License Hosting

Please note that this feature is currently in beta and not enabled by default. Please contact your organization's Solution Architect or Account Executive to enable access. There is no charge to use this feature while it is in beta.

Customers can use the Rescale platform to securely host software licenses that can then be accessed by jobs running in the cloud as well as on-prem clusters.

Managing License hosts can only be completed by an organization administrator through the Administration Portal > Integrations > License Hosting page.

At a high-level, the steps to hosting a license are:

  1. Provision a new license host and reserve a MAC address / host id.
  2. Send this information to the software vendor. The vendor will cut a new license and provide you with a license file.
  3. Upload the license file through the UI and configure the license ports being used by the software.

The main license hosting page displays each host, its provisioning status, and whether or not a license file has been uploaded yet.

license-host-list

Prequisites

The License Hosting feature is available for software in the Rescale software catalog that uses one of the following types of license servers:

  • FlexLM (includes ANSYS)
  • RLM
  • LSTC

Provisioning process

Click the Request A License Host button to begin the provisioning process. The request form consists of two fields:

  • The value entered into the Name field will be used as the license host machine name. This is the value that will appear within the licensing environment variable value.

  • The License Type is the type of license manager that will be installed on the license host.

  • The Billed Workspace is the workspace that license host charges will be issued against.

license-host-request

Click the Request button to submit. The initial provisioning step will provision the license host and reserve a unique network interface. After the initial provisioning step completes, the relevant server information will be displayed:

license-host-partial

The Server Information section in the form contains the information that should be provided to the ISV when getting a new license cut. Typically, you will need to give the vendor the values listed in the MAC Address and Host ID field. For LSTC license hosts only, there will be an additional Generate LS-DYNA License Request button displayed in this section. Clicking this button will download a LSTC_SERVER_INFO file that contains the license host bind information. This file will need to be edited as described in LSTC's documentation and then submitted to your distributor.

After you have received a new license file from the ISV, the next step is to upload the license file to the platform by clicking the Upload a New License File button and then configuring the license daemon port information. This information is used to auto-populate the Use Saved Value dropdown when configuring an existing license during job setup.

  • The License Port is the initial TCP or UDP port that the analysis software will connect to when attempting to checkout a license feature. Typically the analysis software will determine the license port and license machine to connect to using an environment variable value with a predefined format.

  • Most analysis software will define a Vendor Port in addition to a license port. The license server listening on the license port will respond to the initial request from the analysis software with the vendor port. The analysis software then uses the vendor port for subsequent communication. The uploaded license file will be automatically modified to use a fixed vendor port with this value. This makes it much easier to configure firewall rules to allow licensing traffic.

  • Some software will require an Additional Port to be configured. For example, with ANSYS software, the additional port is used to populate the ANSYSLI_SERVERS environment variable (ANSYS License Interconnect).

license-details

The ports you use can be anything between 1024 and 65535 (inclusive). Your license files may have a default and common ports for some software is listed below, but you are not required to use these ports.

| Software | License port |
| -------- | ------------ |
| ANSYS    | 1055 or 2325 |
| STAR-CCM+ | 1999        |
| ABAQUS   | 27000        |
| COMSOL   | 1718         |
| CONVERGE | 2765         |
| LS-DYNA  | 31010 (and no vendor port) |

Finally, after the software and license port information is configured, click the Update button to save the specified configuration and then sync the specified changes back to the license host.

While the host is being updated, the Server Status section will indicate that it is in progress:

launch-in-progress

After a few minutes, the Server Status section should be updated to indicate that the license host is up and running:

launch-success

The license host is now ready to be used by selecting the configured software when setting up a job and choosing the host from the Use Saved Value dropdown.

Additional configuration options

On-prem license access

By default, the license host is only available to clusters running in a Cloud Service Provider and launched through Rescale. It is closed off to all other access. Clicking the + Add allowed IP/CIDR button allows you to grant ingress access to the license host for the specified IP or range.

Terminating the license host

Terminating the license host is a two step process:

  1. First, click the Terminate button to deprovision the license host. This terminates the underlying license host machine but retains the network interface. Most license files are tied to the network interface so terminating the license host machine does not invalidate the license. However, some license files, notably LSTC, are tightly bound to the specific license host and cannot be reused once the host is terminated. A warning dialog will be displayed if the license file will be unusable after termination.
  2. After the license host has been terminated, the next step is to release the reserved network interface by clicking the Delete button. Note that most license files are tied to a network interface. Once the network interface is released, the license file will no longer be usable and a new license must be requested from the ISV.

Known limitations