Gain Control of Your Software Licensing Expenses

By Nicole Hemsoth

May 17, 2013

Ask any IT engineering organization and they will tell you software has transformed their business, enabling them to run simulations more efficiently to automating design verification processes.  The result is organizations are more competitive by delivering products to market faster and for less cost.

On the flip side, the licenses for engineering tools have increased exponentially in price while IT budgets continue to be flat or even reduced.  Despite this situation, IT departments often fail to adequately track and manage software licenses.   William Bryce, Vice President of Products at Univa, said “Companies spend heavily on expensive software tools without really understanding how to ensure that these critical assets are being optimally used.  Consequently, an unacceptable proportion of that expenditure could be wasted.”

Additionally for organizations that have development centers around the world, the need to increase the visibility and overall efficiency of license use is critical.  Many organizations spend limited budget on licenses for regional use that are then not maximized across the enterprise.  Application software licenses need to be treated as an integral operational component of the business where utilization approaches 100 percent, licenses are assigned to the most critical projects and when tokens are available in remote sites they are used seamlessly by another group or region to meet business objectives. 

There are, however, IT departments that realize that controlling the spiraling cost of software licenses can be done by increasing efficiency and implementing license management. Some have even hobbled together homegrown solutions.  However, these solutions do not scale to meet the needs of a complex and growing organization.  Furthermore, these homegrown solutions take valuable IT resources away from managing core business needs.

Univa, a leading datacenter automation company, has developed a licensing management solution, License Orchestrator, that enables IT departments to maximize their current license usage while ensuring budgets are being used to purchase the most business critical licenses.  This solution enables IT departments to share licenses easily between geographically dispersed sites, which enables organizations as a whole to save money by purchasing fewer licenses.   Additionally, License Orchestrator provides organizations with a competitive advantage, by ensuring licenses are available for critical projects, and has the intelligence to obtain licenses from another non-critical project or a remote site to meet a specific business goal.  Univa’s license management solution provides IT departments with accurate data on license usage allowing the ability to bill cost back to specific groups, and get better visibility to ensure budget is being spent on the most needed licenses. 

Many organizations have multiple license servers at different geographically separate sites.  It can be quite difficult to obtain a single view of all license assets across an organization.  Univa License Orchestrator combines the information from multiple Flexera FlexNet Publisher instances into one single software asset view for an organization greatly simplifying management, measurement and reporting.

Univa - License Wait Times 

Once you have a single view into all software license assets in an organization the next obvious step is to track the usage of licenses across multiple datacenters, provide reports on usage and, if necessary, a chargeback report for license usage.  Univa License Orchestrator is integrated with Univa’s reporting and analytics product UniSight. The reports provide a single management view of all licenses used in Univa Grid Engine clusters.  On a daily, weekly or monthly basis administrators and management can login to UniSight, generate ad-hoc reports or create custom views of license usage data as needed.

Ensuring optimal usage of software licenses isn’t trivial.  The definition of ‘optimal’ changes based on the business objectives of an organization.  Which project, group or user is most important this week?  It is obvious that the most important project changes dynamically on a day-to-day basis and possibly on an hourly basis within a company.  Sophisticated scheduling policies can be defined in Univa License Orchestrator mapping the current business objectives to the actual license usage by the users in an organization.  These policies can be changed as needed and License orchestrator will automatically apply the changes to all jobs or applications that request licenses in Univa Grid Engine Clusters.

When a job is submitted by a user or via a commercial software application into a Univa Grid Engine Cluster, an application license (or even multiple licenses) is needed to run the job on a server.  This process is managed through tight coordination between Univa Grid Engine and License Orchestrator, and is transparent to the user.  All a user really cares about is ‘run my job as soon as you can with the correct licenses’.  The system takes care of the rest. Behind the scenes License Orchestrator synchronizes the scheduling of the license with the job.

In certain situations, IT departments require more control over how licenses are shared across datacenters and for an application which license server is used when the job runs in the cluster.  Univa License Orchestrator provides this flexibility.  You can choose the specific license server you want to communicate with for a license or you can let the system automatically communicate with the local license server first then try a remote license server if needed and available.  Combining automated and administrator preferred selection of License servers allows the end users to submit their jobs and ‘just forget about the license’ since Univa’s system will take care of things automatically.

One of the unique challenges that is addressed by Univa License Orchestrator is the ability to seamlessly collect all the license information from multiple Flexera FlexNet Publisher instances in real-time ensuring a single consistent view of all license assets from a single management console.  Univa License Orchestrator provides a consolidated view but must also be synchronized with the state of all Univa Grid Engine Clusters in an organization so that when a end user submits their job and requests a license the ‘correct’ or ‘highest priority’ user must get the license first according to policies and limits defined in Univa Grid Engine and Univa License Orchestrator.  This becomes even more challenging when the policies and limits are changed on the system dynamically to reflect new high priority projects or business objectives.  Univa License Orchestrator has to automatically reprioritize all jobs waiting for licenses from all clusters that are registered in Univa License Orchestrator. 

