Set up a backup or failover license manager using the Desktop Administrator

Last Published: April 25, 2020


Instructions provided describe how to setup a backup or failover license manager server using the Desktop Administrator that is installed with ArcGIS Desktop in an environment where there are multiple license manager servers.

This functionality is possible with only ArcGIS Desktop 9.2 and above. With previous versions of ArcGIS Desktop, the Desktop functionality is not supported, and the following error occurs when using the backup or failover license manager:

"All ArcInfo licenses are in use."

ArcGIS 9.x software only works with an ArcGIS 9.x License Manager.


The following is a mock scenario to illustrate the concept.

Relevant machines (Host name and operating system):

• Client - Windows XP, Windows 2003 or Windows Vista
• Server1 - Windows 2003 Server (This machine is acting as license manager server #1.)
• Server2 – Windows XP (This machine is acting as license manager server #2.)

The Client machine is pointed to the license manager hosted on Server #1 and Server #2. First, the Client machine checks for an available license on Server #1. If Server #1 is not available, the Client machine should then failover to the license manager on Server #2.

To set the Desktop Administrator License Manager for failover, perform the following:

  1. Open Desktop Administrator from Start > Programs > ArcGIS > Desktop Administrator.
  2. Click the License Manager folder.
  3. Set the hostname to match the hostname of the license servers. Be sure to separate them with a semicolon, for example, Server1; Server2.

Article ID:000010729

  • ArcMap

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