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Alternative ways to access the PTC License Server

vecTor
12-Amethyst

Alternative ways to access the PTC License Server

Hello Forum,

 

Our company runs a PTC License Server that is accessible via the company network. A number of "concurrent licenses" are managed and made available to employees via this License Server.

 

However, we'd like to use Creo on a certain workstation that is not allowed to access the company's network (i.e. join the company's domain) due to security reasons. Hence, we are looking for alternative ways to access the License Server to retrieve one of the company's licenses without connecting the workstation to the company domain.

 

For example, could a copy of the License Server be installed directly on the workstation -- and how would we have to go about this?

17 REPLIES 17
KenFarley
20-Turquoise
(To:vecTor)

I don't think you're going to be able to do this kind of thing, but maybe I'm wrong. There is a "borrow" license method available, but it still requires a person to be connected to the network to tell the license server that they are borrowing a license.

If it's only a temporary thing, or maybe if it's not, perhaps the best option would be to just get a new license for that one computer. Licenses are just subscriptions so you could pay for a year or as long as you need this independent operator to work for you. Once the job is done, you end the license.

vecTor
12-Amethyst
(To:KenFarley)

Hello and thank you for your answer.


Wouldn't it be possible that several license servers query the licenses via Flexnet directly over the Internet -- including a single-machine server installed on the workstation in question?

KenFarley
20-Turquoise
(To:vecTor)

In olden times, we used to do this. I could run Pro/E at home and do analyses and other such stuff that I didn't need the network servers for. These days, though, the IT folk and system operators are absolutely forbidding having such an "open door" to the server. To use Creo elsewhere (like quarantined folk are) is via a VPN where you are still logged into the network, etc. Also forced two-factor authentication via additional software/hardware. That's why I didn't suggest this method, 'cause it's probably not allowed wherever you work.

BenLoosli
22-Sapphire III
(To:vecTor)

I would think the best way would be to transfer one of your licenses from the pool to that one workstation. That would make it its own license server and never need to connect to your network.

 

vecTor
12-Amethyst
(To:BenLoosli)

Yes, but unfortunately the company does not accept this solution.

 

Probably that's because all licenses they have are of the concurrent type, and if one is assigned to the workstation in question, other employees will not be able to use this license while it is not used on that workstation (about 80% of the time).

dnordin
14-Alexandrite
(To:vecTor)

If the license is for a single PC, you can purchase a node-locked license for just that PC. Node-locked licenses are typically cheaper than floating licenses, but it is an expense that is to be expected if you wish to work with off network hardware.

 

Another option is to constantly move a single license to the standalone PC every time it is used, and then move it back when it is not in use. This is definitely inconvenient, and difficult to maintain compliance to the license agreement (and it is a potential red flag to PTC).

 

Yet another option is to examine the use of "forest" domains (my terminology may be incorrect). Our network group researched this option, but it was never tested or implemented. The technique involved multiple separate lower level domains that could communicate with a top level domain, but could not communicate across the lower levels. If the license server is established in the top level domain, then, in theory, all the independent lower level domains could access the same license server while maintaining separation from the other domains. This may not be an option if you truly cannot connect the single PC to any network.

 

Regards,

Dan N.

TomU
23-Emerald II
(To:vecTor)


@vecTor wrote:

... we'd like to use Creo on a certain workstation that is not allowed to access the company's network (i.e. join the company's domain) due to security reasons. Hence, we are looking for alternative ways to access the License Server to retrieve one of the company's licenses without connecting the workstation to the company domain.


You need to clarify if this computer is not allowed to access the network or not allowed to join the domain.  The license server does not required domain access, just TCP/IP access to a couple of specific ports.  If this computer is not allowed to access the network at all, then the license server has to be moved outside of the domain network to someplace this other computer is allowed to access, or you need to move one of the licenses to this special computer and only use it there.

vecTor
12-Amethyst
(To:TomU)

Thank you, it's becoming more clear to me now. 

 

The company offers Cisco AnyConnect VPN for their employees to login to the network (e.g. from home)

 

However, they wouldn't currently allow AnyConnect to be installed on the workstation in question, probably because that would allow full access to the company's domain by default.
 
Do you think it would be easy for the company's IP admins to restrict AnyConnect client to only access the license server and nothing else?
 
vecTor_1-1620656506808.png

 

dnordin
14-Alexandrite
(To:vecTor)

Yes, it is possible to restrict the network access.  Is it simple is a question for your network folks.  At a minimum, you'd still need access to "login" servers to authenticate your credentials in addition to access to the license server.

 

Is the PC your home PC by chance? If so, you may wish to check the licenses associated with your PTC sales order number. With some of the PTC Creo bundles, you are entitled to the Creo Essentials Home Use license which is a node-locked license you can use on your home PC. The files are compatible with the commercial license. You can review the PTC license agreement regarding the home use license restrictions. Please be aware the home use license doesn't include advanced features.  You can transfer files via an external, encrypted, drive easily enough.

 

Regards,

 

Dan N.

vecTor
12-Amethyst
(To:dnordin)

Thanks very much -- I will check with the IT people to see if their licenses include something like Creo Essentials Home. 

 

By the way, the issue is only about using Creo View MCAD, and yes it is my home PC.

BenLoosli
22-Sapphire III
(To:vecTor)

If your home PC is not on the network, how are you getting files to access?

vecTor
12-Amethyst
(To:BenLoosli)


@BenLoosli wrote:

If your home PC is not on the network, how are you getting files to access?


I have also a company laptop with VPN access to the company network.

 

In the meantime I could figure out that the company has the following licenses:

#FeatureName

Product

Release

Type

Expiration

#

Windchill PDMLink - Heavy User License

11.0

Flt Opt

perm

#

Windchill ProjectLink - Heavy User License

11.0

Flt Opt

perm

#PROE_EngineerIII

Creo Engineer III

Creo 3.0

Flt Lic

perm

#CREOSCHEM_Lite

Creo Schematics Lite

Creo 3.0

Flt Lic

perm

 

Regarding the"Home Use License", the terms say the following:

 

Home Use licenses are restricted to the same user who is accessing the purchased license.

However, the "user" of the workstation in question does not have a "purchased license" -- or does "user" here mean the customer, i.e. the license holder, in this case the company?

 

What do you think, can Creo View MCAD be used on the workstation in question at home with the above license subscription?

BenLoosli
22-Sapphire III
(To:vecTor)

CreoView is not Creo and it does not require any licenses (well, legally it does, but no license checking) until 11.1.

What are you trying to view at home?

vecTor
12-Amethyst
(To:BenLoosli)

I need to use Creo View MCAD which is not cheap and requires a license. 

TomU
23-Emerald II
(To:vecTor)

Technically if you are following the letter of the law, home use licenses are for home use and cannot be used for work stuff.  They're intended for learning, designing your deck, etc., but not for taking work home.  If you want to do real 'work' at home, you need to borrow or access one of the work licenses.

vecTor
12-Amethyst
(To:TomU)

That is not correct, see here

TomU
23-Emerald II
(To:vecTor)

Sorry, you're right, I was mixing up work laptops.  Any hardware (like laptops) that can be taken to the office must use work licenses, even while they are at home.  Home computers (not owned or managed by the company) can use the home use licenses at home. 

 

"Home use licenses are restricted to the same user(s) accessing the purchased license(s), and are to be installed on personal computers not located or used in the workplace. Home use licenses are not allowed to be used in the workplace. Permitted users are allowed to perform commercial/production work with home use licenses on their personal computers not while located in the workplace."

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