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Windows Server Datacenter License

Hi Flexera,

We have a Microsoft Windows Datacenter 2019 License and a VMware Environment (Cluster) with 4 Hosts.

The VMware environment works with a flexible amount of VMs. It's possible all VMs are distributed on 3 Hosts and 1 Host is empty.

Within the consumption table we see the Cluster of the 4 Host environment and the distributed VMs on 3 Hosts, but missing the other Host.

According to the Microsoft rules (and our unterstanding) we have to license all Hosts within the Cluster, because the VMs can theoreticaly jump to one of the 4 Hosts.


How we can configure the licese, that the whole Cluster will be considered for the licensing?

Kind Regards

(9) Replies
By Level 17 Champion
Level 17 Champion

Hi Marcel,

You can "pin" these 4 hosts to the license in the consumption tab. Either (1) use the search field to allocate a missing machine. Or (2) change the allocation for already listed machines.


Best regards,


Thanks for your answer:

To be sure, Flexera doesn't look automatically how many hosts are within the cluster?

And therefore, In such environments we have no chance without allocations, right?

Hi Marcel,

FNMS does license whole clusters in Oracle Processor licenses.

Your described situation is problematic, because there is no cluster licensing in Microsoft Windows Server and FNMS does calculate compliance on the current situation*. When in that specific moment there are no Windows-VMs on that host, it is absolutely correct, not to take it into calculation. Your cluster apporach is is more of assumption or generilization and in that case you'll need to work with allocations.

* There are specific license types working with kind of historical data for IBM and Oracle.

Best regards,


We receveid a different information from our Microsoft licensing Partner regarding your statement: "When in that specific moment there are no Windows-VMs on that host, it is absolutely correct, not to take it into calculation. "

They say, we have to license all Hosts within the Cluster, if a virtual Mashine can jump within the Cluster to any of the Hosts at any time.

That is why we are looking for an usable solution in the GUI.


How exaclty do you define "can jump"? What if the host is in maintenance mode? "Can" a machine then jumpt to it?

FNMS is not always able to deliver 100% of what a contract says or means. After all it is just a tool, for a sometimes complex process. And manual (or automated) allocations are what the tool offers you to solve this situation.

Best regards,


@LuckyLu - Like many publisher rules, Windows Server Datacenter Core licensing seems to be "vague" in terms of a hard requirement to license the physical cores across every ESX Host within a Cluster, especially when you have the mobility feature that comes with active Software Assurance.

In general, if your virtual machines can freely move around from host to host, then the odds of having an ESX Host without any guest VMs running Windows Server should be very low, and in that case FlexNet Manager would be calculating the cores from every host.

But in your specific scenario that you mentioned at the start of this discussion, you have an ESX Host without any VMs and therefore FlexNet Manager is not consuming the cores of that host.  

In that case, if you want to "Force" FlexNet Manager to consume against any ESX Hosts that do not have any Guest VMs, then as previous suggested you would need to "allocate" those hosts against your license to force consumption.

It is very strange to read that Flexera is unable to calculate what the Microsoft license metric defines as one of Flexera's functions is to calculate Compliance. In any case Flexera is able to see all the affinity rules on the VMs of the hosts that are part of a Cluster and it would be very simple to perform a simple multiplication of the Host cores when the VMotion is enabled on the VMs. From my point of view this is a bug in the consumption calculation that can create significant problems in the event of a compliance analysis by Microsoft. In case of fines we will take it with Flexera 🙂

just to clarify the problem: on my Cluster there are 8 Hosts / esxi and only on 2 hosts there are Microsost virtual machines that have all the vMotion enabled on all the hst of the Cluster. In this case Flexera only calculates the cores on the 2 hosts and instead should calculate the consumption taking into account all the cores of all the hosts in the custer. I repeat that this for my point of view is a bug.


Please refer to Nicolas' response to your other community thread on the same topic: Consumption calculation for Mcrosoft Server datacenter core