I have a bunch of virtual machines that I've set up running Windows Server 2012 R2. Since I'm spinning them up fairly quickly I haven't gotten around to licensing them yet. When I installed Windows I skipped entering a product key.
I will have a volume license key eventually, but these virtual machines have been running for the last month and a half without and key.
So far the only limitation I've encountered is a "Activate windows" watermark on the screen. The servers are running fine.
How long do I have before Windows must be activated? Will the servers start shutting down or rebooting or otherwise fail to operate at some point down the road? Can I leave them unactivated like this for a couple more months before licensing them with a volume license key?
What are the consequences of running a Windows server 2012 r2 machine for a long time without a product key?