Hyper-V Server 2016 guest licensing question



  • This information is very hard to find. While I believe I know the answer, I figured I'd verify to "be safe".
    A customer has a Dell server that has a Server 2016 STD OEM license. With this configuration, I know that I can install the Hyper-V role and install two 2016 STD guests utilizing the same license.
    My question is: is there any restriction to me wiping 2016 STD off of the host and installing Hyper-V Server 2016 and then utilizing those same OEM licenses for the guests?

    As OEM is technically tied to the hardware, am I somehow invalidating this license by using Hyper-V server and 2x Windows guests with this key vs using full Windows STD as the host?



  • @manxam said in Hyper-V Server 2016 guest licensing question:

    My question is: is there any restriction to me wiping 2016 STD off of the host and installing Hyper-V Server 2016 and then utilizing those same OEM licenses for the guests?

    That's the best thing you can do next to using KVM.



  • While I don't disagree about KVM, this office already has several Hyper-V servers in place and we'd like to keep parity.

    Thanks for your reply!



  • @manxam said in Hyper-V Server 2016 guest licensing question:

    While I don't disagree about KVM, this office already has several Hyper-V servers in place and we'd like to keep parity.

    Thanks for your reply!

    Yes, this is perfectly legal. You simply can never migrate those two OEM licensed VMs to another server.



  • @jaredbusch : Thank you for the confirmation Jared.



  • Licensing is always tied to the host no matter the license type.

    So long as the host is properly licensed for the guests running on top of it you are good to go.

    OEM = N-1 so 2016 and 2012 R2 would be appropriately licensed.

    Standard allows for two guests per license while Datacenter is unlimited guests per license.

    A Windows Server license includes 16 cores per box. Have more cores? Then purchase 2-Core Packs to bring the licensed core count up to parity with the box the OS will be running on.

    All guests are portable no matter the underlying OS license type (Retail/OEM/VL/SPLA). Eric Siron has a good explanation on the TechNet forums about how this one works.
    .



  • @manxam said in Hyper-V Server 2016 guest licensing question:

    As OEM is technically tied to the hardware, am I somehow invalidating this license by using Hyper-V server and 2x Windows guests with this key vs using full Windows STD as the host?

    Hyper-V is always free and never licensed.

    Windows VMs must always be licensed and are never related to Hyper-V or affected by it.

    Understanding those two points makes it easy to find the information you seek. It's seeking Hyper-V licensing or assuming you need special "Windows on Hyper-V" licensing that doesn't exist that makes it hard to find because you are seeking something that fundamentally doesn't exist.



  • @manxam said in Hyper-V Server 2016 guest licensing question:

    My question is: is there any restriction to me wiping 2016 STD off of the host and installing Hyper-V Server 2016 and then utilizing those same OEM licenses for the guests?

    No, that is perfectly fine. There is no Windows license that ever stops you from removing what they installed.

    In fact, what you describe is the official way to use what you just bought. Of course, across the board, OEM licensing is never recommended for servers. But when purchasing server software, you should always be doing a fresh, proper install. Any install from the server vendor is purely for the purpose of demonstrating that the hardware is good and is not for production use.



  • @phlipelder said in Hyper-V Server 2016 guest licensing question:

    All guests are portable no matter the underlying OS license type (Retail/OEM/VL/SPLA). Eric Siron has a good explanation on the TechNet forums about how this one works.

    OEM guests are not easily portable. DR allowances are about all you get.



  • @jaredbusch Please read Eric Siron's excellent post here.

    In the Microsoft world licensing is always tied to the host not the guest.

    The guests on an OEM licensed host can be moved to another host whether it's licensed OEM, VL, or Retail so long as the destination host is licensed to receive those guests.

    The OEM OS installed on the host itself is bound to that host. That license and its associated COA cannot be transferred anywhere else. That is a completely separate clause in licensing rights to VM portability.



  • @phlipelder said in Hyper-V Server 2016 guest licensing question:

    @jaredbusch Please read Eric Siron's excellent post here.

    In the Microsoft world licensing is always tied to the host not the guest.

    The guests on an OEM licensed host can be moved to another host whether it's licensed OEM, VL, or Retail so long as the destination host is licensed to receive those guests.

    Well of course you can, because that means it is purchased on the recipient host.

    The OEM OS installed on the host itself is bound to that host. That license and its associated COA cannot be transferred anywhere else. That is a completely separate clause in licensing rights to VM portability.

    Do you even understand what Hyper-V Server is? Though this applies to any hypervisor.

    When you buy a Dell or HP server with a Windows Server OEM license, you absolutely can wipe it and install a Type 1 hypervisor on the bare metal. Then you can install your 2 guest VMs. Those two guest VMs can never be transferred without additional licensing being purchased because they are 100% tied to the OEM license with is 100% tied to the hardware.

    Of course you can move them if you move them to another server that you have paid for enough licensing to contain those 2 guests. That has jack shit to do with the OEM licenseing.



  • @phlipelder said in Hyper-V Server 2016 guest licensing question:

    The guests on an OEM licensed host can be moved to another host whether it's licensed OEM, VL, or Retail so long as the destination host is licensed to receive those guests.

    That makes no sense. That's not moving it, that's buying it twice. Very different things.

    That's like "can I move my house from here to there"? People mean take the same house and shift its location. Not buy a second house in the new location and give up the old one.