Breaking News: New System Center 2012 Licensing Model Announced

Download the pre-release components

Today during the “Private Cloud Day” live webcast event, Microsoft announced a pretty big change in how we think of and purchase the System Center suite.  Bottom-line.. it’s no longer a separate set of products, but it is just one product: System Center 2012.  (Well.. actually two.. but different only in terms of licensing.) 

In a nutshell: System Center is now just one product, that comes in two editions, with many components.  And the full-set of components come in the two product editions: 

System Center Editions and Components

“So, when I buy System Center, I get the full suite?”

That’s right.

“So.. this chart doesn’t show that there is any difference.  What’s different between Standard and Datacenter?”

Standard Edition is licensed per two physical processors, and each license gives you management rights of two virtualized servers.  Buy as many as you need for the number of virtualized servers you want to manage.

Datacenter Edition is also licensed per two physical processors, but it provides use rights for management of an unlimited number of VMs per license.

“What are the benefits to doing this change, Kevin?”

There are several.  Obviously it’s simple, so that’s a big one.  Licensing by processor, plus giving you the same full set of System Center components for each license, is easy to swallow. 

Another benefit is that, unlike our biggest competitor in the Virtualization space, we don’t charge you more for additional virtual machines, or charge by number of virtual CPUs or memory used.  One of the biggest reasons to virtualize and move to a Private Cloud  IT-as-a-Service model is in the economics of it.  You want to maximize hardware utilization, drive up density and reduce costs through Virtualization…. so your costs should decrease as your workload density increases, not the other way around.

“What does this mean for me if I already have some of the System Center products?  Or an enterprise suite?”

I won’t post all of the details here, but I do know that we’re making it very appealing.  There is a well-thought-out, very fair transition plan that will especially make customers with current Software Assurance (SA) plans very very happy.

For complete details on the announcement and on System Center 2012, CLICK HERE.

For the licensing implications and the transition for existing customers, CLICK HERE.

And please try out the different component Release Candidates HERE.

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