Houdini 18 New License Features FAQs
License Server Chaining
The license management system with the release of Houdini 18 will support a new license configuration called chaining. This configuration allows License Servers (sesinetd) to be chained together. This allows license servers to be broken up based on whatever specification you may have (i.e. license product type).
To setup this configuration list a set of license servers separated by a semi-colon instead of specifying a single sesinetd to connect to. The first sesinetd in the list will try to execute the command (i.e. checkout) if that fails for some reason (cannot connect, command failed, etc.) then the next sesinetd is tried, then the next and so on. Make sure to place the connection list in quotes when specify the list using "hserver -S". For example, hserver -S "sesinetd1;sesinetd2".
To use this configuration you need at least an 18.0 Houdini License Server (hserver). The sesinetd and houdini version do not currently have any requirements for this configuration.
Peak Usage Logging
In Houdini 18.0 customers can now monitor their license usage. This is a great tool to monitor your peak license usage by product type which can be used for license planning. In a given interval (minute, hour, or day) the peak usage and optionally the user data can be monitored to a log file that can be exported to different representations which then can be used to plan for more license purchases as your needs grow.
Options for usage logging
Each of these options are license server (sesinetd) options.
-U interval is the only required option to turn the logging on and without this option specified usage logging is not turned on. Intervals can be either "minute", "hour", or "day".
This means that within the specified interval it will hold the required information (peak usage for that interval, who checked out a license within the interval, etc.) and at the end of the interval it will log to the log file all of the information accrued within the interval. Note that if a license has a peak usage of 0 (no one used the license in the interval) then nothing is logged for that license. The interval start is rounded down to the previous interval.
For example, if you start with the minute specified as the interval at 11:00:52am the interval start will be 11:00:00am and the interval will end and log the information at 11:00:01am. Each interval after is based on the starting interval. Meaning that if the first interval is 11:00:00am the next will be 11:01:00am and so on.
-i file specifies the location of the log file. The default location is in the license path with the name "license_usage.bin". For example, on Linux the default path is "/usr/lib/sesi/license_usage.bin".
-G logs who used the license within the time interval. By default users are not logged and only the peak usage for each license is logged to the file.
HTTP communication support
Houdini 18.0 adds http communication support to our licensing products. The biggest advantage this new communication protocol has is that its more resilient to modifications on either end of the communication. Http communication also allows users to query the license server using any language that can execute an http request (i.e. python). Houdini 18.0 License server (sesinted) already fully support http communication so there is no extra setup required for this application. The HoudiniServer (hserver) does not by default use http.
To enable http communication on the client side (hserver) add -C to the command line or add "enableHttp 1" to the HoudiniServers option file.
If you would like a more comprehensive diagnostic output from an 18.0 hserver then run "hserver -f -v". This command uses http to grab as much information as possible from the hserver.
Several new commands were added to sesictrl that use http communication. Run "sesictrl --help" to see a list of all available commands.