Citrix

XenServer Licensing FAQ

  • CTX125301
  • Created onMar 26, 2014
  • Updated onJun 05, 2014
Article Topic Licensing

Question and Answers

This article contains answers to the frequently asked questions related to Licensing.

Background

Citrix XenServer 5.6 and later versions now support Citrix centralized licensing for all paid editions of the product. In XenServer Advanced, Enterprise, and Platinum Editions, customers must allocate the product licenses by using a Citrix License Server, just as with other Citrix components. With this change, license allocation is managed centrally and enforced by a standalone Citrix license server -physical or virtual, in the environment.
Because this is a significant change, Citrix recommends all paid XenServer customers to complete the following procedure, before upgrading to XenServer 5.6 and later versions:

  1. Verify the license entitlement in MyCitrix and ensure that you have the appropriate number of licenses to support the existing XenServer deployment.

  2. If you already have a Citrix License Server, verify the hostname of that license server. Otherwise, download Citrix License Server software from MyCitrix and configure it on a physical or virtual host.

  3. Download the new LIC license file and apply it to the Citrix Licensing Server.

After completing the preceding procedure, you can safely upgrade the existing XenServer deployment to version 5.6.

Contents

Product Editions

License Server and Enforcement

Licensing the XenServer Pool

Other Questions

Product Editions

Q: How does this licensing change impact Free XenServer users?

A: There is no impact for the free XenServer users. Free XenServer continues to use the file based .XSLIC license format, which remains unchanged in 6.0. Upgrades from XenServer 5.5 (Free) to XenServer 5.6 (Free) are unaffected by these changes.

Q: How is free XenServer licensed?

A: Free XenServer users can continue to download a license file in .XSLIC format and apply it to each individual host in the pool. As in previous versions, under the Free XenServer EULA, contact and usage information must be updated annually. On or before the one year expiration, administrators must log on and update their information to obtain a new one year free license file.

Q: How is the paid version of XenServer licensed?

A: Paid editions of XenServer (Advanced, Enterprise, and Platinum) now require the download of a new .LIC license key. This license key is hosted on a central Citrix License Server and each XenServer host checks out a license at boot time. You can see the server count entitlement in the MyCitrix portal, and you can allocate these licenses among the servers. An individual .LIC file contains authorization for multiple components of XenServer and it can authorize multiple hosts as well.

Q: How does this change benefit existing (paid) XenServer customers?

A: Moving to the Citrix centralized licensing model allows administrators to centralize their licensing for all Citrix Products. The License Management Console gives a quick view of the entitlement and current allotment of licenses, enabling administrators to stay in compliance and view all their Citrix product usage in a single location.

Q: What do you do if you have already upgraded the XenServer hosts?

A: If you upgrade a previously licensed edition of Essentials for XenServer to XenServer 5.6, the installer detects the presence of the previously paid license, and moves your hosts into a 30 day grace period. During this time, XenServer Enterprise functionality is available. You have time until the end of the grace period to configure a Citrix License Server and download the new license file.

Q: What do you do if the grace period expires? Will you lose the virtual machines?

A: You will not lose the valuable virtual machine data. If a license is not available, XenServer reverts to its original unregistered state – and the administrator should apply either a Free or Paid license to the host before allowing Virtual Machine power on/off operations. If the grace period has expired, registering XenServer as a free product allows the basic platform functionality, while you obtain the correct licenses.

Q: What do you do to expand the existing XenServer 5.5 or earlier environment?

A: Although Citrix encourages all customers to upgrade to XenServer 5.6, Citrix will continue to provide .XSLIC license keys until XenServer 5.5 has reached the End-of-Life status. XenServer 5.5 and earlier continues to operate on the .XSLIC, individually-licensed-server model.

Q: How does this change affect the XenDesktop customers?

