CALs needed for guest OS under Hyper-V server and Windows Server Hyper-V role

Posted on 2012-09-20
Last Modified: 2012-09-21
I have been using Oracle VirtualBox for a couple years, but since we're upgrading our server OS from Windows Server 2003, now I like to switch to Microsoft hyper-v environment. I was reading through licensing.

To run Windows Server 2003 guest under Windows Server 2008/2012 hyper-v role, I need CALs for both, guest and host.

To run Windows Server 2003 guest under Hyper-V server, I need only CALs for Windows Server 2003.

I talked to 3 Microsoft Licensing specialists, two of them says, as long as I use the host as only management for hyper-v, I don't need to purchase new CALs for host OS. One says, I need to purchase the equal amount of CALs as the guest needs.

I have to purchase CALs for 2012 when I start moving clients to new server, anyway. But it seems as Microsoft wants a good payment at one shot.
Question by:crcsupport
    1 Comment
    LVL 95

    Accepted Solution

    You should not need 2012 CALs if you're only running 2012 to run Hyper-V in accordance with the 1+2 license.  Think about it - you don't need CALs to use the FREE Hyper-V server which is the same thing.  So why should you need them to run 2012 in the 1+2 configuration.  If the 2012 server does ANYTHING other than manage the hyper-v children, then you would need 2012 CALs for every user (or device) connecting to the Hyper-V parent.

    And I'm pretty sure you've seen me post this before, but for those who haven't:

    DISCLAIMER: Licensing advice offered here is a "best effort" and based on the understanding of the respondents. Licenses can change and we may not be aware of these changes or may misunderstand them. Further, licenses can differ by country and/or region and what we understand to be true in our region could be false in your region. "they told me on Experts-Exchange" will not be a valid defense in a software audit.  All licensing questions should be confirmed with the appropriate licensing authority (the maker of the software/issuer of the license).

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