Tuesday, July 29, 2008

High Density Virtualization Environments and Windows 2008 Datacenter Edition

In November of 2007, Microsoft made an announcement I truly found shocking - When purchasing Windows 2008 the customer is entitled to "unlimited virtual instances per license".


Now that Hyper-V is reality, the consequences of this move are huge.

As an example - let's take a DL585 with 4 sockets and do the math on this using list price.

  • 4 processors of datacenter edition @ ~$3000 per processor would be $12,000
  • 1 single Windows 2003 server Standard license costs $1000.

The break even point on Datacenter edition is 12 servers (depending on the number of CALs that need to be purchased). If you are using Datacenter Edition, you effectively saved money on every copy of Windows required past that instance.

So you may be thinking "What is considered a high density server environment?". Lacking an official ruling on the term, I would place it at anytime you are averaging more than 3 virtual machines per processor (not core). For example a fully populated DL585 with dual core processors would need to have more than 24 guests to enter this category.

Going with the example number of 24 guests on the virtual machine with the Datacenter edition license, and the pricing from the example above - you have now saved $12,000 in budget without having to make any difficult decisions. The savings are even larger if you deploy virtualized instances of Windows 2003 Enterprise.

The best news is that this doesn't just apply to Hyper-V, it also applies to VMware, Citrix Xen, and assumedly any other virtualization software deployments as well.

1 comment:

Brad Turner said...

Great start Jason!

I truly believe that within 3 to 5 years the prospect of developing/maintaining your own hypervisor will now longer be feasible.

Microsoft's goal here is to provide 80% of the functionality at about 1/3 the price and I think they've done that with Hyper-V.