How does Centralized Licensing function?

Aruba Employee
Aruba Employee
Question How does Centralized Licensing function?
Environment This article applies to all the controller models running AOS version and above.



Prior to AOS version, the administrator had to install licenses on individual controller to avail any features like bringing up an AP, customizing roles, policies and firewall option, Intrusion protection etc. With AOS version, a new concept called “centralized licensing” was introduced to simplify the license management on controllers and make it more robust.

When Centralized License is enabled on the controllers, licenses installed on one controller can be shared by all other controllers in the cluster. One controller is designated as a License Server that acts as consolidated database and hold the license information from all other controllers in the cluster. All the other controllers act as license clients.
Here is how client controllers share their license information with License server:

  1. Heartbeats are exchanged every 30 seconds between the license server and license clients. The license clients initiate the heartbeat message that includes their own license counts to the license server. 
  2. The license server adds all the license counts from each client and sends the total count to the license clients in the heartbeat response message.
  3. The license server synchronizes its total received license counts with the standby license server, so users no longer need to install the same licenses on the standby master as before.

Keep in mind, the following license are not part of the centralized licensing:

  • Built-in AP
  • Service Provider AP
  • Box Licenses (PEFV, PoE)

Centralized licensing support following topologies:

  1. Master-Local (one master and multiple local controllers) -
  • The master controller is the license server
  • The standby master, if any, automatically becomes standby license server
  • The local controllers automatically become license clients.

NOTE: Local Controllers do not have the capability to act as a License server.

  1. All Masters (Multiple standalone master controllers in the network) -
  • One of the controllers is designated as the license server
  • Another controller is designated as the standby license server
  • If the master controller acting as a license server has a standby master, the standby master automatically becomes the standby License Server
  • The rest of the controllers in the network are the license clients


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Last update:
‎07-11-2014 04:05 PM
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