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After the wizardry of my previous post, where you learned how to install the Rational License Key Server Administration and Reporting Tool by using the IBM Installation Manager wizards, let’s now slay some demons! In this post, I will help you understand how a typical licensing model works and how, specifically, the Rational licensing model is designed, complete with daemons!
A licensing model generally consists of:
The license file defines what software or features the license is for, how long it is valid for, how many users can use the software, the computers on which the software can be used, and so on. The license file can be stored locally on the same computer as the application, or on a remote license server. In a served license model, where licenses are stored and served from a common license server, the applications that require a license connect over a TCP/IP network to obtain the licenses from the license server. Rational Common Licensing supports both options local license file deployment and the served license model.
The Rational Common Licensing model consists of the following components:
When you purchase an IBM Rational product, you receive a license entitlement that authorizes you to generate and download license files from the Rational License Key Center. The Rational License Key Center is an online service that you use to create license files (.dat, .upd, .txt) for the application or applications that you have purchased, or in IBM parlance, “have entitlement for”. As I mentioned earlier, the license file:
Tip: Do not change the host name when you migrate your license server from one computer to another. If you do change the host name, be sure to log into the Rational License Key Center, return your existing license and regenerate licenses for the new host computer.
For single desktop applications, you can store the licenses on the same computer as the application. You also have the option to run multiple instances of the application on the licensed computer. For applications that are used on several computers by different users, you can use a served license model. The licenses are held centrally by the Rational License Key Server and served up to requesting applications and users.
Let’s take the help of an illustration to clarify the concept of a served licensing model.
Fig 1: Rational Common Licensing process
Log in to the Rational License Key Center to generate and download your licenses. After you download the license files from the Rational License Key Center, you can use the Rational License Key Administrator (LKAD) to import and deploy the license files to the license server. Depending on your product type, you will need to use different mechanisms to point to the license server:
See the daemons in the illustration? Those two daemons - the lmgrd manager daemon and the ibmratl or telelogic vendor deamon - manage licenses on the license server. The lmgrd daemon runs on the license server. The vendor daemon information is supplied for each application in the license file for the application. The lmgrd deamon handles the initial contact with the client application or the IBM Rational product. It reads the license file, identifies and starts the appropriate vendor daemon, and then passes on the connection to the vendor daemon. The vendor daemon tracks how many licenses are checked out and who has the licenses. An application that requires a license connects to the license server and requests a license. The license server provides a license based on the availability of the license. The daemons write information about license usage to the lmgrd.log file. The License Key Server Administration and Reporting Tool uses the information in this log file to generate reports on license usage.
That, in a nutshell, is an overview of the Rational Common Licensing model. In my next post, I will pick up from where I ended here, and describe how the License Server Administration and Reporting Tool uses the log data and works with the license servers to generate reports.
Additional reading: If you are interested in more information on Rational Common Licensing, read my previous posts on the subject #licensing:
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Want to know how your IBM Rational product licenses are being used? Wouldn’t it be useful to find out which users use which product licenses? How about knowing if any licenses were denied during peak hours? Or when the licenses that you purchased are expiring? Whether you are in a large enterprise with hundreds of users using multiple applications, or a small or medium business with a handful of users, you want right-here-and-now information about license utilization and availability so that you can increase operational efficiency and make the right investment decisions. The recently released IBM Rational License Key Server Administration and Reporting Tool provides reports to answer all these questions and more. (If you missed the release announcement for the tool, here
In this blog post, I will provide an overview of the Rational License Key Server Administration and Reporting Tool and also explain its installation topology in typical application environments. To understand the Server Administration and Reporting Tool, let's start with Rational Common Licensing and the Rational License Key Server.
The Rational License Key Server is at the heart of Rational Common Licensing and provides a service to host licenses and serve tokens for Rational applications. There’s a lot going on under the covers in Rational Common Licensing and some of those goings-on involve d(a)emons and wizards, but let’s not go there now! For now, let’s keep it nice and simple, which is that the License Key Server is at the core of Rational Licensing. Now, for the Rational Jazz client applications, it's the fabulous Jazz Team Server that manages the authorized and floating licenses. If you use tokens for your Jazz applications, you also need the Rational License Key Server for the token service. And I will explain a little bit more about that later.
The Rational License Key Server Administration and Reporting Tool provides a suite of reports that provide information on license utilization and availability. Jane’s post provides a list of reports You use this tool to generate reports on license usage from your license servers, be it the Rational License Key Server or Jazz Team Server or both. You can also use the tool to remotely administer your license servers. This is helpful in distributed environments where you might want to administer one or more license servers from a single remote location. Administration involves starting and stopping the license servers and importing license files to the servers.
The Administration and Reporting Tool uses an agent - the Rational License Key Server Administration Agent – to communicate with the Rational License Key Server and Jazz Team Server. Think of the agent as a behind-the-scenes operation that connects the entities that you see and work on – the License Server and the Server Administration and Reporting Tool.
Fig 1: Installation topology: Rational License Key Server Administration and Reporting Tool
This topology assumes that you use more than one Rational License Key Server. It also shows how licenses are deployed on the Jazz Team Server. You must install the Server Administration Agent on all the license server machines that you want to enable for remote administration and reporting. The Server Administration and Reporting Tool is installed separately. The Server Administration and Reporting Tool communicates via the Server Administration Agent with the license servers.
Let me explain how the Jazz Team Server works in the context of Authorized and Floating Licenses and Token Licenses. If you are using applications that run on the IBM Jazz platform, you can use the Jazz Team Server to deploy and manage your licenses. The Jazz Team Server also functions as a license server and you can import your Jazz license files (client access licenses or CALs) to the Jazz license server. For tokens however, you require the Jazz license server to connect to a Rational License Key Server instance for the token service. When a Jazz user requests tokens, the Jazz License Server forwards the token request to the Rational License Key Server for token checkout. You do not require Rational License Key Server if you are using authorized or floating licenses on the Jazz license server. Let’s see if a table can help illustrate the concept more clearly.
Now that we’ve sealed the topic of license types and license servers, let’s go back to the Server Administration and Reporting Tool. The Server Administration and Reporting Tool can provide reports on all license types on both the Rational License Key Server and the Jazz license server. For Jazz application tokens, the Server Administration and Reporting Tool extracts the report data from the Rational License Key Server.
That sums up the tool overview and the explanation of its installation topology. In the next post, I will talk about the architecture of the Rational License Key Server Administration and Reporting Tool, and how you can set up and configure the tool for use with your license servers.