System Frontier Licensing Overview

Overview #

System Frontier operates on a “per node” licensing model. This means that any node—whether virtual or physical—that is managed directly or indirectly requires a license. Server class nodes necessitate a server license, while all other nodes require a non-server (or endpoint) license. Below are examples of various node classes and the corresponding licenses needed.

Node Class Examples License Type
Server Windows Server (2019/2016/2012), RHEL, Ubuntu Server, ESXi, Hyper-V, BSD Server
Workstation Windows Client (Windows 10/7), Ubuntu Desktop, Mac OS Non-Server
Network Device Router, Switch, Firewall Non-Server
Printer Network Printer, MFP Non-Server
User Active Directory User Account, Azure AD User Account, OpenLDAP User Account, 3rd Party Application User Account, Custom Application User Account Non-Server
Other Any object that does not fit into a server class (e.g., running a script against a desk with an IP address) Non-Server

Delegated Users #

Users who log into System Frontier or connect via API or other means to perform tasks (“Delegated Users”) do not require a license. Only user accounts targeted by tools in System Frontier need a license. For instance, if you manage an Active Directory user account, an Office 365 user account, and a user account in a 3rd party application, you only need one license for that user across all environments.

Example Network Topology #

Diagram showing System Frontier connections to various nodes and user accounts, including hypervisors, virtual machines, firewalls, LDAP, cloud services, and network devices. Delegated users connect to System Frontier directly or through API/database integration.
System Frontier Network Topology Diagram

Licensing Scenarios #

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Scenario 1 #

You have a custom tool that the Help Desk uses to create new Active Directory user accounts. This tool:

  • Provisions new accounts
  • Adds them to groups based on job titles
  • Sets up access to your ticketing system

The tool uses PowerShell to connect to a domain controller with AD cmdlets, then connects to a 3rd party ticketing system via its REST API, and finally provisions access to Office 365 applications.
Licensing Requirement: One non-server license is required per user account created. If you will create 500 users during your license period, you need 500 non-server licenses. A server license is not required for the domain controller since it is not the object being managed.

Scenario 2 #

You have a custom tool that allows an application owner to restart their application in System Frontier. This tool:

  • Connects to the vCenter API
  • Restarts 4 virtual Windows servers and 3 physical Linux servers
  • Updates a change ticket in the ticketing system after the process

Licensing Requirement: Seven server licenses are needed for the 4 virtual servers and 3 physical servers. Even if the VMs reside on a single host, they are the objects being managed.

Scenario 3 #

A development team uses tools to spin up temporary VMs on a 3-node ESX cluster. In an average month, they manage:

  • 50 server VMs
  • 5 Windows 10 VMs
  • Occasionally reboot the host if issues arise

Licensing Requirement: A total of 53 server node licenses and 5 non-server node licenses are required. Hosts need licenses as well as the VMs running on them since they can be managed using System Frontier.

Wrap Up # #

In summary, you only pay for the nodes managed with System Frontier. Usage limitations depend on the edition chosen, with the Enterprise edition including unlimited delegated users and tools.

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