Autodesk token-flex licensing – Time Zone Aspect

Autodesk token-flex licensing has a strong time zone aspect since it analyses the data using the time zone of the license server. Locating the license server in the wrong time zone might create a situation where users are charged twice in a working day.

Watch the third video from a series of videos about Autodesk token-flex licensing provided by Oren Gabay, OpenLM CEO. Subscribe to OpenLM Youtube Channel for more videos about engineering software license management.

Best strategies for optimizing IT expenses as you take your business to the cloud

Organizations are getting leaner day by day. The cloud is replacing on-premise software applications in several industries at a rapid pace. As organizations leverage the cloud infrastructure, they see a reduction in the cost and an increase in organizational flexibility. When they are on the cloud, businesses become more agile – as data can be accessed across geographies and through multiple mobile devices.

The cloud, however, comes with its own set of challenges. Applications on the cloud require added monitoring. A multi-cloud environment often requires real-time analysis. This implies that IT managers need a tool that provides global visibility into cloud usage to properly monitor the company’s cloud activities and spend.

Cloud service providers generally offer a variety of plans that offer different levels of discounting against different time commitments (lock-in periods), ranging between 1-5 years. These options include enterprise agreements, reserved instances and savings plans. However, most cloud customers are charged for the resources they order, irrespective of them using the features or not.

The IT manager can employ some effective strategies for optimizing IT expenses:

1. Locate Unused or Unattached Resources

Unused or unattached resources are low hanging fruits for the IT manager to locate and discard. More often than not, an administrator may forget to remove storage attached to processes they terminate. A developer may make a temporary server to perform a task, and then forget to turn it off when his work is completed. In both the instances the organization’s cloud bill will include the charges for the resources, irrespective of the fact that they are no longer used. In order to optimize cloud cost, it is thus necessary to start by locating unused and completely unattached resources.

2. Identify and Consolidate Idle Resources

Companies are billed for 100% of the computing capacity on the cloud, and hence, CPU utilization of 1-3% during an idle session, is a significant waste. An effective strategy would be to identify such occurrences and consolidate the processes so that idle sessions are minimized. Cloud offers autoscaling, load balancing, and on-demand capabilities that allows the organization to increase/ decrease the computing power any time they need to.

3. Derive the ‘Right Size’ for the computing services

Right sizing implies that computing services have been modified to their most efficient structure by modifying them as needed. IT managers have the option of choosing between different server sizes. They can also have the servers optimized for memory, database, computing, graphics, storage capacity, throughput, and more. Right Sizing helps the organizations make the best possible use of the resources they are paying for.

4. Follow and utilize Heatmaps

A heat map is an essential tool for optimizing cloud cost. This visual tool shows the peaks and the troughs and this data is crucial for establishing the start/ stop times of applications. For instance, an analysis of heat maps can indicate whether development servers can be safely shut down on holidays. While this could be done manually, a better option is to leverage automation to schedule instances to start and stop, optimizing costs.

5. Get the appropriate type and level of discounts

Once the above mentioned steps have been covered, the IT manager would have a clear picture of the cloud costs that the organization would incur. In the next step, he can determine the correct form of implementation he may need and start negotiations with the vendors. To have a granular control over the expenses, he may want  to go ahead with a plan which lets the organization pay for the exact usage till he has an understanding of the costs.

Enterprise discounts are locked in for a period of time and thus offer lesser flexibility. The Microsoft EA or AWS EDP programs are examples of such arrangements. Alternatively, there are standard discount options, like the reserved instances or savings plans, which can be purchased at any time.

6. Monitor software licenses

Software license costs for some applications apportion for a sizeable share of the cloud cost. To cite an example, if the organization brings Microsoft Windows or SQL Server licenses to the Azure cloud, it can realize significant savings on the cloud bill through the Azure Hybrid Benefit.

Some applications, on the other hand, may have restrictions while they are running on non – native clouds, like Oracle database licenses.

To conclude, the increase in cloud usage requires us to concentrate on being prudent and focused. Tools provided by OpenLM monitors software usage in cloud, on-premise, and hybrid environments. Detailed reporting facilities in OpenLM offer valuable insights which help during optimization exercises.

Would you want to optimize your cloud expenses by monitoring your software licenses? Visit us for a 30 day free trial of OpenLM with full features.

How software is making the Aerospace and Defence Industry beautiful and sturdy

They look like flying fortresses in the sky. They are huge, have intricate electrical and electronic systems and they have captivated us for decades. But do you know how much does aeroplanes weigh? A Boeing 747 weighs as much as 183,500 kg!

