We have several production VMs which are 2008 and 2008r2 running on old ESXi 4.0 with Intel processor hardware and on a shared SAN storage.
We recently planned a newer hardware running ESXi 5.1 with AMD processor while leaving the old Intel hardware as a backup in case of hardware failure.
We had chosen "I moved it" when ESXi 5.1 warned on first fire up of the VMs and we noticed the following:
• VMs that where setup with more than 1 core (since OS installation) triggered Windows activation.
• VMs that were setup with ONLY 1 core (since OS installation) has no issue at all.
My understanding is, if "I moved it" is chosen, ESXi will not make any changes to the .vmx file that changes the identity of the VM itself to Windows and therefore will not kick Windows activation. This proved to be true as VMs that had only 1 core never kicked Windows activation.
Interestingly, not those VMs with more than 1 core.
I really have no idea what the problem is, can anyone confirm they ever came across with same issues?
Could it be caused by the mixture of using Intel and AMD hardware?
I am surprised even the 1 vcpu vms did not have the issue because it is my understanding is teh windows activation is triggered when the CPU is changed especially when changing manufactirers - this is to ensure the license is staying on the same machine -
Negative, 1 vcpu VM that will not kick activation is confirmed in our environment. We have 3 VMs behaved this way.
It is also that those VMs regardless of how many vcpu will not kick activation if it is being run on Intel but different series processor. i.e. XEON -> i7
Unless you are using EVC, most of the CPU identifying information is passed through from the physical CPU to the guest. Whether or not Windows thinks reactivation is needed based on the CPU change is entirely up to Microsoft.