Microsoft today sought to encourage more enterprises to adopt virtualisation technologies by announcing new licensing terms and expanding support for server applications.
From 1 September the software giant is updating its licensing for 41 server applications, including Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Enterprise edition, Dynamics CRM 4.0 and SharePoint Server 2007.
The new terms will allow firms to assign and reassign licences from one server to another within a server farm as often as necessary.
This is designed to enable a more flexible and agile IT infrastructure, according to Microsoft's Neil Sanderson.
"IT is more complex now," he said. "Customers want the flexibility to change what a physical server is running at short notice and very frequently."
Microsoft also announced that customers would receive technical support for 31 server applications when deploying those apps on Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V, Microsoft Hyper-V Server or any other third-party validated virtualisation platform, including VMware.
The vendor is running a series of worldwide Get Virtual Now events in its continuing efforts to encourage firms to adopt virtualisation technology.
"We've talked a lot about where we see virtualisation going and now we've delivered a core set of technologies and changes to licensing," explained Sanderson.
"It is time to tell people all the things we've done and encourage them to use the technology."
The move towards simpler licensing got a welcome repsonse from virtualisation vendor Parallels.
"Clarification from software vendors on licensing for virtual environments has been sparse, creating confusion among users. Microsoft is now addressing this, and though it is currently limited to a selection of applications, it's a good step forward," said senior vice president Kurt Daniel. "By setting out a clear position on virtual license mobility, Microsoft is simplifying the transition and removing one of the major road blocks to virtualisation adoption. "
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