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Licensing Questions Thread, Virtualisation Licensing in Technical; If i have a 2008 Server R2 running MS Virtual Server, do i need an OS licence for each Virtual ...
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    Quackers's Avatar
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    Virtualisation Licensing

    If i have a 2008 Server R2 running MS Virtual Server, do i need an OS licence for each Virtual Server? or is it covered because there is already a Windows Server licence for the hardware its running on?

    I have had a look at the Licensing Wiki but it has no real information yet.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Quackers View Post
    If i have a 2008 Server R2 running MS Virtual Server, do i need an OS licence for each Virtual Server?
    Yes, but you can also get Server 2008 Enterprise Edition, which gives you four VM licenses, or Datacentre, which lets you run unlimited VMs per server.

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    David Hicks

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    Quackers (29th January 2010)

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    Windows server 2003 and upwards have specific licensing considerations for virtualization depending on which edition:

    Standard edition: you need one license for each instance, virtual or physical
    Enterprise edition: you get one license for a physical instance, and 4 licenses for virtual instances running on the same hardware
    Datacenter edition: licensed per processor, you get one license for a physical instance and unlimited licenses for virtual instances running on the same hardware.

    Hope this info is useful.

    David

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    Quackers (29th January 2010)

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    I hate Microsoft some times Nothing is simple.

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    Also if you migrate a VM to another host within 180 days (iirc) you need an additional license for it on the host it was migrated to.

    Windows server licenses are allocated to the physical host, even when they are VMs. The only way to avoid this restriction is not to migrate hosts within the time limit or buy datacenter for the hosts.

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    Just to add to the earlier comments re 2008r2 - its worth noting that Datacenter can only be run on a server with a minimum of 2 Processors.

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    albertwt (5th February 2010), dhicks (2nd February 2010)

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    Quote Originally Posted by KeithMPhoenix View Post
    its worth noting that Datacenter can only be run on a server with a minimum of 2 Processors.
    Minimum? Why? Is this due to some performance issue (more than 4 Windows VMs running on a single processor might be a bit of a strain)?

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    Hi David - apologies, I should have clarified, this is from a licensing perspective.

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    Quote Originally Posted by KeithMPhoenix View Post
    Hi David - apologies, I should have clarified, this is from a licensing perspective.
    Okay, thanks. Just seems a bit odd to have a minimum limit. So, if we want to run 5 or more Windows VMs on a single-processor machine we have to buy multiple copies of Windows Server Enterprise Edition?

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    Indeed that is correct David. Hope this helps.

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    dhicks (2nd February 2010)

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    Question

    Quote Originally Posted by KeithMPhoenix View Post
    Just to add to the earlier comments re 2008r2 - its worth noting that Datacenter can only be run on a server with a minimum of 2 Processors.
    That is why it is more make sense to get the Windows Server Data Center Edition for Unlimited VM deployment just once off payment of per physical CPU socket and hassle free :-)

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    You can also use downgrade rights. A 2008 datacenter licence will let you run 2003 vms (for example), which is handy if migrating physical kit.

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