Univa knows that only by optimizing software license usage by reconciling product use rights with how employees are actually using the software, can organizations really gain control of licensing expenditure. Furthermore, it is critical for enterprises to obtain better visibility on license usage across the organization to eliminating wasteful purchasing. For example, consider an organization with 4,000 licenses, each costing $2,500.  Without the visibility into license usage, an IT department, could inaccurately budget a 10% increase at a cost of $1 million.  With Univa’s License Orchestrator, an IT department now has a central view of license usage empowering them to better forecast license expenditure and match license usage to business critical projects improving the company’s bottom line.

To learn more about best practices in managing application licenses or to get started with a FREE Trial contact Univa today at sales@univa.com

For more information, about Univa’s innovative datacenter automation products including License Orchestrator please check out http://www.univa.com

Subscribe to HPCwire's Weekly Update!

Be the most informed person in the room! Stay ahead of the tech trends with industy updates delivered to you every week!

SRC Spends $200M on University Research Centers

January 16, 2018

The Semiconductor Research Corporation, as part of its JUMP initiative, has awarded $200 million to fund six research centers whose areas of focus span cognitive computing, memory-centric computing, high-speed communicat Read more…

By John Russell

US Seeks to Automate Video Analysis

January 16, 2018

U.S. military and intelligence agencies continue to look for new ways to use artificial intelligence to sift through huge amounts of video imagery in hopes of freeing analysts to identify threats and otherwise put their Read more…

By George Leopold

URISC@SC17 and the #LongestLastMile

January 11, 2018

A multinational delegation recently attended the Understanding Risk in Shared CyberEcosystems workshop, or URISC@SC17, in Denver, Colorado. URISC participants and presenters from 11 countries, including eight African nations, 12 U.S. states, Canada, India and Nepal, also attended SC17, the annual international conference for high performance computing, networking, storage and analysis that drew nearly 13,000 attendees. Read more…

By Elizabeth Leake, STEM-Trek Nonprofit

HPE Extreme Performance Solutions

HPE and NREL Take Steps to Create a Sustainable, Energy-Efficient Data Center with an H2 Fuel Cell

As enterprises attempt to manage rising volumes of data, unplanned data center outages are becoming more common and more expensive. As the cost of downtime rises, enterprises lose out on productivity and valuable competitive advantage without access to their critical data. Read more…

When the Chips Are Down

January 11, 2018

In the last article, "The High Stakes Semiconductor Game that Drives HPC Diversity," I alluded to the challenges facing the semiconductor industry and how that may impact the evolution of HPC systems over the next few years. I thought I’d lift the covers a little and look at some of the commercial challenges that impact the component technology we use in HPC. Read more…

By Dairsie Latimer

When the Chips Are Down

January 11, 2018

In the last article, "The High Stakes Semiconductor Game that Drives HPC Diversity," I alluded to the challenges facing the semiconductor industry and how that may impact the evolution of HPC systems over the next few years. I thought I’d lift the covers a little and look at some of the commercial challenges that impact the component technology we use in HPC. Read more…

By Dairsie Latimer

How Meltdown and Spectre Patches Will Affect HPC Workloads

January 10, 2018

There have been claims that the fixes for the Meltdown and Spectre security vulnerabilities, named the KPTI (aka KAISER) patches, are going to affect applicatio Read more…

By Rosemary Francis

Momentum Builds for US Exascale

January 9, 2018

2018 looks to be a great year for the U.S. exascale program. The last several months of 2017 revealed a number of important developments that help put the U.S. Read more…

By Alex R. Larzelere

ANL’s Rick Stevens on CANDLE, ARM, Quantum, and More

January 8, 2018

Late last year HPCwire caught up with Rick Stevens, associate laboratory director for computing, environment and life Sciences at Argonne National Laboratory, f Read more…

By John Russell

Chip Flaws ‘Meltdown’ and ‘Spectre’ Loom Large

January 4, 2018

The HPC and wider tech community have been abuzz this week over the discovery of critical design flaws that impact virtually all contemporary microprocessors. T Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

The @hpcnotes Predictions for HPC in 2018

January 4, 2018

I’m not averse to making predictions about the world of High Performance Computing (and Supercomputing, Cloud, etc.) in person at conferences, meetings, causa Read more…

By Andrew Jones

Fast Forward: Five HPC Predictions for 2018

December 21, 2017

What’s on your list of high (and low) lights for 2017? Volta 100’s arrival on the heels of the P100? Appearance, albeit late in the year, of IBM’s Power9? Read more…

