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Can you help me with my software licensing question?

We are trying to deploy a Business Continuity Appliance (Zenith BDR) for a customer and one of the features is the ability to bring up the failed server in a virtual machine on the appliance. Great feature.

However, the customer has OEM version of Server 2003 on that server and it comes up requiring immediate re-activation since it is now on different hardware. We would be happy with a 2-3 day grace period which is what we expected, but this isn't happening.

What are the solutions without having to purchase another VLK copy of Server 2008 and re-installing the server with that license just so we can set this thing up.


Read the documentation for your BDR. I'm pretty sure Zenith goes over this. You are not allowed by the OEM license to virtualize that OS on a different set of hardware. It doesn't matter if it is for only a couple of days in an emergency. You must have your client purchase a copy of Windows Server if they wish to use that feature. Once you sort our your licensing issue, come back if you still have questions. I'm sorry, but I won't help anybody violate their software license.

A little known trick for the future. You have 90 days to tack on software assurance on an OEM server license. When you do this, you make the license portable to any other hardware and get some other added benefits of software assurance. This may (or may not) help you out this time, but should be something to keep in mind for future clients.

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  • No, I understand. I had just thought that maybe there would be a grace period for us to get the original hardware fixed and continue to let this business operate. It seems that the only solution is to buy another copy of the software and do an in-place upgrade to bring them from OEM -> VLK and then things will work just fine and I think we will have a grace period. – James Dec 27 '10 at 21:31

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