Just imagine the amount of ingenuity it takes for a team of engineers, craftsmen and support staff to put together tons of Aluminium, plastic, glass and electronics so as to build a huge machine that would ultimately fly!

The size of the industry

With a trillion dollars in sales revenue in the United States only, the Aerospace and Defence (A&D) industry is responsible for the design, advancement, and manufacture of aircraft, space systems, and defense utilities. This industry has always been in the forefront of research and development and has generated spin-offs which have laid the foundation for telecommunication, modern computers and many other modern-day inventions.

Since the Wright Brothers’ first powered flight in 1903, the aerospace industry has become a behemoth in terms of the value of the output it generates. More importantly, this industry has had a socio-political impact all over the world. Generations have aspired to be a part of this ‘movement’, new schools of industrial design have come up and the globe, at large, has shrunk because of air travel.

Software and the art of building

Imagine putting 183,500 kg of material together and then failing to make an aeroplane? Wouldn’t it be a huge waste of resources, time and most importantly, money?

It is here that CAD plays a huge role. One of the earliest adopters of digital technologies, the Aerospace and Defence industry depends on CAD from the design phase until the deployment and beyond. CAD platforms ensure that multiple prototypes need not be produced for testing, thus saving an immense amount of resources. These platforms also help in speeding up the product design cycle and increases operational efficiency, reducing production cost in the process.

The latest enhancements have come in the form of 4D CAD solutions which greatly help the execution strategies and operational performance of the final renders. To understand this better, software today is able to predict how a propeller (or any other machine part) will behave with time, thus saving the company the trouble of actually making the part and testing it in real situations!

 

What are the generic steps for using a CAD software?

Conventionally, the production cycle starts with a conceptual design, which shows how the final prototype may look like. A preliminary design phase follows afterwards wherein the designers give shape to the major subsystems. In almost all scenarios, several changes need to be made till the final design is achieved. There are times when design engineers cannot anticipate the different production issues and this leads to major rework. In spite of the apparent simplicity of the initial conceptual design phase, as much as 80 percent of the aerospace product’s cost is determined in this stage.

 

A list of CAD software applications for the aerospace and defense industry

Catia by Dassault Systèmes

Catia is one of the most widely used applications in the aerospace and defense industry. Some of its notable clients include government contractors in the US, like Northrop Grumman, BAE Systems, and Lockheed Martin. An all-weather application, Catia can be used for everything from prototyping to digital analysis to simulation. It allows for real-time concurrent design and collaboration across all stakeholders.

SolidWorks by Dassault Systèmes

SolidWorks by Dassault Systèmes is a high-end CAD software application, which was first released in 1995. SolidWorks utilizes a parametric feature-based approach and empowers designers and engineers with an integrated suite of tools that helps them get the job done faster and better. It was designed for the Windows operating system and competes with PTC Creo, Solid Edge, and Autodesk Inventor

 NX by Siemens PLM Software

NX by Siemens has been around for a long time and several global manufacturers, like GE Aviation, are its loyal users. This high end software has several built in tools for documentation and drafting.

Solid Edge by Siemens PLM Software

Solis edge is a powerful CAD suite – it allows for from mechanical and electrical design to simulation, manufacturing, technical publications, data management, and beyond.

Creo by PTC

Creo, earlier known as Pro/ENGINEER is a parametric, integrated 3D CAD/CAM/CAE solution. Created by Parametric Technology Corporation (PTC), this powerful software platform is used by several organisations including Lockheed Martin. Be it advanced modelling and design or simulation and analysis, Creo is often the go to choice for organisations. It is also capable of smart connected design, additive manufacturing, and model-based definition.

Inventor by Autodesk

Inventor is a powerful CAD platform that allows 2D and 3D data integration in a single environment, creating a virtual representation of the final product. Without even starting the production process (and therefore having a product!), Inventor enables users to validate the form, fit, and function of the product.

OpenVSP (Vehicle Sketch Pad) by NASA

OpenVSP has been maintained by a group of developers after NASA released it as an open source project under the NASA Open Source Agreement (NOSA) on January 10, 2012. OpenVSP is a parametric geometry tool that can create a 3D design of an aircraft according to engineering parameters. 

Notable software platforms from other vendors include ADS (Aircraft Design Software) by Optimal Aircraft Design, TurboCAD by IMSI and SharkCAD Pro by Punch!CAD.

 

What are the main features that an aerospace/defense firm looks for in a CAD tool?

The most important capability of a CAD platform is its capability to create 2D/ 3D objects with the help of tools such as extrude, cut, and revolve. CAD applications used in the Aerospace and Defence industry are parametric, which means that designers can change the calibration of the objects according to the specifications.

