With the last release of Windows Server, Microsoft introduced a new interesting feature: Virtual Machine Automatic Activation (VMAA).
This feature enables the Hypervisor to automatically activate VMs without the support of a KMS server.
Why Microsoft built this feature? Because if you are a Service Provider and you want to provide VMs as a service you need to create those machines already activated.
If the VM is connected only with the tenant/customer network, you need a KMS server in place on this network or you need a different smart way to activate your VM.
What you need to know is that:
- The Hyper-V host needs to be a Windows 2012 R2 Datacenter Edition (VMAA doesn’t work on a R2 Standard edition or 2008/2012 edition or a third party Hypervisor)
- The Hyper-V host needs to be activated
- The automatically activated guests need to be Windows 2012 R2 (Standard, Datacenter or Essential Edition)
- The VMs needs to have a specific product keys in order to succeed in using VMAA (see below)
- If you want to move your autmatically activated VM from a Windows 2012 R2 Datacenter Edition to a different Windows Hypervisor (for example a Windows 2012 R2 Standard Edition) the VM will be deactivated in a week and you will need to use another method to re-activate it (KMS for example)
The specific product keys that you need to install in your guest VMs are Link:
- Windows Server 2012 R2 Datacenter: Y4TGP-NPTV9-HTC2H-7MGQ3-DV4TW
- Windows Server 2012 R2 Standard: DBGBW-NPF86-BJVTX-K3WKJ-MTB6V
- Windows Server 2012 R2 Essentials: K2XGM-NMBT3-2R6Q8-WF2FK-P36R2
You can use an unattended file or System Center Virtual Machine templates in order to inject the new product key.
Building an Answer File: Link
Creating Virtual Machine Templates in System Center VMM: Link