What about System Center Server licensing?

In sales and presales conversations my experience is that knowledge of the licensing suite is sometimes crucial to close the deal. Therefore this post about how the licensing suite in System Center is build.

To make things clear;
This part only counts for Server Operating Systems; not for clients (workstations)

Basically it is very simple; You can only buy the complete System Center suite, if you only use SCCM or only SCOM you still have to buy the complete suite.
Advantage is that if you license one product you get the right to use:
–  Configuration Manager
–  Service Manager
–  Virtual Machine Manager
–  Operations Manager
–  Data Protection Manager
–  Orchestrator
–  App Controller
–  Endpoint Protection
Now we’re talking !!

Licence models
System Center 2012 management licenses will be released in 2 editions differentiated by virtualization rights only:

-System Center Datacenter: Maximizes cloud capacity with unlimited Operating System Environments (OSEs) for high density private clouds.

Each Data Center license covers up to two physical processors, so you must count the number of physical processors on the server, divide that number by two, round up to the nearest whole number, and acquire and assign that number of licenses to your server.

-System Center Standard: For lightly or non-virtualized private cloud workloads. Standard Edition allows the management of up to two  “Operating System Environments” per license.

For each managed server count the number of physical processors and the number of managed OSE’s. You need the number of licenses to cover the greater number (processors or OSE’s).

Extra information:
– Both licenses includes SQL Runtime or SQL CAL
– Licensed Per processor
– Always includes Software Assurance (SA)


Time for a quick recap of the licensing suite:
Standard for servers with low or no virtualization
Datacenter for high density virtualisation

Underneath an example on what licence is to most suitable.

Are there separate offerings without SQL Server Technology?
No. All System Center 2012 products include the right to run a runtime version of SQL Server Technology (SQL Server Standard Edition) to support System Center so there are no longer separate offerings.

How much do the Server MLs cost?
The Microsoft Volume Licensing Open License No Level (NL) U.S. Estimated Retail Price (ERP) is
– $1,323 for System Center 2012 Standard
– $3,607 for System Center 2012 Datacenter.

For your specific pricing, contact your Microsoft reseller. Actual prices may vary. Microsoft does not determine pricing or payment terms for licenses acquired through resellers.

Why do the Server MLs cover up to two processors?
The server management licensing is simplified by standardizing on a processor-based licensing model. Each license covers up to two physical processors because the vast majority of servers contain an even number of physical processors.

Endpoint Protection?
Endpoint Protection is included in de suite. It is possible to install Endpoint protection stand-alone. For managing the Endpoint Protection software SCCM 2012 is required. For monitoring there is a management pack available. Without SCCM 2012 it is possible to manage the clients with policies but this is not an optimal situation and I do not recommend this.

Extra information:
Standalone Standard or Enterprise Server Management Licenses will be exchanged for a minimum of 1 System Center 2012 Standard Edition licenses per server or for the actual number of processors in use.
At the end of the current agreement term, you should do a self-inventory, documenting the number of processors in each server in use with System Center Server Management Suite Enterprise Edition or standalone Server Management Licenses covered with Software Assurance.
This will enable customers to receive the appropriate number of processor licenses based on System Center 2012 to continue their current deployments.
You should do this self-inventory using the Microsoft Assessment and Planning (MAP) Toolkit or other inventory tools and processes to accurately archive a time/date stamped inventory of hardware tied to System Center installations.
If you do not perform the self-inventory, they will receive two System Center 2012 licenses for each System Center Server Management Suite Enterprise Edition and one license for each standalone Server Management License.