So you may have heard of the changes around Windows Vista and Volume License Keys (VLK) and activation. With previous versions of Windows, you could purchase a VLK and use it as many times as you wanted to install the OS, and in the case of XP, you would not have to activate VLKs. With Vista, a VLK is no longer unlimited and now requires activation. I could probably write a hundred blog posts on it and still not get it right, thankfully we have some documentation on this as well as some tools to help enterprise admins deploy, manage and monitor this.
Vista Volume Activation 2.0 Guide is the comprehensive guide to volume activation with Windows Vista
Volume Activation Management Tool enables IT professionals to automate and centrally manage the volume activation process using a Multiple Activation Key (MAK). VAMT can perform both MAK proxy and MAK independent activation of single or multiple remote computers running volume editions of Windows Vista at once. Additionally the tool provides the activation status of computers running any edition of Windows Vista in the environment, and also can return the remaining activation count for MAKs.
Key Management Service (KMS) for Windows 2003 provides customers with much requested functionality of running KMS on Windows Server 2003. KMS enables customers to host a local service within their environment which can be used by volume editions of Windows Vista Business and Windows Vista Enterprise for activation. KMS is currently available in x86 and x64 versions in EN, DE and JP, for use with these Windows Server 2003 editions: Standard, Enterprise and Datacenter, Service Pack 1 or 2.
KMS Management Pack for Management Operations Manager 2005 allows enterprise customers to monitor and report the health of the KMS host that is fulfilling the activation requests within their organization. System administrators can create alerts for conditions that could indicate KMS outages or impending problems. When coupled with other data sources, such as System Center Configuration Manager, IT professionals can have a complete view of all volume-licensed machines in their environment. The MOM pack is currently available in x86 and x64 versions in English only.