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What are the advantages and disadvantages of activating via a local licence server?


Customers using a local licence server should be aware that they retain their standard node-locked licence key and that for some machines (particularly laptops) it may be best to continue using this key.

Connecting to a local licence server is recommended in the following circumstances.

  • Home directory shared between computers (Linux and Mac users). Standard node-locked licensing stores a "fingerprint" of the computer in the user's home directory, which will cause the licence check to fail when the software is run on another computer. (On Windows this fingerprint is stored in the registry which is not normally shared.)
  • HPC / Cluster / Cloud computing. In addition to the issue above with shared home directories, activating each node individually could exceed the 999-activations limit for "unlimited" licences. With a licence server the limit is on how many nodes can run the software simultaneously.
  • Non-persistent virtual machines. Virtual machines without a consistent fingerprint should be configured to use a local licence server to avoid each VM taking up multiple activations.

Node-locked licensing is recommended for machines which will be used offline or where they are unable to connect to the local licence server (for example, because it is only accessible from the company VPN). Once a machine has been activated with a node-locked licence, it will continue to work offline until the licence expires.