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Win2012R2 Data Center VM on Win2012R2 Standard host

Posted on 2014-12-11
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Last Modified: 2014-12-11
Have a customer who has a test server licenced for Windows Server 2012R2 Data Center.  They have 20+ VMs on there - all Data Center editions.

Now they're moving to a live environment spreading those VMs over 4+ physical hosts.  So it makes sense to licence the live hosts with Standard edition.

However, the VMs in the test environment are all DC editions and they're looking to do a direct copy to the live environment.  Assuming they have enough Standard licences to cover the total number of VMs, does it matter if some of the VMs are running DC edition?
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Question by:devon-lad
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Expert Comment

by:Cliff Galiher
ID: 40494411
From a licensing perspective, yes unfortunate it still matters. And since a license is attached to physical hardware, if you spread datacenter VMs onto more servers than you have datacenter licenses, you'll be in an illegal state.
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by:devon-lad
ID: 40494585
Ok.  So is Standard VMs on a Data Center host also a problem - or is that ok?  Just thinking that the idea is to move easily between the test and live environment without having to licence everything with DC edition.  If they can at least have Standard VMs on the Test host then these can be copied/exported/syspreped back and forth from the live environment.
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Cliff Galiher earned 500 total points
ID: 40494616
Standard VMs on a datacenter host is okay. This is in compliance because windows has long included "downgrade rights" which means you can run an older version or lesser edition of a license. Standard is a lesser edition of datacenter so a datacenter license has downgrade rights for standard. The reverse is *not* true as datacenter is not a "downgrade" from standard.
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by:devon-lad
ID: 40494831
Ok, that's clear.  Thanks
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