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Windows Server 2012 Standard -- Processor Licensing ?

Posted on 2014-08-11
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2014-08-21
1. Currently if I purchase one Windows Server 2012 Standard
   SERVER license I can run two VMs with two processors each,
   four processors total, regardless of how many "CORES"
   each processor has, correct ?

2. If not, does each "CORE" count as ONE processor ?
Question by:finance_teacher
  • 2
LVL 97

Accepted Solution

Lee W, MVP earned 668 total points
ID: 40254335
1. The PHYSICAL MACHINE the VMs running on cannot have more the two physical CPUs (not CORES but PHYSICAL, SOCKETED CPUs).  The VMs can have as many CPUs as the the hypervisor will allow you to assign to them and they will recognize.

2. No, each core does not count (from a licensing standpoint) as a processor.  For VM Guests, they CAN each be a processor depending on the hypervisor used.
LVL 60

Assisted Solution

by:Cliff Galiher
Cliff Galiher earned 1332 total points
ID: 40254596
" two VMs with two processors each"

No. A license (standard or datacenter) allows the machine to have two physicall processors. If your machine has 3 or 4 physical processors then you *must* buy two licenses for that server. And if you have 5 or 6 physical processors, you *must* buy 3 licenses. You don't get 2 processors per VM.  You get two physical processors TOTAL per license.

VMs is completely separate. Standard gets you 2 VMs per license. Datacenter gets you unlimited VMs.  So if you had a machine with 6 processors, you'd *have* to buy 3 licenses. If you bought 3 standard licenses, you can run 6 VMs. Even if you only want to run 2 VMs, you still must buy 3 licenses because of the processor licensing model. The "extra" VMs are optional if you choose to use them. If you bought 6 datacenter licenses, you could run unlimited VMs. You *cannot* mix and match (so you can't buy 2 standard and 1 datacenter to cover your 6 processors.)

Cores are not processors. Licensing is per processor, not per core.

Author Comment

ID: 40254867
I could purchase one Windows Server
STANDARD license and do as follows ?

  1. one PHYSIAL server with two PHYSICAL processors
       ** two cores each, four core total
  2. two VMs running on top
       ** 1st VM = allocated one CORE, dynamic memory, dynamic hard drive
       ** 2nd VM = allocated three CORES, dynamic memory, dynamic hard drive

I assume I can somehow easily reallocate
processor CORES if/when needed to 1st VM ?
LVL 60

Assisted Solution

by:Cliff Galiher
Cliff Galiher earned 1332 total points
ID: 40254878
From a licensing perspective, yes. But from a technical perspective probably not. Most virtualization platforms do not let you "assign" physical cores to a specific VM. Mist allow you to assign virtual CPUs, but that isn't a 1:1 mapping. The thread scheduler will attempt to optimize based on idle time, NUMA affinity, and other factors. Different platforms use different (usually secret) algorithms for the specifics of processor/core scheduling.

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