Now you have pre-ordered your Microsoft Private Cloud book *cough*, you’ll want to figure out the licensing for System Center 2012. Those details were announced tonight in the “transforming IT” webcast.
The good news: licensing for System Center is getting easier:
A big change is that you cannot buy individual SML products by themselves. You must buy SML suites. To be honest, people who run virtualisation have been typically buying a System Center Management Suite because it was cheaper than buying individual “2007” management licenses (MLs), so this isn’t a big deal (or a little on either).
You will now license it using one of two System Center 2012 suite editions, Datacenter and Standard. They are referred to as Server Management Licenses or SMLs. Datacenter gives you unlimited management rights for licensed hosts. That’s perfect for virtualisation and private clouds. The Standard edition is aimed at very small virtualisation deployments or physical servers.
It is per-processor licensing based on physical (host) processors. You can over-license a host, e.g. assign multiple Standard SMLs to a host. You can see some examples here:
All System Center licensing with SA can upgrade to System Center 2012 SMLs. Note that the System Center Management Suites include SA.
Remember that you can also manage clients with System Center. There is new licensing for these as well:
Microsoft has published a datasheet on System Center 2012 licensing. There is also a System Center 2012 licensing FAQ. Please contact your reseller, distributor, or LAR if you have any questions on this licensing.