Windows Server licensing for HA?



  • If you have two servers and run HA, does that mean that you have to license Windows Server standard for the maximum number of VMs running when you have a failure?

    So for example,
    Server A: 16 cores, runs 6 VMs normally
    Server B: 16 cores, runs 6 VMs normally

    So each server has to be licensed for all 12 VMs running on 16 cores - so 6 x Windows Server Standard licenses for each server, total of 12 licenses?

    But if you didn't run HA, you would only license each server for 6 VMs, with 3 x Windows Server Standard, a total of 6 licenses?

    Is this correct?



  • @Pete-S said in Windows Server licensing for HA?:

    If you have two servers and run HA, does that mean that you have to license Windows Server standard for the maximum number of VMs running when you have a failure?

    So for example,
    Server A: 16 cores, runs 6 VMs normally
    Server B: 16 cores, runs 6 VMs normally

    So each server has to be licensed for all 12 VMs running on 16 cores - so 6 x Windows Server Standard licenses for each server, total of 12 licenses?

    But if you didn't run HA, you would only license each server for 6 VMs, with 3 x Windows Server Standard, a total of 6 licenses?

    Is this correct?

    Correct, you have to license the total that any host would ever be expected to run.



  • You would still need the core licensing, but that is a per host minimum. If you exceeded that on any host you'd be uncompliant, without licensing those installations.



  • HA doesn't come cheap most of times.



  • @Pete-S said in Windows Server licensing for HA?:

    If you have two servers and run HA, does that mean that you have to license Windows Server standard for the maximum number of VMs running when you have a failure?

    So for example,
    Server A: 16 cores, runs 6 VMs normally
    Server B: 16 cores, runs 6 VMs normally

    So each server has to be licensed for all 12 VMs running on 16 cores - so 6 x Windows Server Standard licenses for each server, total of 12 licenses?

    But if you didn't run HA, you would only license each server for 6 VMs, with 3 x Windows Server Standard, a total of 6 licenses?

    Is this correct?

    I don't believe this is correct.
    You must license for all the cores, 16 per server, in your case.
    Even if you choose to run 1 VM, you must still license for 16 cores..."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"



  • @FATeknollogee said in Windows Server licensing for HA?:

    @Pete-S said in Windows Server licensing for HA?:

    If you have two servers and run HA, does that mean that you have to license Windows Server standard for the maximum number of VMs running when you have a failure?

    So for example,
    Server A: 16 cores, runs 6 VMs normally
    Server B: 16 cores, runs 6 VMs normally

    So each server has to be licensed for all 12 VMs running on 16 cores - so 6 x Windows Server Standard licenses for each server, total of 12 licenses?

    But if you didn't run HA, you would only license each server for 6 VMs, with 3 x Windows Server Standard, a total of 6 licenses?

    Is this correct?

    I don't believe this is correct.
    You must license for all the cores, 16 per server, in your case.
    Even if you choose to run 1 VM, you must still license for 16 cores..."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"

    Yes, every VM is licensed for the physical hardware. I wasn't clear but when I said "Windows Standard licenses" I meant "Windows Server Standard Base license (16-cores)". It's the smallest license you can buy and then you can add additional 2-core packs on top.



  • @Pete-S gotcha!



  • Yup, all looks correct to me.



  • @Pete-S said in Windows Server licensing for HA?:

    But if you didn't run HA, you would only license each server for 6 VMs, with 3 x Windows Server Standard, a total of 6 licenses?

    Is this correct?

    When you say a total of 6 licenses, then we assume you are still talking about 2 servers. Each server would need 3 licenses, as each license gives you 2 VMs.



  • @Dashrender said in Windows Server licensing for HA?:

    @Pete-S said in Windows Server licensing for HA?:

    But if you didn't run HA, you would only license each server for 6 VMs, with 3 x Windows Server Standard, a total of 6 licenses?

    Is this correct?

    When you say a total of 6 licenses, then we assume you are still talking about 2 servers. Each server would need 3 licenses, as each license gives you 2 VMs.

    Yes.



  • @Pete-S said in Windows Server licensing for HA?:

    If you have two servers and run HA, does that mean that you have to license Windows Server standard for the maximum number of VMs running when you have a failure?

    So for example,
    Server A: 16 cores, runs 6 VMs normally
    Server B: 16 cores, runs 6 VMs normally

    So each server has to be licensed for all 12 VMs running on 16 cores - so 6 x Windows Server Standard licenses for each server, total of 12 licenses?

    But if you didn't run HA, you would only license each server for 6 VMs, with 3 x Windows Server Standard, a total of 6 licenses?

    Is this correct?

    Yup.

    If you're running a HA setup of Server Standard, all physical servers must be licensed for all Windows Server VMs that can run on them. This means each physical server in your HA cluster must be licensed for 12 Windows Server VMs.

    So yes, you are correct in that to license 12 Windows Server VMs on both of your physical servers, you'll need 6x Windows Server Standard licenses for each server, 12 "licenses" total as you said.