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Windows Server 2012 MAK or KMS Volume Licensing

Posted on 2014-02-25
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Last Modified: 2014-03-10
I have started working for a company that seems to have a Volume License with Microsoft of various products.  I am working on installing Server 2012 and am wondering the best way to go with MAK or KMS.  I would rather go with Datacenter as that would allow me more VM though I don't think i would need them.  

Currently we have 45 activations allowed with MAK and I am wondering if this means Clients/Users rather than 45 allowable installations of Server 2012.

And I am also interested in if the KMS server allows me to use it as a license for Win 7, or Win 8 other OS's we have volume license for.  

This not a larger company, though international, 8 employees in US, and 5 users overseas.

Any help would be appreciated.
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Question by:dloj
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Adam Brown earned 500 total points
ID: 39887189
45 activation MAK is essentially 45 installations of Datacenter. I think this means that you can have up to 45 installations of Datacenter as a Host server (meaning that Datacenter is installed as the primary OS on the physical server itself). Datacenter allows unlimited installations of any version of Windows Server as a VM on a host server with datacenter installed, but that may be the retail version only. I would contact MS licensing for confirmation on that.

KMS licenses would only still be usable for Server 2012 if the OS is Server 2012. KMS is a license type that is burned into the Media and uses a Key Management Server to activate the OS. It's not a license to use any OS you want, it's just a different licensing method. MAK requires you to either input the license key manually and activate it or slipstream the key into media and activate it. MAK directly contacts MS for activation. KMS communicates to MS through a specific server that is set up to handle KMS requests.
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by:dloj
ID: 39887572
Thanks for your reply, actually I should have been a little clearer, I have installed Server 2012.  I could have installed it as Standard or Datacenter, If I installed it standard i would use one product key and it is a MAK activation with 0/45, if I had installed the Datacenter it has an activation of KMS, it has no activation numbers as the Standard does.  

The last IT guy left me no information and I am unfamiliar with these two types of activations.  What I really want to know is if I use the KMS product key do I have to install another 5 Server 2012 DataCenters for it to activate?  

I want to create a domain but it is going to be very small, maybe 12 people in the local office at some point.  So know I have to learn about client licensing costs.  Any ideas on that?
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