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    Distributed License Servers

    First off, my grasp of the license manager is limited at best - despite efforts to get my head around it via the help file - so I'm well prepared for smirks and rolled eyes...

    I was under the impression that with distributed license servers, you could share licenses across a number of sites?

    We have 10 seats on a license file for 1 site, and 4 seats on a license of our other, but on the occasion today we needed 12 in one location, (requesting the other manage with 2) our users couldn't see the 2 spare.

    Have I completely misunderstood the system or are we setup wrong? Do I need all 14 seats on both license server .lic files? I'm confused.

    #2
    No, you should be able to run the license servers across a WAN. Each computer using networked versions of Autodesk software has an environment variable called "ADSKFLEX_LICENSE_FILE" which points to the license servers that were set up in your installation deployment. You can see the environment variable settings by rt-clicking on "My computer", properties, Advanced system settings, advanced tab, Environment variables button. You can also modify/change the settings in that dialog box if you have proper permissions, or you can use a login script to set them - we do the latter.

    The format of the values for the license server names is important. It must be like this: @server_1;@server_2;@server_3 where the "server_x" represents the name of the license server. The order in which the values appear is the order in which machines will search the servers for an open license.

    I learned more than I actually needed to know by watching this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l4ZRkkSbXFA
    Last edited by jsnyder; April 15, 2011, 05:34 PM. Reason: Added link

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      #3
      I should have replied sooner....

      UPDATE
      Our natty 32GB USB key just came through the post from Ireland, and having not given the problem much thought, I now need to revisit how we're going to handle the sharing of our lone Ultimate Edition across our two sites....

      Having read jsnyder's response above, it sounds like what I've proposed should be do-able...

      But our reseller has contacted me to explain that a distributed server doesn't work that way - and that we need to assign our single BDSU seat to one or the other.

      That, or swap our license server/management to a redundant server setup. Which just isn't going to happen.


      So I'm kinda gutted and at a loss - we really need to have access to Navisworks Manage at both sites - and without (before anyone suggests) having to RDP, or buying another.


      Before I bleat back to my reseller that I'm not convined, I thought I'd query here - as I just can't see how big, multi-location firms can be handling licenses with a redundant server setup. Unless of course license management is handled locally?

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        #4
        Hmmm. I do not fully understand this statement - "But our reseller has contacted me to explain that a distributed server doesn't work that way - and that we need to assign our single BDSU seat to one or the other."

        Unless I am missing something or there are restrictions in the license agreement, you assign the single BDSU license to one server (you do not need a distributed setup if you only have one license - maybe this is the the source of confusion?), but you can set the ADSKFLEX_LICENSE_FILE environment variable in both offices to point to that license server over the WAN. The distributed license system is designed to allow you to split up multiple-seat license files between different license servers so that if one server goes down, you don't lose ALL your licenses.

        That being said, it has always been a bit mysterious to me how the Suite licensing actually works. I believe that in your scenario if you have two different users who want to use different products from the Suite at the same time, only one will get the license - first come first served. If you have different versions of some of that software in the suite in use, it gets exponentially more difficult to understand.

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          #5
          Originally posted by jsnyder View Post
          Hmmm. I do not fully understand this statement - "But our reseller has contacted me to explain that a distributed server doesn't work that way - and that we need to assign our single BDSU seat to one or the other."
          Essentially, they're telling me we will only ever be able to have access to our 1 seat of the BDSU from one of our locations.

          Originally posted by jsnyder View Post
          you assign the single BDSU license to one server (you do not need a distributed setup if you only have one license - maybe this is the the source of confusion?), but you can set the ADSKFLEX_LICENSE_FILE environment variable in both offices to point to that license server over the WAN.
          That's how I thought / hoped things would go... but the information from the reseller seems to contradict that.

          Perhaps the attached jpeg helps explain what we're wanting things to work?

          Originally posted by jsnyder View Post
          The distributed license system is designed to allow you to split up multiple-seat license files between different license servers so that if one server goes down, you don't lose ALL your licenses.
          Again, that much seems clear... although it's not clear if you do move over to another license file for a spare seat when all the seats of your "local" license file are used up.

          That said, I had our second site flood requests for Revit today and they managed to get 6 instances of Revit running (with a license) despite having only 4 currently assigned to their local license file. That would suggest you do move onto the next license file for a seat.

          Hopefully that means the same for the BDSU - so long as not having a seat defined on the first license server doesn't trip it up before going to the second license server where the seat is defined.

          Originally posted by jsnyder View Post
          I believe that in your scenario if you have two different users who want to use different products from the Suite at the same time, only one will get the license - first come first served.
          I understand the concept that only 1 person will be able to have access to a seat for the products in the BDSU at any one time - (so if someone's using Navisworks Manage they'll be no use of Max for example) and we're accepting of that bottleneck.
          Attached Files
          Last edited by snowyweston; May 12, 2011, 07:25 PM.

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            #6
            Just to wrap up here (as I have just done HERE ) :

            We're finding the distributed license server is working for us. I created the BDSU suite deployment(s) to "look" at the host license server first, so anyone attempting to open any of the suite applications looks to that single seat regardless of location... which in my mind, proves "it works"

            All in all, so far so good...

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              #7
              Snowy,

              My knowledge of the license setup is dangerous, however I do know we are running a redundant server setup at the moment and we are multi-location. seems to work ok. IT is telling me that we will be switching to distributed soon tho. Haven't asked them why yet.
              Darryl Store - Associate (BIM)
              [email protected]
              Twitter: @darrylstore

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                #8
                Distributed works as you guessed. When all the licenses for one site are consumed, future license requests are sent to another server. Each of your sites should list their local server first, then the remote server second. If there is a disconnect, each site can still access their own licenses until the connection is re-established.
                Troy Gates - Director of Design Technology
                KTGY Group, Inc - http://twitter.com/troygates

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