Autodesk® is one of the most popular and widely used engineering, design, and simulation software in the world. They offer a variety of products used in visualization and production depending on the customers’ needs.
Here are three ways on how Autodesk software licenses can be optimized:
- Cascading Sequences
Autodesk® manages different types of licenses through “cascading sequence”. The ranking of products is determined by the product’s place in the cascading sequence, which is pre-determined at Autodesk by individual product groups and cannot be changed or configured. With cascading licenses, if a user tries to check out a certain license and it is not available, Autodesk will “cascade” the request further into the sequence and try to check out a license from the next one in the hierarchy. For Autodesk Suites, the sequence is as follows: point product term, point product perpetual, collections, suites term, and suites perpetual. The sequence for Autodesk Collections, however, may behave differently, and there may be a need to configure the Options File to properly manage licenses from different packages.Knowing which product licenses from which packages are currently checked out and which ones are available is an effective way to optimize license usage. It is imperative to have a license usage metering tool that allows administrators to monitor license usage and availability in real time. The tool should also have comprehensive historical usage reports that would provide insights that enable license usage optimization and help in future purchasing decisions.
- License Merging/Sharing Autodesk has its account sharing license system option to reduce license usage. If a user already acquired a license up to the cascade hierarchy and starts another application that is also covered by the currently held licenses, the new application will not require an additional license.Autodesk has two subscription-type licensing: single-user access (stand-alone) licenses and network licenses. Single-user access licenses are assigned to individual users and sign-in accounts can be applied on up to three devices. On the other hand, network licenses allow several users on the same network to share access to product licenses. The Network Licenses Manager (NLM), installed in a server, controls the distribution of licenses to users.
Knowing the needed license subscription to easily manage the products is a must to optimize these licenses. Generally, single-user access licenses are given to power users (users who frequently use the product), while network licenses are shared by casual or occasional users. Therefore, it is important to find out which users are power users and which ones are not. It also important to keep in mind the actual maximum number of concurrent users to avoid both excess licenses and usage denials. An advanced usage metering and analysis tool can help in discovering the actual number of licenses needed for every type of licensing model and simulating the combination of licensing methods that would best fit the organization’s needs.
- Managed Usage If the application has been left idle for a certain period, it would be sensible to return the license to the pool to make it available for other users. Autodesk provides a timeout feature for their products as a way to return the license if left idle for a certain period. A keystroke, mouse click, command, or opened modal dialog box, as well as setting the autosave function lower than the timeout period, can prevent the user’s workstation from going idle.It may, however, be necessary, to deploy a more comprehensive license harvesting tool that allows the automatic harvesting of licenses based on customizable activity thresholds for keyboard, mouse, CPU, and I/O. Actions to be taken in case of detected inactivity may also be set per application and customized per user or user-group.
Through the evolving software landscape and technology trends influenced by industry demands, software vendors continue to introduce new ways of selling, packaging, and distributing their product offerings. These changes, however, tend to further complicate the management of engineering software licenses.
Open iT simplifies the complexities of managing engineering software, such as Autodesk through its Open iT® Analyzer for Autodesk® Licensing™, and provides various ways of optimizing license usage through advanced usage metering and analysis.