How do I license MS Server 2016 standard and assign cores?

Sasha Sandow

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Mar 15, 2017
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The basic (minimal) license for Windows server 2016 standard is 16 cores. I believe if I create a guest VM and assign 16 cores, it should be fine as far as MS is concerned.

However my Proxmox server has dual 14 (physical) core CPUs, but because of hyper-treading, Proxmox reads it as 56 cores instead of 28. Does that mean if I actually need 8 cores in a guest VM, I need to assign it 16 virtual-cores?

Thanks,
S
 

Sasha Sandow

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Mar 15, 2017
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Alex,

You are saying I need to license all the physical core on my server, even though the Windows Server 2016 will be running as a guest VM under my Proxmox and only have 8 virtual-cores allocated to it? Or if I need 8 cores in my Windows Server 2016 standard do I really need to allocate 16 cores to that VM to actually have 8 full cores allocated to it?

Thanks,
Sasha
 

fireon

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The basic (minimal) license for Windows server 2016 standard is 16 cores. I believe if I create a guest VM and assign 16 cores, it should be fine as far as MS is concerned.
Yes thats right. If you use only 16 Cores, you have to buy one license. You can also install 2 VM's with only 8 cores. Thats also ok. It has nothing to do with real phy cores. It's documened in the last whitepaper.
 
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alexskysilk

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However my Proxmox server has dual 14 (physical) core CPUs, but because of hyper-treading, Proxmox reads it as 56 cores instead of 28. Does that mean if I actually need 8 cores in a guest VM, I need to assign it 16 virtual-cores?
No. KVM will assign only the number of vcores you ask for. As you noted, you have 56 vcores to assign, not 28.

Remeber to check the NUMA aware option since you may be crossing CPUs.
 
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gosha

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Oct 20, 2014
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Extract from document "Licensing Windows Server for use with virtualization technologies":


"However, the guest OS instances deployed and running in virtual OSEs on the server still must be appropriately licensed. This means licenses must be assigned to the server for all the physical cores on the server (subject to a minimum of eight per processor and 16 per server). Standard edition will allow up to two instances on each fully licensed server (plus a third instance in the physical OSE, if it is used solely to host and manage virtual OSEs) and Datacenter edition will allow an unlimited number of instances on each fully licensed server. (The right to run an instance of Windows Server in the physical OSE is not relevant in the case of ESX/ESXi hosting the virtualization layer.)"
 
Nov 20, 2012
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Yes thats right. If you use only 16 Cores, you have to buy one license. You can also install 2 VM's with only 8 cores. Thats also ok. It has nothing to do with real phy cores. It's documened in the last whitepaper.

Licensing Windows Server for use with virtualization technologies:

If Windows Server is deployed on a server is running a hypervisor on bare metal (directly on
top of the server hardware), such as VMware’s ESX/ESXi, then Windows Server will not be deployed as a host OS in
the physical OSE. However, the guest OS instances deployed and running in virtual OSEs on the server still must be
appropriately licensed. This means licenses must be assigned to the server for all the physical cores on the server
(subject to a minimum of eight per processor and 16 per server). Standard edition will allow up to two instances on
each fully licensed server (plus a third instance in the physical OSE, if it is used solely to host and manage virtual OSEs)
and Datacenter edition will allow an unlimited number of instances on each fully licensed server.
 

LnxBil

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Feb 21, 2015
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You need to license all the physical core on server.

Same with Oracle ... hard partitioning if often not supported or acknowledged, so you have to license everything.

Does the MS Licensing stuff mention the number of required licenses for a cluster of e.g. 3 nodes (of the same kind)? Does one need to license 6 processors with a total of 84 cores in this case?
 
Nov 20, 2012
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Does the MS Licensing stuff mention the number of required licenses for a cluster of e.g. 3 nodes (of the same kind)? Does one need to license 6 processors with a total of 84 cores in this case?

IMHO. If you run many VM with Windows server, buy Windows DataCenter license for each hypervisor host and you do not violate the license.

Licensing Windows Server for use with virtualization technologies:
In both scenarios, regardless of whether the workloads are running in physical or virtual operating system
environments (or OSEs), each server must have the appropriate number of licenses assigned to it prior to the
workload running on it. This holds true regardless of whether you plan the workload to:
- Always run on a single server.
- Run in parallel on the server as a backup when the primary server fails.
- Run the workload if the primary server is down.
- Load balance when the primary server has high use.
- Only run the workload during maintenance.
 

LnxBil

Famous Member
Feb 21, 2015
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IMHO. If you run many VM with Windows server, buy Windows DataCenter license for each hypervisor host and you do not violate the license.

Yes, I'm familiar with the data center licensing. Great if you run a lot of Windows Server VMs, but what about the TCO for one virtualized WS in a cluster? If I have only one WS VM in a 3 node PVE cluster that has to run with HA, so failover, migration, etc., how many licenses do I have to purchase? In case of an Oracle Database, I need 6 processor licenses (3 nodes x 2 processors each) on which the software may run. This is still the killer argument against virtualizing an Oracle Database on a non-Oracle-VM-Platform (only platform that can provide hard partitioning that is acknowledged by Oracle).
 

LnxBil

Famous Member
Feb 21, 2015
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VMware document about Oracle see "Scenario B: Partially Licensed Clusters"

Unfortunately, it is still hard to license Oracle on any virtualization platform (except Oracle-VM of course) correctly and cheap, and a lot of misinformation about this is floating around. In short: anything that VMware publishes about the 'correct licensing' is their point of view and must not (and will not) be the point of the big red. I've seen it over and over. The audit is similar to how the inquisition must had been in the middle ages.

Oracle itself does not publicly release any legal binding information on this on the internet. There is, however, a partner confidential presentation stating the correct licensing (on the whole cluster, on VMware >=6 also all stretched cluster nodes), but also the licensing options for a subcluster and that is a case-by-case a-priori Oracle LMS audit. This takes a lot of time (over a year) to get all the documents ready, meetings etc. and you have to stick with the software versions of VMware for example etc. etc. and AFTER that, you can actually buy and use the licenses. I strongly recommend against it. Depending on your situation, it can be simpler and cheaper (with respect to time-to-production) to buy all required licenses or just move to real hardware, which is even cheapter including the hardware in comparison to license an Oracle system on VMware.
 

elurex

Active Member
Oct 28, 2015
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Yes thats right. If you use only 16 Cores, you have to buy one license. You can also install 2 VM's with only 8 cores. Thats also ok. It has nothing to do with real phy cores. It's documened in the last whitepaper.
You have to buy license for all physical core for windows 2016 standard server, please read ms server license, it states pretty clear about virtualization counts physical core of that hypervisor host and not how many core the vm guest has assigned
 

elurex

Active Member
Oct 28, 2015
196
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Taiwan
Same with Oracle ... hard partitioning if often not supported or acknowledged, so you have to license everything.

Does the MS Licensing stuff mention the number of required licenses for a cluster of e.g. 3 nodes (of the same kind)? Does one need to license 6 processors with a total of 84 cores in this case?

if you setup three node of pve cluster and capable of Live Migration between them, they you need to buy license on all three nodes with correct amount of physical core count.

MS license is very tricky. if you do not create cluster and just use pvesync to each nodes, it consider as cold backup which does not require to buy additional license.

For virtualize MS Server, it is best to use hyper-v + datacenter edition to avoid licensing nightmare.
 

lonelytourist

New Member
Nov 28, 2018
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Gosh. Building a new application and was considering MS SQL since my last company used it, but I think I'll stick with one of the open-source options. I can't imagine how much larger companies are spending on SQL Server licensing.
 

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