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Microsoft Announces that Windows Server 2016 will be Launching Next Quarter

Microsoft Announces that Windows Server 2016 will be Launching Next Quarter

IT professionals and developers have a lot to get excited about in the 2016 releases of Windows Server and System Center. There is a tremendous amount of new value in software defined infrastructure and cloud app development and potential solution cost savings for customers with regards to storage and networking investments. This newest version includes advances in computing, networking, storage, and security. Microsoft is turning Windows Server 2016 into a cloud optimized server and System Center 2016 into management of traditional datacenter management and cloud environments.

Customers can get started now with the preview releases: Platform-Windows Server 2016 Platform-System Center 2016

Windows Server 2016 is positioned as a “cloud optimized” server that provides new container technologies,  The servers itself are Nano Server that require a minimal footprint installation option which excludes the GUI, WoW64 and Windows Installer.  Windows 2016 brings new infrastructure capabilities across networking, storage, and compute.

There will be two versions of Windows Server 2016 Datacenter and Standard. Both are a Core + CAL licensing model.  Datacenter Edition will include new capabilities for highly virtualized private and hybrid cloud environments, including: Azure-inspired networking stack and Azure-inspired storage enhancements (i.e. Storage Spaces Direct).  Standard Edition will provide the core functionality of Windows Server (including Hyper-V), and will still cover up to 2 VMs per license

Core licenses will be sold in 2-packs. Below are requirements for the packs:

  • Each processor must be licensed for 8 cores minimum (or 4 two-core packs)
  • Each physical server (including single-proc servers) must be licensed with minimum of 16 cores (or 8 two-core packs)
  • Additional cores can be licensed in 2-core increments (or 1 two-core pack) as needed
  • Licenses for servers with 8 cores or less (per proc) will be same price as the 2012 R2 two-proc license

Windows Server 2016 licenses with SA are eligible for a new benefit which allows customers to load/run their own Windows Server images in Azure in a non-Windows VM.  This capability entitles customers to run up to 2 instances on up to 8 cores each, or 1 instance on up to 16 cores in Azure for each Standard/Datacenter 2 process license with SA. When the benefit is used on Windows Server Standard Edition licenses with SA, the Standard license can no longer be assigned to another server.  When the benefit is used on the Datacenter edition, the customer can continue to use their Datacenter licenses for unlimited virtualization (on premises).

The core transition will not affect customers with SA until renewal

  • For licenses with SA on servers with more than 8 cores, there could be an increase in SA cost relative to the increase in processing power.
  • Additional licenses will be granted in scenarios where Windows Server 2016 (or System Center 2016) is running on (or managing) servers with more than 8 cores per proc.
  • Exceptions may be needed for situations where Standard licenses are being used to run and/or manage more than 2 OSEs on a server with more than two processors.

Contact your PCM Account Representative to learn more about the release of Windows Server 2016, and download our Windows Server 2016 Product Sheet for additional information.

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