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What happens when you run out of licenses in SBS 2003?

What happens when you run out of licenses in SBS 2003?

First, you'll get a warning in the event logs that you are nearing the limit, followed by a warning that you have reached the limit.

Event Type:      Warning
Event Source:    LicenseService
Event Category:  None
Event ID:        221
Description:
License usage for product Windows Server is nearing the maximum number
of per server licenses purchased. Consult Licensing from the
Administrative Tools folder for more information.
Event Type:      Warning
Event Source:    LicenseService
Event Category:  None
Event ID:        222
Description: License usage for product Windows Server is at the maximum number
of per server licenses purchased. New license requests may not be granted.
Consult Licensing from the Administrative Tools folder for more information

After that you'll get an error that you have reached the limit. I believe there may be a grace period of a few weeks in this condition, but that will only help you if someone is actually monitoring the event logs.

Event Type:      Error
Event Source:    LicenseService
Event Category:  None
Event ID:        201
Description:
No license was available for user DOMAIN\USER using product FilePrint . 
Use Licensing from the Administrative Tools folder to ensure that you
have sufficient licenses.

What to do?

The obvious answer is to make sure you have enough licenses. If you have run out, you'll need to buy more.

Remember that SBS licenses are NOT concurrent. You must have a CAL (Client Access License) for each user listed in the Server Management console. More info: http://www.microsoft.com/WindowsServer2003/sbs/evaluation/faq/licensing.mspx

How to I check?

Open up the Server Management console. In the menu at the left, go to Licensing. There you will see "Installed licenses" and "Maximum usage".

What can I do right now?

This may creep up on you, and you have bought CALs but they will be delivered tomorrow. If the boss is breathing down your neck because he is being denied access to the server, there is a temporary workaround. Reboot the server or restart the SBS License Logging service. Be warned that another user may be kicked out when you reset the server, and I believe it will be on a first-come first-serve basis.