Microsoft System Center 2022 licensing guide

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Microsoft’s System Center 2022 is bringing all the cool cloud tech to your datacenter, so you can easily manage even the most complex environments. With tons of monitoring options, automatic provisioning for both hardware and virtual machines, and top-notch automation and configuration management, System Center 2022 is making datacenter management a breeze.

If you enjoy keeping all your IT resources under control, whether they’re in the datacenter or the cloud you can choose from two different editions: (1) the Datacenter Edition, which is perfect for managing highly virtualized servers, and (2) the Standard Edition, which is great for managing non-virtualized or lightly virtualized servers.

Now, let’s talk licensing. Just like with System Center 2019, the 2022 editions will have the same licensing model for Standard and Datacenter, with server and client management licenses. The only difference is the virtualization rights. The server management licensing for System Center 2022 will be based on physical cores, just like Windows Server 2022, to make things consistent across all your managed VMs.

Additionally, it would be necessary to have Server Management Licenses (server MLs) for devices running server operating system environments (OSEs). These licenses will be core-based, so you’ll need to license all the physical cores in your managing server. A minimum of 8 core licenses is required for each physical processor and a minimum of 16 core licenses for each server. With the Standard Edition, you get rights to manage up to 2 OSEs as long as all the physical cores in the server are licensed. And, if you want to manage more OSEs, you just need to assign more licenses to the same cores.

But what about devices running non-server OSEs? For those, you’ll need Client Management Licenses (CMLs), which you can get on a per-OSE or per-user basis.

To license System Center 2022 server management licenses by physical cores:

  • License all physical cores in the server being managed
  • A minimum of 8 core licenses are required for each physical processor.
  • A minimum of 16 core licenses are required for each server.
  • Core licenses will be sold in packs of two
  • Eight 2-core packs will be the minimum required to license each physical server.
  • Standard Edition provides rights for up to two OSEs or Hyper-V containers when all physical cores in the server are licensed. For every two additional VMs, all cores in the server have to be licensed again.
  • Existing customer servers under Software Assurance will receive core grants as required, with documentation.

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Basically, it’s all about licensing all the physical cores in the server you’re managing. And, with the Standard Edition, you get the rights to manage up to 2 OSEs. But if you want to manage more, you’ll need to assign more licenses to the same cores. And, if you’re an existing customer with servers under Software Assurance, you’ll get the core grants you need with the appropriate documentation.

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