Forefront Protection 2010 for Exchange Server (FPE) is installed at first as a fully functional 120-day evaluation version. After 120 days, the evaluation version of FPE ceases to clean, delete, or purge detected malware files or filter matches. That is, the action for these features is reset to Skip detect. Allowed senders filter lists and spam functionality (including spam scanning, DNS block lists, and the backscatter feature) are disabled, and scan engines no longer update.

If you have an existing previous license, you will have full rights to FPE. However, when FPE is installed on a server that had a licensed earlier version of the product, the previous license information is not recognized. In this scenario, you must re-activate FPE and re-enter the license information after you install FPE. You can find the product licensing information on the “agreements” page on the Microsoft Volume License Services (MVLS) site.

Activating or renewing a subscription license

You can convert an evaluation license to a subscription license by activating the product. Be sure to have the product key available when activating FPE. After the product is activated, you can also align when the product expires with your license agreement, and easily renew your license by entering a new expiration date.

To activate or renew a subscription license
  1. Access the Forefront Protection 2010 for Exchange Server Administrator Console by clicking Start, pointing to All Programs, pointing to Microsoft Forefront Server Protection, and then clicking Forefront Protection for Exchange Server Console.

  2. In the License Notice dialog box, click Activate Now. (Alternatively, you can select Activate Now from the Help menu).

  3. In the Product Activation dialog box, type your Product Activation Key, and then click OK.

    If you have already activated the product and are simply renewing your product license, you can skip this step.
  4. In the Product License Agreement and Expiration dialog box:

    1. Enter your seven-digit License Agreement Number.

    2. Enter your license Expiration Date. By default, the expiration date is three years from the current activation date.

    3. Verify that the date accurately reflects your current license agreement and then click OK.

After activating your subscription license, you cannot revert to an evaluation license. When the product license nears expiration (from 30 days before the product expires), you are sent notifications informing you of this fact and links that enable you to easily purchase a new license. When the product nears its expiration, you should renew your contract and enter the new license information into the Product License Agreement and Expiration dialog box (which can be accessed via the View/Renew License option on the Help menu). If the product is not activated before the product expires, the product reverts to the behavior described above and you are sent daily notifications informing you of this fact.

Activating a subscription license in a clustered environment

When activating and renewing your FPE subscription license in a clustered environment, you must follow these steps on all active nodes of the cluster. The active nodes will then replicate this data to all passive nodes in the cluster.