We got a new test bed and now I'm trying to find my way through licensing. Google only got me so far and professional help has been disappointing.
The server consists of one 64 core CPU running vSphere. We want to run both Linux and Windows Server as VMs. There's 2 or so Server VMs that will remain active perpetually (one for PLC simulation, and one for a DevOps build agent), while new projects will result in new VMs that are only active during these project phases. Let's say there's 8 Win Server VMs running at the same time. (Linux VMs don't factor in at all, if I'm not mistaken.)
So far, I've concluded that I need to license all physical cores, despite running ESXi, and I need 64 core licenses of either Server Standard or Datacenter. Based on the relatively low number of concurrent VMs, I went and got Standard. The licenses are OEM, though, so for any additional licenses I want to be more careful and get transferable licenses if necessary. I'm not too worried about THESE licenses since they're the ones licensing the hardware, anyway, and I don't expect the licenses' usefulness to outlive the hardware. They also allow two OSEs and I don't think there's any restriction as to which VM is currently using a licensed spot (i. e. no binding of license to VM)... right?
The project specific VMs are special.
a) Some come preconfigured (but not activated) from customers who will license the VM using their own volume license after deployment.
b) Some we install ourselves, but move (or rather copy and archive) to a different host with fewer cores for deployment.
c) Some again we use as copy of the currently deployed system for analyses or further software changes.
Now I'm fairly sure that I need more licenses for (some of?*) the 6 additional Server VMs. The question is what kind - I can't figure out what exactly exists besides OEM - Google tells me about Open Value, Open License, Open Value Subscription, maybe more - but only a subset of these seem to actually exist in stores. (I seem to recall that the Open License model was discontinued?) There's posts about volume licensing, but they seem to be subscriptions again, so I'm just not sure what the hell I need. From what I found, OEM will 'bind' to the first VM it's activated on, so transferring it to another VM after project completion would be illicit.
*brings me back to the three types of VMs.
a) Do I need a license while setting up and testing our software before deploying to production? The customer has technically created the VM, but I suppose I need a license for myself if I want to RUN it?
b) I suppose I need additional licenses while running on the 'big' server before moving it out to the deployment server, despite running it in the same configuration? What about the Evaluation editions?
c) These obviously need to be licensed.
Then there's the issue of CALs that are just largely ignored when it comes to Server licensing questions or blog posts. If I understood correctly, you need to cover each person or device accessing the server. Is that SIMULTANEOUSLY (like the 8 simultaneous OSEs) or for any user/device that might ever connect to the server? The same question goes for RDS, I suppose. The PLC VM will have the same two or three people connecting (using a shared user), while the build agent is triggered by pretty much everyone I guess, if that counts. The project VMs are used by the same few project specific people until completion.
Does it need to cover access to the Linux hosted services (under the same argument that you need to license all cores, despite not actually using them for Windows)? Are CALs needed package-wise like the re-licensing for each two OSEs (in which case each individual VM usage becomes interesting) or is it a one time thing for the whole setup (in which case I'd just get 25 CALs and be done with)?
I'm thinking user CALs since we each have our one workstation.
Thank you so much for your help.