AD RMS licensing cluster installation

I am pretty sure that you are aware about 2 types of clusters within RMS – root and licensing only. In fact that companies in 90% are happy with root cluster only. At the same time Microsoft says to deploy licensing-only cluster only if required:

  • When departments need to have independent licensing due to legal or regulatory concerns.
  • When departments have poor connectivity and generate and consume content generally in an isolated manner.

Let’s look what the difference between root and licensing clusters installation process. As i said earlier, I am not going to copy-paste information which you easily can find by yourself using google.

1. The same as with root cluster installation, the same standard Microsoft wizard: Next -> Next -> Next… I have to say that wizard doesn’t provide you option like “Install Licensing only cluster” instead of this you have to choose “Create a new AD RMS cluster” option. It means don’t use existing cluster (don’t add new node to RMS root cluster) and instead of this install new cluster. Because 2 clusters types only exist – the second “new cluster” will be Licensing only cluster. End of story…

2. The rest of the steps look the same as with root installation. So, where the difference?

The main difference that Service Licensor Certificate (SLC) on a new cluster is signed with a root private key, so the licensing certificate isn’t self-signed like SLC on a root cluster. It means that licensing server more “depends” on a root cluster during certificate chain checking.

I tried to merge both installation process on a one diagram. It isn’t only one difference between cluster, I didn’t mentioned about deviation between existing webservices on a both cluster (certifiication and licensing on a root, and only-licensing on a another cluster). But as I said I want to do accent on a details which aren’t obvious from the rest installation manuals.

Server Bootstraping_v.1.0