Licensing Microsoft virtual machines on alternate virtualization platforms

by Marin Franković on 28 October, 2010

imageOne of the most common misconceptions of licensing virtual machines is the right of a user to run virtualized Windows operating systems on non-Microsoft virtualization platforms. Couple of years ago, licenses where covered only when you ran Windows operating system on Microsoft virtualization platform, either Virtual Server or Hyper-V. Now, if you buy

Windows Server 2008 R2 Enterprise, you can run 3 virtualized instances of it on  VMware ESX server. Bare in mind that Microsoft does not support running Windows operating systems in all virtualization software applications. If you visit licensing FAQ on Microsoft website, you will see this answer:


Following third KB article, you will discover that Microsoft does support only that virtualization application vendors that are members of Server Virtualization Validation Program (SVVP). And of course, almost all relevant players have formally committed to participate in the program.

  • CA Technologies
  • Cisco Systems, Inc.
  • Citrix Systems, Inc.
  • Hitachi, Ltd.
  • Novell, Inc.
  • Oracle, USA Inc.
  • Parallels Software International, Inc.
  • Red Hat, Inc.
  • Riverbed Technology, Inc.
  • Sun Microsystems
  • Unisys Corp.
  • Virtual Iron Software
  • VMware, Inc.

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