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 it is, on this very blog posted by my colleague Jane Balin.)
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.
Rational License Key Server
Jazz Team Server – license server
|Token||(requires Rational License Key Server for token service)|
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.