Hero Banner

Feedback & Support Discussions

Provide feedback on your partner experience.

Visitor 1

Server 2012 / 2019 licencing

Hi Folks,


I have a customer running Server 2012 (not r2) as a HyperV with 2 vm's. We are looking to replace this with a new server running 2019 standard.

So, the original server was supplied with HP ROK licencing, as will the new one. But, where do we stand with the transfer of licences by moving the 2 vm's to new hardware? Are the 2 Server 2012 vm's going to be covered by the two 2019 licences that can be used on a single server 2019 licence by way of Downgrade rights?


We dont want to upgrade the two VM's operating system as part of this migration. So, looking at what is gouing to be the best way forward with licencing.




In essence, yes.

If you license all cores of the physical host machine with the sufficient number of Windows Server 2019 core licenses, you are allowed to run two VMs on this host - plus one physical instance if the physical instance is only used to host the VMs. So similar to 2012R2, only difference is that WS2019 is now licensed per core while WS2012 license covered two CPUs and core count did not matter. And downgrade rights also apply to the virtual instances


You can find the official license terms for OEM licenses here: https://www.microsoft.com/en-gb/useterms

ROK terms should be similar - if in doubt ask the distributor to send you the specific ROK terms.


Here some exerpts from the OEM EULA:


Licensing a Server. Properly licensed software grants you the right to install and run a certain number of instances of the server software on a server. Before you run these instances, you must determine the number of required core licenses per server (subsection 3.b) and assign those core licenses to that server as described below.

Manufacturer or Installer License.If you obtained the software from a manufacturer or installer, you are licensed for 16 cores; additional core licenses may be included in the manufacturer’s or installer’s server packaging. Any such additional licenses you acquire from the manufacturer or installer will also be subject to these license terms and any other additional terms included with those additional licenses. Certificate of Authenticity label(s) may be found affixed to the server and/or in the manufacturer’s or installer’s software packaging, which will indicate the total number of core licenses assigned to the server by the manufacturer or installer.

  1. Determining the Number of Licenses Required.To license a server, all physical cores in the server must be licensed.
  2. Each server is required to be licensed with a minimum of 16 core licenses.
  3. Each physical processor is required to be licensed with a minimum of eight core licenses.

If the number of physical cores in the server exceeds the minimum 16-core license requirement, you may need additional core licenses to cover the additional physical cores, except as provided for in subsection 3.c.i(b) and 3.c.ii(b).





Windows Server Standard

  1. For each server to which you have assigned the required number of core licenses as provided in Section 3.b., at any one time you may run the server software in:
  • one physical operating system environment,
  • up to two virtual operating system environments, and
  • any number of operating system environments instantiated as Windows Server Containers without Hyper-V isolation.
  1. If you run all permitted instances at the same time, the instance of the server software running in the physical operating system environment may be used only to:
  • run hardware virtualization software,
  • provide hardware virtualization services,
  • run software to manage and service operating system environments on the licensed server.


Downgrade rights are in section 5b:


 Downgrade Rights. Instead of creating, storing, and using the software, for each permitted instance, you may create, store, and use an earlier version of the following editions of the software for so long as Microsoft provides support for that earlier version as set forth in (aka.ms/windowslifecycle)

Kind regards,