Can you help me with my software licensing question?
It's pretty common to hear people recommend using a "test server" for testing everything from backup/restore to software patches.
Some Microsoft server products are fairly expensive. Are people really buying additional licenses for testing purposes? I can see buying extra hardware, but the cost of duplicate software could get pretty outrageous.
I've looked in to MSDN and Technet but licenses obtained via these subscriptions don't seem to be appropriate for "IT" testing, only development testing and evaluation. I suppose one could always use trial products, but what a hassle...and perhaps that's even a violation of the trial agreement.
So I'm not trying to start an ethical debate or anything. I'm wondering what the most cost effective approach would be. Is there an alternative to buying full retail licenses? (Specifically, products like Windows Server, Exchange Server, SQL Server, and Sharepoint.)