Standard v Enterprise OML and Virtual Machines

I was explaining the differences between the Standard and Enterprise OML to a client which is at

Interestingly one of the MPs that they say only needs a Standard OML is WSS. But WSS requires IIS and .Net v3.

Therefore having it as a basic workload does not make sense as the only way to use it is with IIS and so you need an Enterprise license.

Also Windows Clusters is not on the list and I would expect that to be a Standard OML (some organisations have cluster file and print servers) but unless you have a definitive list from Microsoft it is hard to gauge what is actually required.  I think that AD and IIS should be part of the Standard OML as they are core to the OS – especially AD.

In general most organisations go for the more expensive Enterprise OML as the overhead of managing the different licenses is a headache with no tools to help them. If AD and IIS were included I could see a lot more organisations going for Standard as well as Enterprise.

Note – you may find it better to license the System Center Suite if you use more than just OpsMgr.

Interestingly one of the differences between the Enterprise and Standard editions of the suite is

Use rights – the right to manage an unlimited number of operating system environments (OSEs) on a single physical server

This goes against all the licensing information for SCOM 2007.

You only need 1 OML per physical device. This means 1 OML for a VMWare ESX server, Microsoft Virtual Server or Hyper-V server regardless of the number of VMs running and therefore the number of agents deployed.

From the white paper virtualisation_brief.doc

“Each management license (e.g., OML, CML) allows any number of OS environments on a particular device to be managed by the server software. You do not need a separate management license to manage each OS environment on a managed device.”

“A server is a physical hardware system capable of running server software. A hardware partition or blade is considered to be a separate physical hardware system, and therefore a separate server.”

This paper mentions MOM 2005 specifically for this but the licensing paper for SCOM 2007 says that

“An Operations Manager 2007 Operations Management License (“OML”) is required for each managed device.”

“There are only two changes to licensing compared with the prior Microsoft® Operations Manager 2005 (“MOM 2005”) version:

1. Introduction of the Client OML for management of devices running non-server operating systems.

2. Broadening the definition of manage included in the PUR so that no matter how information about a device gets into Operations Manager 2007, it falls under the definition of manage and requires an OML”

System Center Operations Manager 2007 Licensing Brief at

Since the changes do not cover virtualisation and it mentions a device then then original licensing paper is still in effect by my reckoning. So an ESX server running 64 VMs each running Windows with an agent would only require 1 OML.

I just wish that Microsoft would specifically call out the virtualisation option in the 2007 paper like they did with the 2005 paper. If you follow the paper trail it is still valid although in the suite option the specifically exclude the Standard OML from having that right. So they need to give a definitive answer on the VM licensing for the components v the suites.

I used to think that MOM and then SCOM licensing was relatively simple for a Microsoft product but they are doing their best to confuse people.

Warning  – before I had a chance to post the above I had an e-mail from a friend in Microsoft, after he read my previous post, to say that the only way to get the all agents in one VM server is the management suite (Enterprise) way and that support for SCOM to do this is no longer valid. Having trawled all the licensing docs (for the above information) nowhere has this been said. This does not mean that Microsoft have not changed it – just that they have not communicated it. So has this changed, if so when and why has the docs on the web site not been updated? What about organisations that bought the licences when per device was still valid? Does this mean that they are out of license now if this has really changed? What if they had MOM 2005 with SA and upgraded?

If the licensing has changed midway through the life of the product all I can say is – Microsoft you are being stupid. (I was going to say something else but refrained). With the rise of SCOM and virtualisation in the market place we need a clear definitive statement from Microsoft on this. Quickly.



  1. Hi Ian,
    Did you also took a look at Walter’s post on Server Management Suite Enterprise (SMSE) Call licensing model?!A913F865098E0556!368.entry

    So, a small recap to see if SMSE is the licensing for your organization:

    Your running a big number of virtual machines and want SCOM for monitoring
    You using SCOM and SCCM to manage your complete environment, running some virtual machines
    You using SCOM and SCCM to manage your complete environment and want to use DPM or VMM
    Your using DPM and SCCM, SCOM or VMM running some virtual machines
    You want to use SCOM and VMM

    Read more on Walters Weblog.

  2. SEOlsen

    Any answer from Microsoft on this? Any new licensing papers which clearifies this issue?

  3. What a wonderful read thanks for the insight loved it !

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