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New Microsoft Licensing and Support Eases Path to Virtualization


Customers “Get Virtual Now” with increased flexibility and broader support when virtualizing Microsoft server applications.

REDMOND, Wash. — New licensing, expanded product support policies and a worldwide series of events from Microsoft Corp. help business customers create more dynamic datacenters and enterprise IT systems with virtualization software. Beginning Sept. 1, 2008, customers will be able to move any of 41 Microsoft server applications between servers within a server farm as often as necessary without paying additional licensing fees, and they can take advantage of expanded specialized technical support.

“Businesses are taking steps to make their IT operations more dynamic and are delving into virtualization as a cornerstone strategy,” said Zane Adam, senior director of integrated virtualization in the Server and Tools Business at Microsoft. “Microsoft recognizes this and is innovating its licensing policies, product support and a wide range of IT solutions to help customers get virtual now.”

To highlight the recent innovations in virtualization, Microsoft also will begin a worldwide series of “Get Virtual Now” events this month that will showcase Microsoft virtualization products and partner solutions, reaching more than 250,000 IT professionals.

New Licensing Flexibility

Microsoft is updating its software licensing terms for 41 server applications, including Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Enterprise edition, Microsoft Exchange Server 2007 Service Pack 1 Standard and Enterprise editions, Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0 Enterprise and Professional editions, Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007, and Microsoft System Center products. With the new terms, the company is waiving its previous 90-day reassignment rule, allowing customers to reassign licenses from one server to another within a server farm as frequently as needed. For many customers, the change will reduce the number of licenses they need to support their IT systems, increase agility, and simplify the tracking of application instances or processors because customers now can count licenses by server farm instead of by server.

“IDC research is finding that the use of server virtualization is moving past the early adopter stage and is quickly becoming a mainstream solution,” said Al Gillen, research vice president for system software at IDC. “As IT professionals update their standard server images for new installations, they are increasingly integrating virtualization to simplify deployments, to increase the system flexibility, boost usage rates and increase portability of the applications. With this latest update to its licensing rules, Microsoft is knocking down barriers to virtualized deployments, which should help further accelerate the adoption rates.”

Expanded Technical Support

Microsoft has updated its technical support policy for 31 server applications so that customers can receive technical support when deploying those applications on Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V, Microsoft Hyper-V Server or any other third-party validated virtualization platform. Now customers can get the same level of product support in a virtualized environment that they are accustomed to with nonvirtual environments. More information is available at

To enable this support policy, Microsoft launched the Server Virtualization Validation Program in June 2008. The program is open to any software vendor to test and validate its virtualization software to run Windows Server 2008 and previous versions of Windows Server. To date, Cisco Systems Inc., Citrix Systems Inc., Novell Inc., Sun Microsystems Inc. and Virtual Iron Software Inc. are participating in the program.

“Technical support of virtualized images is an industrywide challenge,” said Roger Levy, senior vice president and general manager of open platform solutions at Novell. “Novell and Microsoft continue to collaborate to optimize bidirectional virtualization between Windows Server and SUSE Linux Enterprise with Xen. Microsoft’s Server Virtualization Validation Program provides customers with additional peace of mind when they run Windows as a guest in a validated environment such as SUSE Linux Enterprise.”

Microsoft Worldwide Events Help Customers Get Virtual Now

This month, Microsoft begins a worldwide series of events designed to educate more than 250,000 IT professionals on Microsoft virtualization products, deployment tools and partner solutions. The series of more than 100 events started Aug. 3 in South Africa, continues Sept. 8 with a U.S. kickoff event and eventually will cover more than 50 other countries. The U.S. “Get Virtual Now” event will feature Microsoft executives Bob Muglia, senior vice president of the Server and Tools Business; Kevin Turner, chief operating officer; and Bob Kelly, corporate vice president of infrastructure server marketing within the Server and Tools Business. More than 40 sponsoring partners will be in attendance, including Platinum sponsors Advanced Micro Devices Inc., Citrix Systems, Compellent Technologies Inc., Dell Inc., Hitachi Data Systems Corp., HP, IBM Corp., Intel Corporation, Juniper Networks Inc., NetApp, Novell and Sun Microsystems. More information about the events and registration is available at


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