Requirements for License Compliance

Windows EBS is a Microsoft server solution that is designed for businesses with up to 300 users or computers. This document provides information about the size and configuration of your network to help you maintain compliance with the licensing terms for Windows EBS.

In Windows EBS, the licensing requirements are consolidated for Windows Server 2008, Exchange Server, System Center Essentials, Forefront TMG, and the Windows EBS technologies. A single Windows EBS client access license (CAL) enables access to the Windows EBS technologies.

The following table shows the maximum number of CALs and servers that are allowed by the licensing terms for Windows EBS:


300 (assigned in any combination to user accounts and client devices)


30 (not including the Management Server, which is the computer that is running System Center Essentials)


Windows EBS uses CALs to allow access to network resources, but it does not limit the number of user accounts in your domain. However, in the Windows EBS Administration Console, you can display and manage a maximum of 1000 user accounts.


If your organization requires more CALs than are permitted by the licensing terms for Windows EBS, or you have requirements for a network configuration that is not supported by Windows EBS, contact Microsoft for information about other server licensing options.

Details about the licensing terms for servers and other network requirements for Windows EBS are in the following sections.

Licensing terms for servers

Windows EBS supports up to 30 System Center Essentials Server Management Licenses (SMLs). This is the maximum number of System Center Essentials SMLs that are permitted by the System Center Essentials software. The following System Center Essentials SMLs are included with the purchase of Windows EBS:

  • 12 System Center Essentials SMLs with Windows EBS Standard
  • 15 System Center Essentials SMLs with Windows EBS Premium

A System Center Essentials SML is not required for the operating system environment that is hosting System Center Essentials. Additional System Center Essentials SMLs can be purchased for managing additional operating system environments in the Windows EBS domain without exceeding the maximum of 30 SMLs.

Additional network requirements

To be compliant with the licensing terms, your Windows EBS network must also meet the following requirements:

  • Your Management Server and Messaging Server are domain controllers.
  • Your Active Directory forest does not have a trust relationship with another forest.
  • The primary domain controller and the domain naming master roles for Active Directory Domain Services are installed on the Management Server.
  • The Messaging Server and Security Server are in the same domain as the Management Server.
  • A child domain is not created from the Windows EBS domain.
  • The Windows EBS domain is at the root of the Active Directory forest.

Monitoring for license compliance

The first 30 days after installing Windows EBS constitute a grace period when you can bring your CALs and your network environment into compliance. During the grace period:

  • Your users can log on to the network, whether or not you have completed assigning CALs to user accounts or devices.
  • The restrictions on the number of servers running Windows EBS and the configuration of Active Directory Domain Services are not enforced.

After the 30-day grace period, Windows EBS enforces the CAL limits and licensing terms, and it monitors for license compliance as part of the overall system health. To access network services, each user must be assigned a CAL or log on from a licensed device. If monitoring detects that the configuration of Active Directory Domain Services is out of compliance with the licensing terms, an alert appears in the System Health tab of the Windows EBS Administration Console.

If monitoring detects either of the two following conditions for 21 consecutive days, Windows EBS attempts corrective action:

  • If an Active Directory forest trust relationship is detected, Windows EBS attempts to remove it.
  • If the primary domain controller and the domain naming master roles for Active Directory Domain Services are installed on a server other than the Management Server, Windows EBS transfers the roles to the Management Server.

If monitoring detects that a server for Windows Essential Business Server is out of compliance with the licensing terms for 28 consecutive days, the server shuts down automatically. If the server is restarted but remains out of compliance, it shuts down automatically after another seven days.

For more information about monitoring in Windows EBS, see the Microsoft Web site (