The purpose of this post is to offer a high-level explanation of the changes that has been made in Windows Server compliance as a part of Snow License Manager 9.2 and how the changes impact the license requirements for Windows Server. It will also describe the enhanced value of the changes on how to manage Windows Server licensing in this version of Snow license Manager.
In prior versions of Snow License Manager (SLM) the license requirement for Windows Server were calculated based on individual machines whether installed on a virtual machine or a physical host. To further improve visibility of the compliance position, SLM will now put the requirement only on the physical hosts and not on the virtual machines. This new logic will be automatically applied upon upgrade to Snow License Manager version 9.2.
This will be visualized by removal of Windows Server license requirement for Virtual machines that run on physical hosts. The Virtual machines will be covered by the remark “licensed by host”. Virtual machines that are discovered without link to a physical host will also have the Windows Server license requirement removed, covered by remark “unknown physical host”.
SLM now calculate Windows Server requirement based on the licensed application rather thanthe application that is deployed, when a license has been assigned. This will prevent an message showing when downgrading from a higher version that has a different requirement calculation.
There are optional settings to add further value in terms of license-cost optimization based on application cost and automatic calculation of license requirement for physical hosts in clusters or datacenters (DC), with High availability (HA) or Distributed Resource Scheduler (DRS) enabled.
The way of calculating Windows Server requirement in SLM 9.2.X were designed to consider both compliance and the most optimal way to license based on cost efficiency and license requirement.
This requires that application costs are entered for the deployed versions of Windows Server in SLM. In order to ensure optimal recommendations the cost needs to be based on relevant pricing per metric. The requirement will then be calculated based on the cheapest edition across the DC/cluster, for example; the requirement will move to the datacenter edition if it is cheaper to license, even if only standard edition has been deployed on VMs.
Exception: if there is a license for standard edition assigned to a host and only standard edition has been deployed to the VMs that could run on this host. The host requirement will be for Standard edition even if it would be cheaper to license Datacenter edition.
Licensing virtualized environments
To cater for licensing scenarios where virtual machines may move between hosts in a cluster or DC, SLM will now consider the peak number of virtual machines that could run on a host. This will also affect the compliance calculation for Windows Server. In addition, SLM will also adjust the license requirement based on highest version and edition across operating systems environments of a physical host or hosts in a DC/Cluster.
The requirement to enable this functionality is that VMO (virtual management option) is configured properly so SLM can gather information from the hypervisor whether DRS/HA has been enabled for a DC/cluster that the host is in.
Once setup, these settings will be automatically enabled in the “datacenters and clusters”-view under “edit datacenter/cluster” if DRS/HA is detected. If DRS/HA is not detected or if clusters/DC are manually created, these settings can be setup and enabled manually.
Once the settings for DRS/HA are enabled, SLM will adjust the Windows Server license requirement accordingly.
Other useful information
For more in-depth coverage of the changes for Windows Server licensing and compliance, see this blog post on the Snow Community:
Snow License Manager version 9.X includes assessment and risk reports for Windows Server which can support you with Windows Server cost optimization and identify risks connected to deployment and versioning.
The user guide can be found here https://snowprod.service-now.com/support?id=kb_article_view&sysparm_article=KB0019700