HPE OEM Microsoft Windows Server FAQ Series- Part 1: Licensing Overview


2017-04-20 HPE OEM Microsoft FAQ Series part 1.jpgToday we are kicking off a new blog series that takes a look at (and, more importantly, answers) some of our top HPE OEM Microsoft Windows Server 2016 Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs). To start the series off, we will cover 5 basic questions we often get asked in regards to Microsoft and Windows Server OEM licensing from HPE. 

1) What types of Windows Server licenses are available from Microsoft?
Microsoft offers several types of licensing including:
- Volume licensing
- OEM licensing
- Retail licensing

2) What types of Windows Server licenses are available from HPE?
HPE offers OEM licensing which means the Windows Server license is tied to the HPE Server it was purchased with (with a few exceptions for specific HPE OEM SKUs that allow reassignment).

3) How does HPE deliver these OEM licenses?
Hewlett Packard Enterprise offers preinstalled configurations via channel partners and through our direct sales team. Not-preinstalled OEM licenses (also referred to as “drop-in-the-box” licenses) are available with new HPE servers for customers choosing do-it-yourself installations. These licenses are offered online via channel partners and direct from HPE.

The Reseller Option Kit (ROK) is available only to resellers from HPE authorized distributors. This kit provides the value of an HPE OEM license for customers, along with the additional services and/or products that most HPE channel partners offer to customers.

4) What Windows Server OEM license products does HPE offer?
Windows Server Operating Systems: Windows Server 2016 & Windows Server 2012 R2

Windows Server 2016

Datacenter edition

Standard edition

Essentials edition

Datacenter Base License (16 cores)

Standard Base Licenses (16 cores)

Essentials (1-2 CPUs)

Datacenter with Reassignment Rights
(16 cores)

Standard Additional Licenses APOS*
(2, 4, 16 cores)


Datacenter Additional Licenses
(2, 4, 16 cores)



Windows Server 2012 R2

Datacenter edition

Standard edition

Essentials edition

Foundation edition

Datacenter Base Licenses
(2 CPUs)

Standard Base Licenses
(2 CPUs /2 VMs)

Essentials (1-2 CPUs)

Foundation (1 CPU)

Datacenter with Reassignment Rights (2 CPUs)

Standard Additional Licenses APOS (2 CPUs/2 VMs)



Datacenter Additional Licenses (2 CPUs)




Windows Server Client Access Licenses (CALs)

Windows Server 2016 User CALs**

Windows Server 2016 Device CALs**

Windows Server 2016 RDS CALs**

*also work with previous versions of Windows Server such as Windows Server 2012 R2 and Windows Server 2012

*Windows Server Standard Additional Licenses include expanded licensing rights: 1. Available for purchase After Point of Sale (APOS) to anyone who has already purchased a Standard Base License from Hewlett Packard Enterprise and 2. The ability to reassign the licensing rights to another HPE server with a Standard Base License of the same version. Base License Required: Windows Server 2016. Other rights and limitations are described on the license card

** Windows Server 2016 CALs also work with previous versions of Windows Server such as Windows Server 2012 R2 and Windows Server 2012.

5) Can Windows Server 2012 CALs be used to access Windows Server 2016?
No. CALs must be the same version as—or higher than—the server OS they are accessing. In other words, users or devices accessing a server running Windows Server 2016, must have Widows Server 2016 CALs. In addition, Windows Server 2016 CALs can be used to access a server running previous Windows Server editions such as Windows Server 2012 R2 or Windows Server 2012.

Be sure to join us again next week for part 2 of our HPE OEM Microsoft Windows Server FAQ blog series and keep up to date with the latest information on HPE OEM Microsoft by following Coffee Coaching’s social channels:

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About the Author


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.