Add Server 2012 Standard license to already existing server 2008 R2 Enterprise.

I have 6 servers running Server 2008 R2 Enterprise that were evaluation versions from TechNet.  Microsoft audit says we can purchase Server 2012 to cover for the shortfall in the audit.  My question is:  How can I load the license key from the Server 2012 Standard onto the existing 2008 R2 ENT. without interrupting services to my network clients?
Who is Participating?

[Product update] Infrastructure Analysis Tool is now available with Business Accounts.Learn More

I wear a lot of hats...

"The solutions and answers provided on Experts Exchange have been extremely helpful to me over the last few years. I wear a lot of hats - Developer, Database Administrator, Help Desk, etc., so I know a lot of things but not a lot about one thing. Experts Exchange gives me answers from people who do know a lot about one thing, in a easy to use platform." -Todd S.

Benjamin MOREAUProject ManagerCommented:

when you buy "open licences", you can access to your VLSC web site and you will see keys for windows 2012and windows 2008 Servers (N-1 versions). So , just use your 2008 ENT keys.

You can see downgrade path here (Q15) :

Experts Exchange Solution brought to you by

Your issues matter to us.

Facing a tech roadblock? Get the help and guidance you need from experienced professionals who care. Ask your question anytime, anywhere, with no hassle.

Start your 7-day free trial
Benjamin MOREAUProject ManagerCommented:
Will SzymkowskiSenior Solution ArchitectCommented:
All you need to do is apply the 2008 Volume License Key to the 2008 R2 server. Because you have purchased 2012 (on paper) this is downgradable to 2008 or any other OS previous to 2012. So you still need to apply the 2008R2 license, which still makes you compliant.

Has Powershell sent you back into the Stone Age?

If managing Active Directory using Windows Powershell® is making you feel like you stepped back in time, you are not alone.  For nearly 20 years, AD admins around the world have used one tool for day-to-day AD management: Hyena. Discover why.

contechcorpAuthor Commented:

When Microsoft told me that it was acceptable to use keys for 2012 for the shortfall in our licenses, my company bought the Server 2012 Standard from a reputable company.  I have the keys, but hesitate, not knowing how to activate those keys without interrupting service to my clients.  I don't even know where to look to add the keys and then activate.  As I said, these were TechNet evals and are running on some of my servers.
Will SzymkowskiSenior Solution ArchitectCommented:
Refer to my first post.

Cliff GaliherCommented:
You can't apply 2012 keys.

Licenses and keys are two different things, and in this instance, terminology matters.

You can "apply" the license and that makes you legal. But activation requires keys, and 2012 keys will NOT work. You need to (legally) get a 2008 R2 key to activate. As those above have explained, if you bought your 2012 as a volume license then you can get a 2008 R2 key easily. If you bought OEM.... well..... chances are you aren't legal for other reasons. And if you bought retail, you'll have to go through the buyer to get a downgrade key.

Once you have 2008 R2 enterprise keys, you can apply them and there is no interruption in service during the change. But it *is* a change, so backups should still be made as a precaution.
contechcorpAuthor Commented:
I had several different keys for 2008 R2 Enterprise from TechNet and each was different.  Microsoft says that buying the Server 2012 license will satisfy the requirements of their audit.  I suspect that actually loading key codes is not required.  For any other Microsoft product, all I had to do was show an invoice as proof of purchase and that was sufficient.  Any comments?
Cliff GaliherCommented:
TechNet Eva installs expire. You will need permanent keys or your servers will stop functioning if they are indeed eval installs.
Benjamin MOREAUProject ManagerCommented:
I'm agree with you. I had one client which was not compliant; Microsoft ask my client to buy licences to cover the computer without licence...but they never ask to replace the key.

The best practice is to install the new key; this will prevent your system to be desactivated on a future update...
contechcorpAuthor Commented:
I have asked the Microsoft Audit team for assistance with this as they seem to indicate that purchasing the 2012 Standard licenses will satisfy the shortfall that I have with Server 2008  R2 Enterprise.  The audit team was unsure whether installation of product keys was going to be necessary.   I will post their answer when it comes back to me.

Thanks for all the suggestions.

Seth SimmonsSr. Systems AdministratorCommented:
This question has been classified as abandoned and is closed as part of the Cleanup Program. See the recommendation for more details.
It's more than this solution.Get answers and train to solve all your tech problems - anytime, anywhere.Try it for free Edge Out The Competitionfor your dream job with proven skills and certifications.Get started today Stand Outas the employee with proven skills.Start learning today for free Move Your Career Forwardwith certification training in the latest technologies.Start your trial today
Windows Server 2008

From novice to tech pro — start learning today.