In this article, we will show you how to automate the activation of Windows Server 2019 by leveraging PowerShell Direct and Automatic Virtual Machine Activation (AVMA) to activate Windows Server 2019 virtual machines running on top of Windows Server 2019 Standalone host or Hyper-V Cluster.
In This Article
A while ago, I wrote a blog post on how to automatically activate Windows Server 2016 Virtual Machines using PowerShell Direct, you can read all about it here.
In Windows Server 2016 Hyper-V, Microsoft introduced an awesome feature called PowerShell Direct. For more information about PowerShell Direct, please check the following article.
I have updated the script to support Windows Server 2019 guest virtual machines, which do not require any network configuration for the guest operating system or any type of network at all.
Automatic Virtual Machine Activation
Automatic Virtual Machine Activation (AVMA) is a feature that was introduced starting with Windows Server 2012 R2. AVMA binds the virtual machine activation to the licensed virtualization server and activates the virtual machine when it starts up. This eliminates the need to enter licensing information and activate each virtual machine individually.
Microsoft has updated the generic AVMA Keys to support Windows Server 2019 (Datacenter/Standard/Essentials) according to the Guest OS Edition that you want to activate, for more information, please check the official documentation.
In order to get benefits of Automatic Virtual Machine Activation, AVMA requires that the host is running Windows Server 2019 Datacenter Edition and that the guest virtual machine OS is either Windows Server 2019 Datacenter, Windows Server 2019 Standard, or Windows Server 2019 Essentials.
Automate the Activation with PowerShell
You have deployed several Windows Server 2019 virtual machines on top of Windows Server 2019 Hyper-V (Datacenter Edition) with or without SCVMM, using Windows Admin Center, or using a deployment tool such as MDT where you can add the below script during the deployment to activate all VMs.
Of course, you could use the manual approach, but the easiest way is to use PowerShell, for this reason, I have created a small function that takes care of the automatic activation steps for you:
Here we go:
<# .SYNOPSIS Activate Windows Server 2019 VMs. .DESCRIPTION Activate Windows Server 2019 Virtual Machines using Automatic Virtual Machine Activation (AVMA). Guest OSs (Windows Server 2019 Standard, Standard Core, Datacenter, Datacenter Core, or Essentials). .NOTES =========================================================================== File Name : ActivateVM-WS2019.ps1 Author : Charbel Nemnom Version : 3.0 Date created : 08.March.2019 Last modified: 11.March.2019 Requires : PowerShell Version 5.1 or above OS : Windows Server 2019 Hyper-V Module : Hyper-V-PowerShell =========================================================================== .LINK To provide feedback or for further assistance please visit:
You can run the script above from your management machine within the same domain, you need to specify first the Hyper-V hostname (Standalone) or Hyper-V Cluster name, and this could be Windows Server Core or Server with Desktop Experience as well, then you have two options, either you specify a single virtual machine name or you can use the switch “-ALLVMS” to activate all virtual machines.
This script will leverage PowerShell Remoting to connect to the Hyper-V host remotely and then use PowerShell Direct to activate all VMs. Welcome to Nested PowerShell Remoting (PSRemoting + PSDirect). This script will also use a new cmdlet that was introduced in Windows Server 2016 named “Wait-VM“. This cmdlet will wait for a virtual machine to respond using (heartbeat) before activating.
The output will look something like this:
In this example, we are activating all virtual machines running on top of Storage Spaces Direct Hyper-Converged Cluster, if a VM is already activated, you will be notified, and if a new VM needs to be activated, you will be notified as well.
There are different ways to accomplish the same result, but nevertheless, it has worked for me and I feel that it’s much easier than having to log in and activate each VM individually.
I am planning to improve this tool in the future. This is version 3.0. If you have any feedback or changes that everyone should receive, please feel free to leave a comment below.
Thank you for reading my blog.
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