Licensing difference b/w VMware and Windows

Need to understand best config can be used for licensing to be done for all windows VMs. Like XP, Win7,Win 8,Win 2003,Win 2008,Win 2012.

How can we minimize licensing cost for Windows running on VMs.
Any best config to be done for CPU
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patronTechnical consultant Asked:
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Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
For you?  No idea - what are you wanting to virtualize/how?

In general, licenses are downgradable.  So you buy a 2012 R2 license and you can use whatever edition / version equal to or lower than the license purchased.  

The host doesn't matter - VMWare or Hyper-V, the licensing is the same.
David Johnson, CD, MVPOwnerCommented:
XP, Win7,Win 8,Win 2003,Win 2008,Win 2012
you forgot Win 2012R2

you can discount XP (no longer supported)  and S2K3 (support ends July 14th)
Client Operating Systems (every VM requires its own license)
Server Operating Systems (use the CPU + CAL) 1 License for every 2 CPU's
Datacenter = unlimited # of VM's per machine (host)
Standard = 2 VM's per machine (host)

If you have Windows Server 2012 R2 Standard edition, you will have the right to downgrade the software to use any prior version of Enterprise, Standard or Essentials editions.
If you need HA or Live Migration then you license all hosts for the maximum number of VMs that can (not will) run on each host, even for 1 second.  The simplest solution is to license each host for the DC edition.

The current sweet spot is 7 Virtual Machines (* # of hosts) when you compare the pricing for Standard over Datacenter.

You can transfer the licenses for VL media 1 x every 90 days (OEM media cannot be transferred ever) i.e. from one host to another. Note: you have to transfer both the host and the virtual machines.  Hint: always get Software Assurance as you will save money over time. You gain access to System Center, MDOP and off course, upgrade rights. (this includes your CAL licenses).. Remember if you update just 1 virtual machine to Server 2K16 you have to update ALL of your CALS.
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
For Servers, the best value for money is a Microsoft Server Datacenter License.
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Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
For Servers, the best value for money is a Microsoft Server Datacenter License.
*IF* the person posting needs at least 9 VMs running server.  If not, then it's more expensive.

But the asker hasn't described what he's doing and what he needs to run so how can we tell him how he can "minimize licensing cost for Windows running on VMs." when we don't know what he's got?
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
I know the EE Member, well, he has a large environment, hence my response, he has more than 9 VMs per host....

with the varying different versions of ESXi 3.5, 4.0, 4.1 and 5.1!

and VMware vSphere Enterprise Plus.

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Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
@Andrew
Fair enough, I like to keep in mind that these questions can be read by others and so I feel it's important to clarify when it's appropriate.
patronTechnical consultant Author Commented:
Thanks
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