Applying second Windows 2012 Standard Server License

Posted on 2013-01-09
Last Modified: 2013-01-10
Good morning,
I was needing to apply a secondary W2012 license key to a physical server so that I can add 2 additional virtual server environments to this machine.  I'm sure I don't know how to approach this since it hasn't been very obvious thus far.  So far I have 2 Windows 2003 Server Virtual servers running great and are in production.  The physical server has been licensed for the initial 2 processors.  I'm stuck!  Let me know what you think.  Thanks.

Question by:sndmnsix
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LVL 82

Expert Comment

by:David Johnson, CD, MVP
ID: 38760430
You can't add another license to an O/S what you can do is use the additional license to activate the additional virtual machines..

Author Comment

ID: 38760628
Okay, so I can't assign another license key to the physical server.  How do I introduce it to the system so that it will allow me to add an additional VM?  The article is confusing since it does say that not more than one key can be assigned.  The VMs are W2003 which have their own license keys so I don't see how the additional W2012 keys come into play in that way.

Part of that article says this:
Standard server licenses provide the ability to host two virtual machines (VMs) on those same two physical processors that the license covers.  The same license also provides virtualization rights.  Using the above example with four Standard edition licenses, the server is licensed for use of eight physical processors, as many cores as the OS supports, and up to eight VMs

Is this basically saying that I would have to virtualize additional OS environments of W2012?  My goal was to just run a single W2012 as the physical OSE and run my W2003 servers as VMs.  

LVL 82

Accepted Solution

David Johnson, CD, MVP earned 250 total points
ID: 38761163
That part is ONLY for Server 2012 Virtual Machines.. you can run an unlimited number of other operating systems according to their own o/s licensing restrictions.
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Author Comment

ID: 38761319
Ok but would that apply to W2012 Standard edition as well?  I thought datacenter was the only OS that would support an unlimited number of VMs.
LVL 82

Expert Comment

by:David Johnson, CD, MVP
ID: 38761393
Standard 1 physical (managment) + 2 Virtual (using the same license key)
DataCenter 1 physical (managment) + unlimited Virtual (using the same license key)
The other Virtual Machines use their OWN license key.
LVL 79

Assisted Solution

arnold earned 250 total points
ID: 38761951
Depending on your requirement, I.e. if windows 2008 R2 is a permissible alternative, you could "downshift" the 2012 license to avail yourself of the the windows 2008 R2 enterprise version which allows for four server VMs.

Others pointed out the standard version with the limit of two windows server 2012 (OSE)

Author Closing Comment

ID: 38763666
Thank you guys for the clarification.  Microsoft made it sound like you can add licenses to an exisitng OSE to get more VMs out of it which ultimately is cheaper than buying a datacenter license.  Much appreciated for your time on this.


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