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Not so needless Windows Server licenses

Last week, I wrote a story entitled Virtuozzo user avoids needless Windows Server licenses. Many of you wrote in to inform me that in fact, the Windows Server licenses that the subject had not purchased were in fact required under Microsoft licensing terms. In the words of one reader:

There is a lot of misinformation occurring specific to license reduction fees and Virtuozzo. I work for a Fortune 100 with an extremely strong VMware (ESX) presence and we too were initially enamored with the ability to reduce OS licensing fees.

Quite Simply – you need to pay for each virtualized (‘VPS’ in Virtuozzo speak) instance just like you would for separate Virtual Machines in the VMware World.

SWsoft used to tout that you only have to pay for the ‘parent’ Windows OS — that was until Microsoft gave them a ‘stern reprimand’. Today you will not find a single SWsoft employee or any verbiage on their site that indicates you only have to pay for one OS license.

The only exception to this is Microsoft Datacenter Edition. John Yanekian is in breach of license obligation with his current configuration if he has not licensed all of his VPS’s.

The story has since been updated and renamed. Thanks to everyone who pointed out this error.

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Alex, I'm very interested in how you reached the conclusion that "If NAHB were using VMware, that would require a minimum of five Enterprise Edition licenses, rather than just two." I belive this areticle is still incorrect - The Windows licensing requirements will be identical whichever solution is selected.
Alex - Please see my response to "Anonymous Reader" below. I would be careful about taking his/her comments as fact, though as Microsoft is the only true authority on their licensing. "Anonymous Reader" - Microsoft never gave us a "stern reprimand". We are official partners. Microsoft merely decided to clarify that Virtuozzo should be licensed the same as VMware even though Virtuozzo installs only one OS copy per physical server (which by the way results in attractive performance, density, scalability and manageability/ease of use advantages). How do you know John is not using Datacenter Edition? And even if he wasn't, in my understanding as a former Microsoft licensing employee, Microsoft can't change licensing on the fly for people who already bought licenses (this is public knowledge). Finally, what many people miss is with Virtuozzo's higher density than VMware's, customers can buy less hardware and therefore less Datacenter Edition OS licenses. Andrew - See my response to "Anonymous Reader" above. Remember Virtuozzo density advantages versus VMware (rule of thumb is 1/2 of less the hardware is needed with Virtuozzo than VMware in apples to apples case). Then you'll realize that licensing requirements are in fact not the same and in fact more favorable for Virtuozzo.
I would suggest posting this link for further information on MS Licensing.