My company has one user offsite and 8 users onsite. We have network licence here. The offsite user at first had problems seeing the licence server but was able to get it resolved by checking out the licence for 30 days at a time. Now they got a better internet there and has not had any issues so far(knocking on wood). Yes you do have to have connection to the licence server and it does check the server from time to time. We had no issues with it here so far. The only thing was not having enough seats for all the users. The great thing you can set an order of which it checks out. You can make it go for the standard then premium. If I can think of anything else I will add.
Network license or Online license?
I'm using a single seat Online license.
I can use any computer with SW installed.
Just use my login.
Network License since there are 4 users and we want to share the add-ins.
I stumbled upon the Online License while researching license information, but that is not the aim.
Has anyone actually done this recently? Was it difficult? How long was the down-time before the licenses were usable?
If properly planned, very little downtime. You can add the license server to the clients (SolidNetwork License Manager client) at anytime. That software utility is literally sitting on everyone's machine, even with standalone licenses. It took seconds to add a port number/server name. The only downtime will be to modify the install and change the serial number but that should be less then 5-10 minutes per each machine.
What happens if the network goes down? Does that make SW not function?
Sometimes my network connection on my PC goes bad and I lose my network folders for 2-10 minutes. Will that be a problem for SW functionality?
Will the SW network stuff take up networking ...space? (I won't pretend to know how networks and processing power work. I am an ME, not EE or CE.)
Clients ping the network server to check licenses all the time, but it does a 'heart beat' ping every 10 minutes. As I understand, it has to have 6 failed consecutive heartbeat pings before the software will warn the user that it can't find a license and ask them save their work. Essentially, you'd have to have a network disruption for over an hour before it'd really start to affect users. If that happens, i suspect there will be other pressing issues besides SOLIDWORKS licenses. Network licensing technology does take up resources but it's a pretty darn lightweight app compared to most things out there.
Do network licenses require internet access?
No. The client machines only have to be able to talk to the license server, not the internet as a whole.
How does Network Licensing affect the home/laptop/mobile seat? Will we still have that possibility?
Yes. Users who must travel away from the license server can 'borrow' a network licenses for up to 30 days.
To add to Nadia's post, in the past I have moved hundreds of users from standalone licenses to network licenses.
It is pretty easy for the users to switch to the network license once it is up and running and has a license connected to it. There will have to be a little overlap of switching the license to the network and deactivating it on the user machine so that they can use it while you are installing on the server.
Make sure that if there is a firewall in place you have the ports open before the user try to connect. The default ports are 25734 and 25735. 25735 is the daemon port that connects in the back ground. If you don't specifically set it in the license file it might select one randomly when the server restarts. If that happens and there is a firewall the users will not be able to connect.
If the users are going to offsite they can either borrow a license or use a VPN connection. If people borrow licenses it will be the same thing as if they still have a standalone license. The license is tied up by that user 24 hours per day until the return time. It does not matter if they are using it or not. If they borrow it, nobody else can use it.
If you end up with user locked out because someone has a license and they are away in a meeting or at lunch, you can set the options file to drop the license after some number of minutes of inactivity. I have seen in the past were users would leave some software application up all night to keep a license and not allow others to use it so that they were guaranteed one in the morning. The inactivity drop nullifies this behavior.
The users won't be interrupted by short network disruptions. I got tired of upgrading the license manager software after hours or on the weekend, so I would just do it during the weekday without notifying the users until after it was complete. I only ever had an issue with that once when the SolidWorks activation server happened to be offline. The license manager allows you to deactivate the licenses without connecting, but then can't reactivate them. SolidWorks was able to get the activation server back up pretty quickly. It has been a lot more stable since I brought that to their attention several years ago.
As far as home use licenses, you will have to talk to your reseller about that directly. I think SolidWorks has done away with those in most cases. You would probably not be able to connect your personal computer to the work network to pull a license. If someone needs a license while at home then they should get a laptop so they can take it home with them.
You can have remote users connect to your license server at the office and pull licenses as needed by using a VPN.
If you have a user who needs to travel and will not have access to the internet, he or she can use the "Borrow license" feature, which allows you to borrow a license from the license server for up to 30 days. During this period that users license will function like a standalone license, meaning it will not be required to have a connection to the license server.
Your VAR can help you transition from Standalone to Network licenses, and the process does not involve any downtime.