Chapter 12 - Licensing and License Manager
Network solutions generally have the following two components:
With the Microsoft BackOffice licensing model, these components are licensed separately, so you purchase only what you need to build a network solution for your company's particular requirements. Each server requires a license and each client computer accessing a server also requires a license (called a Client Access License).
The license agreements for certain Microsoft BackOffice server products (such as Windows NT Server, Microsoft Exchange Server, SQL Server, and SNA Server) also provide the flexibility of two client licensing modes: Per Server and Per Seat. With Per Server licensing, each Client Access License is assigned to a particular server and allows one connection to that server for the use of that product. With Per Seat licensing, a Client Access License is assigned to each specific computer that accesses the server. Once a computer is licensed in the Per Seat mode, it can access any network server running that BackOffice server product at no additional charge.
Note Microsoft Systems Management Server (SMS) supports only the Per Seat licensing mode.
Client Access Licenses are separate from the desktop operating system software you use to connect to Microsoft server products. Purchasing Microsoft Windows 95, Windows NT Workstation, or any other desktop operating system (such as Macintosh) that connects to Microsoft server products does not constitute a legal license to connect to those Microsoft server products. In addition to the desktop operating system, Client Access Licenses must also be purchased.
Tracking licenses manually on local computers or within a small domain is time consuming but possible. Tracking licenses without the assistance of automated tools across an entire organization with multiple domains can be very difficult, extremely costly, and overly time consuming. A tool that manages and tracks licenses and usage throughout an organization can help contain these costs.
Windows NT Server 4.0 includes two administrative tools that help to reduce these costs and the administrative overhead of license tracking:
These tools enable you to automatically replicate licensing data from all the primary domain controllers (PDCs) in the organization to a centralized database on a specified master server, making it easier for you to comply with legal requirements.
Note Licensing replication does not depend on nor does it use the Replication service or the directory replication process.
Choosing Between the Two Licensing Modes
Licensing for the Microsoft BackOffice family of server products requires a Server License for each server and a Client Access License for each client computer to access the server. These licenses are acquired separately prior to using the product. For Windows NT Server, Microsoft Exchange Server, SQL Server, and SNA Server, the Client Access License can be used in one of two licensing modes (Per Server and Per Seat) offering customers the flexibility to choose the option that best meets their needs.
The licensing mode you select depends on which applications you will be using. For example, if you use Windows NT Server mainly for file and print sharing and on multiple servers, you may be better off with the Per Seat option. However, if you use it as a dedicated Remote Access Server computer, you can select the Per Server concurrent connections option.
Use the following guidelines for selecting a licensing mode:
Use the following worksheet to decide between the two licensing modes:
If C is less than D, you should use Per Server licensing. Line C shows the number of Client Access Licenses you need.
If D is less than C, you should use Per Seat licensing. Line D shows the number of Client Access Licenses you need.
In either case, line A shows the number of Server Licenses you need.
Notice that within a single organization, you can also mix the Per Server and Per Seat modes because your choice depends on how much the different server products are used in each department. You can also mix the Per Server and Per Seat modes on a single server if you are running multiple server products. However, a given server product, such as SQL Server, cannot be simultaneously run in two modes on the same server.
If you are ever unsure about which licensing mode to choose, select the Per Server option. If your network traffic later increases and more clients need to connect at the same time, you are legally permitted to convert from Per Server mode to Per Seat mode at no additional cost. This is a one-time, one-way conversion option and is available only for Windows NT Server, Microsoft Exchange Server, SQL Server, and SNA Server.
It is not necessary for you to notify Microsoft if you elect to make this change. However, you will need to reenter the licensing data in License Manager using the New Client Access License dialog box. You are not legally permitted to change the licensing mode from Per Seat to Per Server.
Per Server Licensing
The Per Server licensing mode is available for Microsoft Windows NT Server 3.51 or later, Microsoft SQL Server 4.21a or later, Microsoft SNA Server 2.11 or later and Microsoft Exchange Server 4.0 or later. It is not available for Microsoft Systems Management Server or the Microsoft BackOffice Client Access License.
With Per Server licensing, each Client Access License is assigned to a particular service (product) on a particular server and allows one connection to that service, such as basic network services. For Windows NT Server, the basic network services include the following:
Notice that a connection, in this case, is to a server and not just to an individual share point or printer on that server. If you connect to \\Airedale\Apps and \\Airedale\Public, that is considered as only one connection for licensing purposes. However, if you connect in Per Server mode to a server from two different computers using the same username, that is considered two connections.
