My personal nightmare was three VM servers on two identical ESXi VM hosts (a primary, replicated for a hot spare), running four quad-core CPUs virtually allocated to only commit 8 cores to each VM, and each VM also got 4 GB of memory. One of those VMs ran our Exchange server. We also had a Win7 VM to run on the server, and needed to upgrade about a dozen WinXP clients to Windows 7. Several new computers had been purchased prior to this project with Win7 already installed, and they weren't going to be changed at this time. In addition, we also had several appliances that needed service accounts (like the voicemail-to-email feature on our PBX). We also wanted to move toward volume licensing, so we could avoid the spreadsheet lists of license keys.
We called our preferred software vendor, and got their Microsoft-certified Licensing Specialist (and the fact that there is such a thing is a big warning) to figure out what we needed. A different vendor gave us a different answer. We also contacted Microsoft directly, and got another different answer.
As I recall, they were, in no particular order, and with elements shuffled around by my attempts to repress the memories:
- A boatload of device CALs, 12 copies of Windows Server 2012 (3 VMs * 2 servers * 4 processors / 2 processors per license), a special VM license for Windows 7, then several retail Win7 licenses for the desktop machines.
- A mix of device and user CALs, 6 copies of Windows Server 2012, and individual retail upgrades for Win7.
- Only user CALs, 3 copies of Windows Server, a volume license for all the Win7 systems.
I remember something about a suggestion to scrap our ESXi infrastructure, and running Windows Server as a Hyper-V host because that'd give us some VM allocations, too.
-if you own a software license bought outright at any time you own it in perpetuity
Unless you're using a capability of that outright-license software that is separately licensed under Software Assurance, in which case you can only use that feature while your SA entitlement is active.
-CALs are bought yearly (typically) but are "essentially" the same no matter the platform or age. There are exceptions for this (dynamics CRM end user vs admin licenses, etc) but in general it works this way
CALs do not expire, but they also do not transfer, and they do not apply to other versions. It doesn't matter that you bought too many CALs in 2008, because you'll be buying all new ones for 2012.
-Licenses are separate from support contracts, so you can opt for zero support for zero fee, or have MS premier support on-site 24/7 for a HUGE fee
Unless "support" is in the form of Software Assurance, in which case you must purchase SA to get certain volume licenses, and certain products are not available with SA, and certain products are not available without volume licensing.
You can optionally pay an annuity to get free upgrades for any software you use, but again not required
I think, again, you're referring to SA. Please tell me how to get Windows 7 Enterprise N without Software Assurance, because nobody has yet been able to accomplish that legally.