MathWorks License Types and Optimization Process

MathWorks specializes in mathematical computing software, including data analysis and simulation. Its major product families are MATLAB and Simulink. In this blog, we will talk about the different MathWorks licensing types and how to optimize them in six steps.

What are the different MathWorks Licensing Types? #

MathWorks offers several licensing types, including Individual, Designated Computer, Network Named User, Concurrent, and Prorated User licenses.

Individual Licenses #

Individual license is locked to a specific user and cannot be shared with other users. The license can be activated on up to four (4) devices, but the corresponding applications can be simultaneously used on up to 2 devices only. For reporting purposes, distinct users are counted.

Designated Computer Licenses #

Designated computer license is locked to the machine. Several users can use the license on a particular machine, but not at the same time. The license can be re-designated to another machine up to four (4) times in a 12-month period. When it comes to reporting, distinct machines are counted.

Network Named User Licenses #

Like individual licenses, a network named user license is also locked to a specific user. The difference is that named user licenses use a license manager to control access to the licenses. Users can be given access through the license manager option files. The use of a license manager removes the need for activation; thus, the applications can be installed on any number of machines. However, a user can only use the products on up to two (2) machines simultaneously. The license can be re-designated to another user through the option files up to four (4) times in a 12-month period.

Concurrent Licenses #

Concurrent licenses also use a license manager to control access to the licenses. However, concurrent licenses can be shared by a number of users, limited only by the number of available licenses in the license pool. The number of simultaneous checked out licenses cannot exceed the maximum number of licenses in the pool.

Prorated User Licenses #

Prorated user licenses are offered by MathWorks for some enterprise agreements. Essentially, it is also a named user license, but instead of automatically counting a user as one “full” user, a “full” user is counted based on the accumulated elapsed time usage (in hours) of the license in a 12-month period.

This license type may use a license manager, but it can also be a mixture of network and standalone licenses. If it uses a license manager, though, there is no imposed limit on the number of available licenses.

Combining MathWorks License Types #

It is very common for companies to combine different license types. Combining license types is actually a recommended practice because, if done right, it can be very cost effective. One rule-of-thumb when combining license types is to give named user licenses to “power users”. Another is that infrequent or casual users can share a few concurrent licenses. The key is in finding the right balance of the different license types.

Although named user licenses are much cheaper than concurrent licenses, if you have a lot of named user licenses that are left unused most of the time, the cost could stack up. It would be much more cost effective for 30 users who only use the application a couple of hours each month to share 10 licenses, than purchase 30 named user licenses that are left unused 99% of the time.

On the other hand, if you give an expensive concurrent license to a power user, who uses the application for most of their work hours, it would be more costly for the company since it would be tied to a single user almost all the time. It would be more cost-effective to give power users their own much cheaper named user license.

How to Optimize MathWorks Licenses #

Optimizing the usage of MathWorks licenses can be a tedious task. However, the right process and the right tools can help immensely in making the most out of your MathWorks licenses.

Set goals #

The first thing to do is to set your optimization goals. Do you want to right-size? Consolidate usage data across the enterprise? Improve user productivity? Reduce software spending? Do you want to optimize runtime usage? Or would it be better to optimize active usage?

It is crucial to define the goals before implementing anything because every action that follows would be based on the set goals.

Understand the license agreement #

The terms of the license agreement would define the correct metrics to be used in reporting. Nuances in the license agreement could include possible optimization actions that are not allowed. Understanding the license agreement and its nuances would allow you to know what you could and couldn’t do, how far your optimization efforts could go, and what measures you could implement within the parameters of the license agreement.

Collect data #

The data to be collected would be based on goals set. For instance, if you just want to optimize runtime usage, then collecting data from the license servers may be enough, but if you want to optimize active usage, then it will be necessary to collect data on individual workstations. Data collection would also depend on the types of licenses that would be optimized.

It is imperative to collect correct accurate usage data from appropriate sources in the license servers and workstations. Current challenges in data collection include segregated networks and remote work setups. These challenges, however, can be mitigated.

Consolidate data #

To protect the integrity of the data, it may be necessary to consolidate all the usage data from several license servers, including segregated networks, and workstations into a single secure repository. This would also make data aggregation and processing easier for a quicker report generation.

It would also be much simpler to view real-time and historical data of different MathWorks licenses on a centralized dashboard.

Analyze data #

The next step would be to analyze the data in relation to the license agreement and optimization goals set. If you have named user licenses, you will need to analyze the report on distinct users. And if you have concurrent licenses, you will need to analyze the report on maximum concurrent users and license efficiency.

There may also be a need to simulate different license agreements to see the combination of license types that would best fit the needs of your organization.

Implement action points #

One of the major challenges in the successful implementation of this optimization process is following through with the necessary action points based on the analyses conducted. Some organizations already know what to do because the data analysis has already provided the answers, but they fail to act on this important part of the process.

It is also important to get the buy-in from users and other stakeholders in the organization. Transparency is key. It would be much easier to implement the necessary action points when users and other stakeholders are all involved in the process.

Conclusion #

Managing and optimizing the different MathWorks license types can be very tedious if you don’t have the necessary know-how and software asset management solution to assist you. 

Consult with our experts to better understand your MathWorks license position and the different ways you could optimize your license usage. 

See our complete webinar to learn more about MathWorks licenses and how to optimize in any licensing model.