Lab environments usually have large numbers of VMs, and computers in labs are reconfigured frequently. First, determine whether the computers in test and development labs need activation. The initial 30-day grace period of a computer running Windows 7 or Windows Server 2008 R2 can be reset three times without activating it. Therefore, if you are rebuilding lab computers within 120 days, these computers need not be activated.
If lab computers do require activation, use KMS or MAK activation . Use KMS activation if the computers have connectivity to a core network that is using KMS . If the number of computers in the lab meets the KMS activation threshold, deploy a local KMS host .
In labs that have a high turnover of computers as well as a small number of KMS clients, it is important to monitor the KMS activation count to maintain a sufficient number of cached CMIDs on the KMS host . A KMS host caches activation requests from computers for 30 days . (See the section titled "Minimum Computer Requirements" earlier in this chapter for more information about how CMIDs affect activations.) If the lab environment needs activation but does not qualify for KMS activation, use MAK activation. MAK clients are activated by telephone or over the Internet, whichever is available to the lab .
MAK Proxy activation with VAMT can also be used in this scenario . Install VAMT in the isolated lab network and also in a network that has access to the Internet. In the isolated lab, VAMT performs discovery, obtains status, installs a MAK product key, and obtains the IID of each computer in the lab . This information can then be exported from VAMT, saved to removable media, and then the file can be imported to a computer running VAMT that has access to the Internet . VAMT sends the IIDs to Microsoft and obtains the corresponding CIDs needed to complete activation . After exporting this data to removable media, take it to the isolated lab to import the CIDs so that VAMT can complete the activations.
NOTE In High Security mode, VAMT removes all personally identifiable information (RII) from the file that it exports. This file is a readable Extensible Markup Language (XML) file that can be reviewed in any XML or text editor.
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