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Windows Server 2008 R2 Thread, Licensing Virtual Machine in Technical; Hi, I have this license: Windows Svr 2008 R2 Standard (1-4 CPU, 5 CAL) ROK - ML (BR,EN,FR,SP). If I ...
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    Licensing Virtual Machine

    Hi,

    I have this license: Windows Svr 2008 R2 Standard (1-4 CPU, 5 CAL) ROK - ML (BR,EN,FR,SP).

    If I install VMware Esxi 5.1 and then create a VM with this Windows OS, can I use the license for activate it?


    Thanks.

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    tmcd35's Avatar
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    Someone will correct me if I'm wrong but AFAIK...

    If you haven't used the license previously on another physical or virtual server then yes, you can.

    If you have used the license before, even if you are no longer using the old server, then no. Once assigned the license lives and dies with the machine it was first assigned to.

    Also Standard Edition contains 1 virtual and 1 physical license but both cannot be used at the same time and the virtual license can not be used on a different physical machine to that which the physical license if the physical license was used. eg. you need 2 standard licences to run virtual Windows 2008 on Hyper-V, but if a physical box was used for Windows 2008 R2 and then wiped and replaced with ESXi then the old Windows license can be used in a virtual machine on the same physical server.

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    The OPs license is a Reseller Option Kit which is BIOS-locked.

    From what I can tell, you can't use SMBIOS.reflectHost=TRUE to make it work either? I might be wrong however?

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    I was fairly convinced that the Standard licence allowed one physical and one virtual machine concurrently, but with an OEM licence these must both be on the original machine it was bought with, I.e. non-transferable. I'll dig out the documentation when I get to school. This would allow you to do things like run your main functions in a VM and back it up so that you could rebuild on different hardware in the event of total hardware failure - obviously subject to having a licence for the new hardware.

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    @jmak, It's explained here and it looks like I forgot a caviat:

    Licensing Windows Server in a Virtual Environment - virtualboy blog - Site Home - TechNet Blogs

    If you use 1 copy of Windows 2008 Standard for both the physical OS and a virtual OS on the same machine (not the OP's problem running ESXi) without buying a second license then the physical installation can only be used to manage the virtual installation, it can not be used for anything else at all. So you can run Hyper-V and install a single VM on the same license but the physical OS couldn't double up as a domain controller, file server, dns, etc.

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    jmak (10th January 2013)

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    Quote Originally Posted by tmcd35 View Post
    @jmak,
    If you use 1 copy of Windows 2008 Standard for both the physical OS and a virtual OS on the same machine (not the OP's problem running ESXi) without buying a second license then the physical installation can only be used to manage the virtual installation.
    My bad for adding confusion. I couldn't remember all of the details - which is what I hate about M$ licensing. The link you gave is great - far simpler than what you find in M$'s main documentation - and confirms that I'll be OK for what I'm planning. Having read through that, my take away is that the OP can do what he has asked about too...

    Edit: corrected quote formatting.
    Last edited by jmak; 10th January 2013 at 11:14 AM.

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