Understand Windows Server 2012 virtualization licensing

With Windows Server 2012, Microsoft has streamlined the product feature set and licensing. First off, for the enterprise, there are only two editions available now: Standard and Data Center. Further, unlike previous versions of Windows, Standard and Data Center provide absolutely identical functionality. In previous versions of Windows, each edition carried different features and some editions had memory and processor limits. The only difference between Standard and Data Center revolves around virtualization rights. With the Standard Edition, you’re allowed to run the host plus two Windows virtual machines. With the Data Center edition, you;re allowed to run the host plus an unlimited number of Windows virtual machines on that host without having to worry about licensing each individual virtual machine you run on the host.

Besides virtualization rights, the only other difference between the two editions is the price. For the Standard edition, Microsoft charges $882 per two processors and for the Data Center edition, list price is $4,809 per two processors.

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