Changes to the Windows Server 2008 licensing policy

Published on January 18, 2009

Changes to the Windows Server 2008 licensing policy

    Keep sharing the good news! We are making changes to the licensing policy (more precisely, our leadership in the USA). Thanks again to Andrei Beshkov for the news.
    On January 16, 2009, changes to the licensing policy came into force, which read as follows: If your Windows Server 2008 is used only as a platform for virtualization, Windows Server 2008 CAL is not required.

    PS. CAL - client access liciense, that is, speaking in Russian, a client license to connect to the server. Windows Server 2008 licensing can be found here .

    Let's look at the main scenarios for using Windows Server 2008 and how this change will affect them.
    Scenario 1. A customer deploys Windows Server 2008 without the Hyper-V role.
    No licensing changes are required for deployment in a physical environment. CALs for Windows Server 2008 are still needed.
    Scenario 2. A customer deploys Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V to consolidate Windows Server 2003-based servers.
    For a physical server, CALs are not required. Requires CAL for the appropriate version of Windows Server (in this case, Windows Server 2003)
    Scenario 3. A customer deploys Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V to consolidate servers based on Windows Server 2003 and Windows Server 2008.
    For a physical server, CALs are not required. Windows Server 2008 CAL is required for virtual servers based on Windows Server 2008. For Windows Server 2003 servers, you can use either Windows Server 2003 CAL or Windows Server 2008 CAL. An
    official document from Microsoft that describes everything I talked about and can be referenced if necessary, called Volume Licensing Brief . In this document, pay attention to the Client Access Licenses and External Connectors section, which says the following:

    Most Microsoft servers require Client Access Licenses (CALs) and have an optional external connector (EC). The CAL and EC requirements are the same whether an instance is running in a physical or virtual OSE. CALs are required for each device or user that accesses an instance of server software directly or indirectly.
    You do not need CALs for up to two devices or users to access your instances as long as these users or devices are only administering the instances. In the case of Windows Server 2008 only, you do not need a CAL to access an instance of the server software running on the physical OSE that is being used solely to:
    I. run hardware virtualization software,
    II. provide hardware virtualization services, or,
    III. run software to manage and service operating system environments on the licensed server.
    However, you do need the appropriate CAL to access instances of the server software in any virtual OSEs on the server.
    In addition, Windows Server 2008 does not require CALs or ECs for any user or device that accesses your software instances only through the Internet without being authenticated or otherwise individually identified through any means.

    In the near future, the above changes will appear on the official Windows Server 2008 portal, in Product Use Rights documents and product price lists.

    I hope the news will be useful :)