Adding Servers to an Existing Installation

Updated: March 9, 2009

Applies To: Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2003 R2, Windows Server 2003 with SP1, Windows Server 2003 with SP2

You can add servers to your RMS installation as needed to meet increased demand or replace servers that need to be retired. Each RMS installation must include at least one server in the root cluster, and can optionally include additional servers in this cluster. Each RMS installation can also include servers in a licensing-only cluster.

You can add servers to an RMS installation by using any one of the following methods:

  • Add one or more RMS servers to a root cluster.

  • Add a new licensing-only cluster.

  • Add one or more RMS servers to a licensing-only cluster.

Adding Root Certification Servers

For most purposes, adding one or more RMS servers to a root cluster is the best way to increase the availability and redundancy of your deployment. A root cluster is one or more servers in a load balanced configuration. Unlike licensing-only clusters, which provide only licensing and publishing services, servers in the root cluster provide all of the RMS services.

During installation and provisioning, you can choose the option to add a server to a cluster. When you do this, the new RMS server is automatically configured as a cluster member. For step-by-step instructions on installing and provisioning a RMS server to add to the root cluster, see "To Install RMS with Service Pack 2" and "To Add a Server to a Cluster" later in this subject.

In addition to this provisioning step, if you are creating a cluster for the first time, you must also set up software or hardware with clustering and load balancing as needed. If you have already implemented a cluster, you must configure your load balancing software or hardware to work with the new cluster member.

Adding Licensing Servers

Unlike the root cluster, which provides all of the RMS services, a licensing-only cluster provides only licensing and publishing services.

Licensing-only clusters are optional and are most often deployed to address specific licensing requirements, such as the following:

  • To support unique rights-management requirements of a department. For instance, a group within your organization may have different security requirements for rights management than the rest of the organization, and might want to have total control over implementation of licensing for their group. Because only one root cluster is allowed in an Active Directory forest, setting up a separate root cluster is not possible, unless the group is in a different forest.. In this case, you could set up a licensing-only cluster dedicated to this group’s needs. You can then set up rights policy separately for that licensing-only cluster.

  • To support rights management for external business partners as part of an extranet that requires strong separation and tracking of resources for specific business partners. For more information, see "Configuring an Extranet URL" later in this subject.

  • To offload licensing tasks from the root cluster. This can provide performance benefits in organizations that have only a single server in the root cluster.

For most purposes, it is recommended that you add RMS servers to the root cluster so that you can set up redundancy and load balancing across all servers that are in your deployment. Although licensing-only clusters can also be used to offload the processing of licensing and publishing requests, licensing servers cannot be load-balanced with the root cluster. Unless there is a specific need to deploy a separate licensing-only cluster, it is recommended to load balance all RMS servers by making them members of the root cluster.

For step-by-step instructions on installing and provisioning a RMS licensing server, see "To Install RMS with Service Pack 2" and "To Provision the First Server in a Licensing-only Cluster" later in this subject.