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Windows Server 2012 Licensing With Virtual Machines RRS feed

  • Question

  • Hi All,

    I have two questions regarding licensing for Windows Server 2012 which I would have thought were fairly simple, but I can't seem to find the answer.

    1) For the first question I am specifically referring to the fact that Windows Server 2012 Standard edition only appears to be itself licenced for 2 Windows Server virtual machine instances running on the same physical server as the base OS. However, I am assuming that this limit of ‘2’ is only applicable for instances of Windows Server for which I do not already have other seperate licences. Is this correct? So, if I run Windows Server 2012 Standard edition as the base OS licensed using a Retail (non-MSDN) licence key, then can I still run an unlimited number of Windows Server virtual machines (either 2012 or otherwise) using MSDN licence keys, as long as those virtual machines are only used for dev/test and only accessed by MSDN subscribers? I am just trying to understand if I need to upgrade the base OS licence to Windows Server 2012 Datacenter edition in order for the above configuration to be fully licensed, or if I am OK still using Standard edition for this purpose. My intention is to run more than 2 MSDN virtual machines on the server but I am assuming that since the VMs would be MSDN-licensed, then the base OS VM limit of '2' would not apply.

    2) Similar to the first question, if I use Windows Server 2012 Standard edition as the base OS, licensed under my MSDN subscription, and then install 4 virtual machines onto that server, each also running Windows Server 2012 Standard edition; then is this configuration fully licensed under MSDN rules? So, my understanding is that if all VMs on the server are only used for dev/test AND the base OS is only used as a hypervisor to manage those VMs, then it is allowed to use MSDN licenses for all instances of Windows that are running, including the base OS. However, is this still allowed using Windows Server 2012 Standard edition which has a VM limit of '2' under normal circumstances, or does this get waived if using MSDN keys?

    Thanks.

    Thursday, October 11, 2012 10:07 AM

Answers