You must have at least as many Client Access Licenses dedicated to a service on that server as the maximum number of client computers that will connect to that server at any point in time. If you select the Per Server option, you must specify during Setup or upon purchasing new Client Access Licenses, the number of Client Access Licenses (which corresponds to the number of concurrent connections) that you have purchased for that server.
With Per Server licensing, once the specified limit for concurrent connections is reached, the server returns an error to the client's computer and does not allow more computer connections to that server. Connections made by administrators are also considered as part of the total number of concurrent connections. When the limit is reached, though, administrators are still allowed to connect to manage the lockout situation. New users, however, cannot connect again until enough users (including administrators) have disconnected to get below the specified limit.
Note You can also check the application log in Event Viewer on the master server to view any license violation alerts, which appear every six hours as Error 71 and Event ID 201.
The Per Server option is often the most economical one for networks in which clients tend to connect to only one server or occasional-use or special-purpose servers, and they do not all need to connect at the same time. If a network environment has multiple servers, each server licensed in Per Server mode must have at least as many Client Access Licenses dedicated to it as the maximum number of clients that will connect to it at any one time.
Per Seat Licensing
The Per Seat licensing mode requires a Client Access License for each computer that will access a particular BackOffice product on any server. Once a computer is licensed for a particular product, it can be used to access that product at any computer running Windows NT Server. Multiple users can also log on to that single computer.
However, having a valid Per Seat mode Client Access License does not guarantee you access to a server that is licensed in the Per Server mode and has reached its specified limit. Such a connection also consumes one of the licenses assigned to the pool of available Per Server licenses. Therefore, you can connect only if there are Per Server licenses available.
For example, if a server in Per Server mode has 50 Client Access Licenses dedicated to that server and has fewer than 50 simultaneously connected clients, additional clients can connect. If, however, that server has reached its specified limit, additional clients cannot connect, even if they have a valid Per Seat mode license for that service.
If you select the Per Seat licensing mode, any number of licensed computers can be used to connect at any time to any Windows NT Server. However, remember that you must purchase a separate Client Access License for each computer even if you use client operating-system software from Microsoft (including Microsoft Windows for Workgroups, Microsoft Windows 95, or Microsoft Windows NT Workstation) or from a third-party vendor or use any of the other client software supported by Windows NT Server. The Per Seat option is often the most economical one for networks in which clients tend to connect to more than one server.
Note A Client Access License is not included when you acquire Windows 95, Windows NT Workstation, or Windows for Workgroups. The license must be purchased separately in addition to the operating-system software.
To obtain correct licensing information when working with Per Seat licenses, you might need to group certain users and make them members of a license group.
License groups show a relationship (also known as a mapping) between users and computers and should be used only when one of the following configurations is true:
A license group is composed of:
The number of licenses assigned should correspond to the number of computers in the licensing group. This number does not have to match the number of users in the group.
In the first example with multiple users but only one computer, you need only one Client Access License. You are licensing the number of computers, not the number of users.
The same logic also applies to the second configuration. For example, if you have 100 users accessing 10 computers, you need to purchase only 10 Client Access Licenses to cover those 10 computers. However, you might want to keep track of all 100 users and how often they use each computer to access various servers. The license group you create is assigned 10 Client Access Licenses and includes 100 users.
In the last case, the one user needs multiple Client Access Licenses to be in compliance with legal licensing requirements even though License Manager shows only one user. In this case, the license group includes only one user with multiple Client Access Licenses assigned.
Keeping an Enterprise Licensing Database
License tracking can be local, by domain, or across an entire organization. For organization-level tracking, an administrator can ensure the company's legal compliance with software license agreements by maintaining a centralized historical database of all purchases and deletions. Windows NT Server provides a means to keep a centralized database on a designated master server to which each server replicates its licensing information.
The master server is a server in an organization or domain that has been designated as the centralized repository of all licensing data for that organization or domain. It can be either the PDC for that individual domain or a specified enterprise server. An enterprise server is the server to which multiple PDCs in a large organization will replicate.
In a smaller, single-domain company, the domain's PDC is the master server for the domain (and thus the entire organization). In a larger multiple domain organization, each PDC is the master server for its domain, and the organization also has a single enterprise server which receives information from the various master servers.
The primary domain controller is the master server for all the backup domain controllers and other servers in that domain. The backup domain controllers and other servers always replicate to the PDC.
