Windows Server on virtualization infrastructure cheat sheet

Once upon a time, the way to decide which Microsoft Windows Server license to get was only a matter of checking the servers number, a bit of their configuration and features you wanted to get. Basically, the Standard Edition was good for anything that had less than 32GB of RAM and/or wasn’t used in clustered configuration ; else you would require the Enterprise Edition. There were also options for Web, Datacenter, Storage Edition but I never had to look at those.

Virtualization, Cloud computing and IaaS have turned servers into instances with virtual resources which made those licenses quite inapplicable ; especially OEM license and CPU limitations. Here’s the way I understood the Microsoft documentation. It may enable you to understand and decide which licenses to use in your particular case. I’m writing it with VMware vSphere implementation in mind, but it should apply to apply virtualization technology.

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VMware vSphere 5 pricing cheat sheet

With the new vSphere 5 version, VMware has modified their licensing options. Previously, the restrictions were set on physical CPU and CPU cores numbers but not really on RAM capacity (limits were quite high). Since v5, the restrictions apply to the physical CPU number (no matter how much cores and threads they have) and provisioned RAM (vRAM).

This article will sum’up the VMware vSphere 5 licensing methods, as far as I understood them.
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Force VMware (Fusion) tools installation

Last time I P2Ved a Windows 7 machine, I ended not being able to install the VMware tools on it. The menu was just not enabled no matter what I did inside or outside the VM. The solution to have the VMware tools installed is to manually mount the Windows drivers disk image.
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Windows Server Virtualization Validation Program

The Windows Server Virtualization Validation Program will help vendors to provide supported Microsoft virtualized solution.

Want to know which Windows Server Edition is supported on VMware ESXi 4.1?
This answer is there.

Want to know which virtualization system can run Windows Server 2008 while keeping the support?
This answer is here.