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The following are the minimum system requirements for Automation Engine 18.1. Exceeding these requirements will in most cases lead to a performance increase. Running Automation Engine 18.1 on a system that does not meet these requirements is not supported.

The Automation Engine Server and any Assistant(s) server must be dedicated servers on which no other software (including other Esko applications such as FlexRip or FlexProof) is running.

Minimum Requirements - Server

Minimum System Requirements for Automation Engine 18.1 (Server)
Your installation typePersonal2 processing channels4 processing channels8 processing channels
Processor type and speed

2 processor cores

(x86-64 compatible)

4 processor cores

(x86-64 compatible)

6 processor cores

(x86-64 compatible)

10 processor cores

(x86-64 compatible)

RAM12 GB16 GB22 GB34 GB

As a rule of thumb (not for type Personal): 2 cores and 10 GB is considered to be a base performance layer. 3 GB is expected to be available per extra core for regular processing,

Additional requirements for Viewing and QA Module

For every two simultaneous viewing sessions, add one processor core and 3 GB RAM. Do not configure more than 24 simultaneous viewing sessions per Automation Engine master server.

Viewing sessions that view unprepared files or go into deep zoom mode require the additional hardware resources listed above. On average between 10% and 25% of the clients connected to a server fall into this category, and these are the ones that should be taken into account.


To give your Automation Engine with 50 clients system viewing capabilities on unprepared files, you should add additional hardware resources for viewing. If you expect 8 simultaneous viewing sessions (8 single file sessions or 4 compare sessions), add an additional 4 processor cores and 12 GB RAM to the standard requirements.

For a 50 client system on a single physical machine, this would require a 14 processor core machine with 46 GB of RAM.

It is also possible to add Automation Engine configured as Assistant to spread the load of servicing viewing sessions over multiple servers (physical or virtual).
Additional requirements for inspection tasks powered by Global Vision

Add 8 GB of RAM if inspection tasks are expected to run.

Running Global Vision powered inspection tasks (Inspect Artwork, Inspect Barcodes, Inspect Braille, Inspect Spelling, Inspect Text) requires sufficient memory.

As it is not recommended to run these tasks concurrently, the system is configured to run only one of them at a time.

Additional requirements for Gang Run Printing Module

Add one processor core and 1.5 GB RAM per Gang Run Printing session configured and in use.


To add Gang Run Printing capabilities to a 50 client system, you should add additional hardware resources for concurrent Gang Run Printing. To enable four Gang Run Printing sessions for instance to perform automated nesting calculations in this case, four additional processor cores and 6 GB extra RAM are needed.

For a 50 client system on a single physical machine, this would require a 14 processor core machine with 40 GB of RAM.

It is also possible to add Automation Engine configured as Assistant to spread the load of processing and nesting calculations over multiple servers (physical or virtual).

Knowing the exact customer situation and Gang Run Printing requirements (e.g.: number of substrates) helps in more accurately determining the additional hardware resources needed for nesting.

Hard disk

  • The installation takes up 40 GB of disk space. 
  • An NTFS volume is required.
  • Take into account the need for storage of temporary and production data.
  • A back-up solution is strongly advised.
Network10/100/1000 Base-T Ethernet, TCP/IP v4 protocol. TCP/IP version 6 is not supported.
Graphics and videoMinimum 1280 x 1024 screen resolution, true color depth.

Automation Engine supports virtualization on:

  • VMware ESX
  • Microsoft Hyper-V

Hardware connections, including dongles, proofers, spectrophotometers and others may work, but are not supported. Customers should verify hardware support through their virtualization support channels.

  • SQL Server 2012 (Express Edition, Standard Edition, Business Intelligence Edition, Enterprise Edition)
    Requires Service Pack 4 (11.0.7100.0)
  • SQL Server 2014 (Express Edition, Standard Edition, Business Intelligence Edition, Enterprise Edition)
    Requires Service Pack 1 (12.0.4100.0)
  • SQL Server 2016 (Express Editions, Standard Edition, Enterprise Edition)
    Requires Service Pack 1 (13.0.4001.0)
  • SQL Server 2017 (Express Editions, Standard Edition, Enterprise Edition)

It is highly recommend to employ at least a Standard Edition SQL Server in case your installation type is supporting 50 clients.
See also the notes on SQL Server in the guidelines section on scalability and performance in the Pre-Install IT Requirements Guide referenced at the bottom.

Please make sure the database is compatible with the operating system you intend to use. Also make sure to honor the SQL Server system requirements.
See the Microsoft documentation on Hardware and Software Requirements for Installing SQL Server for more details.

Only the 64-bit editions of SQL Server are supported.

