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!

Infographic Highlights Career of Admiral Grace Murray Hopper

December 5, 2016

Dr. Grace Murray Hopper (December 9, 1906 – January 1, 1992) was an early pioneer of computer science and one of the most famous women achievers in a field dominated by men. Read more…

By Staff

Ganthier, Turkel on the Dell EMC Road Ahead

December 5, 2016

Who is Dell EMC and why should you care? Glad you asked is Jim Ganthier’s quick response. Ganthier is SVP for validated solutions and high performance computing for the new (even bigger) technology giant Dell EMC following Dell’s acquisition of EMC in September. In this case, says Ganthier, the blending of the two companies is a 1+1 = 5 proposition. Not bad math if you can pull it off. Read more…

By John Russell

AWS Embraces FPGAs, ‘Elastic’ GPUs

December 2, 2016

A new instance type rolled out this week by Amazon Web Services is based on customizable field programmable gate arrays that promise to strike a balance between performance and cost as emerging workloads create requirements often unmet by general-purpose processors. Read more…

By George Leopold

AWS Launches Massive 100 Petabyte ‘Sneakernet’

December 1, 2016

Amazon Web Services now offers a way to move data into its cloud by the truckload. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Weekly Twitter Roundup (Dec. 1, 2016)

December 1, 2016

Here at HPCwire, we aim to keep the HPC community apprised of the most relevant and interesting news items that get tweeted throughout the week. Read more…

By Thomas Ayres

HPC Career Notes (Dec. 2016)

December 1, 2016

In this monthly feature, we’ll keep you up-to-date on the latest career developments for individuals in the high performance computing community. Read more…

By Thomas Ayres

Lighting up Aurora: Behind the Scenes at the Creation of the DOE’s Upcoming 200 Petaflops Supercomputer

December 1, 2016

In April 2015, U.S. Department of Energy Undersecretary Franklin Orr announced that Intel would be the prime contractor for Aurora: Read more…

By Jan Rowell

IBM and NSF Computing Pioneer Erich Bloch Dies at 91

November 30, 2016

Erich Bloch, a computational pioneer whose competitive zeal and commercial bent helped transform the National Science Foundation while he was its director, died last Friday at age 91. Bloch was a productive force to be reckoned. During his long stint at IBM prior to joining NSF Bloch spearheaded development of the “Stretch” supercomputer and IBM’s phenomenally successful System/360. Read more…

By John Russell

Ganthier, Turkel on the Dell EMC Road Ahead

December 5, 2016

Who is Dell EMC and why should you care? Glad you asked is Jim Ganthier’s quick response. Ganthier is SVP for validated solutions and high performance computing for the new (even bigger) technology giant Dell EMC following Dell’s acquisition of EMC in September. In this case, says Ganthier, the blending of the two companies is a 1+1 = 5 proposition. Not bad math if you can pull it off. Read more…

By John Russell

AWS Launches Massive 100 Petabyte ‘Sneakernet’

December 1, 2016

Amazon Web Services now offers a way to move data into its cloud by the truckload. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Lighting up Aurora: Behind the Scenes at the Creation of the DOE’s Upcoming 200 Petaflops Supercomputer

December 1, 2016

In April 2015, U.S. Department of Energy Undersecretary Franklin Orr announced that Intel would be the prime contractor for Aurora: Read more…

By Jan Rowell

Seagate-led SAGE Project Delivers Update on Exascale Goals

November 29, 2016

Roughly a year and a half after its launch, the SAGE exascale storage project led by Seagate has delivered a substantive interim report – Data Storage for Extreme Scale. Read more…

By John Russell

Nvidia Sees Bright Future for AI Supercomputing

November 23, 2016

Graphics chipmaker Nvidia made a strong showing at SC16 in Salt Lake City last week. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

HPE-SGI to Tackle Exascale and Enterprise Targets

November 22, 2016

At first blush, and maybe second blush too, Hewlett Packard Enterprise’s (HPE) purchase of SGI seems like an unambiguous win-win. SGI’s advanced shared memory technology, its popular UV product line (Hanna), deep vertical market expertise, and services-led go-to-market capability all give HPE a leg up in its drive to remake itself. Bear in mind HPE came into existence just a year ago with the split of Hewlett-Packard. The computer landscape, including HPC, is shifting with still unclear consequences. One wonders who’s next on the deal block following Dell’s recent merger with EMC. Read more…

By John Russell

Intel Details AI Hardware Strategy for Post-GPU Age

November 21, 2016

Last week at SC16, Intel revealed its product roadmap for embedding its processors with key capabilities and attributes needed to take artificial intelligence (AI) to the next level. Read more…

By Alex Woodie

SC Says Farewell to Salt Lake City, See You in Denver

November 18, 2016

After an intense four-day flurry of activity (and a cold snap that brought some actual snow flurries), the SC16 show floor closed yesterday (Thursday) and the always-extensive technical program wound down today. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Why 2016 Is the Most Important Year in HPC in Over Two Decades

August 23, 2016

In 1994, two NASA employees connected 16 commodity workstations together using a standard Ethernet LAN and installed open-source message passing software that allowed their number-crunching scientific application to run on the whole “cluster” of machines as if it were a single entity. Read more…

By Vincent Natoli, Stone Ridge Technology

IBM Advances Against x86 with Power9

August 30, 2016

After offering OpenPower Summit attendees a limited preview in April, IBM is unveiling further details of its next-gen CPU, Power9, which the tech mainstay is counting on to regain market share ceded to rival Intel. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

AWS Beats Azure to K80 General Availability

September 30, 2016

Amazon Web Services has seeded its cloud with Nvidia Tesla K80 GPUs to meet the growing demand for accelerated computing across an increasingly-diverse range of workloads. The P2 instance family is a welcome addition for compute- and data-focused users who were growing frustrated with the performance limitations of Amazon's G2 instances, which are backed by three-year-old Nvidia GRID K520 graphics cards. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Think Fast – Is Neuromorphic Computing Set to Leap Forward?

