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01: Getting Licensed (It’s Easy)

Getting licensed for PolicyPak is easy. We have a tool which counts computers in Active Directory (or those you want to manage.) Then you send us the count file, and you’re licensed. Super simple.

PolicyPak: Getting Licensed (It’s Easy)

Hi. This is Jeremy Moskowitz, former Group Policy MVP and Founder of PolicyPak Software. In this video, I’m going to show you how you can run the licensing tool and request and install your licenses.

Here’s the download, or you might actually just have the licensing tool that we sent you directly. Right here, you’re going to go to “Licensing for all On-Prem Products.” There are two versions. There’s what we call the new LT (“LT”) and the old LT (“LT (OLD)”). Unless you’re directed, please use the new LT. But if you are directed, you can use the old LT. It can solve for some issues from time to time. We’re going to run the new LT.

When you run the new LT – which is this guy, the big one, the “Application” – the first pop-up you get explains something you need to know right away, which is that if you’re interested in licensing Terminal Services or RDS or Citrix machines, the way that’s licensed is that we have to count those.

But here’s the trick: we can only count those if you actually run our licensing tool while you’re on a terminal server machine. This machine is just a garden-variety domain controller and isn’t a terminal server. We note that here. It says, “Warning: This tool must be run on a RDS/Citrix/Terminal Server to get an accurate count of RDS licenses.”

So that’s what I’m going to do. I’m going to go over to my “Citrix” machine here. I already have the tool running here. Let me show you what happens if you run it again here from a machine that is in fact a Citrix, RDS, or Terminal Server machine. Now it tells you, “Info: This machine is a Citrix/RDS/Terminal Server, and we should be able to get an accurate count of RDS licenses.”

That’s the first little thing you need to make sure that you’re doing right if you’re going to get an accurate count of licenses. Now if you can’t do this for whatever reason, that’s fine. Just be sure to declare to your sales person the true number of your Citrix machines as part of your EULA.

In fact, every year you’re going to be doing this step: “Generate a License Request Key.” I’m going to do this a little later. The first thing I want to show you is this: “Find and Disable unused computers.” Very often we know that you have stale or unused and crusty old Active Directory accounts. We want to help you get rid of those. It’s up to you if you want to do this step, but it will reduce how much you have to pay because we’re not going to count your computers that are not being used.

I’m going to find and possibly disable your unused computers. You can see what we do: “Show computers without logins for X number of days (say 90 days).” You can also check the checkbox of “include computers which have NEVER been logged on by any users” ever.

By the time this is done, you’ll get an ability to describe which computers you don’t want in Active Directory anymore. For instance, I have a bunch of “Unused computers” here. I’ve never used this computer or this guy here. He has never been logged on to for whatever reason. Great. I can select those unused computers, or I can select computers in “Sales” and “West Sales.” Here are a couple of computers I’ve never used before.

Whatever the case may be, when this is over and you click “Finish,” it’s going to leave these computers in place but disable them. It’s going to take the raw count of our computers and reduce it by those numbers.

Now when you go to the next step, which is “Generate a License Request Key,” you no longer have to pay for those computers. They were active in Active Directory. That’s how we count. But since they’re not active anymore, you’ve reduced what you have to pay for.

The first question in the generate a license part is, “Who Are You?” If you’re a domain admin, you’re definitely going to want to select the entire domain. Now hang on a second. This doesn’t mean this is where you’re definitely going to use PolicyPak. This is just asking, “Who Are You?” So if you’re a domain admin, select the top of the domain.

If you’re not a domain admin, for instance, you are the master of the “Sales” OU and that means you control all of “East Sales” and “West Sales,” that’s totally fine. Just select the highest place that you can create and link GPOs. That’s just the “Who Are You?” It doesn’t mean that’s where you’re going to use it. I’m going to select the entire domain for the purposes of this.

The next thing is, “Where do you want to actually use and license PolicyPak?” Now this step takes a little while. It’s going through the places that you said in the previous step, and it’s counting the number of computers. It’s counting the number of Citrix and Terminal Server licenses, and it’s going to spit out a result to see what your state of affairs is.

Now let’s say you only wanted to license just “Sales.” In the previous thing, you said you were the domain admin, but that’s not where you want to license for whatever reason. Let’s say you only want to license just the “Sale” OU. Fine. You click on the “Sales” OU, and you can see all the computers are counted in there.