You should set a server to replicate to an enterprise server only in the following cases:
The following table shows the availability of each option and under what circumstances you would select each one.
Choosing an Enterprise Server
You can have one or more enterprise servers in your organization. However, it is easier to have a single enterprise server so that you collect all the organization's licensing information into one complete database.
If you have multiple enterprise servers, none of them can replicate to another enterprise server. In this case, each enterprise server would compile only a subset of your organization's licensing information.
For your enterprise server, you should choose only a primary domain controller or a standalone server that is not participating in a domain.
Balancing the License Replication Load
License Manager provides two ways for you to balance the network load of the replication of licensing information.
Each of these options is available both for backup domain controllers and servers replicating to their domain PDCs and for PDCs replicating to an organization's enterprise server.
The time for licensing changes on an individual server to make their way up to the enterprise server in a domain can be as much as twice the frequency you set. For example, at a frequency of 24 hours, information can take as much as 24 hours to replicate to the PDC and 24 more hours to replicate to the enterprise server.
For detailed instructions on how to perform these activities, see Help.
Administering Licenses and Licensing Information
Windows NT Server provides two tools — License Manager and the Licensing option in Control Panel — to assist administrators in managing licensing.
These tools provide a way for administrators to track Client Access Licenses across an organization and ensure compliance with the requirements of the Microsoft BackOffice family license agreements.
Administrators can use the License Manager program to obtain a centralized view of Per Seat and Per Server licenses across the organization, manage the purchasing or deleting of licenses for products on network servers over which they have administrative rights, view usage statistics per user, and balance the licensing replication load across the network.
Licensing Option in Control Panel
After the initial Setup process, you can use the Licensing option in Control Panel if you need to change the licensing mode on that computer from Per Server to Per Seat (a one-time only option). You can also use it to configure licensing replication for that computer and to add or delete Per Server licenses for each BackOffice family product installed on the server (Per Seat licenses can be administered only through License Manager).
With License Manager, administrators can (locally or remotely) change the licensing mode of BackOffice™ family products from Per Server to Per Seat, add or delete Client Access Licenses for BackOffice products, create license groups, and view licensing information at several levels.
To start License Manager
Upon starting License Manager, you see an opening screen with the following tabs that provide overall information and paths to the tool's principal management functions:
Each tab provides a different view of the information (products, product licenses, clients, and servers) tracked by License Manager and access to various Properties screens with additional tabs for information that is specific to that item.
Purchase History Tab
The Purchase History screen provides a historical overview of the licenses purchased for products installed in the selected domain or organization. It also shows the quantity of licenses purchased and deleted, the date of installation or deletion, and the identity of the administrator (the one who certifies that the company purchased the license) who either installed or deleted the product license. It also shows comments that were entered during installation or deletion of licenses.
Products View Tab
The second main tab is for the Products View screen, which contains information on the products in the selected domain or the entire organization. What this screen shows depends on the licensing mode of each product:
You can use both the numerical and graphical information in this screen to determine the following:
While in this screen, you can also do the following:
For detailed instructions on how to perform these activities see Help.
Double-clicking any product name opens the Properties screen for that product and enables you to access three additional tabs with information that is specific to that product.
Clients (Per Seat) Tab
The third tab is for the Clients (Per Seat) view, which provides information on a list of clients (or users) that have used the products in that domain or organization. It also shows how many of the listed products (licensed in Per Seat mode) they are licensed to use and how many they are not licensed to use.
These users can be either single users or members of license groups. (To see which users are members of particular license group, click Advanced on the Options menu, and then click Edit License Groups.)
You can use both the numerical and graphical information in this screen to determine the following:
While in this screen, you can also do the following activities:
For detailed instructions on how to perform these activities see Help.
Double-clicking the user's name opens the Properties screen for that user and enables you to access a Products View tab, which shows which products in the domain or organization are being used by that user, the last date the user used them, and how many times the user has used them.
Server Browser Tab
The final tab is for the Server Browser view, which lists all the domains and servers in the organization. This tab enables you to view and edit server and server product licensing information in any domain in which you have administrative authority.
While in this screen, you can access these three levels and do the following:
For detailed instructions on how to perform these activities see Help.
Double-clicking a domain name displays a list of all the servers located in that domain. Double-clicking a server name displays a list of all the products installed on that server. Double-clicking a product name displays the Choose Licensing Mode dialog box for changing the licensing mode.
