Windows Server 2008 R2 Licensing


Every new version of a Microsoft product comes with changes to the licensing :-) So let’s see what the new Server OS release will bring…

  • As this is an R2 release-if you already have Windows Server 2008, you will NOT need to purchase new CALs. The existing Server 2008 CALS will continue to work.
  • There will be no more “without Hyper-V” editions.
  • When running Windows Server 2008 R2 in just the Hyper-V role-you do NOT need to upgrade to Server 2008 CALs.
  • Terminal Services (TS) is becoming Remote Desktop Services (RDS). TS CALs and RDS CALs can be used interchangeably between Server 2008 and Server 2008 R2.

What does this mean to me?

 The biggest thing for end users here is the first point-not needing to upgrade to R2 CALs. As Windows Server 2008 R2 is such an integral part of any Windows 7 environment for things such as Direct Access, BitLocker, Branch Cache etc-this is a great way to facilitate uptake of the new technology. For most customers the main cost of a server upgrade is in the CALs-that is almost universally the reason that people I talk to are still running Server 2003!

This means that customers can move to Windows Server 2008 R2 at minimal cost, thus helping drive adoption of Windows 7-which is always good!

Another CAL related bit of goodness is the 3rd point-that if you have Server 2008 R2 solely to run Hyper-V, you can continue using your existing CALs for say Server 2003 to access applications on those virtual servers. Again a great move that helps increase adoption of Hyper-V which, don’t forget, has Live Migration in R2 :-)

The Microsoft page is here.