August 15, 2016

Steadily advancing neuromorphic computing technology has created high expectations for this fundamentally different approach to computing. Read more…

By John Russell

The Exascale Computing Project Awards $39.8M to 22 Projects

September 7, 2016

The Department of Energy’s Exascale Computing Project (ECP) hit an important milestone today with the announcement of its first round of funding, moving the nation closer to its goal of reaching capable exascale computing by 2023. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

HPE Gobbles SGI for Larger Slice of $11B HPC Pie

August 11, 2016

Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) announced today that it will acquire rival HPC server maker SGI for $7.75 per share, or about $275 million, inclusive of cash and debt. The deal ends the seven-year reprieve that kept the SGI banner flying after Rackable Systems purchased the bankrupt Silicon Graphics Inc. for $25 million in 2009 and assumed the SGI brand. Bringing SGI into its fold bolsters HPE's high-performance computing and data analytics capabilities and expands its position... Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

ARM Unveils Scalable Vector Extension for HPC at Hot Chips

August 22, 2016

ARM and Fujitsu today announced a scalable vector extension (SVE) to the ARMv8-A architecture intended to enhance ARM capabilities in HPC workloads. Fujitsu is the lead silicon partner in the effort (so far) and will use ARM with SVE technology in its post K computer, Japan’s next flagship supercomputer planned for the 2020 timeframe. This is an important incremental step for ARM, which seeks to push more aggressively into mainstream and HPC server markets. Read more…

By John Russell

IBM Debuts Power8 Chip with NVLink and Three New Systems

September 8, 2016

Not long after revealing more details about its next-gen Power9 chip due in 2017, IBM today rolled out three new Power8-based Linux servers and a new version of its Power8 chip featuring Nvidia’s NVLink interconnect. Read more…

By John Russell

Leading Solution Providers

Vectors: How the Old Became New Again in Supercomputing

September 26, 2016

Vector instructions, once a powerful performance innovation of supercomputing in the 1970s and 1980s became an obsolete technology in the 1990s. But like the mythical phoenix bird, vector instructions have arisen from the ashes. Here is the history of a technology that went from new to old then back to new. Read more…

By Lynd Stringer

US, China Vie for Supercomputing Supremacy

November 14, 2016

The 48th edition of the TOP500 list is fresh off the presses and while there is no new number one system, as previously teased by China, there are a number of notable entrants from the US and around the world and significant trends to report on. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Intel Launches Silicon Photonics Chip, Previews Next-Gen Phi for AI

August 18, 2016

At the Intel Developer Forum, held in San Francisco this week, Intel Senior Vice President and General Manager Diane Bryant announced the launch of Intel's Silicon Photonics product line and teased a brand-new Phi product, codenamed "Knights Mill," aimed at machine learning workloads. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

CPU Benchmarking: Haswell Versus POWER8

June 2, 2015

With OpenPOWER activity ramping up and IBM’s prominent role in the upcoming DOE machines Summit and Sierra, it’s a good time to look at how the IBM POWER CPU stacks up against the x86 Xeon Haswell CPU from Intel. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Beyond von Neumann, Neuromorphic Computing Steadily Advances

March 21, 2016

Neuromorphic computing – brain inspired computing – has long been a tantalizing goal. The human brain does with around 20 watts what supercomputers do with megawatts. And power consumption isn’t the only difference. Fundamentally, brains ‘think differently’ than the von Neumann architecture-based computers. While neuromorphic computing progress has been intriguing, it has still not proven very practical. Read more…

By John Russell

Dell EMC Engineers Strategy to Democratize HPC

September 29, 2016

The freshly minted Dell EMC division of Dell Technologies is on a mission to take HPC mainstream with a strategy that hinges on engineered solutions, beginning with a focus on three industry verticals: manufacturing, research and life sciences. "Unlike traditional HPC where everybody bought parts, assembled parts and ran the workloads and did iterative engineering, we want folks to focus on time to innovation and let us worry about the infrastructure," said Jim Ganthier, senior vice president, validated solutions organization at Dell EMC Converged Platforms Solution Division. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Container App ‘Singularity’ Eases Scientific Computing

October 20, 2016

HPC container platform Singularity is just six months out from its 1.0 release but already is making inroads across the HPC research landscape. It's in use at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL), where Singularity founder Gregory Kurtzer has worked in the High Performance Computing Services (HPCS) group for 16 years. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Micron, Intel Prepare to Launch 3D XPoint Memory

August 16, 2016

Micron Technology used last week’s Flash Memory Summit to roll out its new line of 3D XPoint memory technology jointly developed with Intel while demonstrating the technology in solid-state drives. Micron claimed its Quantx line delivers PCI Express (PCIe) SSD performance with read latencies at less than 10 microseconds and writes at less than 20 microseconds. Read more…

By George Leopold

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