How Do I Point Client Computers to My New Licensing Server?

Updated Oct 9, 2019

Reported In

Software

  • Volume License Manager
  • NI License Manager

Issue Details

I want to switch servers, but I don't want to change the settings in NI License Manager for every single PC currently connected to my license server. How can I get around this?
 

Solution

1. Modifying how NI License Manager refers license servers
  
If you want to change existing servers and automate distributing the server change to all computers, there are several pathways available to make the change. 
  • You can modify or replace the contents of the servers.ini file found at  C:\ProgramData\National Instruments\License Manager\Data\servers.ini
NI License Manager stores the license server information in a servers.ini using the following format:
[Preferences]
Order=port@ipaddress
For multiple-server configurations, you may add additional servers separated by commas.
 
You may also need to delete or modify the contents of the Licensing.dat file found in the same directory. You can delete the file and it will be automatically regenerated the next time NI License Manager is opened. If you have multiple servers and would like to keep other server configuration data:
  1. Open Licensing.dat using any text editor. 
  2. Under <VolumeServerInfos> find the relevant server information and either edit or the relevant entry or remove it from <VolumeServerInfo> to </VolumeServerInfo>.
Note:  In Windows versions prior to Vista, the server is located at the following registry key: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\FLEXlm License Manager\NILM_LICENSE_FILE 
Leave the path to the local license folder in this registry key if the client computer ever needs to run any activateable software from a local license.
  • You can distribute new or update existing environment variables to all client computers. NI License Manager looks to the environment variables at startup for server information. Please see KB Using Environment Variables to Point to a Volume License Server   for more details on configuring the Environment Variables. 
  • From a networking perspective, you can set up a DNS address that points to the licensing server. As long as you update the DNS address to point to the new license server, you can move license servers without affecting client computers. 

2. Using Volume License Installers

If you are using Volume License Manager (VLM) and want to ensure new users are pointed to your licensing server, you can send them a Volume License Installer that will automatically configure their NI License Manager to point toward your server. Please see KB Creating Volume License Installer that Doesn't Send Permission Requests  for more information on using Volume License Installers to configure the licensing servers.

If you already have an existing Volume License Installer, you can modify the contents of vlmclient.xml file to point to the new server. This reduces the task to create a new Volume License Installer for the new server name.
  1. Open the Volume License Installer and navigate to the Clients folder and open vlmclient.xml in a XML editor.
  2. Modify the Server context like shown below
  1. Run the Installer, and it should try to locate the newly named license server

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