File servers

All Esko applications running on Windows OS can use data that is available on network shares. For Automation Engine to perform according to expectations, these shares need to be on NTFS volumes on Windows file servers (with no folders enabled for case-sensitive file names). We recommend to use Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Server 2012, Windows Server 2012 R2 or Windows Server 2016 as file server (preferably the same version as for the Automation Engine server).

As only Windows file servers are supported, Mac OS X or Unix/Linux (CIFS/SMB or NFS) data servers for instance are not supported (including many Network Attached Storage units).

Upgrading from  prior versions of Automation Engine

Upgrades of existing Automation Engine 16 and Automation Engine 18 environments should run on existing hardware with comparable performance for the same functionality.

However, the hardware requirements as for new installations should be encouraged for optimum performance.

Compatibility with HP SmartStream Print Servers

Automation Engine 18.1 is compatible with HP SmartStream Labels and Packaging Print Server 5.2.1 and newer.

Supported Operating Systems

Recommended operating systems are highlighted in the tables below.

If an operating system is not listed in the tables below, it is not supported. Do not try to install Automation Engine Server on a computer running an unsupported operating system.

Windows Server 2019

Windows Server 2019 Standard(tick)
Windows Server 2019 Datacenter(tick)
Windows Server 2019 Essentials(error)

Windows Server 2016

Windows Server 2016 Standard(tick)
Windows Server 2016 Datacenter(tick)
Windows Server 2016 Essentials(error)
Windows Storage Server 2016(error)

Windows Server 2012 R2

Windows Server 2012 R2 Standard(tick)
Windows Server 2012 R2 Datacenter(tick)
Windows Server 2012 R2 Essentials(error)
Windows Server 2012 R2 Foundation(error)
Windows Storage Server 2012 R2 Workgroup(error)
Windows Storage Server 2012 R2 Standard (error)

Windows Server 2012

Windows Server 2012 Standard(tick)
Windows Server 2012 Datacenter(tick)
Windows Server 2012 Essentials(error)
Windows Server 2012 Foundation(error)
Windows Storage Server 2012 Workgroup(error)
Windows Storage Server 2012 Standard (error)

Windows Server 2008 R2

Windows Server 2008 R2 Standard(error)(tick) (*)(**)
Windows Server 2008 R2 Enterprise(error)(tick) (*)
Windows Server 2008 R2 Datacenter(error)(tick) (*)
Windows Small Business Server 2008 R2(error)(error)
Windows Server 2008 R2 Foundation(error)(error)
Windows Web Server 2008 R2(error)(error)
Windows Server 2008 R2 HPC Edition(error)


Windows Server 2008 R2 (all editions) is not supported for new installations as of Automation Engine 18.0.
Upgrading an existing Automation Engine Server Automation Engine 18.1 is still possible on Windows Server 2008 R2, but this will become unsupported soon (for later versions) as well.

Note that Windows Server 2008 R2 Standard Edition only allows for maximum 32 GB of physical memory, which may rule it out for larger AE configurations.

Unsupported Operating Systems

  • Windows Server 2008 R2 ( without Service Pack 1 )

    Windows 2008 R2 with SP1 is a supported OS for upgrades only (see above).
  • Windows Server 2008 (all editions)
  • Windows Server 2003 (all editions)
  • Windows 2000 (all editions)
  • Windows 10 (all editions)
  • Windows 8.1 (all editions)
  • Windows 8 (all editions)
  • Windows 7 (all editions)
  • Windows Vista (all editions)
  • Windows XP (all editions)

Operating Systems to become unsupported soon

  • Windows Server 2008 R2 (all editions)

Pre-Install IT Requirements Guide

For more information and advice, please see the chapter Pre-Install IT Requirements Guide in the Automation Engine 18.1 Complete Manual, which is also available as PDF through


  1. Installing and using Esko software on a Terminal Services or Remote Desktop Services server (Microsoft, Citrix,…) is not supported, except for non-subscription versions of Cape Pack. You cannot run Esko software with local licenses via Remote Desktop.
  2. Although we don't expect issues with Microsoft OS patches, Esko only guarantees support on the official MS Service Pack (SP) level, not on individual OS patches. PC's for Esko applications (editors, rips or servers) must not be configured as WebServers (IIS), Network Domain Controllers (Active Directory), DNS Server, DHCP Server, WINS Server, SQL Server, or MailServer. The Automation Engine Server is allowed to be a Member Server in a Windows Active Directory domain. However, Esko can not test all possible configurations. Contact your regional Customer Service Center in case of specific questions.
  3. A single processor with hyperthreading enabled is considered as 2 processors for memory calculations. A dual core processor is considered as 2 processors for memory calculations.
  4. Esko software will only work with properly licensed versions of operating systems and other software. Esko is not responsible for any loss of functionality due to use with unlicensed software. Esko will not provide assistance in installing software on equipment lacking properly licensed software.

System Requirements
Applies to

Automation Engine Server

Last revised