Sunday, August 14, 2011

Cascade Licensing for Autodesk Products explained

From Autodesk’s Knowledge base: TS17532548

Understanding Cascade Licensing for Autodesk Products

Issue

You would like to understand more about Cascade Licensing and how it affects license consumption in your pool of available Autodesk product licenses.

Solution

Cascade Licensing is implemented for mixed-product environments where a single license manager is servicing multiple Autodesk products. Cascade Licensing allows an Autodesk product to obtain a license that belongs to another Autodesk product in the same license pool. With Cascade Licensing, lower ranking product licenses can be used before higher ranking product licenses; when all lower ranking product licenses are in use, a product will cascade up to use the license of a higher ranking product.

The ranking of a product is determined by its place in the cascading sequence for a given product. Cascading sequences—the order in which one product cascades to another—is pre-determined by individual product groups at Autodesk and cannot be changed or configured. Cascading sequences for recent Autodesk product releases can be viewed at the following technical solutions:

When possible, licenses are shared to minimize total license usage however the order in which products are launched affects the way licenses are initially allocated.


Example #1: Mixed pool of Point product and Suite product licenses

A customer has two AutoCAD licenses, one Revit Architecture license, and one Revit Architecture Suite license, for a total of four licenses.

  • User A runs AutoCAD and pulls one AutoCAD license.
  • User A then runs Revit Architecture, pulling the one Revit Architecture license. At this point, User A has consumed two licenses on his machine.
  • User B runs AutoCAD and pulls the remaining AutoCAD license.
  • User B then runs Revit Architecture and, since the sole Revit Architecture license is already in use, it cascades up and uses the Revit Architecture Suite license. At this point, User B has consumed two licenses and all available licenses are in use.

Lesson: When a user starts a Point product, the Point product license will be checked out, if available. If there are no available Point product licenses, a Suite license will be checked out instead.

  • Within a couple minutes, the Cascade Licensing logic detects the Suite license and returns the AutoCAD license to the pool leaving User B as having consumed only one license on his machine.

Lesson: Once there is a Suite license on the users machine, any lower ranking product licenses will automatically be returned.


Example #2: Mixed pool of Point product and Suite product licenses

A customer has one AutoCAD 2012 license, and one Autodesk Design Suite Premium 2012 license, for a total of two licenses.

  • A user runs AutoCAD and pulls the one AutoCAD license.
  • The same user then runs Autodesk Showcase, pulling the one Design Suite Premium license. Because both products are part of Autodesk Design Suite Premium, AutoCAD switches over to using the Design Suite Premium license. The AutoCAD license is returned to the pool and is available for another user.
  • The user then starts Autodesk 3ds Max Design on the same machine. Since Autodesk 3ds Max Design is also part of the Autodesk Design Suite Premium, it also uses the Design Suite Premium license. No new license is required and it shares the license with AutoCAD and Autodesk Showcase. There is still an AutoCAD license available in the pool.

Lesson: All products included in a Suite can run using a single Suite license on the same machine.


Example #3: Mixed pool of Suite product licenses

A customer has 10 Autodesk Design Suite Premium licenses, one Autodesk Design Suite Ultimate license, and two Autodesk Building Design Suite Ultimate licences, for a total of 13 licenses.

  • 11 users launch 3ds Max Design simultaneously. The first 10 users consume all the Design Suite Premium licenses; the 11th user takes the sole Design Suite Ultimate license.
  • Two more users launch 3ds Max Design, for a total of 13 licenses needed. These two users consume the two Building Design Suite Ultimate licenses. At this point, all 13 licenses are in use.

Lesson: If multiple suite licenses on a server share a common product—in this case, Autodesk 3ds Max Design—the first license that will be used will be the one listed first (lowest ranking) in the cascading sequence. When those licenses are all consumed, cascading will move to the next highest ranking product available in the license pool. For example, the cascading sequence for 3ds Max Design includes the following order of products:

Autodesk 3ds Max Design 2012
Autodesk Design Suite Premium 2012
Autodesk Product Design Suite Premium 2012
Autodesk Factory Design Suite Premium 2012
Autodesk Building Design Suite Premium 2012
Autodesk Infrastructure Design Suite Premium 2012
Autodesk Design Suite Ultimate 2012
Autodesk Product Design Suite Ultimate 2012
Autodesk Factory Design Suite Ultimate 2012
Autodesk Building Design Suite Ultimate 2012


More Information

KB: TS17437121

Licensing Cascading Behavior of Autodesk Manufacturing Products and Suites

The License Cascading enables a product to consume alternate licenses if its preferred license is not available

A product will first try to acquire its native license

If the native license is unavailable, the product will look for higher-level (e.g., suite) licenses.

