Windows Server 2012 P2V and Licensing

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Rob Waggoner



I received the following questions:

I listened to the recent Samurai series webinar as I was unable to attend. I was curious to find out your knowledge on P2V migration i.e. SBS 2008 or Standard Server 2008 to replicate to VM in the event there were to be a disaster. I have also yet to find out whether or not it is true that Server 2012 Standard with Hyper-V role truly only supports up to two virtual machines at a time..?


Here are the answers to the questions:

For the Physical to Virtual portion of the question:

Windows Server 2012 does not offer a native P2V Migration for VMs, System Center Virtual Machine Manager includes P2V capabilities, there are also third party utilities that offer this capability as well.  The third party solutions range from a SysInternals tool Disk2VHD all the way to commercial tools that can automate the end to end process of converting a physical machine to a virtual machine like PlateSpin Migrate or even Acronis.  Something like Acronis may be what you are looking for.

During the Samurai session this week, I talked about Hyper-V Replica, I have more detail here, but Hyper-V replica lets you replicate a running virtual machine to another Hyper-V host so you have a copy of the complete VM in the event of a disaster.  Hyper-V replica is a good DR solution for virtual machines, but cannot do anything to protect your physical machines.  Take note that Hyper-V Replica is not a backup solution, it will not provide any historical backups, just snapshots from the last day or so of execution.


As far as Windows Server 2012 Licensing:

Windows Server 2012 Standard Edition supports as many virtual machines as your hardware will support.  Windows Server 2012 Standard Edition only includes two additional Windows Server 2012 licenses to be used in virtual machines on the Windows Server Standard Server.  The capabilities between Windows Server 2012 Standard and Windows Server 2012 Datacenter are identical, the only differences between the two are around the virtual machine licensing.


You mentioned the Windows Server 2012 Samurai series, the announcement on that series is hereAnnouncing Windows Server 2012 Samurai Webcast Series

Registration for the series is hereMicrosoft Partner Network

Here are the recordings for the first two Webcasts in the series:

SMB Samurai Server Webcast Series: Server Manageability

SMB Samurai Server Webcast Series: Server Virtualization



Until next time,



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