Let’s look at what has happened here. We see we have “16” “Computer Objects,” “1” “Disabled Computer,” so that’s not counted. We have “11” “Trial computers.” Trial mode is when one of our computers has the word “computer” in the name. It will act as if it’s fully licensed and is not counted. We’ve got a “Non-Windows Computer.” Linux and Mac, if you have those in AD, are not counted.

Therefore, the total number of computers is just “3” in my example. But you can also see I have “100” Terminal Server and Citrix connections. This Citrix machine or my entire farm is licensed for 100 computers. So the grand total is this number, “3,” plus “100.” That’s “103.” That’s what you would pay for here.

If you wanted to go further and wider, you would select more. You can see that you would increase your count. If you wanted to, you could select less. If you don’t want the “CITRIX,” for instance, and you just wanted to do the desktops, you could do that. The point of the story is once you’ve selected the location of where you want to use it, that’s where we get our running count. This is the count that we’re looking at here.

Now if we see that there’s zero in selected Citrix connections, we may ask you if that’s what you wanted to do, that you really have no Citrix machines, because again in order for us to count the Citrix machines, you have to be running the licensing tool on a Citrix or and RDS machine.

That’s it. You will “Save to File.” You’ll send it to your salesperson. We’ll look at your file. We’ll give you a quote based on that. You’re going to pay your bill, or we’ll give you a 30-day trial key. What’s next? Well, what’s next, of course, is it’s time to install a license key.

I’m going to back to this machine in order to do that. Again, the installation of licenses can be on any machine. There are a couple of choices. Choice number one is you can use the LT tool. The LT tool has an option to “Install license received from PolicyPak Software, Inc.”

What you’re going to get back from us is a gaggle of licenses. You can “Add file” here, and actually you can add multiple files. You can just select all the items that you got from us because, remember, PolicyPak items are individually licensed. For instance, if you didn’t want to do anything with “BrowserRouter,” you could unselect that. Or “PrefsManager,” you could unselect that. But generally, you want to license everything because you’re paying for everything.

We’ll go ahead and “Open” it up, and there we go. All the licenses are imported right there. We see when they expire. If you see an issue, something “Expires” at a different time, let us know. We’ll go ahead and fix that. We see that the “Signature” is “Valid” and the “Scope” is “Valid.” In other words, this is for your domain and for a place that you actually have.

When we click “Next” here, we’re going to suggest that you “Place all licenses into one GPO, which will be created and linked for you.” That’s one choice. You can “Place all licenses into a pre-created GPO (something you’ve already created), which you will select. You must then also link the GPO manually (then you have to do the work yourself).” Or you can “Place each license into separate GPOs, which will be created and linked for you.” That’s our older style. I’m going to recommend number one an also to select “Enforce links to licensing GPOs.”

When we do this, when we click “Next here, you can see us go through and for each license file do what we have to do. It will create one GPO and demonstrate that you have “SUCCESS” or not. That’s it. We’ll go ahead and click “Finish” here. We’re done.

If you are an existing customer, we may have some old licenses. Then you can do this thing called a “Perform Cleanup” step available to you if you want to clean up your license.

The last piece of this is that if you take a look at the GPO that was created – here you go: “PolicyPak License GPO for PolicyPak On-Prem (Multiple Licenses)” – you can see that they’re all there. We also throw some extra data in there, but the point is all of our licenses are there. You can see the “Expiration Date.” You can see it’s linked to the domain, which is where you said you wanted to do this, and it’s enforced.

That’s basically it. That’s how you can create and install licenses. There is one more technique on this, by the way, which is you can “Create a GPO in this domain, and link it here (wherever you want to).” I’ll call this “License Example 2.” Just to show you another technique here, when you “Edit” that GPO, you can go to the computer side, “PolicyPak” node. Click on the “PolicyPak” node. Right click and go to “License Management.”

This gives you a different but pretty much exactly the same opportunity to “Import” those license files. You can manually do it yourself. You can see that they’re in there by going to the reporting node here, and you can see that I’ve sucked them in.

Conversely, if you go to the one that we just automatically created for you here, you can click “Edit” and use the graphical way to see those same exact licenses by clicking on the “PolicyPak” node, right clicking “License Management” and there you go. For instance, if you didn’t want to license something for whatever reason, you can “Delete” a particular license. There you go.

In this way, you can have one Group Policy Object that contains all of your licenses all in one place. You can use either the LT tool to import those licenses, or you can use a GPO to create the GPO first and then consume the licenses second.

I hope this helps you out and gives you everything you need in order to give us what you need in order for us to get you back the license files and also how to install the license files.

Thanks so much for watching, and we’ll talk to you soon.

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  • 07-Nov-2019