Yes, the title is a blatant rip-off of John Cooley’s “My Cheesy Must See DAC Lists”
Lots of great information at the 2015 CELUG Conference. For those of you who missed it, perhaps this list will help you to justify attending next year’s conference which will be in the week of June 5, 2016 in my own backyard of Austin, Texas.
This list is by no means comprehensive, but these are the things that leap to mind.
- The FlexNet Publisher roadmap was very focused on a new product called FlexNet Embedded. Not sure what that means, but clearly Flexera is very focused on it.
- Be sure to take advantage of Daniel Galecki’s “New Guy” status while it lasts! He’s bringing a new approach to the FNMEA team and is clearly very focused on relieving the pain that most of us feel who use FNMEA, specifically the Cognos engine. Almost all of his roadmap focused on that.
- Mentor announced that starting June 1, 2016 that they will no longer support Sparc Solaris as a license server platform.
- Mentor also disclosed that there is a memory leak in their current Linux production binaries (184.108.40.206). The leak is only seen on highly loaded servers. On request, you can get an updated daemon based on 220.127.116.11 if you think you are seeing this problem or are likely to see it. Beware.
- Ansys revealed that in FNP 18.104.22.168 that you could see errors on clients such as “FLEXlmserverisnotresponding.Resource temporarily not available.“, which could be fixed by setting a new environment variable, FNP_IP_ENV to 1. Apparently, this has something to do with new DNS resolution routines which are trying to query ipv6. Your mileage may vary, but you may want to look into setting this variable if you’re seeing these types of errors.
- Synopsys announced, and I have it written down, that starting with the March, 2015 releases that the fix is in place for the dreaded “Forward Time Zone” problem for Synopsys tools. Do I have a volunteer to test this?
- Synopsys also showed off some fancy new testing tools in their upcoming release, allowing you to test your server capacity, load, connection reliability and infrastructure reliability. Good stuff.
- It is now a US Federal requirement that any conference focused on technology have at least one speaker talk about “the cloud”. And boy did we deliver.
- David Pellerin gave a great talk about EDA in the Amazon AWS Cloud. There was at least one documented instance of an engineer going to AWS to solve a capacity constraint that couldn’t be fulfilled internally. There are probably others that we don’t know about.
- There truly are amazing opportunities using the cloud for capacity and bursting.
- The AWS Elastic Network Interface (ENI) provides some interesting possibilities for the implementation of license services in the cloud. Because you can’t duplicate a HostID in AWS, some of the HA solutions discussed below can’t be implemented, but the ENI could let you do some things in an easier fashion than what’s been developed. As usual, it’s going to require someone to play with it, but the potential looks very interesting.
- Read more about the AWS offering in the password-protected section: [wpfilebase tag=file id=46 /]
- IBM announced that they are getting into the cloud business, offering their own home-grown EDA tools and flows on top of CentOS and LSF. Their offering is an “all in” offering (you have to keep all of your data in their cloud), but they could really clobber other providers on price since they own so much of that stack. At the time of this writing, it is unclear if a subscription to the IBM cloud comes with a free lawyer or not.
- Bob Van Der Kloot presented the Teradyne High Availability solution, which in my opinion was ground-breaking. It “lifted the veil” on how at least some members are achieving HA in the industry in front of suppliers as well as Flexera. This presentation really put perspective on what HA means to practitioners of license management and highlights how inadequate triads, license borrowing and trusted storage are for most of us.
- As a counter-point, most “non-supported” HA implementation (based on Flex, at least), rely on HostID Duplication in order to work. The problem here is that through this mechanism, a company could intentionally or unintentionally have a lot more licenses than they paid for. Now, you might tempted to engage in some schadenfreude because you see the budget struggles to pay your suppliers and say “well if you didn’t charge so much people wouldn’t do that!”, but that unfortunately is a very short-sighted approach. The savings those companies reap can be used to clobber your pricing in the marketplace. It’s imperative that we work together as an industry to find a way to defeat piracy for our mutual benefit.
- Suppliers and Flexera both heard loud and clear that we’re serious when we say we need “nines as far as the eye can see” (Joshua Hauta, Qualcomm) and the means we’re willing to go to get them, with our without supplier support. Obviously, we’d prefer with, but we’re a pragmatic group and will do what we must (legally, of course).
- Our breakout sessions went really well, with the exception of running out of time to really dig into what everyone thought. Lessons learned for next year.
- Rachel Stanley of Honeywell gave a scintillating presentation on “phone home” technologies, which are related to HostID duplication in the sense that they are designed to detect and report on excessive license use.
- Various companies are starting to quietly roll this out. Sometimes they tell us, sometimes they don’t. I think most of us are seeing internal security tightening, so these types of implementations are worrisome, to say the least.
- At an afternoon session, the members present discussed how to deal with this, and here is the general consensus (to my recollection)
- We (CELUG) will start to document known instances of license managers “phoning home” in the forum section of the website. Here’s a direct link to the forum topic if you want to contribute (registration required).
- Non-Flex licenses managers are doing this as well as Flex-based ones. Everyone is implementing things their own way. This is an absolute support nightmare for us as license administrators as well as for anyone who deals with lawyers, IT Security departments, the Federal Government or any other body tasked with oversight.
- We need a license-manager independent means of addressing the concerns of suppliers while satisfying our own security needs.
- To this end, we believe that the best way to get implementations standardized, open and well-understood is to undertake the formation of a Standards Committee involving members of CELUG, software suppliers and suppliers of license management solutions. We are at the early stages of this thought process, but if we do go down this path we will likely try to go through IEEE, as they have the machinery and experience to drive standards such as these.
- I’m probably going to create some additional posts on this topic, so stay tuned.