Much has been written about Windows Server® 2016 and System Center 2016 during recent weeks. Both are mission-critical products which are used by countless organizations. Both have significant improvements over their predecessors (2012 R2), but another notable distinction with these releases is the change from a per-processor licensing model to per-core, which will result in significant cost increases for many. Much has been written about the proc-to-core licensing change as well, including some of my own blogs, so I’m not going to repeat that here. Instead, I’d like to acknowledge that while myself and others analyze and often attempt to simplify the explanation of the change, the most accurate explanation of use, to which customers will be bound, is written in the Microsoft® Product Terms, as published by Microsoft.
The Product Terms document is published monthly, and is the definitive source for all product use rights and restrictions. I have written about the Product Terms document before, but I think it’s particularly important this month because of the major changes to Windows Server and System Center licensing.
As is the case every month, there is a section entitled “Clarifications and Summary of Changes to this Document”, located at the end of the Introduction. This section identifies product additions and deletions, as well as changes to licensing terms and terminology. It’s important to note that this section does not describe the changes, but the explanations may be found elsewhere in the Product Terms document.
As a matter of practice, it’s a good idea to review the Summary of Changes section when the document is updated each month. Most licensing changes are not as widely publicized as the proc-to-core with Windows Server and System Center, so you may not learn about them elsewhere. The Clarifications and Summary of Changes can be a valuable element of a proactive Software Asset Management discipline.
For further information about the licensing changes to Windows Server and System Center, I invite you to join my upcoming webinar on the subject: http://lp.emerset.com/webinar-windows-licensing-transition-ea/