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Windows 2016 Hyper-V Cluster Licensing of VMs Hosted on it RRS feed

  • Question

  • Hello Expers,

    We have four Node Windows 2016 Data Center 2016 Hyper-V Cluster and activated with Datacenter Product key.

    I have question about Licensing about VMs hosted on this Cluster.

    We have different OS VMs Hosted like Windows 2016 , 2019 , 2008 R2 , Windows 10 Pro on Cluster.

    Do We need to buy separate License for each of VMs Operating system hosted on it or any other step we need to do it as we have DataCenter Licesne.

    appreciate for your help.

    Thanks

    Prakash


    Thanks , Prakash ,Please Note: My Posts are provided “AS IS” without warranty of any kind, either expressed or implied.

    Friday, July 10, 2020 6:15 AM

All replies

  • Hi Prakash.

    You should use AVMA (Automatic VM Activation) Keys for the VMs with Windows 2016. These are included in the datacenter license.

    https://docs.microsoft.com/de-de/windows-server/get-started-19/vm-activation-19

    Windows 10 Pro ,Windows Server 2008 R2 and Windows Server 2019 are not included in the Windows Server 2016 Datacenter and for using windows Server 2019 I believe you have to upgrade your host license to 2016 because you only have a downgrade right not upwards. This is my experience and have to be checked with your license seller!

    https://download.microsoft.com/download/6/8/9/68964284-864d-4a6d-aed9-f2c1f8f23e14/downgrade_rights.pdf

    Windows 10 Pro and Windows 2008 R2 (if possible) has to be licensed separately.

    Just to cover my back: I'm not responsible for licensing ;) This is just my experience and has no legal consequences...



    Regards
    Olaf

    Friday, July 10, 2020 7:55 AM
  • You should talk to a trained Microsoft licensing specialist to get answers to your question.  There are no authoritative answers provided here which your lawyers and auditors would accept.

    https://www.altaro.com/hyper-v/virtual-machine-licensing-hyper-v/ provides a good overview of Hyper-V licensing, but it is still not authoritative.  

    http://download.microsoft.com/download/3/D/4/3D42BDC2-6725-4B29-B75A-A5B04179958B/MicrosoftServerVirtualization_LicenseMobility_VLBrief.pdf is a Microsoft document.

    That said, a first thing to remember about Microsoft licensing is that, at least for Windows Server, is that Microsoft licenses the server at the physical host, not the VM.  The license assigned to the physical host grants the Windows Server virtualization rights.  When it comes to desktop or other server operating systems, you have to look at their specific licensing policies, as they are not covered by the Windows Server license assigned to the host.  This is why it is of critical importance to talk with a trained Microsoft licensing specialist who understands these issues.

    Just like Olaf, I will cover my backside.  I worked for Microsoft for twelve years in a customer facing role that required familiarity with Microsoft licensing.  I depended on licensing specialists.  I would not attempt to answer licensing questions, always referring them to the licensing specialist.


    tim



    Friday, July 10, 2020 1:26 PM
  • Hyper-V Server was released as a standalone product in 2008 and has been available free of charge ever since. Hyper-V Server was specifically designed to provide virtualization services only. As appealing as free Hyper-V Server 2016 may seem at first glance (no licensing fee, a lightweight tool, and virtualization capabilities), you should think before deploying this option. It is recommended to first consider what free Hyper-V Server 2016 licensing includes:

    Free Hyper-V Server 2016 can be used for an unlimited period of time, without requiring additional payments.
    Unlike Windows Server 2016, Hyper-V Server doesn’t provide any guest licensing rights, so you must purchase licenses for guest Windows OSs separately.
    You can use VMs running Linux-based OSs without purchasing licenses.
    Hyper-V Server can be used for virtualization purposes only. Other server roles (i.e., a web server, file server, database server, etc.) must not be enabled on Hyper-V Server.
    Free Hyper-V Server 2016 doesn’t provide the same set of visualization rights which you receive with the Standard or Datacenter editions of Windows Server.
    Hyper-V Server has its own licensing requirements. As you know, Windows Server provides you with licenses for one physical instance and two virtual instances. Hyper-V Server, on the other hand, includes only one license for a single OS instance, whether physical or virtual.
    Hyper-V Server is free, meaning that you can deploy as many OSs running Hyper-V Server as you need.
    Hyper-V Server can be upgraded at any time, without requiring additional costs. Moreover, you can easily transfer your free Hyper-V Server 2016 from one physical computer to another, without purchasing additional licenses on the target host.
    Friday, July 10, 2020 1:34 PM
  • Hello Tim,

    Thanks for your reply .

    1. It will be really helpful if you can provide Microsoft Docs or URL stating that Seprate OS License will required for each VM hosted on Windows Server 2016 Data Center Edition .

    2. Also do you have more idea about AVMA  as Olaf suggested , suppose I have Windows server 2016 data center Edition and All of my VM hosted on it are 2016 Standard OS , will it be required separate License for each 2016 OS VM if I use AVMA.

    https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-server/get-started-19/vm-activation-19

    Thanks again for your help.


    Thanks , Prakash ,Please Note: My Posts are provided “AS IS” without warranty of any kind, either expressed or implied.

    Saturday, July 11, 2020 1:43 PM
  • "It will be really helpful if you can provide Microsoft Docs or URL stating that Seprate OS License will required for each VM hosted on Windows Server 2016 Data Center Edition ."

    I can't provide such an URL because one does not exist.  It does not exist because that is not how Microsoft licenses VMs.  Nor is it what I said.  I said Microsoft Microsoft assigns licenses to the physical host that is running the Windows Server Operating System Environments (OSE).  You can read this brief (https://download.microsoft.com/download/3/D/4/3D42BDC2-6725-4B29-B75A-A5B04179958B/WindowsServer2012VirtualTech_VLBrief.pdf) which will explain it in more detail.

    But, I will again state that you should contact a trained Microsoft licensing specialist to answer any questions you have about Windows Server licensing and how virtualization rights are granted through the Windows Server license.

    If you peruse this forum, you will find over and over and over again that this forum is not authorized to answer licensing questions.  Repeatedly persons who asked licensing questions are requested to contact a trained Microsoft licensing specialist.  Any answer provided here may be based on experience, but it is not a legal answer.  Your business' lawyers and/or auditors would never accept an answer provided in a technical forum.  (If they do, I would suggest getting a different lawyer/auditor.)

    "Also do you have more idea about AVMA  as Olaf suggested , suppose I have Windows server 2016 data center Edition and All of my VM hosted on it are 2016 Standard OS , will it be required separate License for each 2016 OS VM if I use AVMA."

    See response to first query.  VMs are not licensed; the host is licensed and depending upon the license assigned to the host, there are virtualization rights granted.  Datacenter grants an unlimited number of Windows Server OSE in virtual machines running on the physical host to which the Datacenter license is assigned.

    Note that I say the Datacenter license is assigned.  In a Windows environment, the Datacenter OSE will be installed on the physical host.  But to ensure the licensing remains the same no matter what virtualization engine is used, the license can be assigned (paper trail) in order to obtain the virtualization rights to run under a different virtualization engine.

    Please contact a trained Microsoft licensing specialist.


    tim

    Saturday, July 11, 2020 10:46 PM
  • Hi p.th

    I am writing to check if the above reply could be of help? If yes, please mark useful reply as answer. If you have any other concerns or questions, please feel free to feedback.

    Best Regards,

    Anne


    Please remember to mark the replies as answers if they help.
    If you have feedback for TechNet Subscriber Support, contact tnmff@microsoft.com.

    Tuesday, July 21, 2020 2:39 AM