Do I need separate Windows Server licenses for each Hyper-V virtual machine?

Posted on 2011-10-27
1 Ratings
Last Modified: 2012-08-13
I am building a new server and plan to install Windows Server 2008 R2 Enterprise.  I will create multiple virtual machines using Hyper-V.  Each virtual machine will be installed with Windows Server 2008 R2 Standard.  Do I need separate Windows Server 2008 R2 Standard licenses for each virtual machine that I create?  I can't find any good documentation on this.  Links to an official Microsoft website with explanation of the licensing would be appreciated!

Question by:Triality
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    Accepted Solution

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    Assisted Solution

    Windows Server 2008 R2 Enterprise comes with 4 Virtual machine licenses.  So the answer is, if you have more than 4 windows vms on there then you will need a server license.

    Windows Server 2008 DataCenter comes with unlimited virtual machines.
    LVL 41

    Assisted Solution

    Your Enterprise license will be good for up to 4 VM, which can be either Standard or Enterprise. I build all my VMs as Enterprise because I can use a standard image and I don't need to worry about what kind of role the VM will play. All of my hosts have a Enterprise or Datacenter license assigned to them, so using Enterprise of the VM isn't an issue.

    Author Closing Comment

    Thank you all for the quick responses!
    LVL 41

    Expert Comment

    If you need more than 4 VMs, it is cheaper to use a single processor host and a Datacenter license. A Datacenter license on a dual CPU host is cheaper at about 7 VMs. Datacenter is licensed per processor, whereas Enterprise is licensed for the whole box, 1-4 CPUs. That is why I specifically mention a single processor host with Datacenter.

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