Configure a KMS Host for Office 2010 Volume Activation

If you are deploying volume license editions of Office 2010 in your organization, you have two possible methods for activating Office 2010 on client systems.

  • Key Management Service (KMS) This approach establishes a local activation service hosted in your own environment. To do this, you must configure a system on your network to serve as the KMS host by installing and activating a KMS host key. Client systems throughout your organization then connect to the local Office 2010 KMS host for activation.
  • Multiple Activation Key (MAK) In this approach, client computers activate Office 2010 online by using the Microsoft hosted activation servers or by telephone.

Planning for a KMS Host
The KMS host key for Office 2010 is not specific to a particular operating system. It is designed to be used on any of the operating systems supported as an Office 2010 KMS host: Windows 7 (Volume License Editions), Windows Server 2008 R2, or Windows Server 2003.

After initializing KMS, the KMS activation infrastructure is self-maintaining. The KMS service can be co-hosted with other services. A single KMS host can support hundreds of thousands of KMS clients. Most organizations can deploy merely two KMS hosts for their entire infrastructure (one main KMS host and one backup host for redundancy).

Configure Your KMS Host

  1. First you must download and run the Microsoft Office 2010 KMS Host License Pack tool on the system that will act as your KMS host.
  2. Read and accept the license terms if you want to continue with the installation.kms1.jpg
  3. After the Host License Pack has been installed successfully, select Yes to enter your host product key and continue with activation.kms2.jpg
  4. Enter your KMS host key.kms3.jpg
  5. Continue with the activation.
  6. If you have a firewall enabled, follow these steps to allow KMS through the firewall:
    • Go to Control Panel and open Windows Firewall.
    • Click the Allow A Program Through Windows Firewall link.
    • Click the Change Settings button.
    • Select the Key Management Service option
    • Click OK.kms4.jpg

Note that when you enable the firewall on a KMS host, the default TCP communications port number is 1688.

A Note About Windows Server 2003: To set up an Office 2010 KMS host on Windows Server 2003, you must first install Key Management Service. While the minimum required version is KMS 1.1, we recommend that you install KMS 1.2. This version recognizes virtual computers as part of the activation count. Note that KMS 1.2 will require Windows Server 2003 to have at least SP2 installed. For details on installing KMS 1.2, see Microsoft Knowledge Base Article 968915.

Managing Discovery
The KMS service uses service (SRV) resource records (RRs) in DNS to store and communicate the locations of KMS hosts. The first time a client queries DNS for KMS information, it will randomly select a KMS host from the list of SRV RRs that DNS returns. The address of a DNS server that contains the SRV RRs can be listed as a suffixed entry on KMS clients, which allows advertisement of SRV RRs for KMS in one DNS server and KMS clients that have other primary DNS servers to find it.

You can add priority and weight parameters to the DnsDomainPublishList registry value for KMS hosts on Volume License editions of Windows 7 or Windows Server 2008 R2. Doing so allows you to balance traffic among multiple KMS hosts. If you use these parameters, you should disable KMS caching on the client so the client will query DNS each time it attempts activation.

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