Hi, Bruce here! With the release Windows Server 2012 we all have to start learning the new features of the product. So tonight I am studying an Active Directory-Based Activation. Below are some resources to bring you to speed at the same time.
This is a cool new feature which enables enterprises to activate Windows and/or Office through a connection to their domain.
Active Directory-Based Activation Overview
Active Directory-Based Activation (ADBA) is a new feature for Windows® 8, which enables enterprises to activate computers through a connection to their domain. Many companies have computers at offsite locations that use products that are registered to the company. Previously these computers needed to either use a retail key or a Multiple Activation Key (MAK), or physically connect to the network in order to activate their products by using Key Management Services (KMS). ADBA provides a way to activate these products if the computers can join the company’s domain. When the user joins their computer to the domain, the ADBA object automatically activates Windows installed on their computer, as long as the computer has a Generic Volume License Key (GVLK) installed. No single physical computer is required to act as the activation object, because it is distributed throughout the domain.
New features in Active Directory Domain Services in Windows Server 2012, Part 16: Active Directory-based Activation
Volume activation methods in Office 2013
From your post I got that as long as you have the standard AD ports open this technology will work.
"...Where KMS used TCP port 1688 (by default) for client-server communication, Active Directory-based Activation uses commonly used Active Directory client-server communication ports."
Is Microsoft supporting Active Directory-Based Activation through a FIREWALL?
Also does every Windows 2012 DCs must have Volume Activation Services Server role to provide greater redundancy? Also is it needed store the activation information in the ms-SPP-Activation object in Active Directory?