MS System Center Licensing



  • I have a question regarding System Center licensing, specifically VMM:

    When we bought SC VMM licensing (EA) a few years ago, we got workgroup edition, which covered unlimited VM's. Then, when our SA upgraded, licensing changed. Our System Center VMM Workgroup Edition turned into System Center Standard.

    Keep in mind we're only using VMM - no other SC products. Under System Center Standard, do you need a Server ML for each VM in addition to each host? They both count as OSE's, right? We have 100 VM's - this is not an option.

    We can upgrade our System Center ML to Datacenter for roughly twice the cost, and that includes unlimited VM's. With SCVMM, a Server ML covers two physical CPU's. So would I need to license only the physical endpoints, right? (IE - two hosts with 2 sockets each, hosting 100 VM's = 2 SC Datacenter Server CAL's)





  • You could also contact Microsoft to ensure you're compliant: https://www.microsoft.com/licensing/servicecenter/help/contact.aspx



  • @BBigford said in MS System Center Licensing:

    You could also contact Microsoft to ensure you're compliant: https://www.microsoft.com/licensing/servicecenter/help/contact.aspx

    This ^

    Talk to the licensing experts. They are easy to get ahold of and very helpful.



  • If you do talk to Microsoft... report back so we know. :)



  • @IRJ said in MS System Center Licensing:

    @BBigford said in MS System Center Licensing:

    You could also contact Microsoft to ensure you're compliant: https://www.microsoft.com/licensing/servicecenter/help/contact.aspx

    This ^

    Talk to the licensing experts. They are easy to get ahold of and very helpful.

    But the "experts" at Microsoft can't even get it right. I won't believe anything they tell me unless they get a certified document sent to me anymore.


  • Service Provider

    @travisdh1 said in MS System Center Licensing:

    @IRJ said in MS System Center Licensing:

    @BBigford said in MS System Center Licensing:

    You could also contact Microsoft to ensure you're compliant: https://www.microsoft.com/licensing/servicecenter/help/contact.aspx

    This ^

    Talk to the licensing experts. They are easy to get ahold of and very helpful.

    But the "experts" at Microsoft can't even get it right. I won't believe anything they tell me unless they get a certified document sent to me anymore.

    Yes, unless they legally stand behind what they say, they benefit from getting it wrong. So be very careful. MS normally refuses to take a stance on the situation.



  • @scottalanmiller said in MS System Center Licensing:

    @travisdh1 said in MS System Center Licensing:

    @IRJ said in MS System Center Licensing:

    @BBigford said in MS System Center Licensing:

    You could also contact Microsoft to ensure you're compliant: https://www.microsoft.com/licensing/servicecenter/help/contact.aspx

    This ^

    Talk to the licensing experts. They are easy to get ahold of and very helpful.

    But the "experts" at Microsoft can't even get it right. I won't believe anything they tell me unless they get a certified document sent to me anymore.

    Yes, unless they legally stand behind what they say, they benefit from getting it wrong. So be very careful. MS normally refuses to take a stance on the situation.

    Yeah, that's messed up. Very possible, but messed up for them to either give zero information or worse, false information.


  • Service Provider

    @BBigford said in MS System Center Licensing:

    @scottalanmiller said in MS System Center Licensing:

    @travisdh1 said in MS System Center Licensing:

    @IRJ said in MS System Center Licensing:

    @BBigford said in MS System Center Licensing:

    You could also contact Microsoft to ensure you're compliant: https://www.microsoft.com/licensing/servicecenter/help/contact.aspx

    This ^

    Talk to the licensing experts. They are easy to get ahold of and very helpful.

    But the "experts" at Microsoft can't even get it right. I won't believe anything they tell me unless they get a certified document sent to me anymore.

    Yes, unless they legally stand behind what they say, they benefit from getting it wrong. So be very careful. MS normally refuses to take a stance on the situation.

    Yeah, that's messed up. Very possible, but messed up for them to either give zero information or worse, false information.

    True, but really, at this point, everyone should know that you can't trust them and if you ask them to put it in writing they will always refuse, so it's not very secret. Still wrong, but in a "no one can really please ignorance" kind of way. It's crazy obvious that they won't actually commit. I know of no case where they have actually stood by those statements.



