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Licensing Considerations for Using Hyper-V in a Windows Small Business Server 2008 Environment

Updated: March 10, 2009

Applies To: Windows SBS 2008

When you evaluate the licensing requirements for deploying Windows SBS 2008 in combination with the Hyper-V technologies, you should consider the differences between the Windows SBS 2008 Standard and Premium editions, and of how Microsoft licenses Hyper-V for use with these products.

The primary server provides an integrated experience with a variety of server applications. The primary server is licensed for use in a single instance, either on a physical server or in a virtual machine.

The licensing agreement for Windows SBS 2008 Premium differs somewhat for the second server. You can install a second copy of Windows Server 2008 Standard. Then, you can also install Windows SBS 2008 into virtual machines on the Hyper-V host. With no additional licensing requirements, the terms of the license agreement allow you to use Hyper-V on a licensed server to do the following:

  • Run hardware virtualization software.

  • Provide hardware virtualization services.

  • Run software to manage and service operating system environments on the licensed server.

If you enable the Hyper-V server role, you must deploy all other workloads into the virtual instance of the second server.

If you want to install additional virtual machines, you must conform to the license requirements for those installations as well to the license requirements for Windows SBS 2008.

Enabling server roles other than the Hyper-V server role voids the right to also install a virtual instance of the second server as a guest operating system, and it requires additional licenses.

If you install software on the parent partition that you do not use to directly manage or service the operating system environments on the licensed server, you void the right to also install a virtual instance of the second server. This includes software that you use to offer services to, manage, or service other computers on your small business network.

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