What is a product key?
A product key is used to unlock a license.
When you get a Bright Cluster Manager DVD, there is a license included on the DVD. This license is typically not bound to a particular MAC address, but it is either valid for a limited time (an evaluation license) or valid for a limited number of nodes.
In order to use Bright Cluster Manager for the licensed period of time and with the licensed number of nodes, a product key must first be activated. Product keys can be obtained through Bright's sales department or through a Bright reseller. It is recommended to activate the product key as soon as possible after the installation of the head node. On high-availability set-ups, it is recommended to activate the product key after the secondary head node has been set up.
Activating a product key is done by executing the request-license command on the head node of the cluster. The process is self-explanatory, but full details are provided in section 4.1 of the v6.1 Administrator Manual, or in chapter 4 of the v7.0 Installation Manual.
It is important to note that the first time a product key is activated, all existing client certificates will be invalidated. This means that all nodes must be rebooted to allow nodes to obtain a new client certificate. It also means that /root/admin.pfx will be re-generated. If the admin.pfx file was copied (e.g. to a desktop PC) prior to activating the first product key, it must be copied again. The old admin.pfx can no longer be used to connect to the cluster. The same goes for any other client certificates that may exist.
It is always possible to activate another product key (e.g. to extend the node count of the cluster). Doing so will not invalidate existing client certificates, and will therefore not require nodes to be restarted. After a product key has been activated, it will normally be locked. When a product key is locked, it can only be activated again on the same hardware (e.g. to perform a re-installation of the head node).