I have included below from a licensing perspective around transitioning to a datacenter.
Moving an instance of software from one server to another is not the same as reassigning a software license from one server to another. Moving an instance of software means to move the software bits from one server to another. Reassigning a software license means to assign that license to another server so that it becomes the server licensed to run that software.
Microsoft license by running license only and not create and store. Where you execute the software into memory and it is enabled to run you need a license. Once the license is assigned, you are enabled to run that instance.
Microsoft have had some changes to the reassignment of licenses. Prior to this, It had to be kept on the hardware it was reassigned to for 90 days. Please be aware Windows Server licenses have not changed with regard to server mobility.
September 1st 2008 customers onwards Customers are able to move their licenses acquired under Volume Licensing programs for any of the 41 different Microsoft Server applications within a ‘server farm’ as often as necessary so that customers can create more dynamic computing environments.
A ‘server farm’ consists of up to Two datacenters each physically located within the European Union (EU) and each datacenter must be part of one server farm. You may reassign a datacenter from one server farm to another but not on a short-term basis, so not within 90 days of the last reassignment.
For your current and planned move to a datacenter.
• You must assign a license to your intended device
• After the license is assigned, the device is now considered the licensed device.
• Customers can now reassign server applications freely within a server farm.
When it comes to your intended plans for movement to a new datacenter, and you have a license assigned, and the server has capacity. You can move Instances from one server to another server. This is nothing to do with re-assigning licenses. If the destination server has sufficient licenses to have capacity for the Instances you wish to move and copy on it than this can go ahead.
Microsoft Waiving the 90 day reassignment rule means customers can set up far more dynamic, agile IT infrastructure that make the most of the flexibility that virtualization offers. Please refer to the detail here in the MS White Paper:
Secondly, if your customer has active SA for SQL Server 2008, they have “Cold server backup” right as well. The Server needs to be turned off in this scenario.
• If your current SQL Server and Windows Server have been deployed without a license assigned to them a license must be acquired and assigned.
• If you are looking at consolidation, from a compliance perspective, please be aware this does not address the current deployment of Microsoft software on servers that do not have a license assigned. You must ensure all your servers are licensed correctly before any re-assignment can be made.