I am getting messages from my virtualised Windows Server 2012 machines about them not being activated or the product key is already used on another machine.
Though my university I have a single Windows Server 2012 (Not R2) Datacenter licence key. My understanding is that this will allow me one install of a physical OS and unlimited installs of a VM on a machine with up to 2 processors, my machine is a Quad Core single socket processor, so I am assuming that this is ok from a licensing point of view. I believe my issue comes from the setup of my host machine
As I wanted to experiment a little with virtualisation, I didn't want to replace my host system entirely, I am using standard Windows 8 Professional installation as my host OS and I have installed the Hyper-V components and have my virtualised Server 2012 machines up and running. As the licensing agreement allows a similar thing to happen with VMware's ESX/ESXi (pdf warning: Licensing Windows Server 2012 for use with virtualization technologies) I thought that this would not be an issue.
I believe that as my host OS is not able to activate the VM's, so each VM has tried to activate over the internet causing my licence to be used by multiple VM's masquerading as physical OS's. So my questions are:
- Have I interpreted the licensing correctly?
- Am I allowed to do what I done?
- How do I configure the hosts/VM's so that they are correctly licensed and will activate?
- Have I gone off the deep end and all of this is completely wrong?
Edit: The answer seems to be that
- I have interpreted the licensing correctly, you are allowed to run as many VM's of Server 2012 Datacenter edition on a hypervisor as long as you have 1 licence per 2 cores on the physical machine
- It is allowed but not recommended
- You don't! As it stands there is no way, in the non R2 edition, to perform activation of multiple Datacenter instances without them counting as host instances. The recommendation is to use "disposable VM's" and run them with temporary keys.
- Still here
The conclusion is that running the host as R2 makes things significantly easier from an activation point of view, if you want to break out of the Microsoft ecosystem you are far more likely to run into activation issues. I have been lucky enough to discover that I do infact have a R2 license, very well hidden I might add, and I have compromised by running R2 with the desktop experience enabled and my old Windows 8.1 as a virtual machine.