Michael.Hambsch

Upgrade licenses for Windows Server 2016 with metrics change in SLM 8

Blog Post created by Michael.Hambsch Employee on Mar 6, 2018

Dear community,

as the change of the licensing model of Windows Server 2016 is coming, I am asked from many customers how they can upgrade their Windows Server licenses in Snow License Manager and reflect the metrics change from processor to processor core model and exchange of amounts as well.

For further explanation I like to reference Microsoft’s documentation on this task:

https://download.microsoft.com/download/7/2/9/7290EA05-DC56-4BED-9400-138C5701F174/WS2016LicensingDatasheet.pdf

Two cases to handle are stated for customers under SA in chapter “Core license grants overview” on page 3.

 

The first case for “server density of 8 or fewer cores per processor and 16 or fewer cores per server” is easy. You will be granted 16 cores per physical machine. This could be calculated automatically but will not reflect the most common cases of this upgrade path. Additional benefit: “customers do not need to document their environments”. Besides, I personally always recommend to document this metrics change no matter if you have this “easy” upgrade path or if you will have to calculate the amount of Processor Cores for this upgrade per machine.

 

If your machines will have processors with more than 8 cores OR the machine has more than 16 cores than the first case is not applicable for you and you will have to document your environment as stated: “Inventory must be maintained at the first expiration of the Software Assurance coverage after the general availability of Windows Server 2016 or before September 30, 2019”.

This means you will have to document your whole hardware estate. I can only recommend doing so, as case 1 will most likely not reflect your whole hardware estate and if you document everything you will have a proof later if asked in an audit.

 

To do so in SLM, a best practice suggestion can be:

  1. Download the Microsoft PUR and archive it with the license upgrade. Think about to do the same with the Microsoft Licensing Brief.
  2. Export the report of your hardware estate (virtual included) at the date of your SA end (=prolongation) or before September 30, 2019 in a PDF/A file that will suite long time archiving requirements. You have all necessary information in the report “Physical and virtual processor comparison of applications in a datacenter” in Snow License Manager and you can easily filter it for specific datacenters or physical machines.
  3. Use the PDF/A to document the hardware estate before license upgrade to ensure you were eligible to do so. Therefore, use this PDF/A later as attachment to the upgrade license.
  4. I like further to recommend to document any upgrade calculation exactly how done in the notes field of the upgrade license in Snow License Manager.
  5. As there were features added to Snow License Manager over time there are two different approaches how the license upgrade with metrics change can be done depending on the version of Snow License Manager used.
    Let’s imagine a 4 Processor “Windows Server 2012” license to be upgraded. 

    Screenshot old Winodws 2012 Server license  
  • Snow License Manager version 8.2.1 or newer

    1. Create a new license with the same version and edition to reflect the amount of upgrade licenses that you will additionally receive on the new metric “Number of processor cores”.
    2. Create the upgrade license in Snow License Manager for the application “Windows Server 2016” in the right edition with the correct new metrics “Number of processor cores”. Let’s call this license the “Upgrade factor license”.
    3. Now calculate the amount of additional licenses in Processor Cores you will receive to the existing Processors for the “Upgrade factor license”.
      Example: Let’s imagine a 4 processor machine with 12 cores in each processor. This will give you an upgrade of 4 x 12 Processor Cores = 48 Processor Cores as described by Microsoft.
      You already own 4 processer based licenses (see above). You will upgrade these 4 licenses later as well. So, we will have to substract these 4 licenses from the total Processor Cores you will have in the end. The amount for the “Upgrade factor license” to upgrade your Processor based license will then be: 48 Processor Cores in total (you will own in the end) – 4 processor upgrade licenses (you already own) = 44 of additional Processor Cores licenses as amount the “Upgrade factor license”.

      Screenshot new Windows Sever 2016 Upgrade factor license
    4. Navigate to the information tab of the “Upgrade factor license” and fill in the notes field the above calculation of 44 Processor Cores.
    5. Navigate to the documents tab of the “Upgrade factor license”. Add the PDF of the hardware estate and the Microsoft PUR to document your upgrade eligibility.
    6. Create a new license in Snow License Manager for the application “Windows Server 2016” for the new total amount of 48 Processor Cores. Set this license as upgrade license in the “Purchase” tab. Let’s call this license the “Upgraded License”.

    7. Go to the “base licenses” tab of the “Upgraded License”. Here the sequence in adding the upgrade licenses is crucial to maintain the correct metrics of the “Upgraded License”. First add the “Upgrade factor license” to maintain the correct metrics in the “Upgraded License”. Choose all 44 cores to be upgraded. Then add your old 4 processor license and upgrade all 4 processors. Thus, you will have upgraded the total amount of 48 which matches exactly to the 48 Processor Cores in the “Upgraded License”.

    8. Done: You will be able to see the upgrade chain from your “Windows Server 2012” Processor based license to your “Windows Server 2016” Processor Core based license in Snow License Manager. You will know what factor applied, why and with which eligibility you upgraded from the “Upgrade factor license”.  

       
  • Snow License Manager prior version 8.2.1 or Snow License Manager 7
    1. Activate “license has a subscription period” in the “Windows Server 2012” license and fill in either the point of time of your upgrade or the maintenance end, i. e. SA end date. In this example it is the agreement end date. This will deactivate the license validity for compliance calculation exactly at that point of time, when the actual metrics change will take place.

    2. Copy Snow License Manager URL link to the “Windows Server 2012” license to upgrade from address bar of your browser.

    3. Now calculate the amount of eligible upgrade licenses in Processor Cores metric for “Windows Server 2016” you will receive to the existing Processors.
      Example: Let’s imagine a 4 processor machine with 12 cores in each processor. This will give you an upgrade of 4 x 12 Processor Cores = 48 Processor Cores as described by Microsoft. 
    4. Create a new license in Snow License Manager for the application “Windows Server 2016” for the new total amount of 48 Processor Cores. Do NOT set this license as upgrade license in the “Purchase” tab! Let’s call this license the “Upgraded License”.

    5. Navigate to the information tab of the “Upgraded License” and fill in the notes field the above mentioned upgrade calculation.
    6. Navigate to the “Documents” tab of the “Upgraded License”. Add the PDF of the hardware estate and the Microsoft PUR to document your upgrade eligibility. Further add the link copied before of the “Windows Server 2012” license to the “Documents” tab to document the license you upgraded from:

    7. Copy the URL link of the “Upgraded License” like above mentioned. Navigate to your old “Windows Server 2012” Processor based license and add the link to the “Upgraded License” in the “Documents” tab to document your license upgrade of this license as well.

      If it is the case that you do NOT want to have the “Upgraded License” to be valid for compliance calculation, tick “Upgrade license” in the “Purchase” tab and leave blank the “Base licenses” tab. This will set this license to “incomplete” and will not take it into account during compliance calculation. You can later activate the “Windows Server 2016” licenses at the point of time suitable for you. The navigation is done easily via the report “All incomplete licenses”. You will just have to remove the “Upgrade license” tick for the license. 
       
    8. Done: You will be able to see the upgrade chain from your “Windows Server 2012” Processor based license to your “Windows Server 2016” Processor Core based license in the “Documents” tab in each license. The old base license will lose its validity based on the subscription end date. You will know what factor applied, why and with which eligibility you upgraded.

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