Microsoft Licensing for Virtual Environments

Table of contents

Microsoft licensing for virtual environments can be tricky and there are a lot of misconceptions out there on how to ensure you comply, but also special benefits some may be unaware of. You can have a look at our original post on Virtual Machine Guest Licensing and Hyper-V (2012 & 2012 R2). Following the webinar we have also included a follow-up post that expands on the topic and gives further explanation.

Are you looking to get to grips with Microsoft licensing for virtual environments? We’ve got something special for you! 😉

We asked our very own Hyper-V guru Eric Siron, and Hyper-V MVP Thomas Maurer to take you through the theory and a dozen or so example scenarios to help you gain a solid understanding of Microsoft licensing. We’re offering you two formats:

  1. An Altaro webinar, hosted by Hyper-V MVPs Thomas Maurer and Andrew Syrewicze.
  2. A brand new eBook by Eric, which is available right now!

Webinar Recording

If you want a refresher, or did not manage to attend the webinar, here’s the recoding:



Download your copy of the eBook “Licensing Microsoft Server in a Virtual Environment” here:

Download eBook

Altaro Hyper-V Backup
Share this post

Not a DOJO Member yet?

Join thousands of other IT pros and receive a weekly roundup email with the latest content & updates!

4 thoughts on "Microsoft Licensing for Virtual Environments"

  • NEOband says:

    Hi. A very beneficial read. Could you clarify something for me. how many licenses are required for a standard 2012R2 server with two dual core processors with 2 standard 2012 r2 VM’s and using backup server installed on the host. No data shares, just Backup software on the hypervisor. I’m trying to work out if having the backup software on a dedicated HyperV host alters licensing. Thank you.

    • Eric Siron says:

      Backup software in the management operating system used to protect the host and its guests does not require you to forfeit a guest virtualization right.

  • NEOband says:

    Sorry, to be clear, I’m referring to having virtual machine backup software like Altaro installed on the host (not windows server backup). And while I’m on the topic, if I use windows server backup by adding this as a feature does this change licensing requirement ? And finally if I use altering and windows server backup on the same host does it change licensing requirement ? Thanks

    • Zoran says:

      Hi NEOband,

      When you are licensing backup software, you will only needs licenses for the hosts or VMs you are protecting. You do not need an extra license to run the management server on a separate host (unless you also back up that host).

      You should use either Altaro OR Windows Server Backup, but not both at the same time. Behind the scenes, all backup software calls the same Windows Server VSS backup APIs, so you do not want 2 backup systems running independently or you may hit issues with files being locked. Also, it would use extra processing to run the backup providers, and extra storage space to store backups from both system.

      Symon Perriman

Leave a comment or ask a question

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Notify me of follow-up replies via email

Yes, I would like to receive new blog posts by email

What is the color of grass?

Please note: If you’re not already a member on the Dojo Forums you will create a new account and receive an activation email.