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We need the ability to manage multiple volume licenses from a single VLM instance. We have several groups from different cost centers that use LV; however, currently all the license administration falls on me. The only solutions available at this time are:
Merge all the licensing needs from each group into a single license. This is a nightmare for me. For one, our internal accounting system isn't set up to easily transfer funds between cost centers, so getting the money to pay for the license has been difficult and usually leads to payment delays. Second, it's very difficult to respond to changing license requirements of an individual group when everything is lumped into a single license file. If a single group wants to discontinue their subscription, rather than just letting the subscription expire (which would cancel the subscription for all groups) they have to pay a fee to "break out" their licenses from the volume license. If a group wants to add products to their license, all requests get funnelled through me. This might be good for NI, but it's a royal PITA for me. (License administration is something I do in my "spare" time.) Third, it's inconvenient having to track how many licenses of each type each group has purchased and cross check that against how many licenses they are using.
Maintain separate computers for each VLA. From an ease-of-use perspective this is almost as bad as option 1. From a practical perspective this is worse than option 1. It's silly to have several different computers sitting around doing nothing other than running a license server. Furthermore, it's harder to loan an available license from one group to another group (which does sometimes happen) as the user has to redirect to a new license server.
Neither of these solutions work very well. I don't mind the license administration part of the job. Creating installers, changing permissions, and stuff like that doesn't really take that much time. What is killing me is the account administration part of the job. The single license model forces me to be an account administrator for several independent groups, and the corporate culture and infrastructure here don't support that model very well at all. What I would like to be able to do is have each group be responsible for purchasing and maintaining their own volume license agreements. When they get the license file they can send it to me and I'll install it in the VLM.
I envision each VLA having it's own root node in the tree diagram. Instead of a single "Volume Licenses" node, there would be one for "Group A Licenses," another for "Group B Licenses," etc. (I have to be able to rename or annotate the root node for each VLA.) The Users and Computers nodes still contain the users and computers from all the groups, but maybe those nodes have virtual directories I can use to organize them.