There are two different models for completing volume activation:

1.Multiple Activation Key (MAK) - MAK activates systems on a one-time basis, using Microsoft's hosted activation services.
2.Key Management Service (KMS) – KMS allows organizations to activate systems within their own network. This is new model designed for Windows 7, Windows 2008, Office 2010 and above.

* Volume activation landing page (http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/dd197314.aspx)

* Guide to use KMS host on Windows 2008 R2
The guide is based on this video guide (http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/ff716620.aspx?ITPID=flpbook). If you use Windows 2008 for KMS, you need to install this KMS patch (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/968912). If you use Windows 2003 for KMS, you need to install this KMS patch (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/968915)

Part 1. Do these steps on the KMS Host
* Open an elevated Command Prompt (right click, Run As Administrator)
* cscript slmgr.vbs /dlv
* cscript slmgr.vbs /ipk <KmsKey>  (to provide the KMS key found in your licensing paper)
* cscript slmgr.vbs /ato (Internet connection via the default gateway is recommended)
* cscript slmgr.vbs /dlv (the 'Current count' field should be zero)
* Control Panel/Windows Firewall, and allow "Key Management Service" requests from DOMAIN clients (through the port 1688)
* DNS server: Forward Lookup Zones, your_domain_name, _tcp, and check properties of the _VLMCS SRV record

Part 2. Do these steps on the KMS Clients (Win 7, Win 2008, Office 2010)
* Open an elevated Command Prompt (right click, Run As Administrator)
* cscript slmgr.vbs /dlv
* cscript slmgr.vbs /ato (No need to provide the product key, no Internet connection is required). You may get this error "Code: 0xC004F038, ... the computer could not be activated. The count reported by your Key Management Service (KMS) is insufficient." This is expected because you do not have the required number of activations at the moment, that is why we need Part 4 below.

 

Part 3. Do these steps on the KMS Host
* cscript slmgr.vbs /dlv (the 'Current count' field should be one)

Part 4. Repeat steps in Part 2 on the additional KMS Clients (totalling 25 Win 7 machines or 5 Win 2008 machines or 5 Office 2010 machines)

Part 5. Do these steps on the KMS Host
* cscript slmgr.vbs /dlv and check for the 'Current count' value to see if that is 25 or 5 respectively.

Part 6. Do these steps on all KMS clients to see if they are successfully activated (the 'License Status' value is Licensed)
* cscript slmgr.vbs /dlv

 

Publication of the KMS Service
The KMS service uses service (SRV) resource records (RR) in DNS to store and communicate the locations of KMS hosts. KMS hosts use the DNS dynamic update protocol , if available, to publish the KMS SRV RRs. If dynamic update is not available or the KMS host does not have rights to publish the RRs, the DNS records must be published manually, or you must configure client computers to connect to specific KMS hosts

Client Discovery of the KMS Service
By default, KMS clients query DNS for KMS service information. The first time a KMS client queries DNS for KMS service information, it randomly chooses a KMS host from the list of SRV RRs that DNS returns.

The address of a DNS server containing the SRV RRs can be listed as a suffixed entry on KMS clients, which allows advertisement of SRV RRs for KMS in one DNS server and KMS clients with other primary DNS servers to find it.

By default, client computers connect to the KMS host for activation by using anonymous RPCs through TCP port 1688

* Guide for Co-hosting Office KMS host with a Windows KMS host, activating over telephone http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ee624357.aspx If currently you have a Windows KMS host running on an operating system that supports an Office KMS host, we recommend that you use the same computer as your Office KMS host

* Volume Activation Management Tool (VAMT) 2.0 http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=ec7156d2-2864-49ee-bfcb-777b898ad582&displaylang=en

* Plan MAK proxy activation of Office 2010 http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ff603512.aspx

PowerPoint slide presentation (1.6M) download (courtersy: Phung Phuoc Linh, Microsoft Vietnam) 

- Volume Activation Deployment Guide - http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dd772269.aspx By default, Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 operating systems use KMS for activation. To change existing KMS clients to MAK clients, simply install a MAK key. Similarly, to change MAK clients to KMS clients, run slmgr.vbs /ipk <KmsSetupKey>

- VA 2.0 Poster http://download.microsoft.com/download/4/5/f/45fb677a-c215-442e-afd0-419e08b6c5d1/VA%202.0%20Vertical%20Wall%20Poster%20RTM.pdf
- KMS setup demo video: http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=bbf2eb61-2b30-4f2d-bccd-df53e220b8e9&displaylang=en

* Quote from KMS FAQ (source: http://www.microsoft.com/licensing/existing-customers/product-activation-faq.aspx)

 What is Key Management Service (KMS) and how does it work?

KMS is a lightweight service that does not require a dedicated system and can easily be co-hosted on a system that provides other services. With KMS, you can complete activations on your local network, eliminating the need for individual computers to connect to Microsoft for product activation.

A KMS host key is used only to activate the KMS host with a Microsoft activation server. A KMS host key can activate 6 KMS hosts with 10 activations per host. Each host can activate an unlimited number of computers. If you have an existing machine configured as Windows KMS* host, you will need to enter and activate the Office 2010 KMS host key before the KMS host can activate Office 2010, Project 2010, and Visio 2010. If you need additional KMS activations so you may activate more than 6 KMS hosts, find the telephone number for your Microsoft Activation Center to activate your KMS host.

KMS requires a minimum number of either physical or virtual computers in a network environment. These minimums, called activation thresholds, are set so that they are easily met by enterprise customers. For computers running:

  • Windows Server 2008 and Windows Server 2008 R2 you must have at least five (5) computers to activate.

  • Windows Vista or Windows 7 you must have at least twenty-five (25) computers to activate. These thresholds can be a mix of server and client machines to make up the threshold number.

  • For Office 2010, Project 2010 and Visio 2010 you must have at least five (5) computers to activate. If you have deployed Microsoft Office 2010 products, including Project 2010 and Visio 2010, you must have at least five (5) computers running Office 2010, Project 2010 or Visio 2010.

Here are some more reference materials to assist you:


PUBLIC VOLUME LICENSE KEYS (http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ff793421.aspx )

Windows 7 Professional -  FJ82H-XT6CR-J8D7P-XQJJ2-GPDD4

Windows 7 Enterprise -  33PXH-7Y6KF-2VJC9-XBBR8-HVTHH (convert 90-day eval to KMS)

Windows Server 2008 R2 Standard - YC6KT-GKW9T-YTKYR-T4X34-R7VHC

Windows Server 2008 R2 Enterprise - 489J6-VHDMP-X63PK-3K798-CPX3Y

Windows Server 2008 R2 Datacenter - 74YFP-3QFB3-KQT8W-PMXWJ-7M648 (convert 180-day eval to KMS)

Windows Server 2008 Standard - TM24T-X9RMF-VWXK6-X8JC9-BFGM2

Windows Server 2008 Enterprise - YQGMW-MPWTJ-34KDK-48M3W-X4Q6V


Question
: Can you convert the evaluation version to a full version?
Answer: Although it is not blocked, it is unsupported to upgrade to a full version or to change the product key to a full version. To upgrade to a full version, you must use non-evaluation media to do a new install. If you change the product key to Full Version the visual evaluation references in Winver and in displayed in Slmgr /DLV output are removed, however, the WLMS service is still on the system and this is still evaluation media.
Source: Windows Server 2008 R2 evaluation version - http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-US;2021579