Activating Windows 7 OEM CoA as KVM Guest on CentOS 8 Works

If you are considering a low-cost, yet, reliable solution to host and maintain your applications, and you have system admin-type knowledge, you can successfully setup a KVM bare-metal CentOS 8 installation that has a fully activated Windows 7 Professional guest operating system to host the system on, but then still have a hypervisor to optimally run Linux as well.

What many people might not realize is that the Windows CoA/sticker license key on their legacy OEM hardware actually activates as a VM guest in KVM bare-metal situations. This means potential benefits for many people who would like to host and control their own software on a current hypervisor and still run their Microsoft Windows OS.

A person and/or company could then leverage their old Windows installation key, but then also activate additional Linux-guests on the same old hardware, effectively getting the maximum business juice out of the hardware. You can do a lot with 8GB DDR2 or 16GB DDR3 using KVM and some old Intel hardware with support for hardware virtualization and a Windows Pro sticker on it. Getting business going on low-cost hardware and software can be done without issue with the correct security measures in place to offset the old OS limitations.

People who are willing to wastefully spend can take their more costly approaches that give into the internet security fears of upgrading the latest OS for security reasons, but not actually create tangible benefits for themselves after spending all of their hard earned money unnecessarily on hardware, when they could have of spent that money on personnel.

In my situation, I was not able to activate Windows 7 Professional guests in Citrix XenServer 6.5 and 7 using legitimate stickers/CoA license keys affixed to the hardware I was running on. After moving to KVM on CentOS 8 to be my hypervisor of choice, not just as a server and guest OS, I have improved hypervisor reliability and Windows guest compatibility. Now, I can focus on increasing business and getting more customers and less time worrying how I am going to have spend on licensing and hardware spending.

This article is not for everybody, but it might be beneficial to a reader who might possess IT skills who might also be thinking about their business and how they could go about reducing cost by getting the most out of their system with a KVM setup.