Description

Describes requirements for importing Windows 2003 images with a license key installed, and an issue with importing Windows 2003 servers with MSDN license keys

Content / Solution:

Recommended Reading:
Microsoft Windows Support Policy 

Prior to the introduction of Microsoft Windows 2008, Microsoft required that the license key type matches the installation media for the software. This is described in the warning at the beginning of this article:http://support.microsoft.com/kb/328874/.

Under the Microsoft Service Provider License Agreement, we deploy all Windows OS virtual machines running in Cloud with our Volume-License Key. This key is installed by our software on every deployment from a Windows Image, whether it be an OS Image or a Client Image. 

Since Windows 2003 requires a match in installation media, it will not allow the software to deploy this license key on a Windows 2003 server that doesn't already have a Volume License Key installed. Instead, such deployments will fail.

The net result is that if you're going to import a Windows 2003 image that has one of your license keys installed, it needs to be a Volume License Key. The system will not support importing Windows 2003 with other license keys such as an MSDN license key.

Also, note that the OVF format does not differentiate between Windows 2003 Standard and Enterprise editions. Therefore, imports of Windows 2003 will be treated as Windows 2003 Enterprise.