Volume Activation (VA) 2.0 is designed to automate and manage the activation process while addressing the piracy and product key management problems associated with Volume License Keys (VLKs) issued for Windows XP and Windows Server 2003. Volume Activation 2.0 eliminates the use of product keys at installation and enables better protection and management of customer-specific product keys through some new and enhanced activation management tools. All installations of Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008 must be activated.
Multiple activation options exist for volume customers: MAK independent, MAK proxy and KMS.
Let's have a closer look at KMS...
The Key Management Server (KMS) is used to establish a local activation service (Key Management Service) that is hosted locally/internally in your environment.
Use of the KMS eliminates any need for individual machines to connect to Microsoft to activate.
A KMS key is used to enable/activate the Key Management Service on a KMS server/host machine. A KMS server/host can run natively on Windows Vista, Windows Server 2008 and even Windows Server Core 2008. Computers running volume license editions of Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008 are KMS clients and try to locate the KMS server/host using one of the two methods:
For more information:
- Volume Activation 2.0 on Technet
- Volume Activation 2.0 Technical white papers (Overview, Planning Guide, Deployment Guide, Operations Guide)
Windows Server 2008, onghorn, Windows Vista, VLK, Volume Activation, KMS, VLA, MAK, Microsoft