back to article Windows Server 2016 will cost more on big servers, but discounts can be found

Windows Server 2016 has finally been shoved out the door today, albeit only for evaluation purposes. Which is a very good thing because the software will cost a lot of users more than they paid for Windows Server 2012, especially if they're slow to talk to Microsoft about their upgrade. Microsoft revealed its Windows Server …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    the software will cost a lot of users more than they paid for Windows Server 2012

    And how many of them will decide it is not worth 'upgrading' or even start looking for alternatives?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "you may be able to remain under the current per-processor model for another three years, thereby delaying the change to per core giving sufficient time to migrate to Linux"

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I can see why AWS is winning the war

    MS's pricing strategy is just nuts, more people are leaving to use Linux, quick, put the prices up to cover the loss. That only works so far. We're slowly shifting all of our Windows/SQL Server products over to Linux/Postgres in AWS, the only awkward bit is the lack of anything coming close to SSIS or SSAS, come to that most of the reporting products are pretty bad too.

    1. HmmmYes Silver badge

      Re: I can see why AWS is winning the war

      AWS will some of the war. Im investing in Unix command shell - be it physcial or cloudy.

      Im also investing in Postgresql.

      Physical boxes are Postgresqll (DB) on FreeBSD, mainly for ZFS and DTRACE.

  3. Mage Silver badge

    What I said earlier

    Though some people don't like being told the Emperor has no clothes

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: What I said earlier

      Hmm, Docker on a Linux box, which costs me practically nothing, or Docker on a Windows box which is going to cost me bug bucks for the OS license alone.

      I wonder what the bean-counters will choose?!

  4. HmmmYes Silver badge

    Whatever you think or are told the WS2016 licensing costs are, they'll work out a lot more when it comes to installing software on metal. And then go up at a later date.

    I think MS server products are OK - if you have to run MS OSes - and a lot of people have to.

    But .... with a server I need to plan of a 5-10 year lifespan of both the hardware and the possibility that the number of servers will increase at some point down the line. With the changes to MS server pricing and the sheer opaqueness Ill be fcked (and this is my own money, which makes a difference!) if I want to take that punt.

    1. Hans 1 Silver badge

      >I think MS server products are OK - if you have to run MS OSes - and a lot of people have to.

      Well, the only valid excuse for Windows server I have heard was "corporate policy", which says enough to me about the cleaner in question.

      Nobody "has to" run an OS of a specific family in production, nobody has to ... you choose to pay shitloads of money to MS for poor quality software because Mr Gates is a nice philanthropist (ROFL), your company has loads of money to spare and you call it "corporate policy" because that sounds better... I call that "corporate fallacy", but that is just me ...

      1. HmmmYes Silver badge

        Could be corporate policy - less likely these days after one shooting-self-infoot episode after another.

        Reputations take a long time to build - MS started going for corp money in 1988 with Xenix and finally got there (a bit) in 96 with NT 4.0. Its been a long hard struggle since.

  5. Mikel


    Whatever you're using it for is prohibited by the license.

    Linux: still $0 per server, any number of processors or cores, any amount of RAM, any amount of storage, and client licenses are $0 too. All the features included at the same low $0. Use all you want. Clone and migrate your VMs with reckless abandon. And it's faster and more reliable, more secure, supports more devices, runs on more platforms, remains stable for a longer lifecycle, doesn't expire...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Guaranteed

      Linux: still $0 per server, any number of processors or cores, any amount of RAM, any amount of storage, and client licenses are $0 too

      *Some* versions of Linux. Not including Red Hat, for example.

      1. J. Cook Silver badge

        Re: Guaranteed

        "*Some* versions of Linux. Not including Red Hat, for example."

        Technically, it's a support and subscription you are paying for, but that's splitting hairs. (some corporate entities *want* that support assurance and are willing to pay for it, which is why Redhat is where they are.) The software will continue to run after that first year, but if it breaks you are on your own to fix it.

  6. sonicwind

    *Staring at 128 core Windows 2012 Server*......

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The good news is there are still chances to avoid some of the extra costs.

