Microsoft has changed the licensing of its Windows Server Datacenter, allowing users buying new servers licensed with the operating system to run an unlimited number of virtualised instances of Windows Server.
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Microsoft said that the unlimited virtualisation rights would significantly extend the savings that customers could make through server consolidation on the Windows Server platform.
"Together, Windows Server 2003 R2 Datacenter Edition and Virtual Server 2005 R2 are an ideal, cost-effective platform for 'scale-out' virtualisation," said a company spokesperson.
By licensing a server's processors with Windows Server Datacenter Edition, users will be able to run Windows Server Standard Edition, Enterprise Edition, Datacenter Edition or a mix of all three editions without having to track the number of virtual machines that they are using or pay for additional Windows Server licences.