System Frontier is licensed on a “per node” basis, meaning that any node that is managed, directly or indirectly, whether virtual or physical, requires a license. Server class nodes require a server license. Everything else requires a non-server (or endpoint) license. Here are some examples of nodes and the type of license needed for them.

Node ClassExamplesLicense Type
Server-Windows Server (2019/2016/2012)
-Ubuntu server
Workstation-Windows client (Windows 10/7)
-Ubuntu desktop
-Mac OS
Network device-Router
Printer-Network printer
User-Active Directory user account
-Azure AD user account
-OpenLDAP user account
-3rd party application user account
-Custom application user account
Other-Any object that does not fit into a server class. Running a script against a desk with an IP address? It goes here.Non-server

Delegated Users

Users who log into System Frontier or connect via API or other means to do work (“Delegated Users”), do not require a license. Only user accounts that are being targeted by tools in System Frontier require a license. If you manage that user account in Active Directory, Office 365 and some 3rd party application – you only need one license for them, not three. A single node license covers management of that user account across any environment.

Example Network Topology

Licensing Scenarios

Scenario 1

You have a custom tool that the Help Desk uses to create new Active Directory user accounts. It provisions the new account, adds them to groups based on job title and sets up access to your ticketing system.

The tool uses PowerShell to connect to a domain controller using the AD cmdlets to provision the user and setup group memberships. It then connects to a 3rd party ticketing system using its REST API to add the user there as well. Lastly it provisions access to Office 365 applications.

A single non-server license is required for the user account being created. It will cover management of that user in AD, the ticketing system and O365. If you will create 500 users during your license period, you’ll need 500 non-server licenses. A server license is not required for the domain controller because it is not the object actually being managed.

Scenario 2

You have a custom tool where an application owner can restart their application in System Frontier.

The tool connects to the vCenter API to restart 4 virtual Windows servers and 3 physical Linux servers in a particular order. It also updates a change ticket in the ticketing system once the process is complete.

A total of 7 server licenses are needed to cover the 4 virtual servers and 3 physical servers. Even if the 4 VMs reside on a single host, the VMs are the actual objects that are ultimately being managed.

Scenario 3

A development team uses a set of tools to spin up temporary VMs on a 3-node ESX cluster. In an average month, they manage a total of 50 server VMs and 5 Windows 10 VMs after creating and destroying them with the tools in System Frontier. They also have the ability to reboot a host if there are issues because it’s not production.

In this scenario, you would need a total of 53 server node licenses and 5 non-server node licenses. Because they can use SF to reboot the hosts, those servers need licenses as well as the VMs running on them.

Wrap Up

To wrap things up, you only pay for the things you manage with System Frontier. There are usage limitations based on the edition you choose and the Enterprise edition includes unlimited delegated users and tools.

Every System Frontier installation is bound by the EULA to be in compliance with the current licensing model.

Please send us an email or use the contact form if you have any questions or think you may be out of compliance. We really appreciate your business!