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1.5. Overview of 5.x Concurrent Network Licenses

Applies to:
All Palisade concurrent network software, releases 5.x
(The licensing scheme is a little different in 6.x. Please see Overview of 6.x Network Licenses.)

Questions:
What are the requirements for a network license?  Does it need a wired LAN?  How do users access the license?  What if users need to run off network temporarily?  Can I change servers?  How do I upgrade the application software?

Response:
In a concurrent network, you install the license process on your license server, and then you install the client software on as many user workstations as you wish.  Network licenses are sold by number of simultaneous users.

You activate your licenses, once only, by downloading them from our server to yours. Usually this is done by direct computer-to-computer transfer, but we also offer options via a Web script or email.  Once the licenses have been transferred, there is no further need to communicate with our server.

When a user tries to run the application, it sends a message to your license server, not ours, asking if a license is available.  If a license is available, the server sends a message back to the application giving permission, and the application starts up.  Normally this happens so quickly that users aren't aware of any delay.  If the contracted number of licenses are all in use, the user sees a message that no license is available at this time, and will have to try again later.  (If you find this happens too often, it is easy to add licenses without reinstalling anything.)

Requirements for the license server:

Our network installer will put the FLEXnet 11.4 software in a new folder on your server.  You may already have FLEXnet licenses from other software vendors; there will be no conflict between those licenses and ours.  (You may know FLEXnet by its older name, FLEXlm.)

The server must be an actual Windows-based machine, not a virtual machine and not any sort of Windows emulation. If running a virtual server is a requirement, we may be able to supply a certificate-based license. Please consult your Palisade sales representative about a test license.

Other than that, there are no major requirements because all the server has to do is sit and listen for license requests from the clients. The FLEXnet licensing software runs on the server as a background process, but all the computing takes place on the clients.  The server can do all its other tasks normally, and you should not notice any performance impact from the licensing process.

It's also possible to set things up in a terminal services, Citrix, or thin client configuration, where computing happens on the central server. Please see Citrix and Terminal Services for more.

Requirements for the network:

While a conventional LAN is the most common configuration, it's not a requirement.  We have users running on wider networks, including networks linking the Eastern and Western Hemispheres.  You can set things up so that the client reaches the license server by a simple host name, by a qualified name, or even by an IP address.

Off-network use:

Normally, users' workstations (clients) communicate with your server to get a license dynamically.  But it's also possible to borrow a license for use off network, for example on a laptop while traveling.  The borrowing utility is part of the server install, not the client install, so that you can grant borrowing privileges to selected users.

When a user borrows a license, she selects an expiration date.  During that time, she can run the application without being connected to the license server, and one license fewer is available to users who do connect to the server.  At the end of the borrowing period, the license automatically returns to the server pool even if the client is not connected to the server.  If the user finishes with the off-network use sooner than planned, she can return the license early.

If you have a few users who use the application off network a lot of the time, it might make sense to give them standalone licenses rather than have them participate in the pool of the concurrent licenses.  Your Palisade sales manager can help you determine whether a pure concurrent model or a mixed model makes more sense for you.

Changing servers:

Changing servers is easy and does not require reinstalling the software on the users' workstations. A one-line Registry edit on each workstation directs it to look to the new server for a license, instead of the old one.  Please see Transferring Palisade 5.x Concurrent Network Software to a New Server for full details.

Application upgrades:

If you keep your maintenance contract current, you are entitled to upgrade the application software whenever we release a new version.  Depending on the exact nature of the upgrade, this may be as simple as installing the new version over top of the old, or it may be necessary also to download a new set of licenses keyed to the new version.  There is usually no need to replace the server software.  To begin the upgrade process, please see Upgrading Palisade Software.

last edited: 2013-02-22

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