  • @scottalanmiller said in MS System Center Licensing:

    @BBigford said in MS System Center Licensing:

    @scottalanmiller said in MS System Center Licensing:

    @travisdh1 said in MS System Center Licensing:

    @IRJ said in MS System Center Licensing:

    @BBigford said in MS System Center Licensing:

    You could also contact Microsoft to ensure you're compliant: https://www.microsoft.com/licensing/servicecenter/help/contact.aspx

    This ^

    Talk to the licensing experts. They are easy to get ahold of and very helpful.

    But the "experts" at Microsoft can't even get it right. I won't believe anything they tell me unless they get a certified document sent to me anymore.

    Yes, unless they legally stand behind what they say, they benefit from getting it wrong. So be very careful. MS normally refuses to take a stance on the situation.

    Yeah, that's messed up. Very possible, but messed up for them to either give zero information or worse, false information.

    True, but really, at this point, everyone should know that you can't trust them and if you ask them to put it in writing they will always refuse, so it's not very secret. Still wrong, but in a "no one can really please ignorance" kind of way. It's crazy obvious that they won't actually commit. I know of no case where they have actually stood by those statements.

    You know licensing is legit when the creators don't even know if something is compliant because of how convoluted it is. Good way to set someone up for failure.



  • Yes to all of that. MS licensing reps say a million different things, are wholly un-knowledgeable, and are generally the last people I'll talk to. We had to get our EA true-up contract amended 12 times before they got it right. 12 TIMES!!! As policy, every piece of correspondence with them is 1) in writing, and 2) backed up for at least 89 years. That way they're forced to legally stand behind what they say.

    Those articles helped a ton, thanks! It's pretty simple with DC licensing: just license the hosts.



  • I'm using SC2012R2, and it's a nightmare at times. All the products are great, that's not the question, but you would normally need a dedicated person to run each of the products. Way too complicated for the average SMB. The current version of SC is no exception, I guess it's great if you are running multiple datacenters and thousands of users across the globe, but SMB will see a lot of overhead, both in complexity and licensing. On top of that, they changed nearly everything you might know from your version.

    Long story short: I'm going to buy 5nine Manager during my next upgrade cycle. Simple, fast, very low cost compared to SC. Sure, they are playing in whole different leagues, but like I said, I don't need all the overhead.

    So maybe that's something for you too? At least download an eval of the current version of VMM before you upgrade your licenses.



  • @thwr said in MS System Center Licensing:

    All the products are great, that's not the question

    That's not the question of this thread... but that is definitely the question I ask myself every single time I log into my System Center server. ;)



  • @BBigford said in MS System Center Licensing:

    @thwr said in MS System Center Licensing:

    All the products are great, that's not the question

    That's not the question of this thread... but that is definitely the question I ask myself every single time I log into my System Center server. ;)

    Hehe. My point was just that MS did a very large step away from the SMB with SC2012. No more simple workgroup edition, complicated licensing and so on.

    5nine can fill that gap, IMHO.



  • @thwr said in MS System Center Licensing:

    @BBigford said in MS System Center Licensing:

    @thwr said in MS System Center Licensing:

    All the products are great, that's not the question

    That's not the question of this thread... but that is definitely the question I ask myself every single time I log into my System Center server. ;)

    Hehe. My point was just that MS did a very large step away from the SMB with SC2012. No more simple workgroup edition, complicated licensing and so on.

    5nine can fill that gap, IMHO.

    Meh, if we didn't already have SC I'd be using MDT/WDS. Way less issues (except trying to capture & image with VirtualBox... it's incredibly slow no matter what I do). Not sure if that is Vbox issue or SC issue or what. Physical machines fly right on through.



  • I'm not a fan of VMM. Literally every time I log in there's something about he console I have to fix. Or the constant WMI queries to the hosts killing my backups. The virtual switch/logical switch/logical network concept is a overly complicated knockoff of VMware distributed switches.

    I am very interested in 5nine Manager however. Have you run a demo in your environment?


  • Banned

    Keep in mind we're only using VMM - no other SC products. Under System Center Standard, do you need a Server ML for each VM in addition to each host? They both count as OSE's, right? We have 100 VM's - this is not an option.