Troubleshooting Licensing Problems
The following section provides a list of licensing-related events you might see in the Application Log of Event Viewer and the steps to take (if any) with each. The events are listed by event ID number, with the lowest first.
201 No license was available for user user_name using product product name. 202 The product product_name is out of licenses. Each of these messages indicate licensing violations of the products named in the message. 203 The user data could not be saved. 204 The license group data could not be saved. 205 The purchased license data could not be saved. Each of these messages indicated that an error occurred, preventing licensing data from being saved. The license service may be able to succeed later in writing the file. If not, the data is lost for now. Data that is received from other computers will be regained during the next round of replication, but local data must be reentered. 208 The saved user data could not be restored. 209 The saved license group data could not be restored. 210 The saved purchased license data could not be restored. Each of these messages indicated that an error occurred, preventing licensing data from being read from a saved file. The license service will overwrite the file the next time it saves information. Data that is received from other computers will be regained during the next round of replication, but local data must be reentered. 213 Replication of license information failed because the License Logging Service on server server_name could not be contacted. The indicated PDC or enterprise server is either not available on the network or the license service on that computer is not running. Verify that the computer is on the network and is running, and use Server Manager to make sure the license service is running on that computer. 214 The License Logging Service encountered an error while initiating replication to server server_name. The license service on the named server was contacted, but an error occurred before replication could begin. This is probably due to communications problems on the network. The license service will retry replication in 15 minutes and every 15 minutes thereafter until it succeeds. 215 License database replication to server server_name was unsuccessful. Replication to the named server began successfully but failed to complete. This is probably due to communications problems on the network. The license service will retry replication in 15 minutes and every 15 minutes thereafter until it succeeds. 216 The license certificate for product product_name with serial number serial_number is in violation. There are currently installed_number licenses installed from this certificate, while only licensed_number are allowed by the license agreement. The servers with this certificate installed are as follows: server_names Use License Manager to remove licenses in order to comply with the license agreement. The license service has detected that the certificate with the listed serial number has had more licenses installed from it than it allows. The servers for which this certificate has licenses installed are listed. You should use License Manager to reduce the number of licenses installed from this certificate. 217 The certificate database could not be saved. Check whether the server has enough disk space. 218 The certificate database could not be restored. The database file may be corrupt. No action is necessary. The database will be automatically regenerated. 219 License database replication cannot be performed to server server_name because the version of Windows NT installed there does not support the License Logging Service. The named server is available on the network but has no license service installed because it is running a version of Windows NT prior to 3.51.
Reestablishing Lost Connections
A lost connection with a domain server results in the error message "The RPC server is unavailable." To reestablish a lost connection with a server, reselect the domain.
Situations That Use Up Licenses
The following is a list of many common situations that use up one or more licenses from the pool of available licenses in either Per Seat or Per Server mode or both modes. These are situations under which License Manager assigns licenses. They do not always coincide with when you legally use a license, such as what happens with license groups.
The following list shows several (but not all) situations that do not use a license:
Counting Connections Twice for Licensing
Consider the following scenario in which two licenses are assigned to the same user. (This can happen only on Windows NT Workstation or Windows NT Server; not on Windows 95 or Windows for Workgroups.) A primary domain controller (PDC) has its Guest account disabled. It has a share named LLS and a user named DomUser, whose password is also DomUser.
From DomainA, the user connects in Per Seat mode to the PDC using the following command:
net use * \\pdc\lls /u:DomUser DomUser
This is counted as DomainA\DomUser, and one license is assigned.
From DomainB, the user connects through RAS to the PDC using the same command as before. This is counted as DomainB\DomUser, and another license is assigned.
The reason is that the user did not specify the domain of the account. Therefore, the local account on the PDC is providing access, but the connection is still from the remote domain. To avoid this situation, the user must specify a domain name along with theusername. For example, if you specify the same name from both domains, that is /u:DomainA\DomUser, the PDC counts it as a single connection and assigns a single license.
If you are using a notebook or laptop computer that is disconnected from the network, another solution is to log on as the domain user account rather than as the local user. Then, if you connect through RAS to the network, you are assigned only one license and not two.
License Purchasing Requirements
Before purchasing a product, it also helps to know if you need to purchase licenses, how many, and what kind. The following examples provide detailed information on several Microsoft server products.
Microsoft Exchange Server
The Microsoft Exchange Server license enables you to install and use the Microsoft Exchange Server software on a single server computer. A few components of the server software can be installed and used on any number of computers without purchasing additional licenses. The Microsoft Exchange Administrator program, the MS Mail Connector, and the Source Extractors contain such components.
