Licensing Logic: Windows Server 2012 Licensing – Made Simple


With Windows Server 2012, organisations receive the capabilities they need to meet today's ever changing IT requirements through a fundamental shift toward cloud computing. The Windows Server 2012 licensing MVA course covers how to license Windows Server 2012, and will assist you in understanding which edition is the right solution for your organization and how to migrate from earlier editions of Windows Server.

The course takes a look at the four Windows Server 2012 editions. It will help you to understand how the processor + CAL model for Windows Server 2012 Datacenter and Standard editions work for your organisation. Did you know Windows Server 2012 Standard edition now have all the same features and capabilities as Datacenter edition with each license covering up to 2 physical processors on a server? They are both Private Cloud optimised solutions. The Datacenter edition is ideal for highly virtualised environments as it provides for unlimited virtualisation. If your organisation is rapidly growing with high-density virtualisation needs then this edition is ideal. Datacenter and Standard editions are only differentiated by virtualisation rights as the Datacenter edition provides for unlimited virtualisation whereas Standard edition provides organisations with 2 virtual instances with each license.


Windows Server 2012 Essentials is a cloud connected first server ideal for small businesses with up to 25 users providing organisations with the flexibility to have email in the cloud, run line of business applications, or run email on premises. Windows Server 2012 Foundation is an economical general purpose server for physical computing continues to be a server model with no CAL requirements.


Every user or device that accesses an instance of Windows Server 2012 requires a CAL. Learn how to choose the best and most economical CAL based on your particular scenario. The 2 CALs are Device and User CALs. Device CALs is an access license required for every device used by any user and most appropriate for organisations with multiple users accessing an instance of Windows Server on a single device e.g. shift workers. User CALs are required for every named user accessing the server and is most appropriate for organisations with many roaming employees who need access to the corporate network.


The course also takes you through a simplified Windows Server 2008 to 2012 comparison. Windows 2008 R2 Datacenter and Standard editions had different capabilities whereas Windows Server 2012 editions both share the same improvements in capability and licensing. Learn how both editions benefit from the increased processor support, memory and other features once again are only differentiated by virtualisation rights.


You are able to downgrade your bits to previous versions of Windows Server as illustrated below but it is important to remember that Downgrade Rights allow you to downgrade the bits only but the license rules of the purchase version still apply.


For those of you with Windows Server 2008 we review the difference between the previous and the new version for Windows Server 2012 by going through common scenarios. You can increase or grow your virtualisation instances in 2 ways:

1.  If you want a lightly virtualised envrionment you can choose to assign multiple Standard edition licenses to a single server often referred to as stacking licenses. Each standard license increases your virtualisation rights by clip_image008

2. If you want to move to a highly virtualised environment and have active SA you can use your Step-up benefit to move from Standard edition to Datacenter edition

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All this and much more scenarios, learnings and instances are covered on this course to solve your licensing headaches. Take the course now and kick-start your path to becoming a Microsoft licensing expert! Start Here

Be sure to also download the free Evaluation copy of Windows Server 2012 and have a play with the software.

Comments (3)
  1. Anonymous says:

    Part of the Microsoft Licensing Logic series from the Microsoft Licensing team. Just when you think Microsoft

  2. Anonymous says:

    Mobility is the new norm. Have you ever checked you email outside of the office? Got a bit of work done in an airport lounge or hotel business centre? If you’re what Microsoft describe as a knowledge worker, then of course you have.

  3. Anonymous says:

    You may have noticed we’re talking past tense here. That’s because Microsoft announced in July 2014, at the Worldwide Partner Conference, that Select Plus would be retired. Let’s examine why and what’s replacing it.

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