We got a new server to replace an old win server 2003.  I got the new os and it has the option to use kms or mak.  Under mak it has 45 activations.  What does that mean?  All our computers are already activated I just want to active the new server, does that mean I can reactive the server 45 times?  Completely confused about licensing.
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A MAK is a multiple activation key. Basically it's a regular key but you can activate it a number of time sbefore it stops working.

KMS "requires" a licensing server on your network to activate. I put it in quotes because you can get around it sometimes but it's annoying to do so. Basically MAK is easier but if you are a large enterprise there are merits to KMS.
TomBallaAuthor Commented:
When it says I have 45 activations does that mean I can only have 45 computers on the network or is that two completely different things?  When I active this server, I'm not going to have to go around and active all our computers that are already active, right?
The place where KMS really shines is not only with larger environments, but ones with virtual desktops.  As has been mentioned, MAK keys are only so big and once you activate that number you're done unless you buy more.  We are an EA customer and so have, kind of an open ended KMS key; ewe eventually have to pay for them all, but the KMS server just hands out licenses as they are needed. I ran into issues with my VDI environment as  1 - it's not really made for MAK and 2 - every time I rebuilt a machine it took a new key.  Pretty soon I was out and having trouble. After installing a KMS servers  - and as easy as it sounds MS still manages to make it confusing - those issues have disappeared. KMS also works for Office, with the same caveats as above.
The number of allowed simultaneous uses is based on whatever you purchased. Generally you'll have more activations than actual licenses. Just because it says you have 45 activations doesn't mean you have 45 licenses. Check to see what you purchased.

It does not determine how many computers you can have on the network (user CALs are used for that) and you will not have to activate anything else other than just the server the license is for.

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Microsoft Server OS

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