Windows Server 2016 license types available from HPE

In last week's blog, “Comparison of Windows Server 2016 Standard and Datacenter edition”  we dove into the similarities and difference between two Windows Server 2016 editions, Standard and Datacenter, to help you determine which edition was the best option for your customers’ IT needs. But, did you know that each edition of Windows Server may have multiple license types? Today, we will look at different Windows Server 2016 license types that are available from HPE for you to pair with your customers’ HPE Servers. OEM licensing structure.png


Windows Server 2016 licenses utilize a base/additional license licensing structure that was originally introduced with Windows Server 2012. To run Windows Server 2016 on an HPE servers, each server requires a minimum of a single base license. Windows Server base licenses include the Certificate of Authenticity (COA), product key, product software, and the Microsoft Software License Terms (previously known as End User License Agreement, or EULA) and must be purchased at the time of server sale. HPE or HPE Resellers will affix the base license COA to the server it is sold with.

Windows Server Standard and Datacenter base licenses both cover 16 cores on the server. While these base licenses cover the same number of cores, they vary in how many virtual machines (VMs) they allow. Windows Server 2016 Standard base licenses allow up to two VMs when all physical cores on the server are licensed, while Windows Server 2016 Datacenter base licenses allow for an unlimited number of virtual machines when all physical cores on the server are licensed.

For customers who need to license more cores, or more VMs, Windows Server additional licenses are also available from HPE. Additional licenses are delivered as a paper license card with a COA sticker permanently affixed to the license card or packaging. Windows Server 2016 Datacenter edition additional licenses must be purchased at the same time as the base license and HPE server.

However, Windows Server 2016 Standard edition additional licenses can be sold along with the Windows Server 2016 base license and HPE Server, and also separately, after point of sale (APOS). These licenses offer customers expanded licensing rights:

  • Available for purchase to anyone who has recently purchased a Windows Server Standard edition base license on an HPE Server
  • Comes with reassignment rights, allowing customers to reassign the Operating System license to another server for any reason (hardware failure, maintenance, upgrade, etc.)

    For customers who require Windows Server 2016 Datacenter edition, and also want reassignment rights, HPE has a great option, Windows Server 2016 Datacenter edition with reassignment rights. While these licenses must be sold with a new HPE Server, they do allow customers to reassign the license to another server giving customers options for more licensing flexibility.


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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.