Posted on 2011-10-13
Last Modified: 2012-06-27

We are about to order 2 new physical servers with VMWare ESX + VMotion for a customer and a iscsi disks bay attached to the servers by ethernet cable.

The idea is to run all virtual servers on 2 physical servers, and the vmdk files of the servers will be saved on the disk bay. The customer has

- a main branch with different servers (main domain Windows Server 2003 to upgrade to windows server 2008 R2 ip range1) and
- an autonomous branch (separate domain with SBS 2003 to migrate to 2011 ip range2 totaly out of the scope of range1).

Our question is related to the new licence of the SBS 2011 we can provide?

- OEM ??? > because it is brand new physical servers, we could supply the SBS2011 standard OEM and virtualize it. Is it acceptable at licence point of view? OEM is less expensive. The sticker with the code will be stick on one of the two servers and we will not use the VMotion feature on the SBS2011, means we will not move the virtual server from one physical server to the other.
- Or do we have to stick the sticker on the disks bay? because the vmdk installation file will be saved there.
- buy Full ??? (means not oem) this option is more expensive,
- Do we need specific virtualization installation code? (like in SBS2008 OEM if I am wrong, we were having a sticker with 2 codes on it for physical and for virtual).
- Does SBS2011 standard OEM can be virtualized?

Of course we would like to comply with licence agreement, but if can save some money it is good too. We google a lot and could not find any explanation covering our case. Any advices from Microsoft Licence Expert are welcome


Question by:CAMTEC_SPRL
    LVL 95

    Expert Comment

    by:Lee W, MVP
    This came up at a meeting I attended last night with SBS consultants in NY.  No one is ordering OEM licenses of SBS because you cannot virtualize and you cannot use many backup options like BDRs.  Yes, a Volume License (NOT RETAIL) is a little more expensive, but $200-300 today for the flexibility to do essentially whatever you want as your needs change - replace the server, implement image based backup/fail-over... There are too many Wins for that extra amount of money to really be your deciding factor when you consider how much you are spending on the hardware, services, and licenses to begin with.  Put another way, don't make this your savings point.

    Author Comment

    Volume licence <> retail, what is the difference?
    We have to supply the SBS licence and the only possibility we have at our supplier site is OEM or NON-oem.
    LVL 95

    Accepted Solution

    Depends on the product line.

    I never buy Retail.  As a Microsoft Partner I get "credited" with the sale of Volume Licenses (you need an account with a distributor; my distributor is Ingram Micro).

    Looking at the retail license price, I believe the Suggested Retail Price is $1200.  The Suggested Retail Price of a volume license is $952.  The only real difference between the two server versions (other than pricing) is (as near as I can tell), you cannot resell the Volume license - it dies with the business it's sold to.  A retail license can be removed from a server and resold (though I wouldn't buy "used" software - I would trust it's legit.  

    When it comes to other products, Volume Licensing offers a variety of benefits, but there can be occasional issues you need to be aware of.  JUST FOR EXAMPLE:
    If you wanted to install Office on a Terminal Server/Remote Desktop Server, you MUST use a Volume License.  If you want to build an image of a Windows 7 system and "copy" (deploy) that image to 10 other PCs to save time, you MUST have a Volume License of Windows (or add Software Assurance to your existing licenses).  

    If you take a little time to learn the differences between licensing platforms, you'll learn that there are a variety of benefits to volume licenses.  The only benefit to OEM licenses is cheap initial price... but it becomes more expensive over time as you have to rebuy the software every time you replace the PC it's installed on.  And retail is fine... but it's kind of "no-frills" in terms of added benefits while Volume Licenses and Software Assurance (Which I liken to prepaid upgrades, especially since MS doesn't sell upgrades to some products like office anymore) offers a lot more.  If you're consulting for clients, I strongly recommend you familiarize yourself with the benefits.  (It can be complicated, but knowing that things are possible can make you a hero instead of losing the business when someone comes along and says "we'll just get you x and it will cover you for y" while you've been charging x AND y).

    Author Comment

    Thanks for all those explanations. We also are buying at ingram micro, I will check with them.

    Author Closing Comment


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