I can run with 5 licenses if I have a failure once in a year (meaning to ask ... can i bear till one year) ...as the failed VM on Host#1 will be booted up using Host#2 but VM are going to resided on NetApp even I need the 5 backup/extra copy of MS licenses....i am confused... pls help

"Volume licenses do allow this transfer once every 90 days (so move A->B but not B->A again until 90 days have passed)...." = Yes we have volume licenses... do you mean the transfer all 5 licenses from Host A to Host B or like we must have 10 VM Licenses keeping 5 as a spare to be used as soon as the failure occurs, kindly explain..

thanks....
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@BestWay: thanks once again for being with me...

"You have 5 VMs with Windows 7(2012 whatever) in host01(or 2 in host 01 and 3 in host 2), if you have a problem with on of the hosts, the VMs will migrate to the host that is available.
So the Microsoft Licenses on that VMs are the same if they run on host 01 or host 02. No need to have double VMs(copy's or clones) to have them running all the time(in double, or just in stand by) in case of host failure" = kindly confirm I DON'T HAVE TO HAVE A DOUBLE COPY OF MS LICENSES TO RUN IN CASE OF FAILURE (FROM HOST#1 TO HOST#2).

"So regarding Microsoft licenses there is no issues" = Okay...So i can have redundancy & HA with 5 license having all VMs on both Hosts....correct?

Without Enterprise licenses HA will not work. You can still migrate the VMs from the other server(in a shared storage like your NetApp). But this need to be done manually" = Can this be done automatically with VMWare vCenter or not?
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Bill HerdeOwnerCommented:
It seems the source of much of your confusion is understanding what you are licensing, and the definition of a server.  Microsoft licenses are considered 'per instance'.  An instance is the installation of the software.  The environment it is running in will be either a physical server with one instance per machine and a specific number of processor cores, or a virtual environment with multiple instances per machine with a maximum number of available processor cores.  So in your proposed environment, you are going to be running (as best I can understand) 5 instances of server 2012, and they will be on 2 physical hosts.  So you will purchase licenses for 5 Microsoft servers.  The hosts are running VMware ESXi 5 and somewhere in this mix is a machine running Vcenter which is licensed for VSphere 5 Essentials. While the hosts are separate machines, the datastores are on a single shared SAN. This is the correct model for a HA environment.  It does not matter which host you run the msft server instances on.  You cannot run the same instance on two hosts at the same time.  Using Vcenter HA you are able to migrate the server instance, manually or automatically, from one host to another. You can install another SAN, and Vsphere will give you the option to migrate the instance to another datastore if you like, but you have to power off the instance first.  Vsphere 5 Essentials covers up to 3 hosts, so you can put in another ESXi host, and shuffle those instances around all day and night, and there will still only be 5 instances of msft server 2012 in the environment. That is what you are licensing, and that is all.
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robocatCommented:
>you can put in another ESXi host, and shuffle those instances around all day and night, and there will still only be 5 instances of msft server 2012 in the environment. That is what you are licensing, and that is all.


This is NOT correct. Read the Microsoft paper on licensing in a virtual environment.

Each software license allows you to create and store any number of instances of the software on any of your servers or storage media to make it easier for you to run those instances on any of your licensed servers.
Before you use the software under a license for a server product, you must assign that license to a server.

...
If a server is running ESX/ESXi as the virtualization technology, then Windows Server is not deployed as a host operating system in the physical OSE. However, a license is required for every physical processor on the server and every instance running in a virtual OSE should be appropriately licensed
...
While VMware vMotion and System Center Virtual Machine Manager move instances of virtual OSEs between physical servers, the licenses remain with the physical server to which they were assigned.



If you move instances around between vSphere hosts, you need to purchase new licenses for those hosts.
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ronnypotCommented:
if yiou want to be exactly sure, I would suggest to contact the licensing desk for microsoft and vmware and explain your configuration they can tell you exact what licenses you will need.
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dxbdxb2009Author Commented:
@ billherde : thanks for your help & reply...

"per instance" = per VM/virtual server = correct?

"5 instances of server 2012, and they will be on 2 physical hosts.." = I will have total 7 VMs servers at all for all 2 Physical Hosts = Kindly advice the no of MS licenses I require if I want to go for Win 2013 Std. ?
" Using vCenter HA you are able to migrate the server instance, manually or automatically = pls suggest how HA is different then "Fault Tolerance" ... as I can not see "Fault Tolerance" in Essentials Plus Kit..

" You can install another SAN, and Vsphere will give you the option to migrate the instance to another datastore if you like, but you have to power off the instance first" = No we will have only one SAN...can we do the migration process automatically using one SAN with vCentre - HA?

"Vsphere 5 Essentials covers up to 3 hosts, so you can put in another ESXi host, and shuffle those instances around all day and night, and there will still only be 5 instances of msft server 2012 in the environment" = Again we will have only 2 Hosts/Physical Servers, having 7 VMs all together ... now advice ... should we keep 4 VMs in One Host 'A' & keep other 3 VMs in Second Host 'B'...so that we can archive HA & fault tolerance for our servers....
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Luciano PatrãoICT Senior Infraestructure  Engineer  Commented:
Hi

Still too many different informations regarding this, or misunderstanding.

I think Edwin have a very easy and very detail explanation about Microsoft licenses in Virtual environments.

We need not to forget about Windows 2008 and/or 2012. There is big differences between Standard, Enterprise and also Datacenter licenses.

http://www.vmguru.nl/wordpress/2010/04/how-to-license-microsoft-windows-server-in-a-vmware-environment-%E2%80%93-part-1/

I think here you can get all the information that you need.

Some conclusions:

As long as the servers are licensed and do not simultaneously run more instances than the number for which they are licensed, you are free to use VMotion to move virtualized instances between licensed servers at will.

You are allowed and may downgrade to a prior version like for example Windows 2003 if needed.

You won’t have any problems with the 90 day reassignment rule of Windows licenses, if you make sure you have the proper licensing in place for the physical VMware boxes.

‘For Windows Server software, except in a few cases (see “Assignment of Licenses” above), licenses may only be reassigned to new hardware after 90 days. This, however, does not restrict the dynamic movement of virtual OSEs between licensed servers. As long as the servers are licensed and do not simultaneously run more instances than the number for which they are licensed, you are free to use VMotion and System Center Virtual Machine Manager to move virtualized instances between licensed servers at will’


So your case, since I will not run simultaneously all your VMs, you only need licenses for the only VMs that are running.

Hope this can help

Jail
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robocatCommented:
... so if you have 2 hosts and one breaks down, all VMs will be failed over to the remaining server. In order to do so, you need as many licenses for that host as you have VMs.

Strictly speaking: if you enable HA, failover can occur at any time. In that case you need on each host enough licenses to run all the VMs (2 host case).
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Luciano PatrãoICT Senior Infraestructure  Engineer  Commented:
I think Edwin article is very clear. Have different the examples and different scenarios.

Note: But honestly I have work with so many companies with Virtual environments that I never see one fallow this rules strictly. That doesn't mean that we should not.

Jail
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dxbdxb2009Author Commented:
Give me some time to confirm with MS Local office....

kindly be with me for some more time....
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