Microsoft offers multiple licensing vehicles for the Windows Server, SQL Server and System Center product families that provide end users with the exact same features and capabilities but differing in one key way: virtualization rights.
These virtualization rights directly impact the number of licenses required. For example, a single Windows Standard license allows the user to run one instance of Windows Server on a physical host in addition to two virtual instances on that host. If the user wants to run more than two virtual Windows Servers on that host, then they can assign additional Windows Server Standard licenses to it, often referred to as “stacking.” Alternatively, the user could assign a Windows Datacenter license to the host, which is based upon the number of cores installed in the host, allowing the user to run an unlimited number of virtual Windows Servers on that host.
The assignment of System Center licenses is similar to the assignment of Windows and SQL Servers licenses in several respects, including:
- Groupings (hypervisor clusters, physical and unlinked)
- Unlimited virtualization when licensing System Center at the host level
- Cluster and host specifics including:
- Cluster name
- Total hosts per cluster
- Cluster and host processor and core counts
- A ‘Summary Table’ view in the System Center section of the Movere website to confirm that all active Windows Servers managed by System Center have been assigned a license.
The key differences between Windows and System Center licensing assignments include:
- CIS license assignments on the Windows Server license assignment section carry through to System Center and vice versa; and
- The number of System Center components (by version) installed on each managed device is visible from the license assignment page.
CIS license Windows Server license assignments:
In the screenshot below, the CIS Datacenter licenses assigned to the two physical hosts in the ‘HYPV-CLUSTER’ on the Windows Server license assignment page also appear on the System Center page:
If the Windows Server Datacenter licenses were assigned to these hosts on the Windows Server license assignment page, this will trigger the need to separately assign a System Center license to these hosts from the System Center license assignment page (refer below):
Installed System Center components:
In addition to the number of hosts each System Center managed virtual Windows Server has run on, the System Center license allocation page also includes the number of System Center components, by version, installed on each device. This data is collected from the individual System Center management platforms, not the endpoint. These components will only appear if the endpoint is actively managed. If these components have been installed, but are effectively dormant, then they will not appear in this view.
In the screenshot below, the virtual Windows Server ‘MGMTSQLCM’ has run on two physical hosts and is managed by System Center Configuration Manager (CM), Operations Manager (OM) and Data Protection Manager (DPM) version 2016:
To see the active components in a tabular form, refer to the Device\Microsoft\System Center view This view lists every managed endpoint, the System Center component(s) actively being managed on each endpoint and the System Center Management License (ML) version required: