Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Microsoft Windows 2016 Licensing Calculation

Windows 2016 is announced and there are many great features included especially containers support.  One of the major improvement is reducing the number of management console as well which is greatly appreciated.

There are also some changes to the licenses. Remember the licensing cost in Windows 2012R2 Datacenter edition was increased compared to Windows 2012?  Windows 2016 has also some changes not in price but in the way it is licensed stated here.  Refer to Question 7 of the FAQ.

Below is the table to see the pricing since Windows 2012 to Windows 2016.

Windows 2012
Windows 2012 R2
Windows 2016

Taking Datacenter Edition, it seems that from Window 2012 to Windows 2012R2 was the only price increased and Microsoft has kept the cost the same for Windows 2016.  However, there are some changes not known unless you read the pricing document.

Do note of the caveats.  For Windows 2016 Standard, it allows two OS Instances running on two CPUs.  For Windows 2016 Datacenter, it allows unlimited OS Instances running on two CPUs.

Source: extracted from FAQ doc above.

As from the FAQ document, it has explained. Referring to the diagram above you might get a little confused like I do the first time.

First, look at the left it tells you how many physical CPU your server has.  If it has 2, then refer to the top row on the number of physical cores per CPU.  If it has 10 cores per CPU and you have 2 CPU, you will need more than one Windows 2016 Datacenter edition license.  That is also why it is highlighted in grey.  Doesn't sound right, does it?  Yes if you are still using Windows 2012R2, it does not matter how many cores you have as long its 2 CPUs, you are covered with just one license of Datacenter edition.

The new licensing in Windows 2016 has included a core factor which likely cost more especially in today's context of server CPU which comes with at least 10 cores and above.  Logically no one is going to just use one CPU server so the price is going to be different as you will definitely use more than 1 license which also means higher cost.  Unless you try to save licenses by having one CPU servers then your cost of the server will be increased.

From Question 7 from the FAQ, you will minimum need an eight cores license for each physical CPU (comprises of 4 x two cores pack).  With each two cores pack can only be used to top up with a CPU has more than 8 cores.  Each server must be licensed with at least 16 cores  (comprises of 2 x eight cores pack).

What this means to me, one physical server including those with one CPU will minimum need to be licensed with a 16 cores license (One Windows 2016 Datacenter edition license).  Additional cores that are in the server need to be licensed in increments of 2 cores pack (1/8 of a 16 cores license = $769).  If an additional CPU has less than 8 cores, it will be licensed with 8 cores license pack (minimum = rip off).

To start how do you proceed?  You will ask yourself the below:
1) How many CPU does one server have?
  • 1 CPU =  one Windows 2016 Datacenter edition license
  • 2 CPUs, less or equal to 8 cores per CPU = one Windows 2016 Datacenter edition license
  • 2 CPUs, more than 8 cores per CPU = one Windows 2016 Datacenter edition license + increment of 1/8 (2 cores pack) of one Windows 2016 Datacenter edition license

Example of some scenarios with Windows 2016 in comparison to Windows 2012R2
1 CPU with 6 or 8 or 10 cores up to 16 cores the price of the licensing will be
1 x $6,155 = $6,155
On Windows 2012R2: $6,155 - SAME

2 CPUs with every 6 cores the price of the licensing will be
1 x $6,155 = $6,155
On Windows 2012R2: $6,155 - SAME

2 CPUs with each 10 cores the price of the licensing will be
1 x $6,155 + 2/8 * $6,155 = $7,693.75
On Windows 2012R2: $6,155 - 25% Increased

2 CPUs with each 16 cores the price of the licensing will be
2 x $6,155 = $12,210
On Windows 2012R2: $6,155 - 200% increased

The more cores you have per processor beyond 8 cores per CPU on a 2 CPUs server, the more expensive it will be compared to Windows 2012R2.  Very frightening indeed.

If such licensing on cores, will companies adopt Windows 2016 or stay on Windows 2012R2.

Feel free to comment if I missed out or got anything wrong.

If such new licensing releasing from Microsoft, wonder if VMware will change any in licensing since the last one on vMemory was not successful.

Update 19th Jun 2019
HPE has a nice calculator to see how much license you would need basd on CPU type and numbers.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

VMware Education Revive VCAP Certification in 6

With the release of vSphere 6, there were some changes to the certification as posted earlier.
VMware announced the retirement of VCAP for vSphere Design and Administration and replaced it with VCIX which requires equivalent of both VCAP category exam with half the exam time.

As announced recently, VMware Education has listen to feedbacks and instead of retiring VCAP certification all together it will still have it valid however VCIX will only been granted to individual with double VCAP for each track in Design and Administration except for VCIX-NV which will be the only direct VCIX certification with no option of VCAP.

With this announcement, individual can now still be recognize in passing one of the category in each track and granted VCAP or VCIX for earning a double VCAP in any track.

The upgrade path for existing VCAP does not change as announced earlier.  To achieve VCIX, existing VCAP with either category need just pass the other category in version 6.

Update 14th Dec 2015
Some asked if this is an auto upgrade for existing VCAP5?  Answer is no.  You still have to take the respective VCAP6 of you category to be upgrade to VCAP6.  Some examples on vSphere below:

VCAP5-DCD + VCAP6 Administration =  VCIX6-DCV
VCAP5-DCA + VCAP6 Administration =  VCAP6-DCA

The same applies unless otherwise stated, passing your VCAP automatically upgrade your VCP if it has not expired.  If your VCP has expired, you can upgrade only the VCAP track you have but your VCP will not be upgraded.  Thus if you want to take other VCP track, you will need to certify your VCP all again with course and exam.

The next question I am wondering is the VCAP6 are the exam time also 2 hours instead of 4 this time round?  Will check that out.

Update 6th Jan 2016
On a quick check, the Design exam will remain at 2 hours while the administration will be at 3 hours. However this is still at beta stage and can change after it GA.

Update 8th Jun 2016
Update on expired VCP while upgrading VCAP.

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