Apart from creating the prototypes, the CAD platforms should help the designers to simulate and verify the assembly of different parts, test the functioning of the electrical system and help with the manufacturing of the fluid systems. Most importantly, a CAD software helps in ironing out flaws and helps the perfection of the prototype till the last possible moment. 

When an iteration can cost millions of dollars, a minute miscalculation of less than one-tenth of a millimeter can cause a catastrophic accident, it is indeed prudent to have a perfect design ready in the first place. 

Out of a lot of factors, two parameters mainly help organisations select the CAD platform that they are going to use. Cost being the obvious first, organisations also look at the acceptability of the CAD platform across the industry before considering it. It is prudent to go with the more widely used applications as developers are more frequently available for these platforms. An aeroplane or a missile system is a huge piece of engineering and some of the parts required may be procured from third party vendors and producers. It is indeed helpful if the vendors also use the same CAD platform, so that compatibility is maintained.

CAD/ CAM licenses are costly. Do you monitor your licenses properly? OpenLM helps you keep expensive software assets under control and forecast how many licenses you actually need. OpenLM provides software license management solutions for CAD, CAM, PLM, FEA, CAE software. It empowers you to achieve improved efficiency and maximize usage of your software. For accessing a full featured 30 day trial version of OpenLM visit here.

Why is now the right time to manage your engineering licenses efficiently?

Business getting affected by COVID19

Chances are high that you are reading this during a break you took from your office work, which you are doing from a desk in your living room, in your house. You have been working on assignments, having online meetings and even giving presentations to team members – all the while sitting at the same desk!

A large portion of the working population across the globe has been displaced from office cubicles, conference rooms and even shop floors and are working remotely, from their home (with very few exceptions like pharmacists, doctors and other emergency service providers) due to the global pandemic caused by the Novel Coronavirus. Historically business has not fared well in the face of pandemics – the 1918 influenza pandemic, also called the Spanish flu, had a devastating impact on the businesses across the US and Europe. It is estimated that the current and accrued losses with regards to the Corona virus incident has already crossed a trillion USD globally.

How businesses will react

But, as they say, the show must go on. Some of us are finding the change challenging, and several organisations have come forward with tools and solutions for collaboration across geographies.

With time, however, organisations will start looking at their balance sheets with more scrutiny. It is expected that revenue growth across the next few months might be sluggish across industries. The leadership and the top management of engineering and other manufacturing firms will have to evaluate their existing infrastructure and make it leaner, if possible.

Designing, automation and other software account for a big part of the expenses for an engineering company. An IT Asset manager can save the organization a lot of money by stopping the purchase of unnecessary software. Apart from discovering “shelf” (unused) software and finding the equilibrium between the number of users and the pool of licenses, he can achieve additional savings by validating that there is no need to acquire additional licenses for a new project.

It is time to stretch software licenses to the fullest

As users, we are often guilty of “hogging” software – it is much easier to check out a license and hold on to it all day, whether we are using it or not, at the same time possibly depriving other users access because there are no free licenses. While this is indeed an inconvenience in the normal world, in times of crisis it is cardinal.

Asset managers can intervene, by saving and closing the software hoarder’s work and putting the license back into the pool.  Harvesting licenses this way is very effective and improves productivity. However, license harvesting cannot be implemented as a manual process, which is where license management software, like OpenLM, comes in, supporting an automated approach to harvesting based on the company’s software policy.

A detailed reporting structure, provided by a license management software like OpenLM, also helps an organization with exact numbers during renewals. The management gets clarity as figures pertaining to usage, peak demand and eventually how many licenses are actually needed, are arrived at.

ROI of a monitoring system for Engineering Licensing

We, at OpenLM, firmly believe that this is the right time to invest in a system which monitors your engineering licenses effectively. Engineering licences are expensive. OpenLM’s robust reporting and monitoring mechanism pays for itself the moment one such license is eliminated from the pool. Of over a thousand clients using OpenLM, a majority have ended up saving more than 15% in their first year itself of using OpenLM, with year-on-year savings through optimizing their software portfolio. For a detailed analysis of how OpenLM is a must have as far as your ROI on license management is concerned, please use our ROI calculator and learn more about OpenLM for Engineering Licensing on our website. 

Is it possible for an application like OpenLM to monitor licenses when the uses are working remotely, or are ‘working from home’? The answer is yes! For accessing a full featured 30 day trial version of OpenLM visit us here.

Whiteboard Video with Oren Gabay – Bentley Select License Manager Described

In this whiteboard video I described SelectBentley software license manager. Select is a network license manager that implements a special licensing approach called “Trust Licensing”.

I am looking forward to hear your comments and feedback about my video. You can contact me directly using email address: oren@openlm.com

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