Currently, we have a SP 13 environment that has 2 WFEs, both licensed for Nintex, handling all web requests, from both users and CSOM calls. We are looking to add 2 more WFEs that through the use of request management throttling rules will exclusively handle only CSOM calls. User and Nintex-based requests will still be routed through the original WFEs. The new WFEs will handle NO Nintex-related calls. However, if I add 2 more WFEs that are running Foundation Web Service on them that will only be utilized when request management throttling rules direct requests to them Nintex Workflows and Forms will start posting errors that there are 'Invalid servers' or server not licensed errors. I understand that this is because we only have licenses for the original 2 WFEs.
So after a lengthy preamble, here's the question: how can I add 2 new WFEs to our farm which will only be used to handle CSOM calls and will NEVER handle Nintex requests without having to purchase additional licenses? Not trying to be cheap or "get away with something" just don't see why licenses need to be purchased for the new WFEs if they are only going to be used when request management passes calls to them.
Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated.
Nintex products on prem are licensed per web frontend server, means SharePoint Servers running the SharePoint Foundation Web Application service.
As the new servers fulfill that criteria I think you need to license them to avoid the errors described. There is no way to get around it via configuration as it affects the licensing foundation.
It might be a better option to keep just the two WFE servers but free them from other services like search indexing by introducing an application server. Application servers are not to be licensed separately to use Nintex.
Unfortunately I had come to pretty much the same conclusion. I've already got all services like indexing that aren't directly web front end related running on app servers but here's is a "sneaky" compromise that I thought of last night:
The current 2 WFEs are clustered together using an NLB and DNS directs all traffic to that cluster. If I stand up the new WFEs as part of the farm, but don't add them to the cluster, then they should never handle any incoming requests unless the request is directed to them by a throttling rule on one of the existing WFEs. This would insure that no Nintex-related calls would ever be handled on those new servers. This wouldn't eliminate the 'Invalid server' message but is that message a warning or an error? Meaning what are the ramifications if it is ignored/overlooked?
I'm only pursuing this because we have already got the 2 new WFEs built and within our organization once you've wrestled new servers loose you don't just give them back or your next request will be doubly difficult to make happen However, I don't think the org would agree to doubling our number of Nintex licenses either.
Anyway, any further thoughts you have would be great.
I wouldn't ignore the error. I wouldn't take the risk that a critical workflow crashes because of the constellation as you cannot easily change the farm configuration once everything is up and running.
We also had a customer that planned to ensure that only a couple of his WFEs are accessed via NLB but they weren't granted any free Nintex licenses.
Thus I don't see much of options here 😕