In the image below you can see the cascading sequence for Inventor 2012.

In the image below you can see the cascading sequence for AutoCAD Mechanical 2012.

KB: TS1056642

Manually configuring the Cascading License Priority List (PLIST)
Issue

You want to know if it is possible to manually edit the 'PLIST' increment in the network license file to change the order of products.

Solution
You cannot manually edit the PLIST increment to change the priority order of specific products.

KB: TS13894457

Corrupt CascadeInfo.cas file results in failure of cascading functionality

Issue

Cascading functionality is lost due to a corrupt CascadeInfo.cas file.

Solution

If the CascadeInfo.cas file is corrupt due to a power failure or any reason, cascading functionality will not be available. This issue only applies to network licensed products and does not affect stand-alone licensed products.

Example:

Given the following cascading sequence and a license server with a license for Product B & Product C:

Product A -> Product B -> Product C

Cascading failure may present itself in the following way:

Startup Problems:

Scenario 1: A product that did not have its own license and that was previously starting by using a shared license through cascading will fail to start.

Example: The Product B license is available on the server. If the CascadeInfo.cas file is corrupt, Product A will not start on license B.

Example: The Product B license is borrowed to a system where Product A is also installed. If the CascadeInfo.cas is corrupt, Product A will not run on the borrowed license.

Example: If Product B is already running and CascadeInfo.cas is corrupt, Product A will not share the B license and will fail to start.

Wasted licenses:

Scenario 2: An already running product will fail to cascade up to and share another license.

Example: Product B is already running then Product C starts up. If CascadeInfo.cas is corrupt, Product B will not switch over to share product C's license after a few minutes.

Expected Log File output

Here is the expected log file output. You should see a fatal error message with a vendor id of 10 (eVendorIDCascade) and a vendor error of 6 (ADLM_CASCADE_STATUS_DECRYPTION_ERROR). It will also be followed by an AdlmInt error of 47 (ADLM_STATUS_ERROR_CASCADING_OPERATION) or 2 (ADLM_STATUS_INTERNAL_ERROR).

1012 2009/09/16 15:07:20 Reason=Fatal error
1012 2009/09/16 15:07:20 ComputerName=MyComputer
1012 2009/09/16 15:07:20 OS=5.2.3790.Service Pack 2
1012 2009/09/16 15:07:20 File=AdlmIntLicense.cpp,Line=xxxx
1012 2009/09/16 15:07:20 VendorID=10
1012 2009/09/16 15:07:20 VendorError=6
1012 2009/09/16 15:07:20 Reason=Fatal error
1012 2009/09/16 15:07:20 ComputerName=MyComputer
1012 2009/09/16 15:07:20 OS=5.2.3790.Service Pack 2
1012 2009/09/16 15:07:20 File=AdlmIntNWFBLicense.cpp,Line=xxx
1012 2009/09/16 15:07:20 AdlmIntError=47

WorkAround

The current workaround it to rename/remove the corrupt CascadeInfo.cas file following these steps.

  1. Return any borrowed licenses

  2. Check in any checked out licenses and exit all Autodesk products

  3. Rename or delete the corrupt CascadeInfo.cas

The CascadeInfo.cas file can be found in the following locations:

Windows XP:

C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\Autodesk\Adlm

Windows Vista and Windows 7:

C:\ProgramData\Autodesk\Adlm

Mac:

/Library/Application Support/Autodesk/Adlm/.config

Linux:

/var/opt/Autodesk/Adlm/.config

How to understand and manage your Autodesk licenses (video)

Autodesk network license feature codes

Cascading explained

Need license manager software? JTB FlexReport and JTB’s Process Monitor can be used to monitor and report on license usage of Autodesk products as well as many other network licenses products or stand-alone applications.


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