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Can you help me with my software licensing issue?

According to the "Windows 2012 editions" comparison here, it is possible to run "two virtual instances" with Windows 2012 Standard.

Is this referring to two VMs using that Windows 2012 Standard license? (e.g. one host and two VMs with the same windows license)

Does that restriction apply to VMs with another license (e.g. can I run more than two Linux guests)?

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marked as duplicate by Bryan, RobM, Hubert Kario, Michael Hampton, Scott Pack Nov 20 '12 at 15:18

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

Licensing questions are off topic per the FAQ, but for the record as I've recently checked with my supplier (and I suggest you check with yours), you can run one physical instance with as many roles/features as the license allows, or one physical instance that provides nothing other than the hyper-v role, plus two full featured virtual instances on that physical instance. Please do check with your supplier, as this does vary slightly, depending on the type of license (e.g. OVL, OEM, Retail). – Bryan Nov 19 '12 at 11:17
up vote 0 down vote accepted

The 'two' license refer to what you get in the box when you get a license for the host. If you have additional Windows licenses or license-free OSs, you can run them as well.

  • 2008 R2 supports 384 virtual machines, or 1000 when using a cluster.
  • Server 2012 supports up to 1024 active virtual machines per system.

I guess you are running out of hardware before reaching these limits.

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You may run 2 virtual instances of Windows 2012 standard with a single licence. If you decide to use that Windows 2012 Standard server as a hosting platform you may buy additional windows 2012 licences to run more virtual instances, or run other Operating systems, given you have licences for those. Of course in the case of Linux, depending on the Distributor you may run an unlimited amount for free.

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