Hyper-V Windows 2008 R2 licensing issue

Joshua DeLaura
Joshua DeLaura used Ask the Experts™
I have 2 Windows 2008 R2 physical servers that are running the Hyper-V role and they each have 4 VMs guests (combination of Win 2003 R2,Win 2008 R2). One Host is Win 2008 R2 Ent. and tehn other is Win 2008 Rs Std. My issue is that i have a remote offline Winn 2008 R2 Std. physical server that also has the Hyper-V role and i use this as my back-up server. I have set the VM network adapters to connect to a non-internet connected swtich. I would like to be able to restore all my VM's to this server and test that everything, except Internet reliant, services work. My issue is that some VM's require reactivation while others do not. I used the Virtual machine license for the Vm guests on the Win 2008 R2 Ent. server while the other server used individual Win 2008 Rs Std. licenses. It seems the Std. licenses are the ones that need reactivation. Why would the Vm's even know that they are have changed Hosts. They do get nw virtual NIC's and the Host CPU is a different Xeon version. The real issue is that it doe take a while for the restore to finish and to set up everything with networking etc. and i only have 1 day a week to work on this remote site, but the reactivation only gives me 3 days to work with it. What doI need to do to have the Std. versions not require reactivation everytime i do a restore?

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IT Manager
Yes, Windows VM do that when they are moved/restored to another host.

You could use the slmgr.vbs script on Windows Server 2008 to rearm the temporary license for 30 days without reactivating it. You can do that up to 5 times. Run the script with /h option to see all available options or follow the link: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ff793433.aspx

Joshua DeLauraSystems Administrator


Why then would some of the VM's not need reactivation?
Svet PaperovIT Manager

Can't say why. I've noticed the same behaviour of Windows VMs: only some of them require reactivation but I didn't go further to investigate.
Bill LouthSystem Engineer

The reactivation is required when something significant happens, like a new CPU environment which tells Windows it got moved to new hardware, even if it's virtual.

You should be able to reactivate using the same license key from where it came from.

However the intended purpose of Microsoft's Server licensing is as follows:
 Windows Server Standard  (only 1 OS license included for 1 running Virtual Machine on that same physical server)
 Windows Server Enterprise (only 4 OS licenses included for 4 running Virtual Machines on same physical server)
 Windows Server Data Center (unlimited OS licenses included for unlimited running Virtual Machines on that same physical server).  Two processor minimum purchase, about $2000 per processor.

You can move the Virtual Machines to other servers but then they would be covered by Microsoft's licensing requirement for that physical server.

So if you took 2 VMs off an Enterprise server and started them up on a server running Standard Edition you'd technically be out of compliance by 1 OS license.

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