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Microsoft Hyper-V R2 pricing, licensing explained

Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2008 R2 is a standalone product that will be available via the Microsoft Download Center for free as of October 2009, but getting true benefits from Hyper-V with Live Migration requires an investment in Microsoft System Center and System Center Virtual Machine Manager (SCVMM).

Technically, the Microsoft Hyper-V product alone does not require Client Access Licenses (CALs), but all Windows Server virtualized operating systems that are hosted on Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2008 R2 require CALs.

CALs and pricing of Hyper-V guests 
To explain further, Windows Server 2008 R2 CALs are not required for the OS that serves as a virtualization host. But if you run Windows Server 2008 virtual machines (VMs), these VMs require CALs. If you deploy Windows Server 2003 VMs onto a Windows Server 2008 R2 host, for example, you require CALs for the Windows Server 2003 edition OS, according to Microsoft's website.

While Hyper-V itself is free, the majority of users get its functionality as part of their Windows Server operating system. Retail pricing for

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Windows Server 2008 R2 as of Oct. 8, 2009, is as follows, though reseller prices vary:

  • Windows Server 2008 R2 Standard Edition, which includes Hyper-V and 10 CALs, lists for $1,209.
  • Windows Server 2008 R2 Enterprise Edition with Hyper-V, High Availability, improved scalability and Server Core features, along with 25 CALs, lists for $3,999.
  • Windows Server 2008 R2 Data Center Edition includes all the above features, plus better scalability and reliability. It is also licensed differently; Data Center Edition includes no CALs and is licensed on a per-CPU basis through original equipment manufacturers and channel partners only. List price is $2,999.

Managing Hyper-V 
To manage a Hyper-V virtual environment, users need to buy System Center and Microsoft System Center Virtual Machine Manager (VMM).

VMM 2008 R2 requires a Management License (ML) for each managed operating system environment. The VMM 2008 R2 Enterprise Server ML covers an unlimited number of operating system environments on a server and costs $869.

The VMM 2008 R2 Client ML is for management of client and other OSes not running server operating systems and costs $40. The VMM 2008 R2 Client ML is licensed per user and per OS environment.

A third option for VMM 2008 R2 is Workgroup Edition, which is priced at $505 and is limited to five physical host servers per management server console. A separate server license for the management server software, however, is not required.

In addition to VMM, Microsoft Systems Center products include Configuration Manager, Operations Manager, Data Protection Manager, Mobile Device Manager and System Center Essentials.

Users can buy them all separately, but Microsoft highly recommends Hyper-V users invest in a management suite to purchase the necessary pieces together. There are two suite options:

  • The System Center server management suite Enterprise Edition includes management for physical and light virtual server environments that includes the Enterprise Server management licenses for Operations Manager 2007 R2, Configuration Manager 2007 R2, Data Protection Manager 2007, Virtual Machine Manager 2008; the Management Server license for Virtual Machine Manager 2008; and rights to manage four OS environments on a single server for $1,192 U.S.
  • System Center server management suite Datacenter Edition is better for management of heavily virtualized server environments. It includes the Enterprise Server management licenses for Operations Manager 2007 R2, Configuration Manager 2007 R2, Data Protection Manager 2007, Virtual Machine Manager 2008; the Management Server license for Virtual Machine Manager 2008; and rights to manage unlimited operating system environments licensed on a per processor basis for $744 U.S.

For cost data tailored to your enterprise needs, Microsoft offers a Windows Server Virtualization Calculators on its website.

Let us know what you think about the story; email Bridget Botelho, News Writer.
 

This was first published in October 2009

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