By John Russell

Independent Hyperion Research Will Chart its Own Course

December 19, 2017

Hyperion Research, formerly the HPC research and consulting practice within IDC, has become an independent company with Earl Joseph, the long-time leader of the Read more…

By John Russell

US Coalesces Plans for First Exascale Supercomputer: Aurora in 2021

September 27, 2017

At the Advanced Scientific Computing Advisory Committee (ASCAC) meeting, in Arlington, Va., yesterday (Sept. 26), it was revealed that the "Aurora" supercompute Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

AMD Showcases Growing Portfolio of EPYC and Radeon-based Systems at SC17

November 13, 2017

AMD’s charge back into HPC and the datacenter is on full display at SC17. Having launched the EPYC processor line in June along with its MI25 GPU the focus he Read more…

By John Russell

Japan Unveils Quantum Neural Network

November 22, 2017

The U.S. and China are leading the race toward productive quantum computing, but it's early enough that ultimate leadership is still something of an open questi Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Nvidia Responds to Google TPU Benchmarking

April 10, 2017

Nvidia highlights strengths of its newest GPU silicon in response to Google's report on the performance and energy advantages of its custom tensor processor. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

IBM Begins Power9 Rollout with Backing from DOE, Google

December 6, 2017

After over a year of buildup, IBM is unveiling its first Power9 system based on the same architecture as the Department of Energy CORAL supercomputers, Summit a Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Fast Forward: Five HPC Predictions for 2018

December 21, 2017

What’s on your list of high (and low) lights for 2017? Volta 100’s arrival on the heels of the P100? Appearance, albeit late in the year, of IBM’s Power9? Read more…

By John Russell

GlobalFoundries Puts Wind in AMD’s Sails with 12nm FinFET

September 24, 2017

From its annual tech conference last week (Sept. 20), where GlobalFoundries welcomed more than 600 semiconductor professionals (reaching the Santa Clara venue Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Chip Flaws ‘Meltdown’ and ‘Spectre’ Loom Large

January 4, 2018

The HPC and wider tech community have been abuzz this week over the discovery of critical design flaws that impact virtually all contemporary microprocessors. T Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Leading Solution Providers

Perspective: What Really Happened at SC17?

November 22, 2017

SC is over. Now comes the myriad of follow-ups. Inboxes are filled with templated emails from vendors and other exhibitors hoping to win a place in the post-SC thinking of booth visitors. Attendees of tutorials, workshops and other technical sessions will be inundated with requests for feedback. Read more…

By Andrew Jones

Tensors Come of Age: Why the AI Revolution Will Help HPC

November 13, 2017

Thirty years ago, parallel computing was coming of age. A bitter battle began between stalwart vector computing supporters and advocates of various approaches to parallel computing. IBM skeptic Alan Karp, reacting to announcements of nCUBE’s 1024-microprocessor system and Thinking Machines’ 65,536-element array, made a public $100 wager that no one could get a parallel speedup of over 200 on real HPC workloads. Read more…

By John Gustafson & Lenore Mullin

Delays, Smoke, Records & Markets – A Candid Conversation with Cray CEO Peter Ungaro

October 5, 2017

Earlier this month, Tom Tabor, publisher of HPCwire and I had a very personal conversation with Cray CEO Peter Ungaro. Cray has been on something of a Cinderell Read more…

By Tiffany Trader & Tom Tabor

Flipping the Flops and Reading the Top500 Tea Leaves

November 13, 2017

The 50th edition of the Top500 list, the biannual publication of the world’s fastest supercomputers based on public Linpack benchmarking results, was released Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

GlobalFoundries, Ayar Labs Team Up to Commercialize Optical I/O

December 4, 2017

GlobalFoundries (GF) and Ayar Labs, a startup focused on using light, instead of electricity, to transfer data between chips, today announced they've entered in Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

HPC Chips – A Veritable Smorgasbord?

October 10, 2017

For the first time since AMD's ill-fated launch of Bulldozer the answer to the question, 'Which CPU will be in my next HPC system?' doesn't have to be 'Whichever variety of Intel Xeon E5 they are selling when we procure'. Read more…

By Dairsie Latimer

Nvidia, Partners Announce Several V100 Servers

September 27, 2017

Here come the Volta 100-based servers. Nvidia today announced an impressive line-up of servers from major partners – Dell EMC, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, IBM Read more…

By John Russell

Intel Delivers 17-Qubit Quantum Chip to European Research Partner

October 10, 2017

On Tuesday, Intel delivered a 17-qubit superconducting test chip to research partner QuTech, the quantum research institute of Delft University of Technology (TU Delft) in the Netherlands. The announcement marks a major milestone in the 10-year, $50-million collaborative relationship with TU Delft and TNO, the Dutch Organization for Applied Research, to accelerate advancements in quantum computing. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

  • arrow
  • Click Here for More Headlines
  • arrow
Share This