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Microsoft Server License Requirement in DR Site

Posted on 2015-01-29
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Hi,

I've finally figured out the exorbitant license requirements for running multiple Windows Server on a VMware cluster with Windows server mobility licensing, you basically have to license your one copy of windows server for each host in the cluster because it "might be vmotioned or HA'd there" and thus reside on another server. Its basically smarter to go with Datacenter with each host if you have a good number of windows servers virtualized. (See below article and specifically the last section on calculating the license requirements).
http://www.aidanfinn.com/?p=15477

Just wondered if someone out there knew if this licensing requirement is also needed for a DR site with the same physical setup? We'll be replicating our Windows Servers over to the DR site, hopefully we'll never have to use it. I'm under the assumption that we need to license those hosts too just like the primary site, thus 2x the cost.

Anyone out there done due diligence research on this and know what the license requirements are?

Thanks very much.

Jonathan
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Question by:RFVDB
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Cliff Galiher earned 2000 total points
ID: 40579230
It is still moving a VM from one physical host to another. Whether by vMotion, LiveMigration, or replication, you must properly license all potential physical hosts. Including those in a DR site.
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by:RFVDB
ID: 40579249
Right, even if the VMs will just reside as vm hard drives and never spun up?
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by:Cliff Galiher
ID: 40579253
If that's the case, why use replication? Why not use a more traditional backup method? Using replication has the inherent implication that it might be spun up, and therefore must be licensed for that eventuality.
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Author Comment

by:RFVDB
ID: 40579260
Right - and even in backup images being copied over once a day - those backup images could have the implication of being spun up so would have to be licensed...

I know where you're going with this and I've  been reading up on the Microsoft PDF on this and it makes sense.

Thanks for your help!
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Expert Comment

by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 40579657
As knowledgeable as Cliff is (and he definitely knows his stuff -- and I agree with him) he does not work for Microsoft's licensing department as far as I know and neither he nor Experts-Exchange can provide you with a definitive answer - while you can ask these questions and get ideas from us, at the end of the day, you need to confirm any answers you receive with Microsoft / the license granting authority.  "They told me on Experts-Exchange" will not be a valid defense in a Software Audit.
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Expert Comment

by:Cliff Galiher
ID: 40579693
Thanks Lee. I usually include that disclaimer myself. Must've had an off day yesterday to have missed it.
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Expert Comment

by:Stephen Berk
ID: 40581091
You get "cold" recovery rights with SA, so if you have your DR machines powered down except for limited testing, patch management, and obviously disaster recovery, you don't need additional licenses. Check the PUR to make sure your server products have the cold recovery rights. But if you run your servers with a constant replication, that's a moot point.
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