System Center 2012 R2 Licensing
Microsoft System Center 2012 R2 offers solutions for managing datacenter resources, private clouds, and client devices. It delivers unified management across on-premises, service provider, and Microsoft Azure environments, thereby enabling the Microsoft cloud operating system. Learn more:
- Buyer’s Guide for an interactive experience on licensing-related information about use rights, upgrades, and migration paths.
- Licensing editions to find out more about the System Center 2012 R2 licensing model.
- How to buy for an overview of pricing and licensing options.
- FAQs for the most frequently asked questions about System Center 2012 R2 licensing.
Compare server and client management license offerings, and learn how you can plan for deployment.
System Center 2012 R2 server management licensing maximizes your private cloud value while simplifying purchasing. All server management licenses (SMLs) include the same components and the ability to manage any workload. System Center 2012 R2 SMLs will be released in two editions differentiated by virtualization rights only.
System Center 2012 R2 licensing summary:
License required only for endpoints being managed. No additional licenses are needed for management servers or SQL Server technology.
Consistent licensing model across editions. Processor-based license, covering up to two processors, for server management. User-based or operating system environment (OSE)–based license for client management.
Server management license edition comparison
The following table compares the two server management license (ML) editions
Number of physical processors per license
Number of managed OSEs per license
Includes all System Center server management components
Right to run management server software and supporting SQL Server Runtime (SQL Server Standard Edition)
Manage any type of supported workload
Open No Level (NL) License and Software Assurance (L&SA) 2-year price
Components included in the server MLs are not available separately.
Licensing managed clients
Client MLs are required for managed devices that run non-server OSEs. The following table compares the three System Center 2012 R2 client ML offerings:
Configuration Manager Client ML
Endpoint Protection Subscription
Client Management Suite Client ML
Virtual Machine Manager
Data Protection Manager
Included in Core CAL Suite
Included in Enterprise CAL Suite
Open NL L&SA 2-year price
Client MLs are available on a per OSE or per user basis. Components included in the client MLs are not available separately.
Transitioning to the new client licensing model
If you have Software Assurance coverage on your current System Center licenses at the time of System Center 2012 R2 General Availability, you will receive the System Center 2012 R2 client ML grants listed in the following table.
System Center 2012 Client Management Suite Client ML
System Center 2012 R2 Client Management Suite Client ML
System Center 2012 Configuration Manager Client ML
System Center 2012 R2 Configuration Manager Client ML
System Center 2012 Endpoint Protection subscription
System Center 2012 R2 Endpoint Protection subscription
Planning for System Center 2012 R2
If you are planning to deploy System Center 2012 R2, either through upgrades or new licenses, remember the following:
- Renewing Software Assurance is the best way to protect investments and provide access to new versions, Deployment Planning Services, and technical assistance.
- Select your edition of System Center 2012 R2 based on virtualization rights:
- Datacenter edition for highly virtualized private clouds
- Standard edition for lightly or non-virtualized private clouds
- Core Client Access License (CAL) and Enterprise CAL Suites will continue to be the most cost-effective way to purchase client management products.
How to buy
Evaluate the components and pricing options for both Standard and Datacenter editions.
Microsoft System Center 2012 R2 licensing is simple, economical, and cloud-optimized. It is offered in two editions: Standard and Datacenter. Both editions include the full set of System Center server management capabilities and are differentiated only by virtualization rights.
System Center 2012 R2 Datacenter Edition
System Center 2012 R2 Standard Edition
System Center 2012 R2 Datacenter Edition provides an easy and economical option for managing virtualized servers:
System Center 2012 R2 Standard Edition provides an easy and economical option for managing non-virtualized and lightly virtualized servers:
Pricing and licensing overview
VMs Per License
Open NL License & Software Assurance
System Center 2012 R2 Standard Edition
System Center 2012 R2 Datacenter Edition
Find answers to questions about licensing, purchasing, and determining the right edition for your server management needs.
- What's new in System Center 2012 R2 server management licensing?
System Center 2012 R2 server management licensing does not change from System Center 2012.
- Can you describe the product editions offered with System Center 2012 R2?
As with System Center 2012, System Center 2012 R2 server management licenses will be released in two editions differentiated by virtualization rights only:There is no differentiation between the types of workloads you can manage with either edition. The only difference between the editions is the number of OSEs that you can manage per license. Datacenter edition allows for the management of an unlimited number of OSEs per license. Standard edition allows for the management of up to two OSEs per license.
- Datacenter: Maximizes cloud capacity with unlimited operating system environments (OSEs) for high density private clouds.
- Standard: For lightly or non-virtualized private cloud workloads.
- How do I determine the number of Server Management Licenses (MLs) that I need?
Server MLs are required for managed devices that run server OSEs. Licenses are processor-based, with each license covering up to two physical processors. For Datacenter edition, the number of server MLs required for each managed server is determined by the number of physical processors in the server. For Standard edition, it is determined by either the number of physical processors in the server or the number of OSEs being managed (whichever is greater).
- System Center 2012 R2 Datacenter: Each license covers up to two physical processors. You must count the number of physical processors on the server, divide that number by two, round up to the nearest whole number, and acquire and assign that number of licenses to your server. Provided you acquire and assign to your server the required number of Datacenter edition server management licenses, as described above, you can manage any number of OSEs on that server.
- System Center 2012 R2 Standard: For each managed server, count the number of physical processors and the number of managed OSEs. You need the number of licenses to cover the greater number (processors or OSEs).
Managed OSE Count
Each license covers up to two physical processors, so you must count the number of physical processors on the server, divide that number by two, and then round up to the nearest whole number.
Each license permits you to manage up to two OSEs, so you must count the number of OSEs you will manage on the server, divide that number by two, and round up to the nearest whole number.**
**An exception to this rule is when the physical OSE on your server is being used solely to run hardware virtualization software, provide hardware virtualization services, and run software to manage and service OSEs on that device. In that case, you count only the number of virtual OSEs you will manage on the server, divide that number by two, and round up to the nearest whole number.
Examples:*Multiple System Center 2012 R2 Standard licenses may be assigned to the same server to license the number of managed OSEs.
Standard Server MLs Required
One 2-processor server with 3 virtual OSEs
One 4-processor server with 8 virtual OSEs
- Can I purchase each of the System Center 2012 R2 Server Management License components separately?
No. The System Center 2012 R2 Server Management components are part of an integrated offering to create and manage private cloud environments. They are available only as part of System Center 2012 R2 Standard and System Center Datacenter MLs.
- Can I split System Center 2012 R2 Server MLs across multiple servers?
No, a single Server ML cannot be used to license two one-processor servers.