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Duplicate License

Posted on 2011-10-10
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Last Modified: 2012-05-12
I've completed an audit for a client who have two seperate SBS servers in two locations (don't ask!)

Part of that audit was to run a belarc advisor and check the license numbers.

Both the SBS 2003 license numbers are the same on both servers.

Is there any legal way this could've been done? Or has the person who installed it simply used the same license key on both servers?
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Question by:carrgater31
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LVL 37

Expert Comment

by:Neil Russell
ID: 36941715
It can be legit, depends on the kind of installation. For example Volume Licenced products generally have ONE key for as many installs as you do.
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by:carrgater31
ID: 36941729
Looking further, there is an OEM entry before the actual key... this can't be volume licensing can it?
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by:carrgater31
ID: 36941769
Also, SQL 2005 is installed on both servers.. this also has OEM in the licensing entry and this also is the same for both servers..
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by:Cliff Galiher
ID: 36941927
Since SBS is licensed one per organization, MS would never sell two copies to be installed with one VL key. This is pretty clearly illegal.

-Cliff
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by:Neil Russell
ID: 36942108
@cgaliher

Are you sure? I have seen nothing in the licence that forbids a company from having SBS in two different locations with two different domains?  Would like to see the small print on that one.
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by:Cliff Galiher
ID: 36942519
I am sure. It is in the EULA. Otherwise a large corporation could technically run many SBS servers at the department level and use manual authentication methods to sidestep the trust-forest issues. When viewed that way, the restriction suddenly seems common-sense, but is in the EULA nonetheless.
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by:AJS2011NZ
ID: 36944049
I can't vouch for the EULA, but my understanding from a key perspective is that this doesn't matter, I believe that they could legitimately use the same key. If it's OEM, the COA sticker is all that you need to ensure is valid. If the SBS servers are Premium, then they are licenced for SQL.
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by:rindi
ID: 36944209
As far as I know, SBS server never came with a Volume License. Volume Licenses are usually meant for several OS's of the same type, and as SBS was always supposed to be the only SBS server in an environment it wouldn't make sense for it to be available for VL's. Also, VL's should make the licenses cheaper, and SBS is already a cheaper option than building all the servers with the same functionality from normal server OS's.

The only legal situation I could imagine that you could get the same key on two different servers is if the server OS was pr-installed by one of the big companies like DELL or HP who have their own OEM versions. Those will normally be installed with the same key, even though the COA sticker on the case is different. At least with normal Desktop OS's from those manufacturers it is that way.

So you should check if the hardware and OS was preinstalled by DELL for example...
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by:carrgater31
ID: 36947615
I understand the COA sticker on the side on the server might be different but would Dell install the same OS on two different servers with the same license agreement?
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rindi earned 2000 total points
ID: 36947679
With Desktop OEM OS's like XP from DELL when you check the key the system is installed with you'll notice it will be the same when compared to other pre-installed DELL's with the same OS. They key on the sticker will always be different. This makes the installation for DELL easier, as they don't have to enter every key manually for every installation. Apart from that, when you normally re-install the System using the DELL provided media you usually won't have to input the key, as it comes pre-activated.

What I don't know is if that is the same for Server OS's, since those probably aren't the same mass product installations as PC installations with a Desktop OS are, but it is likely to be the same...
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by:rindi
ID: 36947686
Just to add to the above, I don't think it would be possible to activate the same OEM key twice on different hardware if the above wasn't the case.
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