A: XenDesktop customers are entitled to use XenServer to host any of their virtual desktops and XenDesktop infrastructure. For instance, XenServer can be used to host Windows XP, Vista, or Windows7 virtual desktops and also the XenApp and XenDesktop support the virtual machines for the environment. However, the same XenServer environment might not be used to host overall infrastructure (domain controllers, DNS, etc.) or other general purpose IT workloads. These hosts should be maintained in a separate pool from other XenServer hosts because mixing license types is not supported.

License Server and Enforcement

Q: How do existing “Essentials for XenServer” customers obtain license files?

A: Existing customers who have purchased Essentials for XenServer Enterprise or Platinum editions, and who have installed components from the Essentials range such as StorageLink, Workload Balancing, Lab Manager, and Stage Manager will be familiar with redeeming licenses from My Account, and the need for a standalone license server to be present in their environment.

These customers should return to My Account and re-host their existing license key to obtain an updated key that can be used to license XenServer 5.6. Refer to the Knowledge center article CTX118324 - How to Return a License using My Account for instructions on how to re-host license keys.

Customers who have purchased the Essentials for XenServer, but who have not redeemed their license key from My Citrix (using the web key) must locate the web key and use it from My Account. If you have purchased Essentials for XenServer, but are no longer in possession of the web key, contact customer service for assistance in locating your license on My Account.

Q: Can you use an existing Citrix License Server for XenServer?

A: Yes. If you have an existing license server, the transition to version 6 licensing in XenServer dramatically simplifies license management. Upload the XenServer license, and point the XenServer hosts to the IP address or Hostname of the license server.

Q: How and where do you download Citrix License Server software if you have never used a Citrix License Server?

A: XenServer requires the Citrix License Server 11.6.1 or later. The windows license server can be downloaded from MyCitrix at the XenServer product download pages or the Licensing download page at http://www.citrix.com/English/ss/downloads/results.asp?productID=1679389. Refer to the documentation for the Citrix License Server at http://support.citrix.com/proddocs/topic/technologies/lic-library-node-wrapper.html. Configuration of the license server is straightforward and a single license server can be shared among all the Citrix products.

Q: Can you run the license server as a virtual machine?

A: Yes. The Linux license server virtual appliance runs as a virtual machine in a XenServer environment.

Q: Can you use the Citrix License Server virtual appliance with XenServer Platinum Evaluation License?

A: Yes. The Citrix License Server virtual appliance with XenServer Platinum Evaluation license is a fully functional Citrix License Server, which can be used with the preconfigured trial license, or with a standard Citrix .lic license file.

Q: How has enforcement changed in this release?

A: Previous versions of XenServer did not aggressively enforce server count restrictions. For XenServer version 5.6 and later, the centralized licensing model, each individual XenServer host checks out for a license from the license server. It is important to verify the license entitlement and actual usage before upgrading to XenServer 5.6 or later to avoid potential downtime.

Licensing the XenServer Pool

Q: How do you apply a license to all the hosts?

A: In XenCenter 5.6 and later, complete the following procedure to apply a license:

  1. Navigate to Tools > License Manager.
    User-added image

  2. Select the hosts you would like to license, and click Assign License.

  3. In the Apply License dialog, specify the license type you want to assign to the host, and enter the hostname or IP address of the Citrix License Server, as shown in the following screen shot:

    User-added image

Other Questions

Q: Can you mix license types in the same pool of servers, such as XenServer Enterprise and XenServer Platinum,  or XenServer Platinum and XenServer for XenDesktop?

A: Mixing license types in a single XenServer pool is not supported. A single license server can contain multiple license types, but each pool should maintain license consistency across all hosts.

Q: How can customers obtain XenServer Platinum Evaluation Licenses?

A: XenServer Platinum 90 day Evaluation Licenses are available at www.citrix.com/xenserver.

Q: How do partners obtain Internal Use or Evaluation Licenses?

A: Partners can obtain internal use or evaluation licenses from the standard MyCitrix distribution methods.

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