Product Documentation

Managing Licenses

Oct 09, 2015

XenServer Advanced, Enterprise and Platinum Editions share the same licensing model as other Citrix products, and each host server requires a license to be installed on to a separate Citrix Licensing Server. For details of how to install and run Citrix Licensing, look at the Citrix online documentation on the Citrix eDocs website.

You can manage your XenServer Advanced, Enterprise and Platinum Editions licenses from XenCenter using License Manager: on the Tools menu, click License Manager. Via the License Manager, you can:

  • Assign XenServer licenses to managed servers. When you assign a license, XenCenter contacts the Citrix license server and requests the specified type of license. If a license is available, it is then checked out from the license server.
  • Release XenServer licenses. When you release a license, XenCenter contacts the Citrix license server and checks the license back in.

Each host server in a XenServer resource pool must be individually licensed. For example, if you are supporting four XenServer hosts in a resource pool, you must assign a license to each of the four hosts. While it is possible to mix different editions of XenServer hosts in the same pool, it is important to note that the host with the lowest license determines the features available to all members in the pool. For example, a pool with a mixture of Advanced and Platinum Edition hosts only has the Advanced features enabled. Therefore, if you change a host to use a lower level of license, you can effectively disable features in the pool.

To assign a XenServer license

  1. Open the License Manager: on the Tools menu, click License Manager.
  2. Select one or more servers and then click Assign License.
  3. In the Assign License dialog, select the type of license you want to request from the license server:
    • Citrix XenServer Advanced Edition: This license activates specific administration features within XenCenter, including High Availability (HA), VM Protection and Recovery (VMPR), Dynamic Memory Control, real-time alerts and historical reports on VM performance.
    • Citrix XenServer Enterprise Edition: This license adds automated Workload Balancing and StorageLink for integration with your existing storage infrastructure to the features available in Advanced edition.
    • Citrix XenServer Platinum Edition: This license activates features whose administration is performed outside of XenCenter, such as Provisioning Services and Lab Management. A license for Lab Management and Stage Management is provided as a separate download from My Account at along with the Citrix Lab Manager installation ISO; Lab Management licenses are applied from within the Lab Manager management console.
    • Citrix XenServer for XenDesktop: Select this option to request an existing Citrix XenServer for XenDesktop license from the license server. This allows you to use XenServer Enterprise to host Desktop VMs and all XenDesktop Infrastructure VMs as needed, including XenDesktop hosts and XenApp hosts.
  4. Enter the license server details and then click OK.

XenCenter contacts the specified Citrix V6 license server and requests a license for the specified server(s). If successful, a license is checked out and the information shown in the XenCenter License Manager will be updated. If the license server cannot be contacted, then the server lapses into a 30-day licensing grace period.

Note: When activating a free XenServer product or requesting/applying license to paid-for Editions, information about the XenServer server version and license type may be transmitted to Citrix. No other information relating to any users of the system, virtual machines running in the environment, or the environment in which XenServer is deployed, is collected or transmitted to Citrix. The limited information transmitted to Citrix during the licensing process is handled in accordance with the Citrix privacy policy, a copy of which can be reviewed at

License grace period

Citrix V6 licensing has built-in timeout technology. If a XenServer host cannot contact the license server, for example, due to problems with the license server hardware or software or network failures, there is a 30 day grace period that allows XenServer hosts to continue operations as if they were still in communication with the license server. After a startup license is checked out by a XenServer host, the XenServer and the license server exchange "heartbeat" messages every five minutes to indicate to each other that they are still up and running. If XenServer and the license server fail to send or receive heartbeats, XenServer lapses into the licensing grace period and licenses itself through cached information. The grace period is 30 days and when the grace period runs out, XenServer stops accepting connections. After communication is re-established between XenServer and the license server, the grace period is reset. The grace period takes place only if the XenServer has successfully communicated with the license server at least once.

To release a XenServer license

  1. Open the License Manager: on the Tools menu, click License Manager.
  2. Select a server and then click Release License.