I currently have a Dell PowerEdge 2950 with VMWare ESXi 5.5.0, 1623387, 2 Intel Xeon CPU E5440, VMware vSphere 5 Hypervisor- Licensed for 2 Physical CPUs (unlimited cores per CPU), 16GB RAM with 2 1TB drive in RAID 1. I have 2 WIN7 VMs installed on the machine. I need to load a new VM running either Server 2008, Server 2012 or Server 2016. These are requirements of the software that needs to be loaded to the machine. When going through the wizard on vSphere client to add new machine, under Guest Operating System>Windows, the latest OS this version of VMWare is capable of loading is MS Server 2012. I have spoken to my 2 main vendors for MS Licensing (CDW & Tech Data) and they have both told me the oldest downgrade version the can sell me is Server 2012 R2. Can anybody please direct me to my best course of action. I know I have multiple options but am not sure which to take. Any help would be greatly appreciated. End user does not want to have to purchase new hardware to install software on if possible.