back to article Windows Server-as-a-service: Microsoft lays out Server 2016's future

Microsoft has released details of how Windows Server 2016 will be released and maintained, and as with Windows 10 it includes a "Windows as a service" model of frequent operating system updates. Windows Server 2016 will be launched at the company's Ignite conference, which runs from September 26 to 30 in Atlanta, Georgia. As …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So a major price increase then...

    "the price of 16‑core licenses of Windows Server 2016 Datacenter and Standard Editions will be the same price as the 2‑processor license of the corresponding editions of the Windows Server 2012‑R2 version."

    So on my fancy new 14-core dual proc boxes running Server 2012-R2, I can expect to pay nearly double the licensing for Server 2016? And let me guess... the core count will be based on the number of cores in the host it's running on, not on the number of cores assigned to a VM instance running on that host.

    Not to worry, the Azure version will be just slightly cheaper (at first). The job's not done until it doesn't run - in your datacenter.

    Me, cynical??

    1. Lusty Silver badge

      Re: So a major price increase then...

      To be fair, you're the one who chose high core count servers. It's unfair for them to penalise well written multi-threaded software, but then there is so little of that around that we're all (and always have been) better off with lower core count but faster cores. Your 14 core chips have an equivalent part with similar overall throughput but fewer cores in the performance range, and for the majority of normal workloads these performance parts are better value. This is especially true of relational database software, and is the main reason behind the myth that SQL runs slower on virtualisation. It doesn't, that just coincided with the drop from 4GHz single core to 2.x GHz multicore for many customers.

      1. kryptylomese

        Re: So a major price increase then...

        What you say might be true for Windows but it is not true for Linux. We all know what businesses will choose....

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: So a major price increase then...

          "We all know what businesses will choose...."

          A zoo of OSs running on top of Hyper-V mostly is what my money is on.

        2. TheVogon Silver badge

          Re: So a major price increase then...

          "What you say might be true for Windows but it is not true for Linux."

          Well yes, Linux vendors still charge per CPU socket, but that might change tomorrow. I doubt enterprise Linux will ever be cheaper to license / support than Windows Server except in very niche applications.

          For instance see https://www.redhat.com/wapps/store/catalog.html

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: So a major price increase then...

            "I doubt enterprise Linux will ever be cheaper to license / support than Windows Server except in very niche applications."

            Start thinking a bit more creatively then. The beauty of things like Linux licensing is that it's not directly comparable to Windows, because Microsoft provide so few (yet complex!) options by comparison.

            It's possible to go with no support if you have capable staff - that saves a fortune alone.

            If you want full support there are many vendors to choose from, not just RHEL.

            Most folks who care about support will run a more hybrid approach - pay for support on the smaller scale dev system where it's needed and run the production without it. Canonical offer this ability with Ubuntu, or you can run a mix of CentOS and RHEL (they are identical to manage and a little bit of mix in the DC is not the fearful thing that MS types seem to be afraid of). You don't even have to go to the vendors - there are so many more companies out there who can offer you a level of support. It's an entire ecosystem that doesn't exist to fill a single set of pockets.

            It's that ability to be a lot more flexible about how you want to pay for support that is the benefit. Having those sort of options gives plenty of scope to save money too. When all you know is Windows it's much harder to see outside of that box unfortunately.

    2. Paul Crawford Silver badge

      Re: So a major price increase then...

      Sad, but predictable.

      Many years ago when I was using w2k and then XP I was pleasantly surprised when MS decided to go per-processor licensing as we saw the first multi-core x86 appear, instead of some complex and ultimately rather pricey per-core formula as Oracle and the rest of the "old guard" pushed.

      Now that practically all my software development is for Linux first, with Windows support as an after thought for "the old guard" perhaps I shall not care...

    3. TheVogon Silver badge

      Re: So a major price increase then...

      "Not to worry, the Azure version will be just slightly cheaper (at first). The job's not done until it doesn't run - in your datacenter."

      Azure Stack will run in your datcentre though.

  2. quxinot

    Want to use Nano Server?

    No.

  3. Bitbeisser
    Linux

    Looks like the time to move off Windows Server is finally here....

    1. Lusty Silver badge

      Yup, just have to rewrite all of the enterprise software, re-customise, re-test, get it through compliance, retrain everyone...

