Monday, March 15, 2010

License Management

Licence management is one of the most complex and one most not complex things. If you get everything set up right, it can run itself. Until you do, everything is hard.I have been running 4 offices from a single license manager server for years with no trouble, but lately, I'm getting nervous. It's time to switch to a redundant system. The Autodesk folks tell how to make both ways happen, but there is no real discussion on switching from one method to another. Now I'm really nervous. People hate it when they cannot open AutoCAD and Revit. Tomorrow I am beginning to lay out a plan for the switch. If I pull this off I will show the steps and pitfalls.

Picking how you will control your licenses is just part of the picture. Other things to consider are;

Number of licenses
Are you over licensed or under licensed. If you don't have enough, you'll know because you will keep running out and you will get feedback. If you have too many, you may never know. A rule of thumb is carry 80% of a full load. That is 8 licenses will probably carry 10 users. Everybody has to find their own sweet spot. Having information like how much licenses are being used, by who and when can help quite a bit. Programs like the JTB Flex Report can assist you in knowing what you don't know.

What License You Need
Rather than owning some AutoCAD and some Revit, The AutoCAD Revit Suite will give you more flexibility and cost you less. Work with your reseller for the best price.

The Best value
If there are competing resellers looking to provide your firm with licenses carefully consider everything, not just price. The best value will often be the reseller that has your back when things go wrong, and they will. Watch out for the sell and run. I reputable reseller will want to not only sell you licenses but to save you money. That makes you a customer for life. Shop around but be smart.

Who gets what?
Your license manager can set controls like time outs for people who open Autodesk products in the morning and never use them, freeing licenses for those who do need them. It can reserve licenses for drafting techs leaving engineers and architects fighting over the remaining licenses. There are other options too that help ensure you are not over licensing your firm.

There are bound to be users who need nothing more that to view and plot files. Autodesk True View will do just that for free. If you use Revit products install the 30 day trial and let it elapse. It becomes a viewer for Revit files, but it will not plot.
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