Microsoft System Center licensing gets a complex simplication treatment

Some time ago, I wrote that the most cost-effective way to license multiple System Center products is generally through the purchase of a System Center server management suite license, which includes licenses for System Center Operations Manager (SCOM), System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM), System Center Data Protection Manager (SCDPM) and System Center Virtual Machine Manager (SCVMM).

It’s worth noting that Microsoft made some changes this week which complicate things somewhat as, according to a communication that I received from a large account reseller (LAR):

“Effective on 1 July, 2009, with the release of Microsoft System Center Operations Manager 2007 R2, System Center Server Management Suite Enterprise (SMSE) will be switched from an unlimited operating system environment to a four operating system environment. A new suite offering, Microsoft System Center Server Management Suite Datacenter (SMSD) will be introduced and will include the same products as System Center Server Management Suite Enterprise, but, it will be licensed per processor and will provide for the management of an unlimited number of operating system environments.”

Whilst this kind of makes sense because it falls in line with the Windows Server virtualisation licensing it also has the potential to affect the cost of licensing management products in a virtualised environment as, where high levels of server consolidation may have previously been achieved and managed with an SMSE, now multiple SMSDs will be required.

Further information may be found on Microsoft’s How to Buy the System Center Server Management Suites page but there is also a Server Management Suite Editions FAQ for those who want to know the details.

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