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Flexera beginner

"Rights on virtual machines and hosts" for Window Server Standard Core

Hi all,

I have a specific question regarding the "Rights on virtual machines and hosts",  one of the configurations under the Use rights & rules tab, for Windows Server Standard Core licenses.

If you have a Windows Server Standard Core license container (License type: Microsoft Server/Management Core), then the Rights on virtual machines and hosts are set as follows:
- One licensed host covers multiple VMs
- Maximum VMs: 2"

All okay, however,  the following is also mentioned: 
"Count includes installations on the host operating system".

The FNMS Help states the following about this topic:
For a Microsoft Server/Management Core Standard Edition license, the standard value is 2. For this license, the relevant count is the number of instances of the licensed software running on either the virtual host or on any of the guest VMs: in other words, the count always includes any installation on the host as equivalent to being another "machine", even though it is of course physical rather than virtual. This setting therefore says that each license entitlement covers 2 virtual machines; but if you have two genuine VMs plus the host all running Windows Server 2016, the count is three operating system environments (OSEs), and, since the license entitlements are sold only in pairs, you need to round up and purchase coverage for a total of 4 OSEs. 

I don't agree with the fact that an installation of Windows Server on the host should always be counted as a licensable installation.

Pursuant to the Microsoft Product Terms, Windows Server Standard edition permits use of one running instance of the server software in the physical OSE on the licensed server (in addition to two virtual OSEs), if the physical OSE is used solely to host and manage the Virtual OSEs.

In my opinion, if the Windows Server installation on the host is solely used for managing the VMs, then you are allowed to run Windows Server on the host AND two VMs, and this setup would require one license only. As such, the setting "Count includes installations on the host operating system" would cause for an incorrect license consumption.

What is the opinion of the community about this? Is there something I am missing?

1 Reply
Frequent contributor

I agree with you on this. I have a case open about a similar matter. Recently several of our massive VMWare hosts with over 100 clients switched from Enterprise to Standard, and I was told it was because some of the clients are older Windows systems which are covered by the Windows Standard license, and therefore the entire system is being counted as Standard instead of Enterprise.

Erick Hacking, CSAM, CHAMP
IT Software Asset Manager, Lead Sr.
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