When your evaluation version is coming to an end, and the 180 days trial slowly getting closer to Zero, then you need to upgrade or “stop” using the server.
If you want to upgrade the server, then get a hold on a MAK key for activating the Windows server 2016 standard or Datacenter. “The product key is version specified, so for a Server 2016 “standard” edition you need a product key for the standard edition and for datacenter edition you need a product key for datacenter edition.”
“If you domain join the server 2016 and the server are placed in a infrastruktur environment that has a KMS server, then the server will automatically get activated. In this case a KMS server isn’t available and this could also be the scenario in a small business environment and for standalone servers.”
Now to the process:
On your server 2016 you just need to start a Powershell prompt in elevated mode or a Command prompt as administrator and start checking the edtions that are available for an upgrade. Use the command Dism /Online /Get-TargetEditions.
Now make the choice for wicht server edition you want to upgrade to, again remember that the product key is edition specified.
The next command you need to execute in the powershell or command prompt is: Dism /online /Set-Edition: <edition name> /ProductKey:xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxx-xxxx /AcceptEula
Now it starts upgrading to that edtion of your choice and please be patient this can take some time especially if you go from a standard edition to a datacenter edition. It will hang for 10.0% over a period of time.
When its done, restart the server and it will run a clean up and after that your ready to go.
Note: you cannot active the server through the normally “Enter a Product key” wizard. A error message will display “The edtion cannot be upgraded”
Happy deployment 😉