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Thread: Virtual Machines and OS Licensing

  1. #1
    HEXUS.social member Disturbedguy's Avatar
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    Virtual Machines and OS Licensing

    Hi all,

    I work in I.T and recently decided I want to dabble with VM's a bit to generally improve my knowledge and overall test things out, therefore I have a quick question, which might have a mega obvious answer.

    The question is, how does the licensing with regards to the OS work?
    In that do I have to have a license for each OS or does that not matter?

    I will be looking at using Server 2012 and then Windows 7 / 10 while I learn and build on my somewhat limited server side knowledge.

    Thanks,
    Quote Originally Posted by TAKTAK View Post
    It didn't fall off, it merely became insufficient at it's purpose and got a bit droopy...

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    Re: Virtual Machines and OS Licensing

    Well for 2012R2, you can get a 180 day evaluation:
    https://www.microsoft.com/en-GB/eval...server-2012-r2
    And there are plenty of other Microsoft evals available too.
    Plus, Microsoft have a bunch of 90-day reset VMs for testing IE8 to IE11 plus Edge:
    https://developer.microsoft.com/en-u...dge/tools/vms/

    So that should cover most anything perfectly legitimately.
    Other options: well, maybe not 100% legit but most Microsoft OS's allow you to install without activating giving you anything from a few days to a few weeks. A Technet subscription was another option, but Microsoft got rid of that so AFAIK they now only offer a MSDN subscription which costs a lot more.

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    Editable... jimbouk's Avatar
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    Re: Virtual Machines and OS Licensing

    Evaluation copies with time limits seem to fall in the remit of your original request. A proper msdn subscription and/or Windows Server data center edition that let's you licence a number of hosted VMs would be where I'd start for anything more serious

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    root Member DanceswithUnix's Avatar
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    Re: Virtual Machines and OS Licensing

    MSDN subscription is the correct way, then you can mess with any of them.

    ISTR Win10 Home is not licensed for VM use only real hardware?

    Edit: I might be thinking about Win 7 or 8 home that doesn't allow VMs. I'm sure it happened at one point that you needed pro. But now I think about it I'm not sure when, I only ever deploy Linux in VMs.

    If you want to be bang up to date, you probably want to play with Fedora or Centos deployed on a distributed filesystem like Gluster. That gets you a CV worthy converged setup, rather than the old school VM server hanging off a SAN.
    Last edited by DanceswithUnix; 04-03-2017 at 10:22 PM.

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    Re: Virtual Machines and OS Licensing

    Isnt there a bit of a loophole in the licensing documents with regards to VMs and the hardware its locked down too?

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    HEXUS.social member Disturbedguy's Avatar
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    Re: Virtual Machines and OS Licensing

    Cheers for all the answers

    I will look around and look at the cost of the MDSN subscription
    Have little to no experienced with anything server related so anything I do is completely new, but a nice new challenge
    Quote Originally Posted by TAKTAK View Post
    It didn't fall off, it merely became insufficient at it's purpose and got a bit droopy...

  7. #7
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    Re: Virtual Machines and OS Licensing

    If your employer is a Microsoft partner it may be worth asking if they'll provide the MSDN sub for you: I didn't mind paying the £200-odd quid it cost for Technet, but MSDN is a hefty investment.

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    Re: Virtual Machines and OS Licensing

    I think Windows 7 allowed you to run one instance in a virtual as well as on the host, but that all went away pretty sharpish. As above, evaluations for trying out OS, MSDN for development (you can't use MSDN to try things out, it's against the license agreement, development only). And obviously, you can't run "live" services off these licenses.

    They used to do a MSDN Operating Systems when they canned TechNet (for a lot more, natch). But that's been canned too, and now the lowest entry is MSDN Platforms - but that's only available through Volume Licensing and is still tens times the cost of TechNet was. Oh, and of course, it's a subscription, you have to pay annually, although at least any keys you get you can continue to use after your subscription has lapsed.

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    mush-mushroom b0redom's Avatar
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    Re: Virtual Machines and OS Licensing

    Consider Microsoft Action Pack. It's not cheap, but you do get a bunch of Azure credits so take the edge off it.

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    Theoretical Element Spud1's Avatar
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    Re: Virtual Machines and OS Licensing

    Microsoft OS licencing is a bit of a minefield if looking to licence per server (or per VM). It depends a lot on the use of the software, size of company (or individual), and then depending on the answers there, number of Cores, version, deployment method. A key thing to remember is that just because the software might activate with a valid key (or can run without one for a period of time), does NOT mean it's licenced. There is a big difference

    The Action Pack (and ISV if its still exists) its a great, relatively cheap way in - but these days for the purpose you mentioned I would just go straight to Azure. The key advantage is that both Azure and AWS offer per hour pricing that includes the OS licence.

    You get a decent amount of time free to start with, and once you are past that period you only pay by the hour and its very cheap for the sort of sizes you'll want. Depending on your final use case for the VMs, Azure (or AWS if you prefer) may be better than running your own VMs anyway. Running them locally can get tricky once you get in to it - your best option for production use is generally VMWare but thats very expensive, Hyper-V has improved but still way behind (And has licence costs for the underlying OS anyway) and the free option which is generally Xenserver, is generally a bit tricky to get running optimally.

    Honestly, Azure or AWS are your best options unless you have a specific need to host it all yourself. Especially for learning

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