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Geospatial Licensing and Virtual Machines

by Technical Evangelist ‎03-06-2019 07:32 AM - edited ‎02-04-2020 07:00 AM (1,972 Views)

Virtural Machine Requirements

Hexagon Geospatial licensing 2020 (16.6.13.3) is based on FlexNet licensing 11.16.2.  While FlexNet supports a number of virturalization platform types (hypervisors), Hexagon Geospatial licensing requires that the hypervisor host a Microsoft Windows operating system.

 

Virtual Machines (VM's) must be a supported Windows operating system that offers a static ethernet (MAC) address to avoid breaking trusted storage. Be aware that some virtural hypervisor platforms such as Hyper-V, dynamically assign a different MAC after each reboot.  If using Hyper-V, the Hyper-V Manager (virtmgmt.msc) can be used to avoid a dynamic assignment by altering the settings of the network adapter to provide and use a user defined static physical (MAC) address.

 

Geospatial Licensing detects the presence of the virtual machine and *binds to a combination of elements from both the VM and the physical host which ensures that the license service is not copied in a functional way to a second VM / server. Ultimately this means that you can run a license service on a VM but the licensing trust is bound by both physical and VM elements. It is for this reason that VM high availability system configurations are not supported unless you split your license quantities between each VM.

*Note:  For more information on binding and trusted storage see also see also this article concerning How to Deactivate Activation IDs from Trusted Strorage.

 

Virtural Clones, Snapshots, Checkpoints and Rollbacks

Additionally licenses installed in trusted storage cannot participate in VM clones, snapshots, checkpoints or rollbacks; these VM image and backup actions are NOT supported. You cannot copy a working license service and expect it to work when restored; actions such as cloning or reverting to checkpoint will cause licenses in trusted storage to become untrusted. Prior to creating the clone, you must use Licensing Administrator's, License > Deactivate / Return to return the activation id. Then the same activation id can be used on another system (including a clone or check point) using Licensing Administrator's, License > Activate command.

 

Example workflow:
(a) Use Licensing Administrator's, License > Deactivate / Return to return Activation Id's
(b) Create VM backup / clone, image, etc.
(c) On target VM after restoring the image, use Licensing Administrator's, License > Activate command to reactivate the licenses.

Comments
by
on ‎06-12-2020 03:03 AM

Hello,

I hope this is the right place for some questions about licensing on virtual machines.

  1. You said that Hexagon Geospatial licensing 2020 (16.6.13.3) is based on FlexNet licensing 11.16.2. I searched and I don’t find any release notes (for supported platform), only for 11.16.4.1 https://www.flexsim.com/ftp/LicenseServer/FlexNetPublisher/11.16.4.1/
  2. A customer had a Geomedia CC 2018 license on a virtual machine. Initial configuration: Citrix Xenserver 7.4 as hypervisor and Windows Server 2016 as a virtual machine. From https://community.hexagongeospatial.com/t5/Licensing-Knowledge-Base/How-to-verify-network-connectivi...  Geomedia 2018 license server uses Flexerra 11.14.0, again no release notes for 11.14.0 but for 11.14.1 https://www.flexsim.com/ftp/LicenseServer/FlexNetPublisher/11.14.0.1/ where that platform was not supported (no Windows Server 2016 and Xenserver no later than 6.5). Although not supported, license server worked on that platform.
  3. That customer claimed some time ago that license stopped worked after a Windows Update on virtual machine. I looked on server, message was untrusted host, host-ID was the same (I knew that it’s not enough) and an attempt to repair did ,,The repair of the fulfillment is denied by the repair policy because ACPI Generation-Id has changed”. I asked again if he changed anything on supervisor and he admitted that some time ago he updated Citrix Xen from 7.4 to 8.1). Looking at Flexerra there is no official support for Xenserver 8.1 neither in 11.16.4.1 nor in latest 11.17.0.0 https://www.flexsim.com/ftp/LicenseServer/FlexNetPublisher/11.17.0.0/ (only no later than 8.0). Xenserver 8.1 did have some big changes (UEFI and Secure boot) https://docs.citrix.com/en-us/citrix-hypervisor/whats-new.html
  4. So, the question is: did that update broke compatibility and the host became untrusted? I uninstalled License Administrator 2018 and installed License Administrator 2020 (because it can serve client systems running GeoMedia versions back to 2014, according to https://community.hexagongeospatial.com/t5/Licensing-Knowledge-Base/How-to-install-Geospatial-Licens...) but it solved nothing, the host was still untrusted and an attempt to repair had the same outcome.
  5. Another question: how can we verify what has been changed on a machine/hypervisor when we have access only on virtual machine? I put a free version of hwinfo on virtual machine which can save a report about hardware configuration, including BIOS and ACPI devices but I don’t know it’s enough to verify that hardware configuration hasn’t changed or to prove what has changed since last working environment.

Many thanks!

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