From now until June 30, 2016, Microsoft is offering a 15 percent discount on the purchase of Windows Server 2012 R2 Datacenter. Here are the answers to some basic questions about the promotion.
What’s the Deal?
The promotion applies only to the Open Business program, and it includes license-only purchases and license + Software Assurance (SA) purchases. If you go with SA, then you will automatically receive Windows Server 2016 Datacenter when it’s released later this year. This promotion does not apply to SA renewals, nor does it apply to Windows Server Standard purchases.
Here are how the normal prices compare with the promotional prices:
|Windows Server 2012 Datacenter||Normal Price||15 Percent Discount||Promotional Price|
|License with Software Assurance||$9,234.00||-$1,385.10||$7,848.90|
Why is Microsoft Doing This?
As you probably know, Windows Server 2016 is right around the corner. Most likely, it will be released this fall, so it seems this promotion is designed to help keep the momentum going on Windows Server sales before the next big release and to help people get ready to upgrade in a few months. Again, if you are interested in upgrading to Windows Server 2016, then you can purchase the option with SA. Just remember that SA is more than just “free” upgrades. There are a lot more benefits included in SA than you may think.
This promotion is also designed to grease the wheels for people who are still on Windows Server 2003 and need to upgrade to a more modern version. In case you missed it, Windows Server 2003 is now End of Life and no longer supported by Microsoft. If you are still on Windows Server 2003, it is to your advantage to upgrade as soon as possible.
What Does Windows Server Datacenter Give Me?
Windows Server 2012 comes in two flavors: Standard and Datacenter. A license for either one covers two physical processors on the same physical machine, and the two flavors have the exact same feature set. The big difference between them is virtualization rights: a Standard license provides you with the right to run two virtual machines, and a Datacenter license provides you with the right to run an unlimited number of virtual machines.
As you can imagine, Datacenter is quite a bit more expensive than Standard, but if you need to run a lot of VMs, then you definitely get more bang for your buck. I’ve crunched the numbers and here’s a good rule of thumb: If you need to run 14 or more VMs on a single host, then you should purchase Datacenter. For a full explanation, you can read my post here. But with this promotional discount for Datacenter, that rule of thumb should be adjusted to 10 VMs: if you need more than 10 VMs, purchase with Datacenter before June 30.
If you need some basic information on Windows Server 2012 and 2016 licensing, check out the following posts on Mirazon’s blog:
- How Do I License Windows Server 2012 for Virtualization? Part 1: The Basics
- How Do I License Windows Server 2012 for Virtualization? Part 2: Moving VMs Around Your Server Farm
- What Windows Server 2012 Virtualization Rights Do I Have?
- Windows Server Licensing Changes in 2016: Core-Based Licenses
For technical information on new features in Windows Server 2016, you can read these posts:
- What’s New in Windows Server 2016: Containers, Part 1
- What’s New in Windows Server 2016: Containers, Part 2
- What’s New in Windows Server 2016: Nano Servers
- What’s New in Windows Server 2016: Failover Clustering
- What’s New in Windows Server 2016: Hyper-V