6 Replies Latest reply on Nov 27, 2018 12:18 AM by Craig Stevens

    License server on Virtual Machine

    Michael Yorke



      We run a fully virtualised server setup, which includes the Solidworks License Server, running on Hyper-V. We use the built-in replication feature to replicate all our VM's to another host.

      When testing replication failover the whole VM is powered up on the new host (the old VM is off). The license server host name, MAC address (set to static) and disk serial number all remain the same. However, when the replica server is brought up we still need to manually re-activate the Solidworks license. It seems to know that something has changed.


      If all the machine information and virtual "hardware" remains the same I do not understand why this happens. Has anyone else had experience of this? Why it happens?


      Many thanks


        • Re: License server on Virtual Machine
          Paul Wyndham

          I would start be looking to see if there are any differences in the network adapter between the two virtual machines. Do both have virtual network adapters or is there a hardware adapter in there somewhere. I have seen issues were license managers will accept a MAC ID from one server, but not from another. I probably don't know the answer to your question, just throwing something out there.

          • Re: License server on Virtual Machine
            Ryan Dark

            Hi Michael,

            I believe what you are experiencing is by design so that the license server service for SolidWorks cannot be cloned.  The SolidWorks license service will recognize when a virtual machine has been placed on new hardware.


            It is good to have a fail-over system like you have designed here but you would still probably need to involve your VAR to disable the old server so the new server could authenticate.

              • Re: License server on Virtual Machine
                Michael Yorke

                Thanks both. I'll need to look into this further. Its the only application I have come across which is aware it is running on a VM which has been moved to a new host.


                Anyway, I have tested the failover a few times. I can manually re-register the license by clicking through the wizard, which works...3 times only. If I failover the VM a 4th time the license activation fails (can't remember the exact error, but its due to exceeding the activation count limit, or something similar).


                In this instance I called our VAR, who explained the license situation looked odd. Indeed we had exceeded our re-activation count, but the license was showing as available to be registered. Anyway, he 'reset' it and I could immediately reactivate the license on the server.


                I'll post back here if I find anything useful to add.


                Best regards

              • Re: License server on Virtual Machine
                Matt Camacho-Cook



                If you're only after license server fault tolerance, maybe setting up an additional 2 VMs as part of a license server triad would be sufficient: http://help.solidworks.com/2016/English/SolidWorks/install_guide/c_triad_license_mgr_installation.htm



                • Re: License server on Virtual Machine
                  Michael Yorke

                  Matt, thanks for the suggestion.


                  Whilst a triad does offer resiliency, it doesn't really fit into our failover plans. In the unlikely event of a catastrophic problem (fire, flood, theft, etc) at our main offer we would failover all our servers to a DR site. The triad would require us to have running VM's at our failover site, which is not something we can do right now.


                  Does anyone offer a hosted solidworks license? A web/cloud based license server seems the way to go.




                  • Re: License server on Virtual Machine
                    Craig Stevens

                    Hi Michael,


                    The issue with virtual infrastructure is that each VM that is created has a UUID (Universally unique identifier) assigned to it to identify the computer. When that computer is moved/copied/migrated the UUID has an opportunity to change, and without proper user intervention, this is normally the case.

                    Some large VM deployments with multiple servers available can automatically migrate VMs across servers without human intervention, and usually when this happens the UUID changes. They do this to assist with load handling, especially in cloud based situations.

                    So coming back to SOLIDWORKS Licensing, when UUID changes on a VM with SNL Licensing, the (re-)activation usually fails.

                    And at that point you usually need to get your VAR involved to assist. 

                    Educating your IT to ensure the UUID doesn't change when they are manipulating VM's would mitigate this issue going forward.