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Can you run Windows Server 2008 R2 Enterprise as a guest on a Windows Server 2012 R2 Standard host?

ExchangeD asked
I am trying to help someone plan for a disaster.

They have a copy if W2K8R2 Enterprise running as a physical server.

They use backup software that can gen up VHDs as part of a recovery.

I was going to recommend they get another server that they can drop those on and use Hyper-V in the event of an issue with their main server.

My question is, can that backup server have 2K12 R2 Standard on it and host an Enterprise licensed VM on it? Is that technically and legally feasible? I understand the resource limitations but they are OK with limping along if they have to.
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If I understand the question you want to install the Hyper-V role on a server 2008r2 physical machine and install a VM running server 2012R2. Yes this is perfectly fine as long as you have a license to run 2012R2. This may require that you purchase a single 2012r2 license.

#Edited by

Andrew Hancock
VMware Zone Advisor
ExchangeDIT Professional


Actually the other way around. Have a 2012R2 backup server with the Hyper-V role installed and virtualize a physical 2008R2 on it. The kicker here for me is the fact that the  physical server is running 2008R2 Enterprise and the plan was for a 2012R2 Standard backup server.
Yes that will work too but you will need to have an enterprise license for it because the host is STD and the Guest VM is enterprise.
We run a combination of 2012r2/2008r2/2008/and 2003 VM's of standard and enterprise flavors on our hosts, most of our hosts have datacenter or enterprise licensing so in our case we do not have to provide additional licensing.
ExchangeDIT Professional


Perfect! That's what I needed to know. Would you also happen to know, from a licensing perspective, if we used the existing 2008R2 Enterprise license on the backup server and only fired it up to P2V the backup in the event the primary physical instance went down, if we would be in compliance?