Licensing editions FAQ

Licensing editions

System Center 2016 server management licensing maximizes your private cloud value while simplifying purchasing. All server management licenses (server MLs) include the same components and the ability to manage any workload. System Center 2016 server MLs are available in two editions, Standard and Datacenter, which are differentiated by virtualization rights only.

Server management editions


Edition Ideal for… Licensing model
Datacenter Managing highly virtualized servers
Management servers*
(Core-based)
Standard Managing lightly virtualized or non-virtualized and servers
Management servers*
(Core-based)
*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.

Server management features


Server management licenses (server MLs) are required for managing server operating system environments (OSEs), including virtual machines (VMs), Hyper-V containers, and Windows Server containers. The following table compares the two System Center 2016 server ML editions:


Datacenter Standard
Number of managed OSEs/Hyper-V containers Unlimited 2*
Number of managed Windows Server containers Unlimited Unlimited
Management of Nano Server**
Configuration Manager***
Data Protection Manager
Endpoint Protection
Operations Manager
Service Manager
Virtual Machine Manager
Right to run management server software and supporting SQL Server Runtime (SQL Server Standard Edition)
Manage any type of supported workload
Note: Components included in the server MLs are not available separately.

*Standard edition permits management of the physical OSE on the licensed server (in addition to two virtual OSEs), if the physical OSE is used solely to host and manage virtual OSEs.

**Software Assurance on server MLs is required to manage Nano Server in production.

***Customers with active Software Assurance on System Center Configuration Manager licenses, or with equivalent subscription rights, may install and use the Current Branch option. (Current Branch is a product release model that involves a higher cadence of releases.)

Client management licenses and features


Client management licenses (client MLs) are required for managing devices that run non-server operating system environments (OSEs). The following table compares the three System Center 2016 client ML offerings:


Configuration Manager Endpoint Protection Client Management Suite
Components included
Configuration Manager
Virtual Machine Manager
Endpoint Protection
Service Manager
Operations Manager
Data Protection Manager
Orchestrator
License requirements
Client ML*
(per user/OSE)
Subscription*
(per user/device)
Client ML*
(per user/OSE)
Included in Core CAL Suite
Included in Enterprise CAL Suite
Note: Components included in the client MLs are not available separately.

*Client MLs are required for management of non-server OSEs.

Related links





Related resources


Get details on how to evaluate, purchase, and deploy System Center 2016.

(PDF, 360 KB)
Read an overview of licensing information for System Center 2016.