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Basic hypervisors, the software that allows one server to be partitioned into multiple virtual machines, are free, but that does not mean virtualization is free. Microsoft Windows 2008, for example, still needs to be licensed. Of the various license classes for Windows Server, Datacenter Edition is the most flexible and cost effective.

Windows 2008 Virtual Licensing

Microsoft built its software empire upon licensing operating system software for each PC and server on which they run. Virtualization disrupts this one to one relationship by making it possible to run multiple virtual machines per physical machine; each virtual machine (VM) has its own operating system.

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Search Code: 5183
Published: January 27, 2009
Last Revised: January 27, 2009


  • Missing comment
    Josh Sumption | 10-21-2010

    Dose the per processor charge on Datacenter Edition only count physical processors in the virtualiztion hosts, or does each core in a mult-core processor need to be licensed?

    • 9eb6a2810126f534ebf65557616f34d1 comment
      Info-Tech Research Group | 10-21-2010

      Thanks for your comment. The Datacenter licensing is calculated by physical processors, not by the core count.


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