Windows Server 2016 core based licensing explained [VIDEO]

Customers are increasingly requesting hybrid IT environments that span both on-premises and cloud and allow mobility of data and apps between the two. To help enable this, Microsoft introduced a new licensing model with Windows Server 2016 Standard and Datacenter edition. This licensing model reflects the need to enable portability of apps and data by creating a “common currency” for computing resources whether they are located on-premises or in the cloud.


While previous version of Windows Server Standard edition and Datacenter edition used a processor-based model, Windows Server 2016 now utilizes a core-based licensing model. 


With core-based licensing, there are 3 licensing rules that MUST be followed:

1) All physical cores in the server must be licensed
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2) A minimum of 8 core licenses is required for each physical processor
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3) A minimum of 16 core licenses is required for each server

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Virtual Machine rights with Windows Server 2016 Standard and Datacenter
Windows Server 2016 Standard edition provides rights for up to 2 Operating System Environments (OSEs) or Hyper-V containers when all of the physical cores in the server are licensed. Multiple licenses can be assigned to the same cores for additional OSEs or Hyper-V containers.
For example, to obtain 2 additional virtual machines (VMs) for Standard edition, simply re-license all of the physical cores on the server.

Windows Server 2016 Datacenter edition provides the rights for unlimited OSEs or Hyper-V containers.


Client Access Licenses (CALs)
The Windows Server 2016 licensing model includes both Cores + Client Access Licenses (CALs). Each user and/or device accessing a licensed Windows Server Standard or Datacenter edition requires a Windows Server CAL or – when using Remote Desktop sessions on the server - Windows Server and Remote Desktop Services (RDS) CAL. A Windows Server CAL and/or RDS CAL gives a user or device the right to access any edition of Windows Server of the same or earlier generation.


HPE Reseller Option Kit (ROK)
While HPE sells Microsoft OEM licenses in a number of ways, the HPE OEM Microsoft Reseller Option Kit (ROK) license was developed to ensure customers purchase the right HPE Servers with the right Microsoft Windows Server editions. Through HPE Reseller Partners, ROK delivers value pricing, flexible choices one-stop ordering, and single source support to help customers be more productive, achieve more with their investment, and keep their business running smoothly.

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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.