If anyone ever looked for a better way to support the Microsoft license activation process should pay attention to activation via Active Directory. It may make life much easier for the IT administrator.
Service activation via Active Directory ( ADBA - Active Directory Based Activation ), is new and the first time was introduced in Windows Server 2012. Its aim is to completely replace the Key Management Service (KMS ). The benefits of the new approach to activation are huge, but the ADBA have also one noticeable flaw. In this tutorial we will compare the KMS and ADBA.
Microsoft probably noticed the number of complaints at KMS in order to eliminate them in the ADBA. An example might be that KMS requires a minimum number of customers before activation. Currently it is 25 for the client operating system and 5 for server operating systems. ADBA such activation threshold is not obligatory.
ADBA is the mechanism of activation based on GUI. What is probably a plus considering the fact that KMS on 2008 R2 or lower has interface highly inconvenient.
The servers KMS activation objects are directly related to the KMS host and if KMS server for some reason is not available, customers will not be able to activate. ADBA stores activate objects in Active Directory and using ADSI you can view these objects.
Since the objects are stored in Active Directory as long as the customer can contact the Active Directory can also be activated. If customers can not contact AD is probably the problem is much much bigger.
Finally remember that the configuration of the KMS is relative to the domain. So if you manage a large multi-domain environment KMS will require more administrative effort. ADBA the other hand, is stretched on a single instance of a forest.
But keep in mind the limitations of the ADBA. First is system requirements. Second, it can only activate Windows 8, Windows 8.1, Windows Server 2012 and Windows Server 2012 R2 and probably next release of the next systems from Microsoft. Additionally, it can also serve to activate Office 2013.
The good news is the fact that KMS and ADBA not mutually exclusive, which means that they can co-exist covering the same activations older and newer systems. There is probably nothing better for the administrator as the possibility of the coexistence of technologies with similar functionality without any problems.
Surprisingly you can use the ADBA without the need of upgrade the version of your domain controller. The only thing to bear in mind that the "schema" must be at least at the level of Windows Server 2012.
Activating Windows 8.1 ADBA
- First, go to the Add Roles and Features.
- Select the role of Volume Activation Services and complete the wizard requests.
- Then run the newly installed Volume Activation tool. Select the ADBA as a model of activation.
- Install the KMS host key and enter a unique name for this value. At Key Product Management you will need to select the type of initial activation server.
- Continue with the wizard until you receive confirmation that the activation has been successfully activated as a service
To test a new model of activation simply restart the client that had not been activated yet. And check the activation status using the command " slmgr / dli ".