Windows Server 2016 Licensing Is Easier With a Little Help From a Calculator


Fortunately the industry is coming to our aid for answering questions about how many licenses you need for your 2016 Standard or Data-Center Server.

This is not a long post. I am just passing on the few methods I have ran across for getting the total licenses you need to purchase.

You can do it yourself with the Excel Download. That link is here, courtesy of Dell EMC INC.

Secondly, you have the Microsoft entry, which is also a Spread sheet, but its starts for your convenience here

Since I put a line above, I figure I need some special content, so how about a Video about the New 2016 Licensing?

Figure 1. Video on 2016 Licensing and Ramifications

If you watch the above video, you will get a good idea how useful the 2016 Licensing calculator will be. You can even use it to correct what you hear from others. some sites seem to message differently to others.

*update 7/29/2017. So I did find some other documentation (in the fine print) that tries to use 8 cores and 16 cores. So I could move as far as “the use of 8 as a starting point for processors, would not be false, but would be ambiguous” . The use of  expressing the minimum license in physical cores, does not fit in with most of the documentation, so the possibility of mis-understanding is maximized here.  So I am backing off on saying the MS blog is incorrect, but i am not changing the video because that video is lost time in my life, but second, the chart I show below is ambiguous, and serves as a good example to test the licensing calculator out. My take on that chart would not be an uncommon interpretation. See the chart from the Video below:


Figure 2. Ambiguous chart when compared to Licensing documentation.


To support where Microsoft is meaning with using 8 Processors as the starting point for a 2016 License, see this 2016 Datasheet.

This comes from Pricing and Licensing for Windows Server 2016

If you read this 2016 Datasheet  article, I think you will agree with me, that it says in black and white;  It says the you need to have a minimum of 16 Core License per server.

I am putting the fine print from the data sheet below. Do you come out thinking 8 or 16? then watch the Video. Does the MS blog look correct against these fine print Items below:

** All physical cores on the server must be licensed, subject to a minimum of 8 core licenses per physical processor and a minimum of 16 core licenses per server.

** CALs are required for every user or device accessing a server. See the Product Terms for details.

* Software Assurance is required to install and use Nano Server.

**  Pricing for Open (NL) ERP license for 16 core licenses. Actual customer prices may vary.


Now if you watched the Video, and saw the chart above, you probably want to see if the chart is right or wrong! Go ahead and get your calculator here !  I found a Microsoft version of the Spread Sheet. Dell and Microsoft look very similar indeed. It does say OEM windows so they may actually be the same. The 2016 Windows Server Core Calculator should be easy to find.

Enjoy reading and have a great Day!

If you want to get into the changes from old until now, or you want to get into the philosophy of why this change, you can look for some opinions and facts online. I found a pretty good one here, which i used for my own knowledge. The link here is from the Tech-net Blog and it is something you should go though and understand. Go ahead and correct it with the Calculator, and you can see how the 2016 License is going to affect how you purchase your Operating System.  Enjoy correcting your price projections!