      Realistically, this won't change anything for most people. 3rd platform is what will drive Linux adoption, and that will be in the public cloud where they might not even know or care they are running it (Lambda for instance). Linux is always most popular when it doesn't look like Linux!

    2. Chika
      Coat

      To be honest, what is likely to happen here is that Linux will take over as the host system of choice where Windows will be reduced to a guest system with the number of cores pared down to the minimum for the use of whatever the VM is being used for. Probably the reason why M$ is so interested in Linux distros - they realise that their days running on real iron are numbered.

      Of course they could have shot themselves in at least one foot. Linux isn't the beast it once was and devs are increasingly interested in it as a back end so it could be that Windows could become the next legacy system that companies will be looking to push out of the door, at least on servers.

      1. Justin Pasher

        @Chika

        I don't think it works that way (at least for W2K16 Standard). According to the FAQ:

        The Standard Edition of Windows Server 2016 and System Center 2016 will license up to 2 VMs or 2 Hyper-V containers when all of the physical cores on the server are licensed.

        and

        Standard Edition provides rights for up to two virtual OSEs when all physical cores on a server are licensed.

        It means even if you have a single Windows guest VM that is only assigned one processor with one core, you still have to fully license the physical server it's running on. That's how the current Windows 2012 license works (but since it's processor based, it's more straightforward).

        1. Chika

          Re: @Chika

          It means even if you have a single Windows guest VM that is only assigned one processor with one core, you still have to fully license the physical server it's running on. That's how the current Windows 2012 license works (but since it's processor based, it's more straightforward).

          That sounds like even more of a disincentive to use Windows unless you are using it on the base system alone, or at least an attempt to force a lock in on Windows only. I suppose we shall have to wait and see how that works out.

  4. J J Carter Silver badge
    Trollface

    Why not?

    My Hoxton start-up is offering BOFH-as-a-service!

  5. N2 Silver badge

    One piece of good news though:

    If all you really need is a bit of good ole fashioned file & print, tinterwebs & mail etc, then some alternatives are ahem, free no matter how many million cores or users you have.

    Down vote me to hell, but the new licensing looks as appealing as a sponsored swim in a lake full of crocs & I can hear the cries of "how much" from accounts.

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. ElReg!comments!Pierre Silver badge

      Re: One piece of good news though:

      > some alternatives are ahem, free

      Ha, but you may have to suffer silliness pushed to its outer limits, such as an init system that demands direct control on everything including userspace, removable device mounts etc. Recently one of my few non-expurged systems absolutely refused to boot because systemd could not mount an external filesystem that I (foolishly) set as "auto" in /etc/fstab. Needless to say, said filesystem did not hold anything needed at boot time (just my ftp repository). No way to access anything other than journald. Only way to get anything out of the machine was to remove the boot drive, mount it on another machine to edit /etc/fstab and put it back in the original machine. Needless to say, this is the next machine on my systemd eradication to-do list...

  6. mi1400

    along the lines of can it play crysis but on serious side... the last time it was Win Server 2003 which could let install Bluetooth drivers. 2008, 2008 r2, 2012, 2012 R2 all denying BT comms. Are all these versions colluding on this and 2016 will be similarly telling us in Apple-ish language that Ooo u know its bad to install BT on Server for security. You must not get out this beautiful/glorious garden we have made.

  7. trichromic

    Please check the facts on the original article

    As was claimed:-

    The per-core pricing for Windows Server 2016 requires a minimum of eight 2‑core licenses for each physical server. In its licensing guide, Microsoft states that "the price of 16‑core licenses of Windows Server 2016 Datacenter and Standard Editions will be the same price as the 2‑processor license of the corresponding editions of the Windows Server 2012‑R2 version."

    As I am told by our SPLA Licencing partner:-

    The per-core pricing for Windows Server 2016 requires a minimum of four 2‑core licenses for each physical server [8 in total]. In its licensing guide, Microsoft states that "the price of 8‑core licenses of Windows Server 2016 Datacenter and Standard Editions will be the same price as the single processor license of the corresponding editions of the Windows Server 2012‑R2 version."

    Basically the price is STAYING THE SAME for 8-core servers, if you are a SPLA Licencing customer.

    Granted that Open Licencing customers have to report a minimum of 2 processors. The article doesn't explain this.

    A SPLA Licencing customer will have a 50% cost increase with 12-core servers, a 100% cost increase for 2-processor 8-core servers etc, etc ...

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