Software Licensing – Centralized Administration & Support

In order to properly manage internal software license usage within a global company, license management, administration and support must be carefully considered. A centralized licensing infrastructure is ideal, allowing for:

  • Centralized distribution and management of licenses
  • Centralized license support for end users
  • Reduction in overall global administration / supplier management support
  • Supplier leverage due to bulk purchasing and single points of contact
  • Gathering of metrics on license usage for assessment of licensing needs

In order to support a centralized infrastructure, mitigation of certain concerns is required:

  • Network failure between the end users and the license server(s)
  • Hardware failure on a license server containing a large number of essential licenses
  • Latency between clients and the license server(s), particularly over a large geography
  • Balancing sufficient license availability to meet global needs with the cost of additional license purchases

Centroid has worked with and developed many tools to assist with license server infrastructure design and implementation, as well as long-term license server administration and end user support:

  • Strategic placement of multiple license servers on the WAN to minimize the risk and impact of hardware and/or network failure, as well as to reduce the impact of network latency for applications which are sensitive to license server response time
  • Reports on end user location to analyze proper license distribution across multiple license servers around the globe
  • Reports on end user volume and license denials to analyze future licensing needs
  • Reports on end user project affiliation as part of a charge-back mechanism for internal financing of license purchases
  • Automated alarms to notify administrators immediately in the case of hardware, network, or license server process failure
  • Automated messages to end users to gently remind them of extended license usage for high priority applications
  • Server administration tools, such as automated distribution of daemon binaries, to simplify ongoing license administration requirements
  • End user configuration scripts to simplify client setup support
  • License file validation and revision control tools to help with meeting auditing standards and requirements

Future licensing blog entries will discuss other aspects of a complete licensing infrastructure, including other custom tools for optimizing consumption and production of software licenses.