Microsoft anounces new virtualization friendly licensing

Woo Hoo!

I love days like today :-).  Today we have announced new licensing plans for our server software which is much more virtualization friendly.  I quick summary of the changes is as follows:

  • New virtualization use rights for Windows Server™ 2003 R2 Enterprise Edition and Windows Server “Longhorn” Datacenter Edition enable cost-effective consolidation.  Licenses for the upcoming Windows Server 2003 R2 Enterprise Edition will allow customers to run up to four virtual instances on one physical server at no additional cost. Licenses for the Datacenter Edition of the version of Windows Server, code-named “Longhorn,” will give customers the right to run an unlimited number of virtual instances on one physical server.

  • Licensing by running instance improves the value and flexibility of Windows Server System products. Customers will no longer license every inactive or stored instance of a Windows Server System product. Customers can now create and store unlimited numbers of instances, including those for backup and recovery, and pay only for the maximum number of running instances at any given time.

  • Portable licensing for the dynamic enterprise allows customers to easily deploy and run Windows Server System products on any physical server licensed for the software. Customers can move active instances from one licensed server box to another without limitation, as long as the physical server is licensed for the Windows Server System product.

  • Per-processor licensing better aligns with resources used.  With Windows Server System products that are licensed per processor, such as Microsoft SQL Server™, BizTalk® Server, and Internet Security & Acceleration Server, customers will have greater flexibility to stack multiple instances on a machine by licensing for the number of virtual processors being used.

For more details checkout:

You should note that these changes only apply to our server software.  Licensing for desktop software remains unchanged at the moment.