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You Can Still have Server 2012 R2: Microsoft’s Server 2016 New Licensing Requirements

By April 25, 2017September 16th, 2020Blog, Windows Server
Windows Server 2016 Package

Server 2016 Released, Server 2012 R2 Discontinued

I am the Contract Manager here at PEI, and for the most part, I work with all of our client’s service contracts and licensing.  This means that my conversations run the gamut relating to all of our Vendors: Microsoft, Cisco, VMWare, Veeam, and AudioCodes—just to name a few.  At the end of last year, Microsoft released new licensing guidelines for the licensing of Server 2016 and indicated that they are no longer quoting for Server 2012 R2.  This came as an unwelcome change for many of the clients that I work with due to both the discontinuation of 2012 R2 and needing more specific information for Microsoft to be able to accurately quote for Server 2016.  After running through the procedure of getting a quote for Server 2016 and learning as I went, I figured it would be beneficial to put this information out in plain view so future licensing requests don’t come as a surprise.

What You’ll Need for a Server 2016 Quote

The below is the auto-generated response that I received from Microsoft several times after requesting quotes for Server 2016 licensing, and this is the information you will need to provide to quickly get the licensing you need:

“Windows Server 2012 R2 has been discontinued and replaced by Windows Server 2016, which is licensed per core instead of per processor. There is a minimum of 8 cores of licensing required per physical processor and 16 cores required per server—if there are more than 16 cores on the physical server, more licenses need to be purchased.  We will need to know how many Physical Servers, processors, cores per processor, and VMs will they be running to provide a quote.”

In short, what that means is:

# of servers

# of processors in each server

# of cores in each processor

# of users

You Can Still Have Server 2012 R2

As mentioned above, one of the other issues is 2012 R2 being discontinued.  Through many back-and-forth quote requests with clients wishing to be able to hold on to the Server software they are familiar with, I learned that one of the advantages of getting volume licensing is the ability to “roll back” the software version to two previous versions.  This includes 2012 R2 and should for quite a while.  So, for whatever reason you may have to wait on upgrading to the newest Server 2016, you can hold off on that until you feel it’s the right time to upgrade.  However, the above-mentioned new licensing requirements still need to be met.

Alex Hoosz, PEI

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