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Old 02-08-2013, 08:50 PM   #1
Carson Dyle
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Default Cheapest way to get Windows Server?

What's the least expensive means of acquiring Windows Server 2008 R2 or Windows Server 2012 for home/training use? Would it be through a Technet subscription or something similar?
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Old 02-08-2013, 10:29 PM   #2
Steltek
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If you are just wanting them for training use, you can download and use the 180 day trial versions. You can rearm the activations 3 times, which should get you like 240 days of useage time (at least in Server 2008 R2, maybe longer with Server 2012 which at one point could be rearmed up to 5 times).

Cheapest way to obtain actual licenses would be via Dreamspark through a college or professional affiliation (i.e. IEEE, etc), or via Technet Professional (not Standard) subscription. Of course, none of these are technically legal for home use (though a college/professional affiliation subscription could provide non-expiring licenses which can be used at home).
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Old 02-09-2013, 06:58 AM   #3
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Yeah I'd go with the trial. And since you'll probably be working with VMs you can just blow it all away and start over each time. Will get you practice setting things up too. If you do an AD setup just stagger the installs so you can fail one DC, rebuild, then fail the other.

Never done this myself though, but in theory it should work.
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Old 02-11-2013, 11:13 AM   #4
Mushkins
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steltek View Post
If you are just wanting them for training use, you can download and use the 180 day trial versions. You can rearm the activations 3 times, which should get you like 240 days of useage time (at least in Server 2008 R2, maybe longer with Server 2012 which at one point could be rearmed up to 5 times).

Cheapest way to obtain actual licenses would be via Dreamspark through a college or professional affiliation (i.e. IEEE, etc), or via Technet Professional (not Standard) subscription. Of course, none of these are technically legal for home use (though a college/professional affiliation subscription could provide non-expiring licenses which can be used at home).
You're absolutely in the clear to use Technet/Dreamspark licenses at home, as long as its for educational or testing purposes. It's only when you use them in place of a situation where you're using them instead of a normal "retail" license that you're breaking the legalese, such as using a technet version of Windows 7 on your sweet new gaming rig as the main OS. Granted, there's no way for them to know that you're doing this, so to curb pool purchases and subscription abuse they put activation and install limits on the technet distributed keys (I dont think Dreamspark keys have these limits, as they use an active Dreamspark account with your University as the limiting factor).

Also dont forget that Server 2012 *comes with no user CALs*. 2008 still includes a basic 5 user CAL with the OS, whereas 2012 only comes with one or two special-use CALs for administrators only. Not a big deal for training, but very important if you want to stay legal in a production environment. Thanks, MS :/
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Old 02-11-2013, 03:27 PM   #5
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I recommend and prefer technet since it gets you far more than the OSs themselves. If you buy the 'top tier' / none CD one it is decently cost effective and gives you access to the other stuff you will likely want to learn at some point like SCCM, Datacenter versions, all of the office revs etc.
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Old 02-11-2013, 08:00 PM   #6
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I haven't messed around with Server 2012 yet, but an 2008R2 image will let you install it without a key. After a time period, it just bugs you that the copy my not be legit, but continues to function. I don't even bother with keys when testing on 2008.
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Old 02-11-2013, 08:36 PM   #7
Carson Dyle
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Originally Posted by KentState View Post
I haven't messed around with Server 2012 yet, but an 2008R2 image will let you install it without a key. After a time period, it just bugs you that the copy my not be legit, but continues to function. I don't even bother with keys when testing on 2008.
So essentially, without a key, it becomes a 'trial' install, correct?

Do Server 2008, 2008 R2 or 2012 actually do an activation, same as the desktop OSs, or do they just require a valid key? I've only ever used volume licensing in the jobs I've had.
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Old 02-12-2013, 07:14 AM   #8
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They all do an activation.
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Old 02-12-2013, 08:19 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carson Dyle View Post
So essentially, without a key, it becomes a 'trial' install, correct?

Do Server 2008, 2008 R2 or 2012 actually do an activation, same as the desktop OSs, or do they just require a valid key? I've only ever used volume licensing in the jobs I've had.
They all do activation, even the volume license versions. Enterprises have the option of running their own KSM server to keep activations within their network.
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