Checklist: Deploying an AD RMS Licensing-only Cluster

Applies To: Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Server 2012

The following steps in this checklist describe the tasks required to deploy an Active Directory Rights Management Services (AD RMS) licensing-only cluster.

  1. Assign a secure sockets layer (SSL) certificate to the Web site that will be hosting the AD RMS cluster.

  2. Install and configure the AD RMS licensing-only cluster. A root AD RMS cluster must already be present in the AD DS forest before you can install the licensing-only cluster.

    1. During the installation, choose the Create a new AD RMS cluster option.

    2. Enter the name of the computer that will host the AD RMS licensing-only configuration database and the database instance name.

    3. Select the type of key protection to be used for the licensing-only cluster. If you choose to have AD RMS centrally manage the keys, enter the AD RMS cluster key password. If you are using a cryptographic service provider (CSP) to protect the cluster key, create a new key pair or use an existing key pair.

    4. Enter a service account to be used for the licensing-only cluster.

    5. Choose the appropriate Web site where AD RMS should be installed.

    6. Enter the cluster name to be used for the new licensing-only cluster and type the appropriate port number. By default, the port number is 80 if configuring for HTTP and 443 for configuring HTTPS.


When installing a licensing-only cluster you must use the same protocol as is used in the root cluster URL. For example, if you have a root cluster URL that uses HTTPS/SSL such as and then attempt to install a licensing-only cluster using a non-secured HTTP form of the same URL (, installation of the licensing cluster will fail because the root cluster will refuse connection from the licensing cluster.

7.  Enter a friendly name for the new AD RMS cluster.  


To ensure that the licensing cluster operates as expected, confirm that the AD RMS certificate hierarchy setting in the Windows Registry is the same as the certificate hierarchy setting of your existing root cluster. For more information, see the section entitled "Create the AD RMS hierarchy registry entry" in Event ID 204 — AD RMS Cluster Installation.

For detailed instructions about setting up a licensing-only AD RMS cluster in a test environment, see Deploying and Active Directory Rights Management Services Licensing-only Cluster Step-by-Step Guide.