Latest Microsoft® licensing model: Licensing Microsoft Server Products in Virtual Environments

When I was doing the Windows Server 2008 launch events earlier this year Hyper-V always garnered a lot of interest.  Usually the audience would ask a lot of questions.  Thankfully they were usually technical and within my expertise.  But sometimes someone in the audience would torture me with a dreaded licensing question.  I say dreaded because I'm not a licensing expert and have found my responses in the past were either out of date or just plain wrong.  Because of this, my usual response now is to defer licensing questions to the licensing website or, if I'm lucky enough to have a licensing exec or sales rep in the room, I'll topspin lob the question over to them. J

Today I was looking up some licensing information for someone and I came across an updated white paper, Licensing Microsoft Server Products in Virtual Environments.  Since virtualization is a really hot topic at the moment, and I have recently been asked licensing questions specifically covered in this white paper, I thought it would be useful to share this information with everyone.  It basically covers how Microsoft server products are licensed with virtualization technologies, whether the host be Hyper-V, Microsoft® Virtual Server 2005 R2, or third-party virtualization solutions provided by VMWare and Parallels.

Note: It replaces the the “Licensing Microsoft Server Products with Virtual Machine Technologies” documents—White Paper and Brief published in October 2006.  So if you still have that white paper, spin up the shredder and dump it!!!

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