Product Licensing High-Light – System Center Family Licensing


System Center Family licensing

Individual Products

System Center Operations Manager

System center Configuration Manager

System Center Data protection Manager

System Center Virtual Machine Manager*

*Available Jan 2008 as individual product, limited to managing 5 Physical OSE Hosts


New: April 2008 – System Center Mobile Device Manager 2008 and System Center Mobile Device Manager 2008 with SQL Server 2005 Technology, licensed per Server and System Center Mobile Device Manager 2008 CALs, NO EC for SCMDM 2008


Licensing Model for Individual Products – except Virtual Machine Manager

All Management Server products require management licenses for each device managed by the server software. 

There are two categories of management licenses: one for servers and one for non-servers

Basic Info

• OSE’s running Server OS software require Server Management Licenses – Server MLs

• Client ML’s do not permit management of any OSE running a Server OS

• You may use either Server or Client ML’s for all other OSE’s


Licenses required for managed servers :

• For each server operating system environment (OSE) on a device that you wish to manage, you will need a server management license (ML).

• If you have more than one OSE, you will need an equivalent number of MLs for that device.

• A single System Center Server Management Suite Enterprise license may be used to manage any number of OSEs on a server

• Server MLs also permit management of non-server OSEs.

• There are Standard Server MLs and Enterprise Server MLs – the choice is based on workload

Server ML’s only available per OSE


Licenses required for non-servers:

• For each non-server OSE on a device that you wish to manage, you will need a client ML.

There are two types of client MLs: OSE MLs and User MLs.


• Like Server MLs where the required number of MLs equals the number of OSEs, you will need an OSE client ML for each non-server OSE you wish to manage on a device. 

• Your OSE client MLs permit your instances of the server software to manage an equivalent number of non-server OSEs used by any users of a device. 

User MLs:

• Alternatively, you may choose to use user client MLs. These MLs permit the management of any non-server OSEs used by each user to whom a user client ML is assigned.

• If you have more than one user using an OSE, and you are not licensing by OSE, you must assign user client MLs to each of the users. 

• The Core CAL and the Enterprise CAL Suite licenses also permit management of any number of non-server OSEs on a device under one license (per device).

Non- server MLs are available per OSE, per user or per device**


System Centre Family – Suites

System Center Standard Server Management Licence – combo SKU of Standard Server MLs  – Removed from Pricelist Nov 2008

= Standard Server ML for

Operations Manager 2007

Configuration Manager 2007

Data Protection Manager 2007

Managed servers require a server ML or Management Suite Standard for each OSE on a server

System Center Enterprise Server Management Licence – combo SKU of Enterprise Server MLs

        = Enterprise Server ML for

Operations Manager 2007

Configuration Manager 2007

Data Protection Manager 2007

The licence for Virtual Machine Manager 2007

Server Management Suite Enterprise allows unlimited OSE’s managed on one physical server

Enterprise CAL Suite**

=  Client OML AND Client CML licensed per device or user

System Centre Essentials

                = Server ML and Client ML

• Technically limited to management of 30 Windows based Server OSE’s and 500 Windows based non-server OSE’s

• Sold through Retail and Volume Licensing

• Includes 10 Server OSE MLs and 50 non-server OSE MLs

• Additional Server ML’s in single or 5-pack , Client ML’s in 5 or 20-pack


Did you know – Essentials can manage 3rd party solutions but these are not counted towards the technical limits, however these other OSE’s require a Server or Client ML if they are managed

Did you know – Only one Essential 2007 management server can be installed per domain

More technology details

Training info on Malcolms Blog



  1. Hi Emma
    Loving this site – one stop shop for all my questions!! 🙂
    With regards to SC Enterprise server and a virtualised enviroment consider the following example:
    We have 5 physical servers running a third party virtualisation layer. 
    On physical server 1 we plan to run DPM 2007 along with a number of other Microsoft Server installation instances (all virtualised).
    On physical server 2 we plan to run Ops Manager 2007 along with a number of other Microsoft Server installation instances (all virtualised).
    On physical server 3 we plan to run Config Manager 2007 along with a number of other Microsoft Server installation instances (all virtualised).
    On physical server 4 we plan to run SQL 2005 (wich will host the DB\’s for all the above applications), Exchange and other Microsoft server applications (all virtualised).
    On physical server 5 we plan to run 50 instances of Windows XP desktop.
    Am I right in saying by buying 5 x System Center Enterprise Management Suite Licences (1 for each physical server) we will be covered for all instances of Windows server, Windows server applications and windows desktops in terms of DPM, SC and OPs Manager functionality?

  2. Hi Graham
    Many thanks for the comments, I aim to please!
    With regards Server Management Suite Enterprise, if you purchase 1 license for each physcial server, so in your example 5, then yes, you are covered to manage unlimited OSEs for DPM, VMM, Ops Manager and Config Manager, of course you will actually need to purchase the licenses for Windows Server etc, but you can certainly "manage" them with an Enterprise Suite license
    Hope this helps

  3. Hi Emma –
    We are looking at purchasing SCVMMWE. If I go that route is there an upgrade path if I go beyond 5 hosts? Or would I either have to create another VMM or move up to SCOMEE? Is there a direct upgrade path to Enterprise?
    Your insight is much appreciated.
    – Thanks Brian

  4. Brian
    My honest opinion is, if you are planning on managing more than 5 OSEs from a VMM perspective, go to SC Management Enterprise Suite which will give you the unlimited per Server
    There are no planned transition paths between the VMMWG and Ent Suite that I am aware of currently
    Hope this helpsEmma

  5. Hi Emma. I hope you can help me understand SC licensing. I called MS pre-sales 3 times and got 3 different answers. I wish to use the Performance and Resource Optimization (PRO) feature of SCVMM. I believe I need SC Ops Manager in addition to SCVMM. I plan 4 physical servers, each running 4VM\’s under W2K8 server EE. A 5th physical server will be SCVMM/SCOM host to manage the other 4. If I buy workgroup edition of VMM that should cover the VMM part of it. For SCOM, I need a \’server software\’ license for my management console server, and I need 4 \’management licenses\’, 1 for each of the 4 physical servers being managed. And of course 5 W2K8 EE licenses. Do I need additional SCOM ML\’s for every VM (total 16), or does the one ML on the physical server covers all VM\’s ? If I need 4 OM EE ML\’s + 1 OM server, my cost is $2303(list). If I need 16 OM EE ML\’s, my cost is $7477. It would be cheaper at $7485 to buy 5 SMSE if I need 16 OM EE ML\’s. I could get SC Essentials for $2022 + $606 in extra ML\’s totaling $2628, plus VMMWG at $505, grand total of $3133. But would Essentials support the PRO feature of VMM, or do I have to get full blown Ops Manager ? Thanks.

  6. Emma– Help! Are Std and Ent Server ML\’s "additive" like Std and Ent CALs? IE: Would I need both the Std and Ent SCCM SML in order to access the enterprise features of SCCM? Thanks!

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