windows server licensing for development

We are looking to change our Antivirus software, however I am wanting to do some testing of different products in a test environment.

I want to know where I stand with licensing. I am looking to set up one machine, which is licenced for windows server standard as part of our current agreement. On this server I wanted to create 4-5 temporary machines, mainly servers but one windows 10 client.

None of these machines would be production servers, nobody apart from myself would have access to them and they wouldn’t have access to the internet or our internal network.

Do I have to have a licence for all of these machines? Or is there a sort of agreement for testing on non production?

The test will last around 30 days.
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Ashvin AshokTeam Manager - ITCommented:
Hi Captain,

In regards to your query, there is no license called testing and non-testing license. Either you have to procure license for all servers / clients or try running in trial mode as long as the period expires. Most products support for 30 days fully functional.
CaptainGibletsAuthor Commented:
So I can run as many virtual machines I want on a licenced server 2016 standard machine as long as they are in the 30 day trial period?

Or would I have to re-install my host OS to a server 2016 datacentre trial and run them all for a max of 30 days? potentially up to 120 days using

"If your testing goes beyond 30 days but is still short-term, Microsoft provides a way to reset the grace period up to three times using rearm functionality available through the slmgr.vbs command-line interface. This effectively extends the grace period of these products to 120 days."
Hello ThereSystem AdministratorCommented:
If it will be for testing purposes (not in production), no license is needed but when you start to use them as production machines the same licencing rules will apply as for servers.

Evaluating Windows Server 2008 software does not require product activation. Any edition of Windows Server 2008 may be installed without activation, and it may be evaluated for 60 days. Additionally, the 60-day evaluation period may be reset (re-armed) three times. This action extends the original 60-day evaluation period by up to 180 days for a total possible evaluation time of 240 days.

If you do not activate the software within the grace period, you will receive persistent notifications, including a message from the system tray every 60 minutes that reminds you to 'Activate Windows Now'. Also on-screen, there will be a permanent notice that the copy of Windows is "non-genuine," Microsoft's term for pirated or not-yet-activated versions of the operating system; a similar message appears whenever the user launches the Control Panel, which houses Windows' settings and options. Also, the desktop background will turn to black. While you can change the plain black background to any background you choose, if changed, the background will reset to a plain black background every 60 minutes,  moreover you will not be able to receive optional updates from Windows Update unless the copy of Windows is activated. And MORE!

A conclusion is that you don't have to activate servers for testing purposes unless you want to test updates etc. I'd find out what limitations will your machine have after evaluation time and if it will affect servers behavior you require for testing.
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Hello ThereSystem AdministratorCommented:
You can run many VMs without activating them within a grace period.
Hello ThereSystem AdministratorCommented:
You are fine with 30+ days of testing...
Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
The simple answer - which no one has given you is:
READ the license agreement.  It does tell you what you are allowed to do.  If it doesn't explicitly cover your situation consult an attorney.

It's ridiculous that people are telling you you will be ok.  A license is a legal agreement up for interpretation that can have localized laws that invalidate aspects of it.

The only people that can tell you it's ok and MEAN IT is Microsoft and attorneys who specialize in licensing (afterall, attorneys for Microsoft created the agreement!)

That said, most major Microsoft products offer 180 day evaluation copies (really surprising posters above didn't know this - especially if they've honestly ever paid attention to licensing - - but Microsoft updates the licensing quarterly and even if someone here could honestly say they had a very similar scenario and contacted Microsoft, here's their answer, it's foolish to TRUST WITHOUT VERIFY anything found on an internet forum for the purposes of licensing.

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License information provided here is "best efforts".  The comments of the respondents are based on interpretation of the license agreements and their knowledge of the particular laws and regulations in their geographic location.  Laws in your location may invalidate certain aspects of the license and/or licenses can change.  "They told me on Experts-Exchange" will not be a valid excuse in an audit.  You need to contact the license granting authority to confirm any advice offered here.

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Seth SimmonsSr. Systems AdministratorCommented:
No comment has been added to this question in more than 21 days, so it is now classified as abandoned.

I have recommended this question be closed as follows:

Accept: Lee W MVP (https:#a42445231)

If you feel this question should be closed differently, post an objection and the moderators will review all objections and close it as they feel fit. If no one objects, this question will be closed automatically the way described above.

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