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Iain
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I've been following the virtualisation discussion and episodes and they've stimulated me into getting on with something, particularly as I have a "significant" birthday approaching! I don't want to virtualise a real live network but I would like to create a virtual domain so I can learn. Does anyone have a Technet subscription who could answer some questions?

1. Is it possible to install the various operating systems into VMWare Server or can they be installed only into real systems (I ask because I have had no luck installing an unused OEM XP Pro into Microsoft Virtual PC)?

2. Can I install the software to create several virtual XP Pro PCs or W2K3 servers simultaneously (to have a realistic virtual domain) in VMWare Server? I realise that the software is for evaluation purposes and shouldn't be used in a real live network.

3. If I cancel the subscription after the first year, could I continue to use the software that I had or would I have to uninstall it? Would the keys still work?

Thanks for your time.

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1) Yes, you can install the provided OSs in VMs, they're just like any other OS CDs, except downloaded legit.

2) Yes, you can install as many copies as your licences/keys allow for, and perhaps more (IANAL, consult MS T&Cs/EULAs).

3) Yes, you can continue to use the keys.

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Thanks moonlit - just the answers that I was hoping for. I'll search for the T&C/EULAs and just hope that the keys all allow multiple installations. I read somewhere (quite a while ago) that the server OS keys allow only one installation but I don't know how reliable that is/was. I suppose I could ask Microsft directly and I will if I can't find a definitive and trusted answer.

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You can install repeatedly until the end of time, however you will be limited to something like 1500 activations per key. And if you use hyper-v, 1 enterprise license will allow 5 concurrent machines to be run. Technet is as close to legalized piracy as you can get, and for any budding MS admin, well worth the cost.

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Technet is as close to legalized piracy as you can get, and for any budding MS admin, well worth the cost.

I like that description and I quite agree, more than worth the cost. I got in on the free Technet thing briefly before MS shut down the not-quite-so-legit users and though it's a bit of a bummer that they shut it down it's given me a taste, and when I get a little cash I'd be more than willing to pay to use it, there's more software than you can shake a stick at and it's all for the taking. It's an excellent deal.

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@VaKo - I doubt I'd get anywhere close to that number of activations. It is, after all, for evaluation/learning! I've seen Technet mentioned on amazon.co.uk. I know that you're also based in the UK. Did you get your Technet locally or did you go via Microsoft.com? If I went down the amazon.co.uk route (I think that the cost is lower than via Microsft.com), would I still be eligible to deceide whether to get the media and downloads version or downloads version only? If I decide to renew the subscription, how does it work if I purchase the renewal via amazon.co.uk?

@moonlit - do you mean the free Technet subscription that was all around the 'net within the last week? I know that it got pulled very quickly. I guess it's because that was so tantalisingly close (along with my imminent "significant" birthday) that I've decided to take the plunge. I just need to decide on appropriate hardware that will run several VMs comfortably in VMWare Server. I'm going to do some research and then probably start a new thread (if I can't find anything here already) to check that my proposed hardware wouldn't be an absolute waste of time and money.

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That's exactly what I mean, yeah, the "free" Technet offer which appeared on numerous news sites/blogs last week. MS killed it pretty quick, though who can blame them? I heard too many stories of people hammering the shit out of the key servers, I'm sure that certainly didn't help the situation for legit users and the rest of us who would've been happy to have used it only a little for a while. Still, can't complain, turns out the offer wasn't applicable to anyone who hadn't done the survey anyway, so MS is totally in the right to slay all those users.

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