Do I really need to upgrade all my Windows Server 2003 CALs in order to run on Windows Hyper-V?

http://blogs.vmware.com/virtualreality posted a write up titled : Do I really need to upgrade all my Windows Server 2003 CALs in order to run on Windows Hyper-V?

I thought this was interesting, and would effect most of us from a cost standpoint.

A partner brought something to my attention recently that seemed odd regarding Microsoft licensing – and potentially expensive

Here’s the scenario: Say someone’s got existing Windows Server 2003 licenses (non-OEM versions) and CALs. He wants to use these licenses and CALs to run a Windows Server 2003 virtual machine. Seems pretty straight forward – as a 2003 CAL is being used to access a Windows Server 2003 environment – and a good way to save money since he’s already paid for the Windows Server 2003 licenses and CALs – right?

But here’s where it gets weird. On page 11 of the Microsoft Windows Server 2008 Licensing Guide (download Microsoft doc here) is the following paragraph:

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To Virtualizing Win2003 on Hyper-V, I Need to Buy Win2008 CALS…a Hidden Expense

What the paragraph seems to say is that, if I want this Windows Server 2003 virtual machine to run on the Hyper-V version that comes with one of the Windows Server 2008 editions, then I must upgrade all of my Windows Server 2003 CALs to Windows Server 2008 CALs. List price for a Windows Server 2008 Client CAL works out to be about $40 a CAL.

Wow, if I’m reading this correctly, that’s a lot of extra cost to deploy Windows Server 2003 virtual machines on Hyper-V!

Please read the full post, as this is just a snippet of the article. All Credit go’s to the Author.

http://blogs.vmware.com/virtualreality/2008/12/do-i-really-need-to-upgrade-all-my-windows-server-2003-cals-in-order-to-run-on-windows-hyper-v.html