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Virtual Licensing, Part Deux

Last week, I mentioned how administrators can take advantage of a licensing option for VMs that can save licensing on Windows Servers as guests. Through an unrelated event, I found some interesting comments on VMware's Virtual Reality blog, where many relevant topics related to client licensing are discussed.

The first point is where Mark Chuang points out that customers who are considering any Hyper-V solution need to cautiously approach their licensing from the client access license (CAL) perspective. He hits a very important point here, as there are many changes with Windows Server 2008 and the CAL model. Among them is the new Windows Server 2008 terminal server CAL that goes along with new terminal functionality that can be rolled into virtualization solutions. My prior post only addressed the server licenses for datacenter consolidation; I specifically left CAL guidance vague as there are plenty of factors involved.

Chuang follows-up with this post highlighting a recent change in Microsoft's licensing that permits operating systems to run on a Windows Server 2008 system to run without a CAL for the "privilege" of being a Hyper-V guest. This is due to a recent change in Microsoft's licensing policy.

The takeaway is to never overlook the client licensing requirements. For Microsoft customers who go through the "true up" process (the annual recalculation of an organization's desktops, users and processors), CAL surprises are not a good thing, depending on the virtualization technology used as well as the OSes involved with the entire solution.

Are you having fun planning CALs in regards to your virtualization strategy? Use the comments space below to share any surprises you have discovered along the way or share them with me directly.

Posted by Rick Vanover on 03/17/2009 at 12:47 PM


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