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Dec 27, 2010

Let's try talk about KMS

Just to clarify KMS is part of Volume Activation process and I will talk about only KMS (Key Management Service). There is another way to deployment Volume Activation using MAK. Let's focus on KMS first.
You will see KMS is a simple service that does not require a dedicated server and can be hosted on a server that provides other services. I recommend use KMS configured Windows Server 2008 R2.
What's KMS Host, KMS Client:
 - The KMS host runs the activation service and enables activation in the environment. The KMS host is the server where you will need to install a key (the KMS key from the Volume License Service Center (VLSC)) and then activate the service. The service is supported on Windows Server 2003, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows Server 2008, or Windows Server 2008 R2.
 - The KMS client is all Windows operating system that is deployed in the environment and needs to activate. KMS clients include the editions of Windows available to our volume license customers: Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows Server 2008 R2, and Windows Server 2008.
  ○ Important: By default, volume editions of Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 connect to a server that hosts the KMS service to request activation. No action is required of the user. Since we've a KMS Host already configured.
  ○ About KMS Key please try use the KMS Key for Windows Server 2008 R2
What's KMS Key and How Important is Determine Product Key:
 - First … KMS Key is the Volume License that allow you activate all Windows operating system in the network environment. Depending which KMS Key you chose you will be impacted, so pay attention on it.
 - Product keys are associated with a product group (Client, GroupA, GroupB, GroupC) and can activate the Windows editions within that specific product group as well as any editions below it in the product hierarchy.


 Group Definitions:
 Client: Windows Vista/Windows 7 VL  (Business, Enterprise, Professional)
 Group A: Windows Server 2008 Web, Windows Server 2008 Web, Windows Server HPC 2008, Windows Server HPC 2008 R2
 Group B: Windows Server 2008/2008R2 Enterprise, Windows Server 2008/2008R2 Standard
 Group C: Windows Server 2008/2008R2 Datacenter, Windows Server 2008/2008R2 for Itanium Editions


 - Be aware, there are KMS Key for example "Group B" and "Group B R2" if you have KMS Key for Group B and if try activate a Windows Server 2008 R2 Enterprise you will NOT be able to do. Keep in mind to have "Group B R2" for activate Windows Server 2008 R2. Check the table below:



  http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ff793422.aspx


 - Also keep in mind if you already installed KMS Host on Windows Vista or Windows Server 2008 you need update according this article http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;EN-US;968912 and review the KMS Key to be compliance with correct Group definition.


Prepare KMS Activation
 Configure DNS for KMS Activation
  ○ KMS hosts automatically publish their existence by creating service (SRV) resource records in the DNS server. If you have only one KMS host and DDNS, no action is required for the KMS host to create the SRV record that publishes the KMS service. However, if you have more than one KMS host, only the first KMS host can create an SRV record. Subsequent KMS hosts cannot change or update SRV records unless the default permissions on the DNS server are changed. (More details http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc303280.aspx)
 -
Now the good part: How to install KMS Host
 - It's too easy and too simple. The KMS Host should have internet access to access and activated using Microsoft Hosted Services.
  1. Log on to the computer that will serve as the KMS host.
  2. Open an elevated command prompt. To do this, click Start, click All Programs, click Accessories, right-click Command Prompt, and then click Run as administrator.
  3. To install your KMS key, type the following at the command prompt, and then press Enter:
  C:\windows\system32>cscript slmgr.vbs /ipk <KmsKey>  - ** Remember the table above! **
  4. Activate the KMS host with Microsoft using the following:
   a. For online activation, type the following at the command prompt and then press Enter:
   C:\windows\system32>cscript slmgr.vbs /ato
  5. After activation is complete, restart the KMS Host.

  ○ KMS Host use the port 1688, be sure this port is release in the Firewall.
  ○ How to check if the KMS Host was installed properly?
   From an elevated command prompt, type SLMGR.vbs /dlv. This will give you verbose output of the Software Licensing service.
  
Configure KMS Clients
 - By default, volume editions of Windows Vista, Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 install as KMS clients. If the computers you would like to activate using KMS are using either of these operating systems and your network allows DNS auto-discovery, no further configuration is needed.

  Manually Assign a KMS Host
  If your network does not support DDNS, you need to manually assign a KMS host to your KMS clients. Manually assigning a KMS host disables auto-discovery of KMS on a KMS client.

  To manually assign a KMS host to a KMS client
   i. Log on to the KMS client computer.
   ii. Open an elevated command prompt. To do this, click Start, click All Programs, click Accessories, right-click Command Prompt, and then click Run as administrator.
   iii. At the command prompt, type one of the following options and press Enter:
    1) assign a KMS host using the host's FQDN, type: cscript \windows\system32\slmgr.vbs /skms <KMS_FQDN>:<port>
    2) To assign a KMS host using the host's version 4 IP address, type:
    cscript \windows\system32\slmgr.vbs /skms <IPv4Address><:port>

 - After assign a KMS Host you need now activated your Windows operation system.


  Manually Activate a KMS Client
  KMS clients automatically attempt to activate, by default, at preset intervals. If you need to manually activate some KMS clients, you can run the following procedure. To perform this procedure, you must be a member of the Administrators group on the local computer, or you must have been delegated these rights. Your computer must have access to a KMS host on your organization's network to complete this procedure.
   § To activate a KMS client manually using the Slmgr.vbs script
    □ Log on to the KMS client computer.
    □ Open an elevated command prompt. To do this, click Start, click All Programs, click Accessories, right-click Command Prompt, and then click Run as administrator.
    □ At the command prompt, type the following, and then press Enter:
    cscript \windows\system32\slmgr.vbs /ato
    The script reports activation success or failure, along with a result code.
   
    For errors code, please check the article http://support.microsoft.com/kb/938450


 - Also it's important depending environment is really good use the VAMT 2.0 to organize and be able to check your full environment.  http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ff686876.aspx#_Toc254001284
 Download http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/en/details.aspx?FamilyID=ec7156d2-2864-49ee-bfcb-777b898ad582&displaylang=en


 -
More information and Articles Related
=================================
How to troubleshoot the Key Management Service (KMS) http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ee939272.aspx
KMS Host Client Count not Increasing Due to Duplicate CMID'S http://blogs.technet.com/b/askcore/archive/2009/10/16/kms-host-client-count-not-increasing-due-to-duplicate-cmid-s.aspx

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