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Virtualizing OEM servers and Windows licensing

Posted on 2013-12-06
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Last Modified: 2013-12-06
"Standard edition license will entitle you to run up to two VMs on up to two processors":

1. I purchased a new server and Windows 2012 STD open license. I installed Windows 2012 on the server and Added Hyper-V, then installed Windows 2012 on a vm guest. Am I compliant with licensing? So running two Windows server OS, one on host, one on guest using the single license purchased.

2. After #1, I create a second Hyper-v guest, then install Windows 2003 STD on it, this Windows 2003 STD has its own volume licenses. Now I run two VMs, one 2012 on host, one 2012 on guest, one 2003. Am I complaint?

3. After #2, I create two more Hyper-v guests with windows 2003 STD which have their own volume licenses. Now I run 4 VMs, one 2012 host, one 2012 vm, 3 2003 vms. Am I compliant?

4. After #3, I create one more Hyper-v guest, then convert one old HP Proliant server with Windows 2003 STD OEM, and put into the Hyper-v guest. I guess this is definitely it's not in compliance. What is the proper licensing practice to be in compliance? I heard some folks saying they contacted Microsoft and  somehow were able to get converted OEM license activated, which I still think it's violating licensing term.
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Question by:crcsupport
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by:Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2) earned 500 total points
ID: 39701478
1. Yes and Correct.

2. Yes, and Correct.

3. Yes and Correct.

4. Yes, and Correct.

Microsoft states this:-

Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM) versions

Note: Physical-to-virtual hard drive migration of a Windows installation is a valid function for customers with Software Assurance and full retail copies of Windows XP, Windows Vista, and Windows 7. Software Assurance provides users valuable benefits—please contact Microsoft Corporation for further information. Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7 installed by Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM) using OEM versions of these products may not be transferred to a virtual hard drive in accordance with Microsoft licensing terms.

Source
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/ee656415

Also read this EE Article

http://www.experts-exchange.com/OS/Microsoft_Operating_Systems/Windows/XP/A_3721-Can-I-transfer-my-OEM-version-of-Windows-to-another-PC.html

OEM software was purchased with the hardware, and therefore the license is with the hardware and cannot be moved, if you move it, you will need to "Apply a Retail or Volume License to the OS".

That being said, depedning upon your region, I understand in Europe, this was thrown out in court, so you may want to check Microsoft Licensing for your Region.
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by:crcsupport
ID: 39701512
hanccoka, are you sure running more than 2VMs in Windows 2012 host is in compliance. I thought when Microsoft refers to 'two VM', I took as 'you can install two Windows 2012 as VM using single Windows 2012 STD license'. But reading following link,
https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=6&sqi=2&ved=0CIUBEBYwBQ&url=http%3A%2F%2Fdownload.microsoft.com%2Fdownload%2F7%2F7%2F0%2F7707E736-4557-4310-9709-87358F7E6D1A%2FWindowsServer2012VirtualTech_VLBrief.pdf&ei=UQeiUuzkIsrKsQTD2oBI&usg=AFQjCNHVFeEE4c__48Pw3v1M8sHyxh27PQ&sig2=fR1EgMBGSniSwTdMB2LCHA

I think they really meant 'two VMs'. If you want to run more than two VMs in Windows Server 2012 STD, no matter you have license for guest VMs, you have to purchase extra Windows 2012 STD license (Number of VMs divided by two).
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2) earned 500 total points
ID: 39701537
Each license of Windows Server 2012 Standard allows up to two virtual instances of Windows Server 2012 Standard on that physical server.

So your Windows 2012 Standard License includes licenses for 2 VMs of Windows 2012.

If you have other licenses for Windows 2003 etc then that's fine you can also host them on the Hyper-V server, and you are licensed, you do not have to have any more licenses.

If you do not have other licenses, you will need to purchase more Standard which includes 2 VMs, or Consider Datacenter, which includes Unlimited VM Licenses per Host.
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