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The buy a Windows 2008 Enterprise lic and run 4 Windows 2008 Standard copies question/dilema

Hi,
I have been told several times that If you buy a widows server 2008 enterprise license you can run 4 copies, assigned to one virtual host if that host is a vmware.

We have bought 2 ent licenses that are currently being used by our VM file/print server cluster. That being said, would it be possible for me to use the Ent lic. in order to get any standard license and build another Windows 2008 Standard VM?
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llarava
Asked:
llarava
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3 Solutions
 
kevinhsiehCommented:
It sounds like you have a two node virtualization environment (VMware, Hyper-V, Xen Server - it doesn't matter which you are using). You have bought two copies of Windows 2008 Enterprise. You are running two Windows 2008 VMs that are Windows HA clustered. You can use your existing media and key to install additional Windows 2008 Enterprise VMs, up to four VMs per Windows Enterprise license on each host. If you really want Standard and not Enterprise on the additional VMs, you need to already have a Standard key and appropriate media.* It is easier to just reuse your Enterprise key and install Enterprise.

Beware that in a 2 host cluster that you if you move all of your VMs onto a single host, you need to have enough licenses to cover all the VMs on that host. If you have 5 VMs in your virtualization cluster and you move them all over to a single host, you will be short 1 license if you only have a single Windows Enterprise license assigned to that host.

*I am assuming you can't install Standard and use an Enterprise key. You can always try. I have enough licenses to use a KMS server which hands out activation keys automatically.  
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llaravaAuthor Commented:
Kind off...

I have bought 2 copies of enterprise. I am running 2VMs with Ent for our print/file cluster with MS cluster services not Vmware HA.

The question is can I use run Standard somewhere else by using the Ent license?
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davorinCommented:
Do you mean on third physical server?
No, you can not because Ms windows server license it tied to physical server. You need to have all VM servers on that machine.
Most of your answers you can get here:
http://www.directionsonmicrosoft.com/sample/DOMIS/update/2008/10oct/1008lws.htm
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kevinhsiehCommented:
If you bought 2 copied of Windows Enterprise and are running both VMs on the same physical box, those two licenses are good for up to 8 (4*2) Windows Server Standard or Enterprise VMs on that host.
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llaravaAuthor Commented:
Hi,

What license do I use do in order to install the Standard edition?
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davorinCommented:
Can I ask you why can't you simply use Enterprise edition?

Standard edition is the same as Enterprise except:
- It supports 4 CPUs instead of 8.
- It does not support cluster service
- It supports just 250 RRAS ans TS connections
- On x64 it supports just 32 GB of RAM (Enterprise version supports 2 TB).

All programs running on standard edition should also run on Enterprise edition without any problems.
Have I missed something?
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llaravaAuthor Commented:
Hi,

If you bought 2 copied of Windows Enterprise and are running both VMs on the same physical box -- >Yes I bought 2 licenses of MS w2k8 Ent and they are running on VMs each vm is on a different ESX host.

I don't mind using Standard or Enterprise...I thougt that Ent entitles you to use 4 lic of Standard only.

Yes I will be running the OS on VMs NOT physical boxes, howver the VMs are going to be running on different ESX hosts (VMWare DRS)

That being said, what how many available licenses do I have if I have 2 VMs already running the 2 Ent lic that I have bought?

Thanks!

 
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kevinhsiehCommented:
Enterprise allows you to run Standard or Enterprise as the VMs.

How many physical hosts do you have? It sounds like you currently have two hosts with 1 Windows 2008 Enterprise assigned to each. If you have additional physical to be running these additional VMs, you need additional licenses to cover those other hosts. A Enterprise license allows up to 4 Windows Standard/Enterprise VMs on the physical host. It does not cover any other hosts. You CAN NOT take a single Windows Enterprise license and use it to run 2 Windows Server VMs on Host A and another 2 Windows Server VMs on Host B.
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davorinCommented:
kevinhsieh is right.
You have:
- 1st hardware box - VM host with one Win 2008 Ent. VM guest on it. You can install additional 3 VM guests on it (Ent. or Std.) - it is covered by one Win 2008 Ent license.
- 2nd hardware box - VM host with one Win 2008 Ent. VM guest on it. You can install additional 3 VM guests on it (Ent. or Std.) - it is covered by one Win 2008 Ent license (same story).

- needed 3 hardware box - you need additional Win 2008 server license. If you plan also on that machine just a single VM guest (and you don't need Enterprise functionality), than you can buy a Win 2008 Std license.
If you can install 3rd VM guest on 1st or 2nd hardware box, then installation is covered by one of licenses you already have.
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llaravaAuthor Commented:
I see...so basically 1 Ent license lives within the physical box where you can create up of to 3 more VMs with the same license.

That being said if you use DRS/HA or vMotion to "move" the VM from physical server1 to physical server2 then you are not in compliance with the licensing anymore. Correct?  
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davorinCommented:
Actually you can create up to 4 VM, but in that case Windows 2008 server Ent. OS installed on physical box must be used just for hosting virtual machines.

In the link I have posted before:
Server OS licenses cannot be moved frequently. For the most part, Microsoft's licensing rules preclude casual reassignment of Windows Server licenses (any edition) from one physical server to another in an effort to maintain license compliance as a Windows Server VM is moved around. Windows Server licenses may not be reassigned to different physical servers more frequently than every 90 days (except if a server is being retired due to permanent hardware failure). This makes it impossible for a Windows Server Standard license to be moved in tandem with a VM as the VM is migrated dynamically among servers in a server farm to balance workloads or to meet temporary requirements. Any server to which a Windows Server VM is moved must have a spare Windows Server license that can be applied to the VM, or moves must be no more frequent than every 90 days.
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kevinhsiehCommented:
Simply put, yes, if you move a VM from one physical box to another and you don't already have available Windows licenses assigned to that new physical box, you are out of licensing compliance.

If you have a number of Windows VMs, it is usually cost effective to buy Windows Datacenter licenses for all of your phycical hosts, because that will license unlimited Windows Server VMs for those hosts.
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