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Windows server Datacenter license assignment

Hi Community,

While assigning Windows Server Datacenter licenses to Host, the underlining VMs still consume windows server standard licenses. What is the best practice to avoid such thing?

Thanks in advance for a reply.

(4) Replies

We are having the same issue.  I opened a ticket and last week they recommended allocating the individual VMs.  However this goes against Microsoft licensing which recommend to license via the host in case the VMs move hosts. 


I have had issues with this, too. Haven't really received an answer that satisfies the Microsoft recommendations.

Erick Hacking, CSAM, CHAMP
IT Software Asset Manager, Lead Sr.
Very interesting, we have quite same issue in different Flexera product - Spider, also for CIS suite...

Best practise depends on your solution design including your inventory ad business data feed and how you create your licenses. For example:

  • have the Windows Server licenses been created from the Microsoft SKUs?
  • is there integration with the hypervisor to pull in the host/guest relationship data and details such as enabled/disbaled vMotion/DRS/Live Migration/etc.
  • has the role for each device been configured (Production, DR, Development, Test, etc and licenses configured to exempt consumption when the device meets the exemption rule, etc.

If they were created manually, for the Data Center license you should verify that the Use rights and rules tab has been configured with:

  • the correct Downgrade rights including the downgrade to edition (i.e. Standard or Web as appropriate),
  • the correct Right of multiple use (One entitlement allows unlimited installations on the same device), and
  • the correct Rights on virtual machines and hosts (One licensed host allows unlimited VM installations).

You may also need to check the Windows Server Standard license configuration or change the license consumption rules to Allocations consume entitlements. You should then assign license to the physical hosts or virtual machines on an as needed basis.