SystemLink Licensing Guide


To set up a SystemLink environment, you can select from the following licensed products:


SystemLink Server: This software package installs the NI Web Server and SystemLink Web Application.  Customers should purchase a SystemLink Server for each central computer that will manage a group of connected systems, such as Windows PCs or NI Linux Real-Time controllers. 


SystemLink Node: Each managed system is considered a “node.” The SystemLink Node license establishes the allowed number of Windows or Linux Real-Time systems that you can manage with a SystemLink Server.  Customers should purchase a sufficient quantity of SystemLink Node licenses to support the managed systems that you want to manage with a server.


Licensing Requirements:

  • SystemLink Node licenses require a SystemLink Server.
  • SystemLink licensing requires an NI volume license manager.


Other Related SystemLink Components

SystemLink Client: The SystemLink Client is a software program that you install on managed systems to establish a connection to the SystemLink Server.  The Client installs data communication APIs and a software agent that manages local device execution of tasks, based on instructions from the server.  The SystemLink Client does not directly interface with a license program, since the connection between a device and a server is managed at the server by the SystemLink Node license.

Volume License Manager

A volume license manager is required to administer SystemLink licenses.  The computer on which you install the license manager is referred to as the “License Server.”

  • NI Volume License Manager: Volume License Manager is an NI software license tracking program that administrators use to manage and activate licenses.  Learn More about NI VLM
  • FlexNet Publisher: FlexNet is an alternative license tracking software program that is compatible with NI license management.  Learn more about FlexNet

Licensing SystemLink Nodes

Once SystemLink Node licenses are installed with VLM, the SystemLink Web Application manages the activation of Node licenses as administrators add and remove systems.  Node licenses are not installed on managed systems.

Volume License Configuration Options

Options for a single SystemLink Server:

  1. Install the SystemLink Server on the same computer as the License Server.  This configuration reduces network complexity and ensures that the SystemLink Server can communicate with the License Server.  
  2. Install the License Server on a remote computer or use an existing License Server.  In this scenario, you will need to ensure that you have connectivity between the License Server and the SystemLink Server.

Options for multiple SystemLink Servers:

  1. Install a License Server with each SystemLink Server: This option reduces network complexity, because the Volume License Manager is running on the same central computer as the SystemLink Server.  Customers select SystemLink Node seat quantity for each server.
  2. Install a single License Server for multiple SystemLink Servers: This option allows the customer to connect multiple SystemLink Server seats and SystemLink Nodes seats to a single License Server.  The benefit of this configuration is that the customer can transfer licenses among servers by removing a system from one server and adding it to another server.


Customer Scenario

Products to License

1 central server computer
10 Windows PCs and 15 CompactRIO devices

SystemLink Server: 1 seat
SystemLink Node: 25 seats

1 server for production
1 server for development
Production includes 50 PC-based test systems
Development requires support for 10 targets
Install License Server with each SystemLink Server


License Server 1
SystemLink Server: 1 seat
SystemLink Node: 50 seats

License Server 2
SystemLink Server: 1 seat
SystemLink Node: 10 seats

3 servers to support 3 sites
Each site has 100 PXI test systems
1 Central License Server for all systems

SystemLink Server: 3 seats
SystemLink Node: 300 seats