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Windows Server 2019 Licensing Refresher Course

Windows Server 2019 Core Licensing.jpgWith a new year quickly approaching (along with the End of Support for Windows Server 2008), we thought it would be a great time to have a quick refresher course on HPE OEM Windows Server 2019 licensing rules (don’t worry, you won’t have to pass a test at the end of the blog).


Windows Server 2019 Core-Based Licensing

Windows Server 2019 Standard and Windows Server 2019 Datacenter follow a core-based licensing model which means that licensing requirements for Windows Server 2019 Standard and Windows Server 2019 Datacenter are determined based on the number of server cores.

NOTE: This is a different licensing-model than Windows Server 2019 Essentials, which follows a processor-based model


Core-Based Licensing Rules

There are some important rules that must be followed for Windows Server 2019 Standard and Datacenter core-based licensing.

          1) Every server requires a minimum of one Base License
          2) All physical cores in the server must be licensed
          3)  A minimum of 8 core licenses are required for each physical processor in the server
          4) A minimum of 16 core licenses are required for each server

Not so hard, right?
When you are setting up a new server with Windows Server 2019 Standard or Datacenter just ask yourself these questions: Does this server have Windows Server 2019 Base License? Are all the physical cores licensed? Does each physical processor have at least 8 core licenses? Does the server have at least 16 core licenses total?

If you can answer yes to all these questions, then you are doing great!

Base Licenses vs. Additional Licenses
How to license all server cores

Remember rule #1 from above, “every server requires a minimum of one Base License”?. It is important to take note of the kind of license specified here, a Base License. There are different kinds of licenses used to provide rights for server cores: Base Licenses and Additional Licenses.  

Base Licenses  
Each Base License provides rights for up to 16 cores (remember, that is the minimum number of cores that must be licensed per server in rule #4). Windows Server 2019 Standard Base Licenses also provide rights for two virtual OSEs or Hyper-V containers, when all physical cores on a server are licensed. Alternatively, Windows Server 2019 Datacenter Base Licenses provide rights for unlimited OSEs or Hyper-V containers, when all physical cores on a server are licensed.

Base Licenses include the Certificate of Authenticity, or COA which is affixed to the server by HPE or HPE Reseller, product key, product software, and Microsoft Software License Terms (previously known as End User License Agreement or EULA)... These are all needed when licensing a server.

But, what if the server has more than 16 cores? How do you ensure that rule #2 (all physical cores in the server must be licensed) is followed? This is where Additional Licenses come into play!
Additional Licenses
Additional Licenses may be added to a server to support more cores and/or more concurrent virtual machines (VMs) for Windows Server 2019 Standard (for every 2 VMs, all the cores in the server must be licensed again).

HPE offers Additional Licenses for two, four, and sixteen cores for both Windows Server 2019 Standard and Windows Server 2019 Datacenter.

Additional licenses are delivered as a paper license card with a COA sticker permanently affixed to the license card or packaging. You may have noticed that Additional Licenses do not include everything that Base Licenses do, this is why it is a rule that every server has a minimum of one Base License (and then Additional Licenses can be added on to license more cores of VMs).

It is important to note that Windows Server 2019 Datacenter Additional Licenses must be purchased at the same time as the Base License and HPE Server. However, Windows Server 2019 Standard Additional Licenses can be sold After Point of Sale (APOS) and can be reassigned to another server that already has a Windows Server 2019 Standard Base License. And Base Licenses and Additional Licenses must be for the same edition and generation of the product.

Want to put your new understanding of Windows Server 2019 Standard and Windows Server 2019 Datacenter Core-Based Licensing to practice? See if you can figure out how to license the instances below following Core-Based Licensing (not a test, just practice).

Windows Server Core Licensing Scenario 1.jpgANSWER: To properly license this server, one Base License. This will cover 16 cores and 2 processors per server. Even though the server only has 1 processor and 4 total cores, to follow the rules outlined above it needs at least one Base License, a minimum of 8 core licenses per server, and a minimum of 16 core licenses per server.


Windows Server Core Licensing Scenario 2.jpg
ANSWER: To properly license this server, one Base License is required. This will cover 16 cores and 2 processor per server. In this scenario there are 2 processors, with 8 cores each, for a total of 16 cores. A Base License will cover this perfectly.

Let’s try a harder one…

Windows Server Core Licensing Scenario 3.jpgANSWER: To properly license this server one Base License AND Additional Licenses will be required. With 2 processors, each with 12 cores, there is a total of 24 cores. Since Base Licenses only grant rights for up to 16 cores, there are 8 cores that will still need to be covered.  

 

Want additional help determining licensing requirements for Windows Server 2019 Standard and Windows Server 2019 Datacenter? You’re in luck! We’ve got a helpful Windows Server Core Licensing Calculator to help you determine licensing requirements for specific systems. You simple select Windows Server 2019 Standard or Windows Server 2019 Datacenter, input the number of processors and cores that need to be licensed, and it will calculate the number and type of licenses that are required!

 


Willa Anderson
Hewlett Packard Enterprise

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About the Author

Willa

Willa manages the HPE | Microsoft Coffee Coaching program. Follow along to learn more about the latest HPE OEM Microsoft product releases and how the HPE Microsoft partnership can benefit partners and customers.