Virtualisation of FLEXnet Licence Servers for SIMULIA


Many people ask if a License server can be hosted on a virtual machine (VM), known as virtualisation. Although Dassault Systemes do not encourage it, it is possible. Unfortunately for most, it will not fit requirements due to not all license servers supporting virtualisation. Virtualisation is NOT supported by DS License Server (DSLS) or IBM LUM which is typically used to host Dassault Systemes products, however FLEXnext licensing is supported.

FLEXnet licensing is used to serve licenses to older SIMULIA & 3DVIA products such as Abaqus and Composer. Since FLEXnet is a technology not developed by Dassault Systemes, the developers of FLEXnet licensing have included support for virtualisation. This means that Dassault Systemes will also support it for their products which require FLEXnet as long as its developers support it. FLEXnet licensing can be hosted on a virtual server (VM) to supply licenses to products which use FLEXnet licensing. Dassault Systemes do however issue the following notices:

  • Recognising that interruptions due to license server failures disrupt the licensee’s critical business operations, SIMULIA does not take exception to the legitimate use of virtualisation technology to improve availability of license servers provided that the system administrators at the customer site take necessary and appropriate steps to assure that multiple virtual servers are not simultaneously serving licenses for SIMULIA software from the same license key. The license server for SIMULIA products is based on FLEXnet, which is developed and supported by Flexera Software (formerly Acresso Software, formerly Macrovision). Although we expect license servers will operate properly on virtual machines, the FLEXnet releases used for Abaqus (10.8) and Isight (11.3) have not been qualified by Acresso for virtual environments, and SIMULIA has not tested license servers on virtual machines. SIMULIA Customer Services will attempt to resolve any issues that end users encounter running license servers on virtual machines; however, we may not be able to resolve issues or provide fixes for bugs that cannot be replicated on a physical license server. Only one operating system within a virtualised server can run the FLEXnet License server at a time.
  • Some virtualised server configurations assign network MAC addresses dynamically, which means the network cards will have different MAC addresses assigned to them after each reboot of the operating system. The FLEXnet license server will fail under these conditions; therefore, the virtualised server must be configured to assign the same MAC address to the operating system running the Abaqus license server.
  • Some graphics issue may occur, depending on the implementation and configuration.
  • Some performance degradation is expected due to the overhead of the virtualised server environment and the increased competition for physical resources.

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Amit Patel