Server 2019 Essentials user licensing limitation
I have an environment where Windows 2019 Essentials is the domain controller. There are 9 user accounts in the environment. The SILSVC logs state that there are 43 user accounts in the AD and that licensing is in violation. This status causes the Essentials DC to shutdown once every 7 days.
Investigation has shown that the variation between the 9 user accounts and the 43 reported is accounts created for services attached to applications in the environment. With Essentials 2016 there was a way to not include accounts created for services from the licensing count by hiding them from the GUI management application using set-wssuserdashboardvisibility.
With Windows server 2019 Essentials is there a way to not include accounts created for services in the count of users toward the 25 user account limit?
Well, the Product Terms state for Essentials server edition explicitly "25 user accounts" - emphasis is on the word "accounts". For all other products, like CAL, normal Windows Server etc there is no rule specific to the (technical) account, but only the "user" - defined as the person. So from a licensing perspective I tend to say that even when you would be able to do what you described technically, it does not change the fact that there are more accounts as license terms allows.
Relevant text in Product Terms (https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/Licensing/product-licensing/products😞
"Customer may use up to 25 user accounts. Each user account permits a named user to access and use the server software on that server."
And - the same statement was there for Windows Server 2016 Essentials btw.
'User account' = an account being used by a user. I would read it as the opposite. They should not be counting accounts not used by users if they're just servicing something on the system. I.E. we have separate admin and user accounts as we don't want to be administering the server using a normal user account (I.E. the recommended way to do this). MS should not be counting those accounts when considering the licence. I am one person, it should not matter that I need two accounts. This kind of behaviour just forces people to hack the licence service and stop it then manage licences themselves.
Even if you hack the license service, it does not change the rules in the product terms, plus it puts you in an unsupported state. If this does not fit for your purpose, the other option is to go for a normal Windows Server for the product terms allow exactly the scenario you mentioned.
Janosch I think your own quote supports the opposite viewpoint. "Each user account permits a named user to access". A named user is a term that means an account that corresponds to a person, not a service, not an alias, not a resource, always a specific individual. If Microsoft kept the agreement the same between 2016 and 2019, but changed the functionality, I would argue that was designed to upsell the standard edition by crippling the essentials edition.
I only have 5 accounts defined to a Windows 2019 Essentials server. Where can I find the number of accounts that the OS is
and shutting down the server every 7 days?
@samlhc I'm not sure I understand - you can look up the number of accounts the current server is configured for in the same area where you have defined the user accounts. When the server is shutting down every 7 days, and only 5 accounts are created it might also be to other reasons (e.g. you moved FSMO role from the server).