You can install client software on any number of computers. However, a Client Access License is required for every computer that accesses the services of Microsoft Exchange Server. This is required regardless of the client operating system software used, or whether the client operating system includes a Micrososft Exchange Client Inbox.
Connector software is licensed to be installed and used on a single computer running Microsoft Exchange Server. If you install connector software on one server, you must purchase licenses to use the connector software on every other server in the same organization. This is because once a connector is installed on one server, users of any server in the same organization can access the connector to send and receive mail.
Microsoft SQL Server
With SQL Server, you can have a server running a SQL gateway application (that is, an application that maintains a single connection to the SQL Server database). Multiple clients can access the gateway, which manages the database queries on behalf of the clients. However, clients do not connect directly to the SQL Server database, so License Manager cannot track the usage accurately. License Manager detects only one licensed connection.
The product license specifically addresses this type of multiplexing or pooling application. The license states that using software or hardware that reduces the number of users directly accessing or using SQL Server, which is sometimes called multiplexing or pooling software or hardware, does not reduce the number of Client Access Licenses required. The required number of Client Access Licenses equals the number of distinct connections to the multiplexing or pooling software or hardware front end.
Microsoft Systems Management Server
In a Systems Management Server (SMS) hierarchy, at least one Server License for a SQL Server is required and must be purchased separately. A Server License for Windows NT Server is also required for each server using server code (such as primary, secondary, and helper servers) for a Systems Management Server. Therefore, if you need to purchase Server Licenses to run three server products (Systems Management Server, SQL Server, and Windows NT Server) on the same computer, it is cheaper to purchase the BackOffice Server License.
Microsoft SNA Server
Microsoft SNA Server requires a Server License for the server and Client Access Licenses for all computers that access the SNA Server. You can access SNA Server in many ways. The most common form of access is through an application, such as Attachmate Extra or an application developed with Visual Basic, that is accessing SNA services. Although you are not directly connected to SNA Server, the application that you are using is connected, so an SNA Server Client Access License is required.
Microsoft BackOffice 2.0
Microsoft BackOffice 2.0 is an integrated family of server products, consisting of Windows NT Server 3.51, Microsoft SQL Server 6.5, Microsoft SNA Server 2.11a, Microsoft Systems Management Server 1.1, Microsoft Exchange Server 4.0, and Microsoft Internet Information Server 1.0. Like the other server products, Microsoft BackOffice is available in both a Server License and a Client Access License.
Customers can purchase Microsoft BackOffice Client Access Licenses to access standalone servers. In other words, a BackOffice Client Access License gives that client the capability to access the services of all the server products mentioned previously, regardless of whether the Server Licenses for those products were acquired through a BackOffice Server License or through individual product Server Licenses. A BackOffice Client Access License can be used only in the Per Seat licensing mode.
Microsoft Internet Information Server
To use Microsoft Internet Information Server, you need only a Server License. You do not need to ensure that every person using its services over the Internet has a Client Access License.
You may copy and distribute the client software accompanying Microsoft Internet Information Server for use within your organization.
Microsoft FPNW and Microsoft DSMN
If you are using FPNW with Windows NT Server, you must purchase Windows NT Server Client Access Licenses for the NetWare or compatible clients that connect to the server. These licenses can be used in either the Per Seat or Per Server mode.
With Directory Service Manager for NetWare (DSMN), you purchase Windows NT Server Client Access Licenses only if you are also using Windows NT Server basic network services.
Microsoft Services for Macintosh
For the Services for Macintosh feature of Windows NT Server, you must purchase Windows NT Server Client Access Licenses for the Macintosh clients that connect to the server. These licenses can be used in either the Per Seat or Per Server mode.
FTP, Gopher, WWW, or RAS Server
To set up an FTP, Gopher, or World Wide Web (WWW) site, you purchase only a Server License. You do not need to make sure that every user has a Client Access License from Microsoft.
If you also want to use the Microsoft Remote Access Service for PPP or SLIP dial-in support, you also need one Client Access License per connection. In other words, if the site supports 10 concurrent connections, you need to purchase a Server License and 10 Client Access Licenses for basic network services in the Per Server mode. If the site supports workstations in the Per Seat mode, purchase a Server License and Client Access Licenses for basic network services for each workstation. If you increase the number of concurrent connections allowed, you must purchase additional Client Access Licenses in the Per Server mode up to the maximum number of concurrent users of the Remote Access Service.