A lot of writing and discussions have taken place since Microsoft first announced their new virtualization licensing and support schema yesterday. Over at the official Microsoft Windows Virtualization Team Blog, Patrick O'Rourke posted a new entry to help add some clarification to help understand the licensing and he also added some information to update us on the support side as well.
Patrick describes the licensing changes, moving away from the 90-day mobility rule (which arguably most people disliked because of their HA, DRS and Live Migration benefits) to something new that allows more freedom to migrate your virtual machines running certain applications, a list of 41 Microsoft server applications to be more specific.
Here are some examples of how the licensing might work for you:
· A customer has a server farm with 8 4-processor servers, running a total of 4 copies of Exchange.
o Under the old rules, they would need to either manually move the Exchange instances to another server that is already licensed for Exchange, OR they would need to license all 8 possible servers for Exchange.
o Starting Sept. 1, they will need to have a license for each running instance (4) and those licenses can be moved from one physical server to another as needed.
· A customer has a server farm with 8 4-processor servers, running a total of 4 instances of SQL Server Enterprise Edition under the per-processor model.
o Under the old rules, the customer would need to manually move an instance from one licensed processor to another, or they would need as many as 32 licenses (8x4)
o Starting Sept 1, the customer will need a maximum of 4 licenses. Because Microsoft allows unlimited instances on a processor licensed for SQL Server Enterprise Edition, the customer could have as few as one license if all 4 instances are always moved together.
A few other points:
- these licensing rights don't apply to server apps acquired via OEM or retail channels
- only apply to those products listed; it doesn't apply to client access licenses (CALs) or management licenses MLs) or Windows Server
- If you've recently purchased these server apps listed in the"Application Server License Mobility" VL Brief based on rules prior to Sept. 1, then you should talk to the Microsoft partner or account rep to receive maximum value.
- Why no Windows Server? Check out the use rights with Windows Server enterprise and datacenter editions.
On the technical support side of the fence, many in the industry (including myself) picked up on a blog post by analyst Chris Wolf who said that VMware was now part of the Server Virtualization Validation Program, and thus, VMware customers would receive the new Microsoft support in their virtualization environment for the 31 server applications identified by Microsoft. The goal here is that virtualization customers will be able to get the same level of support for their virtualized workloads that they get today with their non-virtualized workloads. However, VMware customers might not actually be getting this level of support... at least, not yet.
But Patrick writes:
The kicker here, and where many journos reported inaccurate information, is that 3rd-party vendors' hypervisors must first pass the validation test before customers can get cooperative support from Microsoft and that vendor. For example, it was reported that VMware signed an agreement to participate in the Server Virtualization Validation Program. That much is true. However, it doesn't mean that cooperative support is now in place. First, ESX Server must go through and pass the validation test. Once validated, they'll be added to KB article 944987, where we list "support partners for non-Microsoft hardware virtualization software." Today only Novell is listed, and that's due to the broader technical collaboration agreement in place between the companies.
You can read Patrick's entire post as well as other interesting posts from Microsoft's team on their official blog.