About Licensing

Licensing for Virtual Environments

Licensing for Virtual Environments

Microsoft offers a comprehensive set of virtualization products from the data center to the desktop for managing both physical and virtual assets from a single platform. Virtualization helps organizations lower costs, improve business continuity, and enable greater business agility.
Learn more about Microsoft Virtualization.

Microsoft's licensing for virtualization environments supports the flexible ways you can deploy Microsoft solutions.

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Basics of Licensing for Virtual Environments

Click the animation above to learn how Microsoft licensing supports virtualization scenarios. Then, explore how licensing works for the four elements of virtualization: server, desktop, application, and management.

Follow the product links below for more virtualization information.

  • Windows Server 2008 R2 Enterprise: Run up to four software instances at a time in virtual operating system environments on a server under a single server license.

  • Windows Server 2008 R2 Datacenter: Run any number of software instances in physical and virtual operating system environments on a server.

  • Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Enterprise: Run any number of software instances in one physical server and any number of virtual operating system environments on the server.

  • Windows Virtual Desktop Access (Windows VDA): A standard benefit of Software Assurance and a stand-alone subscription-based license which allows roaming access to Windows virtual machines (VMs) from thin clients, third party, and non-Windows-based devices.

  • System Center Server Management Suite Enterprise (SMSE): SMSE offers a comprehensive solution that includes Virtual Machine Manager and covers the managed node under the four main products of System Center. One SMSE license allows you to manage the physical operating system environment and up to four virtual ones on a licensed server.

  • Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack (MDOP) for Software Assurance: MDOP offers a suite of technologies that can help reduce application management costs, instantly deliver virtualized applications, and better control desktop environments, enhancing IT responsiveness and user uptime.

  • Enrollment for Core Infrastructure: The Enrollment for Core Infrastructure helps you easily acquire the foundation for a more protected, well-managed IT infrastructure by offering a cost-efficient way to license software together in a simple per processor license.

Microsoft Virtualization Licensing Principles

Brad Smith, Director of Product Licensing, Worldwide Licensing and Pricing

In this short video, Brad Smith discusses basic principles that determine how Microsoft licenses its products, and how they are licensed when used for virtualization.

Use these downloadable documents to get in-depth information about Microsoft Volume Licensing policies related to virtualization.

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