I was a bit confused when my supervisor told me to use Windows VM through Vagrant for testing environment. AFAIK each VM should be treated as a single machine, so it requires a Win license.

There are several criterias for us to be able to use Win WM legally.
One of them is Qualified Multitenant Hoster (QMTH) Program from MS, it authorizes qualified 3rd-party hosting service providers to host customers’ Win VM. Other option is to check if we have on-premise dedicated use rights.

I don't know if we fulfill any of the criteria. I don't want to cause any trouble so I am not gonna ask my supervisor about it.

  • 2
    you can use vms without keys and throw them away after testing.
  • 4
    Windows licencing is difficult. AFAIK you have to licence the whole hypervisor (unless you host in Azure, GCloud, AWS with licences provided by your hoster).
    Even if you don't run windows and hyper-v you can/must buy licences for the hypervisor. Windows Server Standard allows 2 VMs, Datacenter an unlimited amount.

    Keep in mind activation != correctly licensed.

    If you just do some tests on your local machine, I wouldn't care too much then. But if you go productive / do it a long time, keep in mind Microsoft may do unannounced audits.
  • 1
    @sbiewald there's still the standalone hyper-v server that doesn't require any license because it's just barebones OS with just Hyper-V.
  • 2
    @theKarlisK Still, if windows server VM runs on it, a datacenter licence is required for the host (even you only put this licence in a safe).
    The same applies for hypervisor running any other software (Proxmox, VMware, ...).
  • 3
    There's a good chance the VM is using pool licences.
    I think that's how it worked, even for virtual machines, at a friends workplace.

    Edit: personally I don't think it's a big deal, if the VM only lives for testing purposes and then gets deleted later. If it's something more persistent, maybe ask your supervisor.
  • 1
    @sbiewald yes, correct - the guest VMs still need a proper licence, I'm just pointing out that you don't necessarily need a licence to run a Hyper-V host machine.
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