Windows Server 2016 OEM Licensing Questions From The Roadshow


These were the common questions we got at the recent roadshow, I’m sharing them here in case you missed it… as mentioned in the title, this is licensing for OEM products, it may differ for volume license scenarios. For those scenarios please contact your local Microsoft licensing team.

  1. If I disable physical cores at the hardware level do I need to license them for Windows Server 2016?
    No, it’s only those which are enabled in the hardware. This is handy for those who are looking to keep the core count lower for power saving or performance reasons.
  2. What services require a Windows Server CAL?
    If a user or device uses a service or accesses software on Windows Server, it requires a CAL. This includes, but is not limited to Active Directory, DNS, and DHCP for example.
  3. Does hyper-threading impact core count?
    No, it’s only physical cores, hyper-threading does not impact core count.
  4. If my new single or dual socket server purchase includes more than 16 cores, what OEM licensing options will be available to license the additional cores?
    If the server has more than 16 but less than 24 cores, buy a 16 core license plus enough additional core licenses to cover your needs via 2 or 4 core additional licenses. If the dual or single socket server includes greater than 24 cores, you can buy the base license with 24 cores included, and then add additional cores via packs of 2, 4 and 16 cores.
  5. Does Nano Server require Software Assurance?
    Yes, deploying Nano Server in production requires Software Assurance to be purchased within 90 days of your OEM purchases of Windows Server 2016 Standard or Datacenter.
  6. What if I’m running Windows Server 2016 on top of a virtualisation platform such as Hyper-V?
    Running on top of a virtualisation platform doesn’t affect the required core licensing for Windows Server, regardless of how many cores are exposed to the virtual machines versus those being exposed to the virtualisation platform. 

As we run additional to distributor and through distributor training over the next few weeks I’m sure there will be more questions, and we are starting to collect these to cover in future in person and online events.


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