Migrate Windows 2016(VMware) to Azure License Question

Sliverlight 236 Reputation points


We have an existing 2016 Standard Server running as a VM image on a platform from a IaaS provider. The server is licensed using the Volume Licensing from the IaaS Provider. We'd like if possible to lift and shift that image into our tenancy in Azure. I was looking at this URL in the hope we could migrate the server   https://learn.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/migrate/tutorial-migrate-physical-virtual-machines. 

However on the licensing side,  just wondering if it is possible to update the Volume license from the IaaS provider on the server and replace it with a possible Azure server license or would we need to purchase our own windows 2016 license etc and use it on the machine? Is there a best recommended way to do this?


Azure Virtual Machines
Azure Virtual Machines
An Azure service that is used to provision Windows and Linux virtual machines.
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  1. Sliverlight 236 Reputation points

    @prmanhas-MSFT Hi, Just wanted to give you an an update. I managed to resolve this. I had to use a volume license key for windows 2016 and then point the server licensing to the Azure KMS server. Once I did the following the I was then using the Azure Licensing server for the VM license and it seems to be working well.


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  1. prmanhas-MSFT 17,891 Reputation points Microsoft Employee

    @Sliverlight Yes, if you have Software Assurance (SA) you can use License Mobility or Azure Hybrid Benefits to "bring-your-own-license" for all Virtual Machines supported server products. License Mobility does not apply to Windows Server. Azure Hybrid Benefits apply to Windows Server and SQL Server only.

    The license to run Windows Server in the Azure environment is by default included in the per-minute cost of your Windows Virtual Machine.

    Windows Server licenses are not eligible for License Mobility through Software Assurance, but customers licensing Windows Server with Software Assurance can utilise the Azure Hybrid Benefit for a cheaper per-minute cost when running a Windows Virtual Machine.

    Licences for use of Windows Server on-premises (whether in a virtual hard disk (VHD) or otherwise) must be obtained separately through volume licensing.

    You can refer to below articles as well for more information:


    Hope it helps!!!

    Please "Accept as Answer" if it helped so it can help others in community looking for help on similar topics.

    1 person found this answer helpful.

  2. prmanhas-MSFT 17,891 Reputation points Microsoft Employee

    @Sliverlight Apologies for all the delay in response. I had discussion internally and below is the response I got from our internal team:

    There are multiple ways to move VMs to Azure depending on where they are and how much work you want to do.


    Move Azure VMs to a different Azure region with Azure Site Recovery - Azure Site Recovery | Microsoft Learn

    They can also download their VHD and upload it directly to Azure then create a new VM from that custom VHD.

    Upload a VHD to Azure or copy a disk across regions - Azure PowerShell - Azure Virtual Machines | Microsoft Learn
    Create a Windows VM from a specialized VHD in Azure - Azure Virtual Machines | Microsoft Learn

    Licensing should be all taken care of through any migration process.

    Hope it helps!!!

    Please "Accept as Answer" if it helped so it can help others in community looking for help on similar topics

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  3. Sliverlight 236 Reputation points

    @prmanhas-MSFT . Sorry for the delay in getting back. I was in the process of migrating an on premise server(windows 2016 STD) to Azure on the past day as I wanted to see how the licensing was handled.

    I used the Azure Appliance migration for the migration process and setup the migration process in the Azure. I first replicated the server and then successfully migrated it into Azure. I then connected in via RDP, but on connection I can see the license information is still the same as it was for the on-premise's server. I did select an option on the migration not to use the Hybrid licensing option. So I would have thought the server license would have probably updated to an Azure license, but this didn't seem to happen.

    Can you ask your internal team if there's something else I need to do?


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