How does AWS License Manager work?

AWS License Manager provides you with the flexibility and control to manage license usage to match your organizational structure and processes. AWS License Manager can be set in different configurations to address specific business needs. In general, there are three distinct phases:

Define licensing rules: Administrators work with the relevant stakeholders (for example, business or compliance teams) in your organization to carefully review licensing agreements, and create licensing rules in AWS License Manager. Licensing rules contain settings that are configured to emulate the terms of your enterprise agreement.

Enforce licensing rules: After the rules are created, they can be applied in several different ways to track license usage and compliance. Administrators can attach the rules to the organization’s specific Amazon Machine Images (AMIs), create AWS CloudFormation templates, use Amazon EC2 launch templates, or simply attach them to applications in AWS Service Catalog (when it is available in China regions). After the rules are created and attached to the relevant instances to be deployed, end users in your organization can seamlessly launch AWS resources such as EC2 instances with the certainty they are licensed correctly. Administrators can track the usage through AWS License Manager’s built-in dashboard. AWS License Manager flags any resources that are not compliant with the predefined rules.

Discover usage of software installed on AWS and on-premises: AWS License Manager integrates seamlessly with AWS Systems Manager, allowing discovery of any software installed on your AWS resources. With AWS Systems Manager, you can manage instances running on AWS and in your on-premises data center through a single interface. AWS Systems Manager securely communicates with a lightweight agent installed on your servers to execute management tasks. This helps you manage resources for Windows and Linux operating systems running on Amazon EC2 or on-premises. After the instances are attached to AWS License Manager, administrators can search for any operating system or application software through a single pane that covers AWS resources and on-premises servers. You can associate your licensing rules to the discovered software and track all the applications through the built-in dashboard.

How does AWS License Manager help me stay compliant?

AWS License Manager reduces the risk of non-compliance by increasing transparency and enforcing and tracking licensing rules that administrators define. AWS License Manager provides built-in dashboards that can be used when considering new license purchases, reporting to procurement, and in vendor audits. However, customers are responsible for compliance and assume the responsibility of carefully understanding and adding rules into AWS License Manager based on their licensing agreements. While AWS cannot participate in audits, AWS License Manager’s rich reports provide valuable insights that allow for more accuracy and transparency.

What types of software licenses can I track using AWS License Manager?

With AWS License Manager, you can track software that is licensed based on virtual cores(vCPUs), physical cores or sockets. This includes a variety of software products from vendors including Microsoft, Oracle, IBM, and SAP. Common use cases include tracking Oracle databases, Microsoft Windows Server, and SQL Server licenses that can be licensed by physical and virtual cores.

Which AWS services are supported through AWS License Manager?

AWS License Manager integrates with various AWS launch mechanisms such as AWS CloudFormation, EC2 Launch Templates, and Service Catalog (when it is available in China regions). You can use License Manager to track licenses across your EC2 instances using default tenancy, Dedicated Instances, Dedicated Hosts, Spot Instances and Spot Fleet, and Auto Scaling groups.

Does AWS License Manager support tracking license usage outside of AWS?

Yes, you can use AWS License Manager and the AWS Systems Manager agent to track licenses outside of AWS, including on-premises servers.

How does AWS License Manager work with AWS Organizations?

AWS License Manager integrates with AWS Organizations seamlessly (when it is available in China regions). Administrators can sign in to their organizational master account and link all their organizational accounts, thereby being able to manage and control license usage centrally across their organization. They will also be able to discover software across all their organizational accounts, centrally using the master account.

How can I leverage the benefits of License Manager with BYOL products purchased from AWS Marketplace?

Using AWS License Manager allows you to associate licensing rules to AWS Marketplace (when it is available in China regions) BYOL AMI products and benefit from centralized license management tracking and compliance. AWS License Manager doesn’t change the way you obtain or activate your BYOL AMI’s in the Marketplace. For example, if you launch an EC2 instance, you provide the license key obtained directly from the seller to activate the software.

Are there additional charges attached with using AWS License Manager?

There is no charge for using AWS License Manager. You only pay for the resources created in your account. These include EC2 instances but can also include an S3 bucket for storing software based on AWS Systems Manager, Amazon Athena queries (when it is available in China regions), and AWS Glue jobs (when it is available in China regions) for enabling the centralized discovery of the Systems Manager data and Amazon SNS notifications.

Learn more about AWS License Manager
Learn more about AWS License Manager

You can set up AWS License Manager in different configurations, but in general there are three distinct phases: Define rules, enforce them, discover new software.

Learn more 
Sign up for an AWS account
Sign up for an AWS account

Instantly get access with an AWS account. 

Sign up 
Start building with AWS License Manager
Start building in the console

Get started building with AWS License Manager in the AWS Console.

Sign in