What you need to know about the new Windows Server Core metric

What you need to know about the new Windows Server Core metric

Are you aware of the transition grants as Windows Server migrates from the 2-proc to the 2-core licensing model? You might not be the only one...

Published on 23rd January 2017

My first experiences of 2017 have left me with a very unsettling feeling.  This feeling is that a large portion of Microsoft’s customers are just not aware of the transition grants as they migrate from the 2-proc to the 2-core licensing model for Windows Server. This my friends, is not your fault.

If you are purchasing your software through a reseller that hasn’t reached out to you about this, please do give them a hefty nudge!  Now I know this has been done before in a slightly wordier version, but thought a whittled down version might help those of you that suffer like I do with reading long winded documents.  Please find below, my ‘in-a-nutshell’ version of what you need to know:

Windows Server, System Center and Core Infrastructure Server licenses are now ‘core’ based

This means that you will need to cover all your physical cores with licenses now, whereas in the past this was covered at a processor level.  The licenses will still be packaged in packs of 2 though with a minimum of 16 cores per physical server.  CALs are still required.

You will only qualify for ‘transitioning’ on licenses covered with Software Assurance (SA)

Upon renewal Microsoft will transition your existing processor licenses over to the core-based metric.  They will allocate you 16 core licenses (8 2-core packs) for every 2-proc license you had previously.  Unless you require more….

If you have 2 processor servers with more than 16 cores in total, you can apply for a grant

This means that if you can submit proof that your servers are actually in need of a greater core license requirement than 8 2-core licenses at the time of transition, Microsoft will grant you the balance.  You will need to have date stamped proof for this.  The small catch here is that you will have to still renew SA on the licenses granted to you.

So please ladies and gents, let’s make the most of what Microsoft have to offer.  You don’t want to find yourself having to purchase extra licenses for any high-spec servers!  ‘Til next time….

Written by

Picture of May Turnbull

May Turnbull


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