Microsoft Virtualization Discussions

Software licenses in the "Virtual" Server environment


There seems to be a lot of confusion in the channel about what is the correct way for server applications to be licensed.  For example, if I have  5 ESX hosts with vmotion enabled  and I am running 1 Exchange Server, alond with various other VMs, how many  SnapManager for Exchange licenses  do I need?

Is there a NetApp document anywhere that explains  what  licenses I need?


Re: Software licenses in the "Virtual" Server environment


I'm not aware of a specific doc on that this but I'm 99% sure for that scenario you'd just need a single SME license (as you're only installing SME on one actual Windows instance).

I've never seen anything in NetApp's documentation/licensing info to indicate that vMotion has any license impact.

Re: Software licenses in the "Virtual" Server environment


You see this is where the confusion arises.

I have been told here that  as  the Snap Manager products are licenced at the physical level,  then each physical server that is capable of "accepting"  the virtual server via vmotion  needs to have a Snapmanager license.

So in  my example of of 5 Physical  ESX  servers and  one Exchange  VM.  Then I would need  5  Snap Manager for Exchange, 5 SnapDrive and if they want 5 Snap Manager for VI.

Re: Software licenses in the "Virtual" Server environment


Just to add - this is not a problem  when using  controller based licensing, its only an issue  with  server based licenses.

Re: Software licenses in the "Virtual" Server environment

amiller_1 they have any license documentation that states that?

Purely from a practical perspective, the licensing mechanism doesn't enforce that (realizing that doesn't mean it's all right....but just putting it out there).

Re: Software licenses in the "Virtual" Server environment


I have escalated internally to get the official reply....

Here in ANZ we always try to sell the "per physical server count"

ie. if you have 10 servers/hosts in the VM (or HyperV, XenServer, etc) cluster then it's 10 copies of SnapManager per server, regardless of how many virtual images there are running. I believe it is in the "contract acceptance" screen during the software install too.

It *is* written in the manuals for SnapDrive's .. it is a physical server license count (we recently introduced "unlimited/node" option for that too). .. and you need that to make most SnapManager's run..

Yes, server count license limiting are not enforced today (expect that to change). We can identify those naughty customers at the support case and contract renewal stage (even if they turn off Autosupports). We'd rather be a little relaxed (and use the "honesty system") than have huge numbers of support calls about temporarily increasing the "VM limit" during an emergency use case.

Yes, it hurts the little customer that has just one instance of Exchange or SQL on VMware, but the bigger customers never get to have the conversation about VM counts again (unless they grow the physical server count).

If they complain we often go through the unlimited or array/node license options and the cross-over point of ~6-10 servers.. and the benefits that licensing is taken care of forever , plus it makes the sales-reps work a bit harder for their commission.

I'll extend the question to also include; what about DR site licenses.... "do passive/cold stand-by servers need the software licenses too?".. my answer is "yes" to that too


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Re: Software licenses in the "Virtual" Server environment


Hmm....this would have been a very serious issue previously...but now fortunately thanks to the new bundles on FAS20x0 and FAS31x0 isn't all that big a deal (as the pricing for the filer-based license is now possible....and the only option for the 20x0 line).

For situations where this applies, speaking as a pre-sales engineer in the SMB market (and post-sales as well actually) this greatly lowers the # of customers who can afford SnapDrive/SnapManager products as server virtualization continues to increase (which products provide a good bit of NetApp value proposition). Put another way, I install SnapDrive/SnapManager for Exchange/SQL/SharePoint in Windows -- it shouldn't matter whether I choose to implement said Windows OS virtually or physically (especially as with iSCSI there's no special integration -- same steps to install the Windows iSCSI initiator in a virtual machine as a physical machine).

I did go poking through the SnapDrive manual just now actually and can't find the verbage in question actually... (it says licensed per host but doesn't make any distinction between physical/virtual....and uses the term "host" in referring to the Windows OS I believe)

Re: Software licenses in the "Virtual" Server environment



I would be curious to hear what you find out.  I found a training document while looking for clarification on the licensing of SM[app] and SnapDrive ina VI environment called, SnapManager At A Glance and it states, "All SnapManagers are licensed per Physical Host, that is, if 4 Exchange servers are running in 4 VMs but on the same physical ESX server, then only one license is required."  That said, how would licensing for SnapDrive be applied?


Re: Software licenses in the "Virtual" Server environment


Not sure if this helps, but for SnapDrive 6.0 the product bulletin states:

SnapDrive 6.0 for Windows is licensed on a per-host basis. Customers who deploy SnapDrive 6.0 for Windows on VMware are required to purchase only one license (that is, the license is not based on the number of guest operating systems).


Re: Software licenses in the "Virtual" Server environment


Can't believe I missed that...thanks for posting.

So, extending that out, for a DRS cluster (or vMotion in general), we'd need one SnapDrive license per ESX host, right?

Re: Software licenses in the "Virtual" Server environment


Please notice that the original question was about SnapManager licenses. While SD is per host, as far as I know SM licenses are per instance. E.g. SME documentation explicitly states that you need one license when running Exchange on MSCS; and this was also confirmed by NetApp sales.

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