Windows 2008 Ent with 4 licensed servers and VMWare

Posted on 2011-03-04
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2012-05-11
Does anyone have any best practice suggestions on how to deploy a Windows 2008 Ent server environment which the license supports up to four licensed Windows servers?  Bringing up mutiple Window 2008 Server VMs on a VMWare ESX platform.  

Should the 08Ent VM be deployed first, with its licensing service setup, prior to bringing the other 08 servers online?  Is there any way in which the servers should *not* be deployed such that it is outside the Microsoft licensing guidelines in this setup?
Question by:forthphaze

Accepted Solution

ianmellor earned 500 total points
ID: 35037911

As I understand it, with a MS 2008 Ent license you can install 4 virtual server on the same host. If you have 2 hosts and want to run 4 virtual machines, 2 on each host then you need 2 MS 2008 Ent licenses.

Below is the link to the FQA from MS.


Hope this helps.
LVL 59

Assisted Solution

by:Darius Ghassem
Darius Ghassem earned 1000 total points
ID: 35037978
I would have to confirm as long as the VMs are running on the same server install you should be able to run the virtual licenses provided with a purchase on Windows 2008 Server.


Q.  Do the virtualization licensing rights of Windows Server 2008 apply when used with non-Microsoft software virtualization technologies?


Yes. The use rights apply regardless of the virtualization product being used. However, any non-Microsoft software virtualization technologies are not supported by Microsoft. For more information about support policies, please refer to the following Microsoft Knowledge Base (KB) articles:

Article 897613: Microsoft Virtual Server support policy
Article 897614: Windows Server System software not supported within a Microsoft Virtual Server environment
Article 897615: Support policy for Microsoft software running in non-Microsoft hardware virtualization software
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Assisted Solution

mfonnegra earned 500 total points
ID: 35037993

I thing that the best way you can deploy a Windows 2008 Ent in VMWare is using a Template making with all the configurations that you want, the real problem here is that windows 2008 has with It a newest licensing process, because you need a KMS server, the difference between 2003 an 2008 in relation of the licenses is that 2003 let you install any quantity of server with the same license, in 2008, Microsoft improved this and you need to register each server.

I had the same problem in my VMWare platform and the best solution for US was the KMS server.

Regarding the best practices, refer to www.vmware.com or you can subcribe to the vmug blog there are to many excelent thing as well as many experts in vmware that can help you with.

I hope these can help you, remember that the licensing restriction is not from VMWARE is Microsoft.

Author Comment

ID: 35072949
I'm comfortable with understanding the licensing, I was more searching for some feedback on how best to deploy the architecture.  Should Enterprise be used to any specific system such as the DC, or does it even matter?  Do I really need to setup one server with ENT or can I run just four STDs with the license, or will Microsoft pitch a fit if there is no ENT server deployed?  The company/client has no business requirements for ENT over STD, we only licensed it to get the four additional STD servers.
LVL 59

Assisted Solution

by:Darius Ghassem
Darius Ghassem earned 1000 total points
ID: 35073301
You can run four standard editions this is fine it is included in your licensing. What dictates what you can install is the license you purchased.

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