    By migrating to Linux?

  8. Geronimo!

    Wasn't it VMware

    ... who changed their licensing policy back from cores to sockets, after just a few years and quite a few losses?

    Designing / testing a cloud environment for my company, I still kept Hyper-V 2016 in the back of my head as a testworthy option. After having seen the new license model, together with the obligatory software assurance? Not so much...

    Combining it with yet another "reorganisation" of the certification program, along with quite a lot of "news" I received from MS over the last days, I can only conclude:

    50% of MS is "persuading" you to move to Azure, the other 50% has plainly lost his / her marbles.

    Having been a long-time, hardcore WinAdmin, with Linux as a hobby, I certainly find myself in the exact opposite position. Somehow my Datacenter only has one Windows DC left (which will be gone soon as well)...

    Thanks for making my mind up, M$!

    1. jamesb2147

      Re: Wasn't it VMware

      I believe that experiment lasted <2 years. They basically failed, very publicly, to make more money on existing products. And yes, they lost a LOT of business in the process. Hyper-V can probably attribute a significant proportion of its marketshare to that little stumble.

      More recent movements to eliminate certain mid-tier products and push users to higher pricing tiers have probably been more effective.

    2. Nate Amsden

      Re: Wasn't it VMware

      Mainly vmware wanted to charge for memory. People called it the vRAM tax at the time.

      As a loyal vmware customer for 17 years I was not happy(my standard was and remains 384GB/server with 2 sockets). In the end it had no effect on my stuff since i stuck to esx 4.1 until past end of support (on accident). The vRAM tax only impacted one or 2 versions of the 5.x product line.

      By the time I upgraded to 5.5 the issue had been resolved for a year or more. Also no plans to upgrade past 5.5 until end of support again it does everything I need and is stable as a rock. I hear bad things about v6 so perhaps a couple more years and it too will be rock solid stable.

      I imagine win2012 has many years of support left in it(2023 looks like?). If folks want to postpone the license hit just don't upgrade.

      I'm going to deploy a few new windows servers myself soon (in vmware). I think I will stick to 2008R2 I prefer that UI(I have some 2012 too dislike UI even with classic shell). That and their roles match other systems that I have that do the same and I like consistency though technically those others are 2008 not R2).

      I have roughly 900 other systems that run linux (~98% on top of vmware enterprise +)

      1. Nate Amsden

        Re: Wasn't it VMware

        Can't edit post on mobile. Also wanted to say my standard vmware server spec uses dual 18 core cpus(older gen servers have less either have 12 or 16 cores per socket). I have some new LXC container servers coming (fuck docker) that have dual socket 22 core (88 threads) soon too.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    This is worse than it would appear at first glance

    Cores are not getting faster.

    There are, I think, a couple of E5's with 4 cores and a high clock that are much better performers per core than many core processors. You can't get good core performance with a higher core count as the GHz tends to fall off because of power draw, so you will be paying a higher license and getting a lower performance unless you choose wisely.

    E5-2637 v3 cpu benchmark 10278 4 cores * 2 cpu gives benchmark for 8 cores as 2565 £775 per proc

    E5-2686 v3 cpu benchmark 19974 18 cores £1375

    The second server is over twice the price of the first in MS tax.

    1. Hans 1 Silver badge
      Paris Hilton

      Re: This is worse than it would appear at first glance

      >The second server is over twice the price of the first in MS tax.

      In your server, you do not necessarily want per core performance, you may want many threads, the more the merrier, of course, you will want some baseline per core performance and the other important thing is throughput ... with many cores you will need much ... especially on MS servers, because their active-active cluster solutions are piss-poor compared to the competition, competitor's systems from FreeT@rdLand are free of charge, or almost .... especially once you see these prices ...

      So, depending on what you are doing, many cores is important ... more so, in Windows world ... and they are right to squeeze the lemons, good job, MS, ... how about a Debian server, sir ?

      For the Window Cleaner and Surface Experts, that Debian server is CHEAPER than that Windows 7/8/10 Desktop license with Office ...

      Paris, coz even she could work that one out ... FFS!

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