MS server licensing

So I'm probably going the VMware route. People are telling me to get ms server 2008 datacenter, b/c you can install it "on one physical server" and "as many times as you want virtually on one server".

So if I'm going VMware, does that mean I can have two physical servers, one with that datacenter license and another with ESX with 8 copies of windows running.

And how do they screw you with eOpen licenses? Last time I got a few for windows 2003, and only activated 2 of 3 of them. But when i went to activate the last one on their site 2 years later, it said "expired, call us and prove you deserve it" basically. What the hell? I thought the point was if you lost a server and wanted to reinstall that OS you could with eOpen. ???!!! And it really irked me because I basically lost a license unless I ever get time to spend 2 hours on the phone with MS, and probably have to go through some month long audit or something ridiculous.
cajxAsked:
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aleghartConnect With a Mentor Commented:
From what you've typed, I've distilled this question:

If I have one copy of Server 2008, how many times can I install it if I have two physical servers (one running VMware ESX)?

The Server 2008 licensing is for one physical machine with XX number of virtual machines -- on the same physical machine.  The XX number is:

SBS 2008: 1 phys + 1 virt
Server 2008 Std: 1 phys + 1 virt
Server 2008 Enterprise: 1 phys + 4 virt
Server 2008 datacenter: 1 phys + unlimited virt

So, the answer is no, you can't install Server 2008 on a second physical server at all...much less an unilimited number of times.
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cajxAuthor Commented:
That was my main question, yes thanks.

How does eOpen work though with that expiration? Surely someone else has run into that situation. I'm about to buy 3 copies of 2008 datacenter eOpen because I need one today, and I expect to eventually use all 3 on 3 ESX servers in a few months. Budgetwise it makes sense to get all 3 today. How much trouble is it to move it from the one I use today to the ESX server later?
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aleghartCommented:
Don't know.  I'm not on eOpen.

Maybe someone else can jump in with experience.
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jjozCommented:
I think you'd be better off using the Microsoft Open Value as they charge yearly within minimum of 3 years contract and then during the contract we can submit support and can get up/downgrade right :-)

hope this helps.
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cajxAuthor Commented:
Actually, after I read the fine print ours is called "Open Value". So now it all is starting to make sense. We can just continue the "support" at the 3 year mark if we want. Good enough.
Thanks!
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jjozCommented:
goood :-) glad to hear that.
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