    We can upgrade our System Center ML to Datacenter for roughly twice the cost, and that includes unlimited VM's. With SCVMM, a Server ML covers two physical CPU's. So would I need to license only the physical endpoints, right? (IE - two hosts with 2 sockets each, hosting 100 VM's = 2 SC Datacenter Server CAL's)

    Here's the deal, if you keep using the old version you still fall under the same licesnsing. IF you are using the newest(or newer) under SA you then have to follow the EULA for that version which means you do need to license each host if you did datacenter. with Standard you need one license for every two on the same host (it has VOSE just like server OS).



  • @TAHIN said in MS System Center Licensing:

    I'm not a fan of VMM. Literally every time I log in there's something about he console I have to fix. Or the constant WMI queries to the hosts killing my backups. The virtual switch/logical switch/logical network concept is a overly complicated knockoff of VMware distributed switches.

    I am very interested in 5nine Manager however. Have you run a demo in your environment?

    Haha ooooh I am SO done with VMM. I tore that stuff out months ago. Never again.



  • @TAHIN said in MS System Center Licensing:

    I'm not a fan of VMM. Literally every time I log in there's something about he console I have to fix. Or the constant WMI queries to the hosts killing my backups. The virtual switch/logical switch/logical network concept is a overly complicated knockoff of VMware distributed switches.

    I am very interested in 5nine Manager however. Have you run a demo in your environment?

    Oh and ripping it out was fun... Want to uninstall the agent? Yeah you'll have to reboot those devices. Oh you have 75 production servers? Yeah they all have to be rebooted. Lol awesome, saved that for monthly updates/reboots.


  • Banned

    @thwr said in MS System Center Licensing:

    Hehe. My point was just that MS did a very large step away from the SMB with SC2012. No more simple workgroup edition, complicated licensing and so on.

    5nine can fill that gap, IMHO.

    They've been gone from enterprise day one. System Center is junk. No one at the enterprise level uses it.



  • @TAHIN said in MS System Center Licensing:

    I'm not a fan of VMM. Literally every time I log in there's something about he console I have to fix. Or the constant WMI queries to the hosts killing my backups. The virtual switch/logical switch/logical network concept is a overly complicated knockoff of VMware distributed switches.

    I am very interested in 5nine Manager however. Have you run a demo in your environment?

    I've tried that, but the free version is very limited and you can only manage a single host. But what I saw is just what I expected: All the functionality of Hyper-V Manager and Failovercluster-Manager, some stats and a bit on top. Just what you need. Saw quite a few people calling it the "vCenter for Hyper-V".

    Request a fully functioning demo maybe.



  • @BBigford said in MS System Center Licensing:

    @TAHIN said in MS System Center Licensing:

    I'm not a fan of VMM. Literally every time I log in there's something about he console I have to fix. Or the constant WMI queries to the hosts killing my backups. The virtual switch/logical switch/logical network concept is a overly complicated knockoff of VMware distributed switches.

    I am very interested in 5nine Manager however. Have you run a demo in your environment?

    Haha ooooh I am SO done with VMM. I tore that stuff out months ago. Never again.

    Same here. I'll buy 5nine Manager when I finally get a budget clearance...



  • @Jason said in MS System Center Licensing:

    @thwr said in MS System Center Licensing:

    Hehe. My point was just that MS did a very large step away from the SMB with SC2012. No more simple workgroup edition, complicated licensing and so on.

    5nine can fill that gap, IMHO.

    They've been gone from enterprise day one. System Center is junk. No one at the enterprise level uses it.

    It looked like a valid option when I bought it (and honestly, license costs are nothing more than a joke for us because we're on a very big contract - and on top of that public EDU)



  • @thwr said in MS System Center Licensing:

    @BBigford said in MS System Center Licensing:

    @TAHIN said in MS System Center Licensing:

    I'm not a fan of VMM. Literally every time I log in there's something about he console I have to fix. Or the constant WMI queries to the hosts killing my backups. The virtual switch/logical switch/logical network concept is a overly complicated knockoff of VMware distributed switches.

    I am very interested in 5nine Manager however. Have you run a demo in your environment?

    Haha ooooh I am SO done with VMM. I tore that stuff out months ago. Never again.

    Same here. I'll buy 5nine Manager when I finally get a budget clearance...

    I looked into a few months ago when I was getting away from VMM but never returned. What sets it apart from just loading up all your hosts into one Hyper-V console? Offer any additional features or flexibility?



