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MSDN: Using a Windows Server 2003 license in a "production" envirnment... or is it a "developement" environment?

Posted on 2008-06-26
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Last Modified: 2008-06-27
Hey guys, I just want to get some opions/facts from you.  I was searching around the knowledgebase here and came accross some MSDN questions.  I know that with each MSDN title that comes in under our subscription, there is a license associated with it.  For example, I was looking through our binder of MSDN CDs and came accross a "Windows Server 2003 Standard" CD.  I have a Ghost server that I'm in the process of refining and would like to put Server 2003 on it.  Instead of using one of our purchased licenses (we're on a server 2000 network and purcased a handful of keys ahead of time in anticipation of upgrading to '03) I figured I would just use the MSDN license/product key.  

Now I know the licenses that come with the MSDN titles are said to be "for developement use only". such as if I wanted to deploy SQL 2005 on a server I could install an MSDN copy on a test server, use the MSDN key, and when no conflicts emerged, buy a regular license and install it on the company's SQL server.  BUT... what about in my case.  I had planned on using an old server to run Ghost on it in which I would be testing the functionality of Ghost as well as the benefits of Server 2003, and in the future possibly purchasing a more up to date server in which Server 2003 would be installed with a regular license.  Am I in a gray area here or would you say that if ever questioned about it, I would be OK?
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Question by:Swamp_Thing
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PeterMac earned 300 total points
ID: 21875001
Only a personal opinion, as not an expert on licensing (if there is such a thing where microsoft are concerned).
1) Perfectly legitimate to run server on MSDN license while you are testing functionality of Ghost on Server 2003.
2) Unlikely that in any event you would be faced with a real penalty over this. If other licensing is upto date, most that would happen is a gentle request to get a proper license for this server. Would also depend on lenth of time server had been running - a few months would be believable for test purposes, several years would not.
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by:Swamp_Thing
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Ok, thanks.  I just wanted to get a second opinion.
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