With volume licensing contracts, a company buys multiple licences, for which they are given a download link. The software is then installed on the relevant number of computers. One licence is needed for each computer. Please note that in contrast to a single-user licence (e. g. OEM), volume licenses do not include a user manual or other packaging items. Volume licences are not compatible with OEM’s.
It is clear from the ECJ’s judgement on the usedSoft/Oracle dispute that the principle of ‘exhaustion’ applies to every single program that has been purchased commercially. It is irrelevant whether the individual programs are sold as part of a volume licensing agreement. The Higher Regional Court in Frankfurt came to the same conclusion in its verdict in December 2012.
It noted that the resale of individual licences originally purchased as part of a volume licensing agreement did not “(lead) to the assumption that this was concerned with impermissible splitting.”
You can see at a glance here what this judgement means and what benefits can come from volume licences:
Virtualisation can be done with volume licences.
In contrast to its predecessor, Windows Server 2 Core 2016 Standard is licensed by processor cores. The minimum licensing per server is 16 cores, i.e. at least eight 2 core licences. Moreover, the sufficient licensing by processor cores also entitles you to use a maximum of two virtualisations. It should be noted that the server is tied to a physical installation – i.e., it may not only be virtually installed. In addition, you can run any number of Windows Server containers.
For example: eight 2-core licences are required to license a physical server with a total of eight-core processors. For two further Hyper-V container or VMs, all the cores have to be licensed again.
Volume licences are compatible with terminals.
Here’s an example: The terminal server is a key component of the Windows Server 2 Core 2016 Standard, which allows RDS (Remote Desktop Services) functions to be performed. This supports users in performing virtual desktop structures (Virtual Desktop Infrastructure = VID).
Volume licensing agreements may be split.
The Higher Regional Court in Frankfurt expressly underlined this in its ruling.
Press release by the ECJ (PDF)