Monday, February 12, 2018

Cloud License Manager

We are very thrilled to announce a brand new license verification mechanism for the Lightstreamer Server. Lightstreamer 7, due very soon, will support the Cloud License Manager (CLM). With CLM, licensing happens online, with no more need for license files bound to the MAC address of the hosting machine, with a tremendous increase in flexibility.

With the previous versions of Lightstreamer, you had to install a static license key on each Lightstreamer Server instance. The license key is an encrypted file that contains the MAC address of one of the network interfaces of the machine on which Lightstreamer Server is installed. The file also contains the maximum server version and the maximum client API versions that are authorized to run. This means that a license key needs to be generated and installed for every server instance and for every software upgrade.

With the Cloud License Manager, you simply put your credentials in the Lightstreamer configuration file and you are ready to go. CLM gives you total freedom in moving your Lightstreamer servers instances to new machines, as well as upgrading the software at any time.

Benefits of Choosing Cloud License Manager over License Files

  1. No need to retrieve the MAC addresses of all your servers, send them to us, wait for the generation of the license keys, and receive them via email.
  2. No need to physically install the unique license keys on each server and point to them in the configuration file. This makes deployment much quicker and completely cloneable.
  3. Maximum flexibility in floating Lightstreamer instances without having to request new license keys. You shut down a server and bring up a new one? The license will migrate automatically and instantly, without having to contact us during business hours.
  4. Full cloud support. Server instances can be launched at any time with automatic licensing, irrespective of any MAC address change. For example, this works perfect with AWS Auto Scaling, where new instances are automatically licensed on the fly.
  5. No need to get new license keys when the Lightstreamer Server or any of the Lightstreamer Client libraries are upgraded. You are automatically authorized to use the latest versions compliant to your maintenance plan.
  6. No need to get new license keys when you purchase more server licenses. Just launch any new servers and they will be authorized automatically.
  7. No need to periodically send us the audit logs (for Site licenses). If required by the license agreement, the audit logs are incrementally and efficiently sent as part of the automatic authorization process.
  8. No risk of having the MAC address unreadable, as it might happen on some platform configurations.

Requirements of Cloud License Manager

For the Cloud License Manager to work, your Lightstreamer Servers must be allowed to connect to two hosts through the Internet on port 443 using the HTTPS protocol:
  • clm1.lightstreamer.com
  • clm2.lightstreamer.com 
If you have a proxy server on your network, you can easily configure it in the lightstreamer_edition_conf.xml file.

The two hostnames above must be resolved dynamically, as they point to a variable pool of IP addresses, for maximum robustness. So, a DNS is required, which is able to solve at least those two names at any time.

FAQ

How reliable is the Cloud License Manager?

CLM is extremely reliable. The service is replicated in two continents and in multiple data centers within each continent. So, even in case of a data center disaster, CLM will keep serving requests from other data centers. For those who are familiar with the AWS cloud, CLM is based on AWS Lambda, where the Lambda Functions are deployed in two different regions.

What happens if my network is disconnected from the Internet?

If you are offline for any reason, you are probably not able to serve your own Lightstreamer users. That being said, CLM allows a grace period of between 45 and 60 minutes. In other words, since the moment a Lightstreamer Server cannot reach CLM, it will survive for a period ranging from 45 to 60 minutes before the process terminates. So, to be guaranteed that the Lightstreamer Server process never terminates, any Internet blackout should last no more than 45 minutes. A new Lightstreamer Server instance can be launched only when CLM can be reached.

What happens if I launch more servers than the licensed number?

If your license imposes a maximum number of Lightstreamer Servers that can be running at the same time and you launch more server instances, newer instances will win over older instances.
Example: Your license has a limit of 2 servers. You launch a third server. After a few minutes that 3 servers are running, your oldest server will be terminated and you will automatically go back to 2.

Am I forced to switch to the Cloud License Manager?

No, but your are strongly recommended. CLM gives both you and us many advantages. In particular, with CLM you don't need to wait for license keys to be manually generated by us during business hours. And you might need new license keys, after the first deployment, for several reasons: hardware change, cloud instance restart, software upgrade, new licenses added, etc. But if you have a very strong requirement to keep using license keys, we will keep supporting it.

What data is sent to the Cloud License Manager?

Every time a Lightstreamer Server connects to the Cloud License Manager, it sends the following data over an encrypted connection: the Lightstreamer license identification parameters (contract-id, password, instance-id, software version), the Audit Log (only if required by your license type), the number of cores and the peak number of user sessions (for statistical purpose). No personal data of your users and customers (including IP addresses) will be sent to CLM.

How can I see if connections to CLM succeed?

Every time the Lightstreamer Server connects to CLM, you can see the outcome in the log file (successful connection, network issues, etc.).

What happens if Lightstreamer runs out of business?

In the unlikely event that the Lightstreamer company runs out of business and CLM is shut down, a permanent license key, not bound to the MAC address and usable on all the Lightstreamer Server instances, would be issued to all customers. This is an extreme scenario and we don't expect this to happen.

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