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Management Tools for Volume Activation

Three tools are available to monitor and manage the activation status of Volume License editions of the Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 operating systems:

  • Volume Activation Management Tool (VAMT)
  • System Center Operations Manager 2007
  • Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager 2007 R2
  • Group Policy

Volume Activation Management Tool

VAMT enables customers to manage Multiple Activation Key (MAK)–activated systems in the environment. VAMT collects data on MAK-licensed clients, including information about the product keys and current license states, then stores this information in a computer information list (CIL) file. These clients can be instructed by VAMT to activate directly with Microsoft (called MAK Independent Activation), or the data can be collected and submitted for activation in a batch. The batch method is called Proxy Activation, and can be performed by the VAMT host collecting the data, or the data can be exported to removable media and the batch can be submitted to Microsoft by a different VAMT host. VAMT also queries the online Microsoft Activation servers to determine the number of activations remaining on an organization’s selected MAKs. The CIL is an Extensible Markup Language (XML) file and is readable by any text editor, such as Microsoft Notepad.

VAMT 1.2 supports Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2. The Windows Automated Installation Kit (Windows AIK) includes VAMT. For more information about VAMT, see the VAMT 1.2 Help.chm, which is included with the VAMT installation files. To download the Windows AIK, including VAMT, see the Microsoft Download Center at http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=136976.

System Center Operations Manager

IT can monitor KMS Host operational health using the Key Management Service Management Pack for Microsoft System Center Operations Manager 2007. The KMS Management Pack monitors the health of KMS hosts by checking for error conditions and availability. It alerts administrators about potential problems such as KMS initialization failures, DNS SRV publishing issues, when KMS counts drop below activation thresholds, and when no KMS activity occurs for more than eight hours.

To download the KMS Management Pack, see the System Center Pack Catalog at http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkID=110332. This download includes a Management Pack guide that covers installation, configuration, included rules, data grooming, and indexing processes. It also includes several sample reports.

System Center Configuration Manager 2007 R2

System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM) 2007 provides Asset Intelligence reports derived from KMS activities. Table 1 describes the reports available through SCCM. More information about these reports is available at: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb680578.aspx.

Table 1. Reports Available Through SCCM 2007

Report NameDescription
License 02A - Count of Licenses Nearing Expiration by Time Ranges This report lists computers running Windows Vista® grouped by specific time ranges in which they will refresh their license activation from the KMS. Drill through to License 02B - Computers with Licenses Nearing Expiration report.
License 02B - Computers with Licenses Nearing Expiration This report identifies computers with licenses that will need to be refreshed by the KMS within a specified time range. Available from License 02A - Count of Licenses Nearing Expiration by Time Ranges report. Drill through to License 02C - License Information on a Specific Computer report.
License 02C - License Information on a Specific Computer This report provides Windows Vista volume licensing information for a specified computer. Available from the following reports:
  • License 02B - Computers with Licenses Nearing Expiration
  • License 03B - Computers with a Specific License Status
  • License 04B - Computers with a Specific Product Managed by Software Licensing Service

Drill through to Computer Details.

License 03A - Count of Licenses by License Status This report lists the number of computers that are currently in specific license states. These states are:
  • Unlicensed
  • Licensed
  • Out Of Box Grace
  • Out of Box Tolerance/Expired Grace Period
  • Non-genuine grace

Drill through to License 03B - Computers with a Specific License Status report.

License 03B - Computers with a Specific License Status This report lists computers that are in a specified license state. Available from License 03A - Count of Licenses by License Status report. Drill through to License 02C - License Information on a Specific Computer report.
License 04A - Count of Products Managed by This report lists all the products that Software Licensing Service manages and counts how many computers have each product installed. Drill through to License 04B - Computers with a Specific Product Managed by Software
License 04B - Computers with a Specific Product Managed by Software Licensing Service This report lists all computers that have a specified product. Available from License 04A - Count of Products Managed by Software Licensing Service report. Drill through to License 02C - License Information on a Specific Computer report.
License 05A - Computers Providing Key Management Service This report lists Windows Vista computers that act as Key Management Servers. Drill through to Computer Details.

Group Policy Support

The Volume Activation Technical Reference Guide describes Group Policy settings that allow organizations to control the appearance of the black desktop during the Notifications state. Additionally, all configuration and property data for Volume Activation is accessible though WMI and the Windows registry. Therefore, information technology (IT) organizations can also manage the process by using Group Policy preferences.

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