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License Administration Using an Options File (1000955)

Details

In VirtualCenter Management Server, VMware added support for additional, optional features of the license server. License options file settings are supported for VirtualCenter 2.x releases and ESX Server 3.x releases. 
 
This KB article provides the details on creating an options file, its location and path, syntax, and parameters. More details are available in the FlexNet end user guide, but only the options described in this KB article are considered “supported use” by VMware.

Solution

VirtualCenter Management Server takes advantage of existing functionality in the FlexLM license server to support granular control over license redistribution and allocation.

This capability lets administrators restrict access to specific hosts, restrict the number of licenses granted, and restrict the features allowed for certain users.

By creating and installing an options file and setting up specific parameters, administrators can:

  • Allow only a defined set of hosts to check out licenses and exclude others.
  • Reserve a number of licenses for a specified group of hosts.
  • Deny specified hosts certain licenses.
  • Limit the number of licenses available to a specified group of hosts.

Create an Options File

  1. Use a text editor, such as Notepad, to create an options file with a file name vmwarelm.opt.
  2. Place the options file in C:\Program Files\VMware\VMware License Server\License Directory
Once you create an options file, you can add parameters within the file to control different methods of allocation. Please note that only ONE options file per license server and it must be in the license directory.
 

Supported Use Cases and Examples

 

INCLUDE

Includes a host or predefined group of hosts in the list of who is allowed to use licenses for the feature. Anyone not in the include list is not allowed to use that feature.

 

Syntax:

INCLUDE feature [:keyword=value] type {name | group_name}
 

Term

Description

feature

Name of the feature or package being affected

Keyword=value

Feature name modifier to denote a group of licenses

type

One of Host, Display, Internet, project, Group or Host_group

name

Name of an item of type type for which license usage is included

Group_name

Name of the group for which license usage is included

 

Example:

  • INCLUDE PROD_ESX_FULL INTERNET 192.16.135.99

EXCLUDE  

Exclude predefined group of users from the list of who is allowed to use the feature

 
Syntax:

EXCLUDE  feature[:keyword=value] type{name | group_name}

 

Term

Description

Feature

Name of the feature being affected

Keyword= value

Feature name modifier to denote a group of licenses.

type

One of Host, Display, Internet, project, Group or Host_group

Name

Name of an item type for which license usage is excluded

Group_name

Name of the group to exclude

 


Example:

  • EXCLUDE PROD_ESX_FULL HOST_GROUP finance

Will not allow host group named finance to access ESX Server Standard edition.

When a conflict arises between the Exclude list and the Include list, Exclude takes precedence.

 

HOST_GROUP

Define a group of hosts to check out licenses or a group that will be denied checking out licenses.

 
Syntax:
HOST_GROUP group_name host_list
 

Term

Description

Group_name

Name of the group being defined.

Host_list

List of host names in that group.


Example:
To define the host group Pacific consisting of three different hosts:
 
  • HOST_GROUP Pacific tokyo12.eng.vmware.com, seattle14.support.vmware.com, auckland22.ps.vmware.com
Both host name and IP address can be used in Host Group. IP address can be used with wild characters.
 
MAX

Allow only a defined number of hosts in a group to check out licenses

 
Syntax:
MAX  num_lic feature[:keyword=value] type {name | group_name}

 

Term

Description

Num_lic

Usage limit for this group

feature

Feature or package this limit applies to

Keyword=value

Feature name modifier to denote a group of licenses.

type

One of Host, Display, Internet, Project, Group or Host_group

name

Name of an item of type type for which usage is limited

Group_name

Name of the group to limit

 

Example: 

MAX 8 PROD_ESX_FULL HOST_GROUP finance

      MAX 12 PROD_ESX_BASIC INTERNET 192.255.15.*

 

RESERVE

Reserve a number of licenses for a specified group of hosts or individual hosts.

 
Syntax:

RESERVE  num_lic feature[:keyword=value] type { name | group_name}

 

Term

Description

Num_lic

Number of licenses to reserve for this user or group

feature

Feature or package this reservation applies to

Keyword=value

Feature name modifier to denote a group of licenses.

type

One of Host, Display, Internet, Project, Group or Host_group

name

Name of an item of type type for which usage is limited

Group_name

Name of the group for which license usage is reserved

 

Reserve 12 ESX_BASIC licenses for Finance hosts
 
Example:

HOST_GROUP finance ap.corp.com  ar.corp.com  p11.corp.com

RESERVE 12 PROD_ESX_BASIC  HOST_GROUP finance

 

Specific number of licenses can be reserved for hosts within a group or individual hosts.

 

Example:

     RESERVE 4 PROD_ESX_FULL HOST ap1-dev-corp.com

     RESERVE 4 PROD_ESX_FULL INTERNET 192.255.15.8
 

Once the license is reserved even if the host is not actively using the license, it is unavailable to other hosts. To reserve a license for each of several groups, you must use a separate RESERVE command for each group.

 Usage Scenarios

 

To allow only specified hosts to check out ESX_FULL and VCB licenses while excluding everybody else.

INCLUDE PRD_ESX_FULL INTERNET 192.255.16*

INCLUDE ESX_FULL_BACKUP INTERNET 192.255.16.*

 

To deny particular hosts o subnets ESX_FULL and VCB licenses

EXCLUDE PROD_ESX_FULL INTERNET 192.255.15.*

EXCLUDE ESX_FULL_BACKUP INTERNET 192.255.15.*

 

Limit the number of ESX and VCB licenses available to the hosts on subnet

MAX 8 PROD_ESX_FULL INTERNET 192.255.15.*

MAX 8 ESX_FULL_BACKUP INTERNET 192.255.15.*

 

To allow ESX and VCB licenses for sales hosts

HOST_GROUP sales np.corp.com  192.255.17.*

MAX 4 PROD_ESX_FULL HOST_GROUP sales

MAX 4 ESX_FULL_BACKUP HOST_GROUP sales

 

To deny ESX_FULL and VCB licenses for sales hosts.

HOST_GROUP sales np.corp.com  192.255.17.*

EXCLUDE_ESX_FULL HOST GROUP sales

EXCLUDE ESX_FULL_BACKUP HOST_GROUP sales

 

Note: Only IP address can contain wildcard characters. Host names with wildcard characters are not supported.

 

If a license file has two ESX server type licenses such as the Starter and Standard, you have to allocate the Standard license to the hosts by using the INCLUDE keyword; by default, hosts in the list are allocated with starter license keys.

 

Example:

INCLUDE PROD_ESX_FULL INTERNET 192.255.16.3 (to allocate standard   license to the host.)

EXCLUDE PROD_ESX_STARTER INTERNET 192.255.16.3 (not to allocate starter license to the same host.)

 

Note: You have to use the EXCLUDE option to exclude hosts from the Starter license list.

 

The following table provides a mapping of feature names with the Virtual Infrastructure licensing names:

 

Feature Names

VI3 Licensing Names

PROD_ESX_FULL

ESX SERVER Standard

ESX_FULL_BACKUP

VMware Consolidated Bakup

PROD_ESX_STARTER

ESX Server Starter


Please be aware of the following when using the options file. If a particular host is denied license due to options file setting on the license server, the user will be greeted with a generic license error message. The error message will not mention this is due to options file setting. This will be fixed in the future.

 

 

 

 

Keywords

License manager; flexnet; license; license options file; VirtualCenter Server;

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