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Windows Server 2012 Licensing Datasheet

Windows Server 2012 Product overview

With the release of Windows Server 2012, Microsoft brings its experience in building and operating public clouds to the server platform for private clouds. It offers customers scalable, dynamic and multitenant-aware cloud infrastructure that helps users connect across-premises. As a result, IT can respond to business needs with greater agility and efficiency, and the mobile workforce is able to access personalized work environments from virtually anywhere.

Edition overview

The Windows Server product line-up has been streamlined and simplified, making it easier for customers to choose the edition that is right for their needs.
➤ Datacenter edition for highly-virtualized private cloud environments.
➤ Standard edition for non-virtualized or lightly virtualized environments.
➤ Essentials edition for small businesses with up to 25 users running on servers with up to two processors.
➤ Foundation edition for small businesses with up to 15 users running on single processor servers.

Windows Server 2012  Edition overview

Windows Server 2012 Licensing overview

The packaging and licensing structure for Windows Server 2012 Datacenter edition and Standard edition has been updated to simplify purchasing and reduce management requirements.
➤ Two editions differentiated only by virtualization rights – two virtual instances for Standard edition and unlimited virtual instances for Datacenter edition.
➤ A consistent processor-based licensing model that covers up to two physical processors on a server.
Windows Server 2012 Essentials edition and Windows Server 2012 Foundation edition remain unchanged.
➤ Server-based licensing model – Foundation is for single processor servers and Essentials is for either one or two processor servers.
➤ CALs not required for access – Foundation comes with 15 user accounts and Essentials comes with 25 user accounts.

Client Access License (CAL)

Windows Server Standard and Datacenter editions will continue to require Windows Server CALs for every user or device accessing a server. (See the Product Use Rights for exceptions and the Multiplexing ― Client Access License (CAL) Requirements white paper for indirect-access licensing information.)
Some additional or advanced functionality will continue to require the purchase of an additive CAL. These are CALs that you need in addition to the Windows Server CAL to access functionality, such as Remote Desktop Services or Active Directory Rights Management Services. (To learn more about these CALs, see the Base and Additive Client Access License white paper.)
Note: You must have a Windows Server 2012 CAL to access an instance of Windows Server 2012.

Determining the number of licenses for Datacenter and Standard editions

Each license covers up to two physical processors on a single server. The minimum number of licenses required for each server is determined by the number of physical processors. For Standard edition you can add more virtual instances by assigning additional licenses to the server (two incremental virtual instances are added per license).

Windows Server 2012 Client Access License (CAL)

Transitioning to the new licensing model

If you have Software Assurance coverage on your current Windows Server licenses at the time of the Windows Server 2012 General Availability, you will receive the following transitional license grants.

Windows Server 2012 Transitioning to the new licensing model

Moving to processor-based licensing

In order to maintain full license coverage during the transition to Windows Server 2012, if you have server based licenses with Software Assurance you may be eligible for incremental license grants through the following process.
➤ Prior to renewing your agreement, conduct a self-inventory documenting any 8-processor servers running Windows Server Enterprise edition (eligible to receive two additional Windows Server 2012 Standard edition licenses), and any 4-processor servers running either Windows Server Standard edition or Windows Server HPC edition (eligible to receive one additional Windows Server Standard edition license).
➤ This self-inventory should be conducted using the Microsoft Assessment and Planning (MAP) Toolkit or another inventory tool to accurately archive a time/date-stamped inventory of hardware tied to Windows Server installations.
➤ This documentation will serve as proof of license for any incremental license grants beyond the normal transition grant.
➤ If you forego the self-inventory, you will receive licenses for the entitled edition based on the normal Windows Server transition model.

Planning for Windows Server 2012

If you are planning to deploy Windows Server 2012, remember:
➤ Select the edition of Windows Server based on your virtualization needs and edition features:
o Datacenter edition for highly-virtualized private clouds.
o Standard edition for lightly or non-virtualized environments.
o Essentials edition for small businesses with up to 25 users, running on servers with up to two processors.
o Foundation edition for small businesses with up to 15 users buying single processor servers from OEMs.
➤ Renewing Software Assurance is the best way to protect investments while gaining access to new versions, technical assistance and Deployment Planning Services.
➤ The Microsoft Enrollment for Core Infrastructure (ECI) will continue to offer the best value for private cloud and datacenter management pricing.
➤ Core CAL and Enterprise CAL Suites will continue to be the most cost effective way to purchase Windows Server CALs to access Windows Server 2012 Standard and Datacenter editions.
➤ Find out how flexible payments can help you get the IT you need and stay on budget.

Download the document

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