  • @BBigford said in MS System Center Licensing:

    @thwr said in MS System Center Licensing:

    @BBigford said in MS System Center Licensing:

    @TAHIN said in MS System Center Licensing:

    I'm not a fan of VMM. Literally every time I log in there's something about he console I have to fix. Or the constant WMI queries to the hosts killing my backups. The virtual switch/logical switch/logical network concept is a overly complicated knockoff of VMware distributed switches.

    I am very interested in 5nine Manager however. Have you run a demo in your environment?

    Haha ooooh I am SO done with VMM. I tore that stuff out months ago. Never again.

    Same here. I'll buy 5nine Manager when I finally get a budget clearance...

    I looked into a few months ago when I was getting away from VMM but never returned. What sets it apart from just loading up all your hosts into one Hyper-V console? Offer any additional features or flexibility?

    Ever tried to manage hosts that are not part of your forest? A second cluster maybe? Possible, but PITA, even with 'improved' client on Windows 10.

    http://www.5nine.com/5nine-manager-for-hyper-v-product.aspx#features



  • @thwr said in MS System Center Licensing:

    @BBigford said in MS System Center Licensing:

    @thwr said in MS System Center Licensing:

    @BBigford said in MS System Center Licensing:

    @TAHIN said in MS System Center Licensing:

    I'm not a fan of VMM. Literally every time I log in there's something about he console I have to fix. Or the constant WMI queries to the hosts killing my backups. The virtual switch/logical switch/logical network concept is a overly complicated knockoff of VMware distributed switches.

    I am very interested in 5nine Manager however. Have you run a demo in your environment?

    Haha ooooh I am SO done with VMM. I tore that stuff out months ago. Never again.

    Same here. I'll buy 5nine Manager when I finally get a budget clearance...

    I looked into a few months ago when I was getting away from VMM but never returned. What sets it apart from just loading up all your hosts into one Hyper-V console? Offer any additional features or flexibility?

    Ever tried to manage hosts that are not part of your forest? <------------ No, can you give me a scenario where you'd want that?
    A second cluster maybe? <----------------- You mean like another host of VMs? I just connect to all the hosts in my forest with Hyper-V Manager (there's about 10-12 hosts).



  • @BBigford said in MS System Center Licensing:

    @thwr said in MS System Center Licensing:

    @BBigford said in MS System Center Licensing:

    @thwr said in MS System Center Licensing:

    @BBigford said in MS System Center Licensing:

    @TAHIN said in MS System Center Licensing:

    I'm not a fan of VMM. Literally every time I log in there's something about he console I have to fix. Or the constant WMI queries to the hosts killing my backups. The virtual switch/logical switch/logical network concept is a overly complicated knockoff of VMware distributed switches.

    I am very interested in 5nine Manager however. Have you run a demo in your environment?

    Haha ooooh I am SO done with VMM. I tore that stuff out months ago. Never again.

    Same here. I'll buy 5nine Manager when I finally get a budget clearance...

    I looked into a few months ago when I was getting away from VMM but never returned. What sets it apart from just loading up all your hosts into one Hyper-V console? Offer any additional features or flexibility?

    Ever tried to manage hosts that are not part of your forest? <------------ No, can you give me a scenario where you'd want that?
    A second cluster maybe? <----------------- You mean like another host of VMs? I just connect to all the hosts in my forest with Hyper-V Manager (there's about 10-12 hosts).

    Well, I got 2 clusters, 3 hosts at my main office and 2 hosts at a branch site. That's a scenario for example. I will probably also manage a host in a shared office in the future which won't belong to my forest.



  • We have 3 clusters in 2 sites. SAN backends, and somewhat complicated networking to accommodate iSCSI HA. We got into VMM for it's logical switches (which are ugh), and for VM template deployment. I see that 5nine can use templates created from VMM and has the same sort of library idea. Does it allow for light touch deployment like answer files? Also, the ability to move VM's between clusters can't be done without VMM. Can 5nine do that?


  • Service Provider

    Anyone know someone from 5Nine that could jump in and answer some questions?



  • @scottalanmiller said in MS System Center Licensing:

    Anyone know someone from 5Nine that could jump in and answer some questions?

    I know someone from over at SW. Will send him a mail tomorrow.


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