VM Licensing questions

Curtis Long
Curtis Long used Ask the Experts™
on
I have a server with 2 physical processors, 12 core each.  It has exsi 6.5 on it.

If I want to turn up one windows 2019 server and allow 2 users to connect to it and run quickbooks, what licensing would I need to do this to be legal??

I know I would need the following:
1- quickbooks 2 user
2- Windows server 2019 ....... standard??
Comment
Watch Question

Do more with

Expert Office
EXPERT OFFICE® is a registered trademark of EXPERTS EXCHANGE®
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE Fellow)VMware and Virtualization Consultant
Fellow 2018
Expert of the Year 2017

Commented:
You need to purchase Microsoft Server Licenses which license all the cores in the host.
Paul MacDonaldDirector, Information Systems

Commented:
Andrew: I've erased my reply because yours surprised me.  The guest OS has to be licensed based on the capability of the host?  Even if the guest doesn't share that capability?

Author

Commented:
Which would be what??

Author

Commented:
When you say "You need to purchase Microsoft Server Licenses which license all the cores in the host." what version of windows are you saying would cover this??

As I try to research this it almost sounds like it could cost me 50-100k to allow two users into quickbooks.  Which sounds pretty silly but I dont know a lot about this monster called licensing.

Author

Commented:
Maybe there is a better way yo host this quickbooks??  Without microsoft software??
Technology and Business Process Advisor
Most Valuable Expert 2013
Commented:
Microsoft licenses Windows Server by the core, with cores sold in packs of two and a MINIMUM required of 16 to have a valid Windows Server license.

The license used must cover the HARDWARE on the PHYSICAL machine - not what you plan to assign it.  Have 24 cores but only plan to assign 4?  Then you STILL need to license all 24 cores.  Why?  Because it's a simple setting change to increase 4 to 24 and, strictly speaking, cores are not exclusively assigned by the hypervisor so it could technically be using ANY of the 24 cores at any time.

So how many licenses do you need?  12x2 core packs.  (Microsoft offers a base SKU that provides 8 2-core packs).  You can then buy 4x 2core packs.

Estimated cost for sufficient core licenses to cover 24 cores?  $110 per 2 core pack = $1320
Then you need Windows Client Access licenses for each HUMAN BEING (NOT Concurrent connection) who accesses the server in ANY WAY.  That means if a device is provided DHCP or DNS by the server, then you need a CAL for the user using that device (or the device itself).

Assuming 2 users and ONLY 2 human beings using it and no other services provided to anyone, then you need 2 user CALs at about $40 each.  Grand total $1400.
Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process Advisor
Most Valuable Expert 2013

Commented:
I'm VERY confident in my presentation of license information... however:

Licensing Disclaimer
License information provided here is "best efforts".  The comments of the respondents are based on interpretation of the license agreements and their knowledge of the particular laws and regulations in their geographic location.  Laws in your location may invalidate certain aspects of the license and/or licenses can change.  (For example, at least one major nation's laws allow OEM licenses to be transferred to new hardware). "They told me on Experts-Exchange" will not be a valid excuse in an audit.  You need to contact the license granting authority to confirm any advice offered here.

Author

Commented:
Thank you Lee!!  If I can get this licensed for $1400 THAT is doable.  You gave me the info I need so I can talk semi intelligently with the sales rep.

Hopefully I can get this resolved.

Thank you SO MUCH!!
Paul MacDonaldDirector, Information Systems

Commented:
"Maybe there is a better way yo host this quickbooks??  Without microsoft software??"
No, but you don't need a full-blown server to do it.  Quickbooks' "server" product is a barely cobbled-together service that just makes sure two people don't get in to the same database at the same time unless they ask too.  It's a pretty simple application and doesn't require a beefy system to run on.

Also note, there's a Hyper-V role and there's a Hyper-V server and the licensing requirements are different for both.
Top Expert 2014

Commented:
Maybe there is a better way yo host this quickbooks??

Windows 10?

Author

Commented:
Great advice!!
kevinhsiehNetwork Engineer

Commented:
Lee's answer is correct. You would need to license all 24 cores of the host to a Windows Server VM on it. If this is the only VM, the server was incorrectly configured when purchased. I have some 24 core servers, but they run 50-100 VMs. Take out 1 physical processor, which brings the core count to 12, and then you only need to license 16 cores (the required minimum), which will reduce the required Microsoft Server licensing by 1/3.

An alternative is cloud based Quickbooks, which can work for some use cases, but I hear isn't very good for businesses providing bookkeeping services for may clients.
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE Fellow)VMware and Virtualization Consultant
Fellow 2018
Expert of the Year 2017

Commented:
So basically this breaks down as...

1 x Windows Server® Standard (16 core)      
2 x Windows Server® Standard Additional License APOS (4 core)      

This then licenses you to be able to run a maximum of 2 virtual machines!

All cores must be licenses, because the VM could run/touch all the cores!
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE Fellow)VMware and Virtualization Consultant
Fellow 2018
Expert of the Year 2017

Commented:
If you REALLY WANT TO AVOID Microsoft Licensing costs.....

use Windows 10 and TSplus!

Yes, really enable Multi Users and Logons on Windows 10!

https://www.terminalserviceplus.com/

$90 for THREE USERS!

That cheap enough for you!!!

and before you ask, many of our clients replaced Citrix and RDS with it!!!!
Top Expert 2014

Commented:
Just another Quickbooks license and Windows 10 VM would be much easier.
Philip ElderTechnical Architect - HA/Compute/Storage

Commented:
One cannot legally run multiple users on a Desktop OS outside of the Azure offering.

If you are providing this service to a client then Service Provider Licensing Agreement (SPLA) the VM license.

Under SPLA, you can set up a Server Standard VM with the required number of cores for a very minimal cost.

Benefit of SPLA in tenant service environments: 8 pCores or less one can license a Standard VM with 8 Cores.

Open and OEI/OEM have the 16 core minimum.
Top Expert 2014

Commented:
They only want to run Quickbooks for two or three users. Quickbooks is designed to run on two or three PCs in a non-server environment.

From original question:-

I know I would need the following:
1- quickbooks 2 user
2- Windows server 2019 ....... standard??

Neither 1 nor 2 is correct. 1, 3 or 5 user license/subscription is all you can have for Quickbooks as far as their website says and 3 instances of Windows 10 is what's needed; presumably two are already bought on desktops. If one is to to be installed on a VM to act as a server then I would turn Windows disk write cache off.
You also need remote desktop licenses as they are not remoting in to admin the server.
kevinhsiehNetwork Engineer

Commented:
Users would typically have Quickbooks installed locally, and just access files in multi-user mode from server. RDP licensing not required unless the users are remote and RDP is the access method.
@Kevenhsieh You are correct, I was just going though our install and we do have users remote into the server instead of a local client.

Do more with

Expert Office
Submit tech questions to Ask the Experts™ at any time to receive solutions, advice, and new ideas from leading industry professionals.

Start 7-Day Free Trial