Server2003 virtual machine licensing?

Discussion in 'Windows Server Systems' started by Heeter, Jan 9, 2008.

  1. Heeter

    Heeter Overclocked Like A Mother

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    Hey all,

    Explain me this please,

    Do I need a license to have 2003StandardServer in a virtual environment, and the main physical machine holding the virtual OS is the same image?

    I basically vmware converted my Win2003Standard on my physical machine, and placed it in my vmware server within the same tower. Testing different MySQL/Apache/PHP setups. I am told that I need a license for that image. Is this true? I must be able to get around this, can't I?


    Thanks

    Heeter
     
  2. fitz

    fitz Just Floating Along Staff Member Political User Folding Team

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    the answer is.. it depends.

    If you have 2003 standard server as the host OS, then yes, you need to buy another license to run a copy of 2003 standard server in the virtual machine.

    If you have a license of 2003 enterprise as the host OS, you can have up to 4 virtual machines of 2003 standard/enterprise running on that physical machine.

    If you have a license of 2003 datacenter as the host OS, you can run unlimited instances of any version of windows 2003 on that physical machine.

    If you are only doing testing and have an MSDN subscription, your MSDN subscription allows you to run/setup machiens for testing without license usage for, I believe, either 90 or 180 days.

    edit: ahh.. the wonders of microsoft licensing

    For what it's worth, we run the full ESX/VI3 version of VMware that doesn't require a host OS as VI3 runs on the bare metal.. we have 2 physical hosts right now and purchased two copies of Win2003R2 DataCenter that allows us to run unlimited number of virtual machines on said hosts.
     
  3. Heeter

    Heeter Overclocked Like A Mother

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    ESX? Would you have a link for that?

    Maybe if I dump and reload the image on the ESX setup, until I get the parameters right, I would only need 1 license?

    Thanks for the info,

    Heeter
     
  4. fitz

    fitz Just Floating Along Staff Member Political User Folding Team

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    yes.. you would only need the once license.. but ESX isn't free (it's actually rather pricey depending which version you get). For example, the full blown enterprise edition of VI3 (Virtual Infrastructure 3) was $5750 per host but it lets you do all kinds of fun things like vMotion and provides dynamic resource balancing and HA capabilities if you have a shared storage solution (ie: SAN/NAS) and multiple hosts running multiple vmware guests.
    The cheapest solution is ESX 3i ($495 +1yr support) but that's more of an embedded solution, you can install it on certain hardware but it is still really experimental.. really cool stuff though. The other "cheap" solution is the starter edition (now called the foundation edition or something) and runs at $995 per host (1 yr support contract required and is not included in any of the pricing)

    http://www.vmware.com/products/vi/
     
  5. Heeter

    Heeter Overclocked Like A Mother

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    WOW,


    Those prices makes my buttocks tingle.

    Thanks for all the info, Fitz,

    Heeter
     
  6. fitz

    fitz Just Floating Along Staff Member Political User Folding Team

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    yes.. like I said, it is pricey.. but in the big picture if you are doing a lot of virtualization, it saves money.

    On each host (dual quad core, 20GB of RAM, 2 iSCSI HBA, 2 dual port gig NIC cards, 2x72GB SAS drive) I could run 20 virtual instances/servers comfortably (over 30 if I wanted to push things).. with a single copy of VI3 and Windows 2003 datacenter. Total cost each host was ~$15,000 (hardware/software/support.

    Doing the math you get 20 servers for $15,000 or ~$750 per instance of windows 2003 server (even cheaper as you go over 20 virtual guests per host)
     
  7. Electronic Punk

    Electronic Punk Administrator Staff Member Political User Folding Team

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    Can you break that down for me a bit fitz, interested - how do you only have to use one copy of datacenter?
     
  8. X-Istence

    X-Istence * Political User

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    VMWare ESX is an awesome product, but costs WAY too much. Which is a shame. What they really need is some proper competition in that area, something I hope Xen will be able to provide in the near future.

    Heeter, while technically you would need a new license for that system, I personally don't think it matters that much since you are testing different set-ups and are probably planning on removing the image after you have completed your testing.
     
  9. Electronic Punk

    Electronic Punk Administrator Staff Member Political User Folding Team

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    Well we have VMware I am just wondering about the setup and how windows server licencing fits in.
     
  10. fitz

    fitz Just Floating Along Staff Member Political User Folding Team

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    as I mentioned, a single windows 2003 datacenter allows unlimited number of virtual machines to run on that host.. so, you "assign" the 2003 datacenter license to a physical host and that physical host is allowed an unlimited number of virtual machines running 2003 (including downgrade rights).

    2003 Enterprise edition allows you to run 4 virtual instances on a single host.

    let me see if I can dig up the microsoft/vmware whitepaper that detailed the licensing and post it..

    edit: now, what does suck is that if you are running any type of vMotion/DRS/HA, you need a datacenter license for each physical host you run. They also limit the mobility of the datacenter license.. you "assign" the license to a physical machine and are only allowed to "transfer" the license to a new physical host every 90 days.

    *still looking for that whitepaper that detailed the licensing*

    well, there is this paper that I found (not the one I was looking for, but this one has the required details).

    On Page 6 is the table that lists 2003 R2 Enterprise and 2003 R2 Datacenter
    For enterprise:
    [FONT=&quot]

    and for Datacenter
    [/FONT]
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2008
  11. Heeter

    Heeter Overclocked Like A Mother

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    That is what the intent is, X. Just plan to deploy the working image and remove the host OS entirely.

    I am also interested Xen, now that I am figuring out Vmware and their product pricing.



    Heeter
     
  12. fitz

    fitz Just Floating Along Staff Member Political User Folding Team

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    in my opinion, Xen isn't quite ready for running primetime/prod windows virtually yet
     
  13. vern

    vern Dominus Political User Folding Team

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    My only experience with VMWare virtualization is playing around with the free version, I am curious though, what does running on bare-metal mean? Does that mean it doesn't run on a host OS?
     
  14. fitz

    fitz Just Floating Along Staff Member Political User Folding Team

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    yes.. it means the hypervisor that does the actual virtualization run directly on the machine.. no host OS involved.. just the thin virtual hardware layer.