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Can you help me with my software licensing issue?

How does the licensing model of Windows Server Data Center Edition work?

According to this Microsoft page a copy of Windows Server DCE is $4,809 and as far as I can tell I can run as many Windows virtual machines on top of this. I have been reading through the site and I am completely confused;

  • Is this any version of Windows, so I could spin up 50 Windows 7 virtuals, or is it DCE only?

  • There is usually a limitation somewhere but I can't find it; I am suspecting there is a limit on the number of CPUs per physical server or the number of cores per CPU. Is this true here?

Thank you.

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marked as duplicate by pauska, mdpc, Scott Pack, Ward, RobM Nov 1 '12 at 21:44

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

up vote 2 down vote accepted

Windows Server 2012 Datacenter Edition is licensed per-socket. A single DCE 2012 license is good for 2 sockets and will entitle you to run as many VMs of any Windows Server OS on a single piece of physical hardware that has all of the physical sockets licensed.

You don't even have to run them on a DCE host. You can even have 50 Windows VMs on a VMWare ESXi host as long as you have DCE licenses that cover all physical CPUs in that ESXi host.

Of course, like all licensing questions on this site - you're best off contacting a reseller that specialized in licensing. After all, we're sysadmins, not VARs and licensing partners.

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your last stencens is not true. I am MS licensing partner (SPLA) and sometiems VAR ;) – TomTom Nov 1 '12 at 14:18
Well, maybe you should have javano contact you for specifics :) – MDMarra Nov 1 '12 at 14:20
@TomTom Can you explain what is wrong about the last sentence please? :) – jwbensley Nov 1 '12 at 14:23
@javano He was saying that he's a VAR/licensing partner. Generally we don't deal with licensing questions here. He was just making a joke - the information pertaining to the actual answer is accurate. – MDMarra Nov 1 '12 at 14:24
@MDMarra Ah!I thought he meant the last line of actual content, above the horizontal rule :) – jwbensley Nov 1 '12 at 14:28

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