Microsoft OEM Windows Server 2012 R2 Roadshow – Week 1 Q&A

This post is focused on some of the questions that arose during the first week of events on the OEM Server roadshow. I'll keep these coming on a regular basis, and if you have any additional questions post them below.

Please note that any of the licensing questions answered below do not override with the End User License Agreement or the Product Usage Rights, they are the authoritative licensing documents. 

Can I have more Virtual Machines (VMs) on the server in a non-running state than the edition of Windows Server is licensed for eg two virtual machines under Windows Server 2012 R2 Standard?

Yes, you can have additional non-powered on VMs, it's the number of VMs running per server that is important.

Can I pool the licensed VMs from multiple physical server onto a single physical server?

No, the in the case of Standard edition, the two VMs are for that physical server, not to be distributed across multiple servers on the network.

How does my customer get a hold of older versions of Windows Server as part of their downgrade rights?

Steps for an end user to downgrade Windows Server software - to downgrade Windows Server software customers must:

•Purchase a Server system licensed with Windows Server software.

•Accept the Microsoft Software License Terms.

•Perform the downgrade or down-edition process to the eligible downgrade/down-edition product using the media/key from a genuine, previously licensed OEM, retail or Volume Licensing Server product.

Can you provide the details of the servers that you were using for the demonstrations?

I'll do a lengthier post on this including some step-by-steps and screen captures, but the pieces that most people were curious about were...

1. The disk configuration was 2 x SSD and 2 x HDD (all the space we had in those smaller servers) with Storage Spaces being the brains behind the Tiered Storage Pools.
2. The servers had two onboard NICs, and they also had a 4 port NIC added to the PCI-E slot. This was then leveraged by the SMB multichannel capabilities, as well as being used by NIC teaming.
3. Both servers were configured with 16GB of RAM, and were running Hyper-V for the Live Migration and Hyper-Replica demonstrations.

Can I pool the included 25 user licenses by purchasing multiple copies of Window Server 2012 R2 Essentials?

No, the maximum number of users in a Window Server 2012 R2 Essentials deployment is 25. If you need more than 25 users you will need to buy Windows Server 2012 R2 Standard or Datacenter and CALs for each user, and then enable to Windows Server Essentials Experience Role.

Does Windows Server Essentials require a directory synchronisation tool for Office 365 integration?

No, this is built in to the product. For larger deployments you can look into using Azure AD synchronisation tools that are available from Microsoft.

If I virtualise an OEM installation running on an old server, can I move that VM to a new server?

If you have a new OEM license that matches what you are trying to migrate or is a later version, you could use it as one of your virtual instances. This would work in the case of downgrading from Windows Server 2012 R2 to Windows Server 2003 or later, as you can buy licenses for the latest release. In the case of Small Business Server, if it is an OEM license, you would need to acquire a new SBS license for the new server, which would be difficult to acquire at this point in time due to its discontinuance. In that case you need to follow the licensing rules of OEM which are that the server software is non-transferable.

Is Office 365 hosted in Microsoft's Australian datacenters?

This will be offered from March 2015, with existing Australian Office 365 subscribers being moved across automatically.

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