Mobility within datacenter and Azure environment

Posted on September 18, 2015 · Posted in Licensing scenarios

Many resellers do not differ between License Mobility for application servers and ”mobility” for Windows Server.

The customer needs a high availability solution with 2 servers.

With 2 processors inside, both are will be running 2 virtual machines (VM) with application servers. The VMs should move within the datacenter and in the future the customer would move them to Microsoft Azure environment.

The customer wants to purchase the licences in volume licensing program.

The answer from the LSP was following:
If you purchase server licences (OS and Application) with Software Assurance, you can move the VMs wheresoever 🙂
SO WRONG! Clearly the LSP does not know, that Microsoft does not offer License Mobility through Software Assurance for Windows Server! This rule is valid for applications servers only.

Very important is that we have to isolate the products and their respective licensing rules:

1. Windows Server
Step 1: Base licences: We need 1 Windows Server licence for each server to cover 2 processors in each server and the ability to run 2 VMs on the server.
Step 2: Moving VMs within datacenter: If we need to move VMs between these 2 servers, we should estimate the peak: we should calculate how many VMs could be running on one server if the other went down. In this case we could have 4 running VMs on one server. This means we would be running into trouble, because 1 Windows Server licence allows maximum 2 running VMs on the server. We are NOT ALLOWED to move the VMs from another server unless we purchase as many licences as we need to cover the peak.
That means we need to purchase 2 Windows Server licences for each server, so we can move the VMs freely within the datacenter. You do not have to purchase SA, because we are not moving the licences, we are only moving the VMs from one licensed server to another.
Step 3: Moving VMs to Microsoft Azure: We can move the VMs to Azure freely. We do not need SA or another Windows Server licence, because we will be billed by Microsoft for the services we will be using and the Windows Server licence is in the bill included. You can build the VM on premises and then transfer it to Microsoft Azure environment.

2. Application Server
Step 1: Base licences: The application servers are all licensed in the Server + CAL license model, so we do not have to make some nasty things with cores 🙂 The VM1 is running Exchange Server Standard, the VM2 is running an third-party ERP system, the VM3 is running SQL Server Standard and the last one is running Windows Server with Active Directory. So our purchasing needs are: 1 Exchange Server Standard licence and 1 SQL Server Standard licence.
Step 2: Moving the VMs within datacenter: If we need to move the application servers in VMs within datacenter, we need to purchase SA to move the VMs freely without the 90 days rule, because we are transfering (reassign) the server licence to another server as well. This is a change for the ”Office Servers” from the 2013 version and for SQL Server from 2012 version.
Step 3: Moving VMs to Microsoft Azure: Since we have SA purchased already, we can move the VMs with application servers to Microsoft Azure under condition: the licences (as VMs as well) stays in Microsoft Azure minimum for 90 days period. That means we cannot move the VM back to our datacenter sooner.

If we talk about moving the VMs with Windows Servers, we are not transfering the licences, only the VMs.
If we talk about moving the VMs with application servers, we must not forget, we are transfering the licences within the VMs as well.
Regarding the third-party ERP system we have to consult the EULA or the software vendor directly.
Actually, there is even another valid option without the need to purchase SA for the Step 2: Moving the VMs within datacenter:
We can purchase 2 application server licences for both products and assign them to both servers respectively, so we can move the VMs freely without transfering (reassigning) the licences, similar to the
Windows Server VM moving concept.
Regarding section 1. Windows Server step 3:
From 1 February 2016, Microsoft added a new Software Assurance Benefit called Azure Hybrid Use Benefit (HUB), which allows to assign a Windows Server license to an Azure VM.
Use of Windows Server software under the HUB is enabled through Azure VMs that do not include Windows Server (”Base Instances”).

Do you have any similar problem or question? Do not hesitate and ask for the answer.
[contact-form-7 id=”870″ title=”Blog contact form EN”]