Getting Started with FlexNet Floating

Overview

This guide provides an overview and best practices for deploying our on-premises license server hardware and network configurations for the nTop Floating License System. It also contains step-by-step instructions for installing and configuring license server components to get your team up and running on nTop quickly. 

See Revenera’s 'FlexNet Publisher License Administration Guide' for detailed installation and operation instructions.

Table of Contents

Hardware 

The nTop Floating License System must have a license server up and running prior to installation. It’s not recommended that you purchase the nTop Floating License System for deployment if you do not already have an existing FlexNet Publisher floating license server up and running. Please contact your Account Manager for more information.

We generally recommend not running any additional vendors' license managers or other software from this server as it will reduce performance.

When selecting a license server: 

  • All files used in conjunction with the license manager software must be located on a disk that is physically local to the server computer(s).
  • The license server(s) must have a high-speed, reliable Ethernet connection.
  • Computers that experience extremely high levels of network traffic or processing lag due to high CPU and/or I/O usage are poor candidates for license servers. 
  • Do not use computers that are frequently rebooted. 
  • The license server machine(s) must have a static IP address

Server(s)

Choose a server model:

  • Single Server: 1 license file installed on one server. 
  • Distributed Servers: Multiple license files installed across multiple servers.
  • High-Availability Triad. Licenses are installed on one server, plus two backup servers.
    • You must specify a primary server and two redundant servers.

We recommend that you configure multiple single servers instead of a redundant (triad) configuration. If one of the single servers becomes unavailable, then only a portion of your license becomes unavailable, rather than all of them. A redundant-server configuration will add additional network communication overhead, resulting in reduced server performance. When a redundant triad is configured incorrectly, you will lose all of the inherent benefits of redundancy. 

If the Triad is your choice for server setup, please consider these specific configurations: 

  • Choose three machines that are of the same platform type (Windows or Linux).
  • All three servers should be on the same subnet in the same physical location. 
  • Install the license file and entire licensing directory on each of the three license servers. 
    • Not configuring the servers in this manner defeats the purpose of having redundancy as the server holding these files becomes a single point of failure.

Vendor Daemons

We generally recommend not hosting the nTop Floating License System with other FlexNet Publisher Vendor Daemons on the same server. However, the system does work on license servers that host other vendors' daemons. For optimal performance with multiple vendor daemons on 1 server please ensure: 

  • The license server(s) and your network environment have suitable bandwidth appropriate for the total number of product clients served by all vendor daemons. 
  • We do not support combining the license files from multiple vendor daemons in order to run a single LMGRD. 
  • Revenera states that multiple machines each running one lmgrd, one vendor daemon, and using one license file is the optimal configuration: 
    • The license files for each vendor are independent of one another. 
    • Each server machine can be maintained separately. If one machine goes down, the other machines continue to serve licenses for their vendors.
    • Each server has its own debug log.

Network 

The primary network settings to configure the nTop Floating License System are the TCP/IP port settings. 2080, 27000-27009 are the default port(s) for FlexNet Publisher. These settings should only be adjusted in exceptional circumstances, such as to avoid using the same ports as other applications/services on your network. 

Our licensing MSI provides local service and network service permissions on installation. Additionally, you should configure any virus scanners, firewalls, and WAN optimization software to allow the various components of the nTop Floating License System to run & also communicate on the allocated ports. You can edit the license file to use precise port numbers or entirely different port numbers - if necessary.

Wifi Connections

We do not recommend connecting your license server to your network with a wireless connection as they are simply less stable, less reliable, and transfer speeds are 10X slower than ethernet. 

VPN

We do not recommend connecting your license server to your network over a VPN due to transfer speeds compared to an ethernet connection.

Installation Instructions

License File Based Licensing Diagram

 

System_Diagram.png

Setting Up Your Licensing Server 

Generating Your Host ID To Send To Us

In order for us to build a license file for you, we need the Host ID of the license server you plan to use. Below are instructions for how to generate the Host ID.

  • Download and unzip the file you receive from the automated email we sent you. There are 2 tools to choose from:

    • lmutil (Command Line)

    • lmtools (GUI)

  • Run lmutil or lmtools on the server you intend to use as described below, which will give you the Host ID to provide us so we can create your license file.

  • If you use lmtools:

    • Start up lmtools

    • Click System Settings tab, locate Hostid box

    • Locate Ethernet box. The 12 character address is the Host ID

    • Send the Host ID to your Account Manager or Support to generate the license file.

mceclip0.png
  • If you use lmutil:

    • Run windows Command Prompt

    • Change to Download directory

    • Enter the following command >lmutil.exe lmhostid

    • Send the Host ID to your Account Manager or Support to generate the license file.

mceclip1.png

Loading License Components To Your Licensing Server

  • The second automated nTop Licensing email you receive will include the nTopLM MSI with the following license server components:
    • lmtools/lmutil
    • nTop License Manager 
      • lmgrd
      • lmadmin
    • nTop Vendor Daemon
      • ntoplm.exe
    • nTop License File
  • Once you have the signed license file, you’ll need to add the server address (and port if running several products from the server) to the file in order to load and run it successfully. See below for how to add these to the file.
  • Run your servers on a supported operating system on a stable network and avoid restarts, unless necessary, as they can interfere with continuity of serving floating licenses to your end users.
  • Your server(s) should communicate with ports 2080 and 27000-27009. These are the default ports the system uses. Although these ports are configurable, changing them may cause conflicts with other applications. Avoid changing port numbers where possible.

mceclip2.png

Configuring Your nTop Licensing Server

  • Open LMTOOLS, navigate to Config Settings
  • Name the Service, we recommend “nTopLM”
  • Browse and load lmgrd.exe
  • Browse and load License File
  • Click Save Service

Configure_Server.png

Starting Up Your Server 

  • Navigate to Start/Stop/Reread tab
  • Click Start Server
  • You will see a success or error message in the bottom left hand corner of the window

Start_Server.png

Server Status Inquiries

  • To check the status of your server, navigate to Server Status tab
  • Click Perform Status Inquiry
  • Check number of licenses issued for ntop _full
    • This number should match the count of licenses purchased.
    • Note, if you purchased nTop CL, you will see a large number of licenses in ntopcl_full, this is simply to enable Organization wide access to nTop CL so no one is ever denied access 

Status_Inquiry.png

Starting up nTop and adding License Server Address (End User)

  • Once your license server is up and running with the License Manager (if needed), Vendor Daemon, and nTop License File, distribute/host the FlexEnabled version of nTop for your end users to download and install on their machine(s).
  • As an end user, when you start up nTop for the first time, navigate to the License Settings button and click the blue dot next to the Server address field.

  • Enter the license server address (and port - if necessary), which your System Administrator should have readily available, and click Apply.
  • If a license is available, nTop will start up.

  • If all licenses are checked out, you will receive the following message:

 

Starting up nTop Automate and adding License Server Address (End User)

nTop Automate should work the same way as nTop. Enter the server address following --license in Command Prompt or Powershell along with the Server Address similar to the step above, and it should log you in.

ntopcl --license PORT@HOSTNAME

 

Exporting Usage Data

To export your usage data, review the information in the "Managing the Options File" chapter on the 'FlexNet Publisher License Administration Guide.'

 

Troubleshooting Tips

  • Ensure you're running lmtools as an administrator.
  • The server line in the license file should be set up: server + host + hostID, and then port.
  • The "this_host" in the license file must be the license server's IP address or the hostname if using DNS resolution.

Keywords:

 cloud license server floating flexnet fnp vendor daemon lmutil flex host id 
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