Choosing a Network License Server Model for your Autodesk Product


You are interested in a Network license of Autodesk software but first need to choose the server model that will distribute your product licenses.


When purchasing a network license of Autodesk software, you will have to choose one of three server models that support the Network License Manager (the tool that will manage your Autodesk licenses). Each of the three available license server models are described below, as well as the advantages and disadvantages of each.

All server models can include any combination of Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux servers.


Single License Server Model

The single license server model is the most basic configuration available. The Network License Manager is installed on only one server, which means all license management and activity is restricted to one single location. A single license file represents the total number of licenses available on the server.


  • Because all license management takes place on one server, you have just one point of administration and one point of failure.
  • Of the three license server models, this configuration requires the least amount of maintenance.


  • If this single server license fails, the Autodesk product(s) cannot run until the server is back online.


Distributed License Server Model

In the distributed license server model, your software licenses are divided across more than one server. Each server contains a unique license file, representing a portion of your total number of licenses. The Network License Manager is installed on each server so all license activity and management is distributed among the number of servers that best suits your needs. The group of servers that make up your distributed network is called the “server pool.”


  • Servers can be distributed across a wide area network (WAN) and do not need to exist on the same subnet.
  • If one server in the distributed server pool fails, the licenses on the remaining servers are still available.
  • If you need to replace a server in the distributed server pool, you do not need to rebuild the entire pool.
  • Server replacement is easier than in a redundant server pool, where you must reactivate the entire pool.


  • If a server in the distributed server pool fails, the licenses on that server are unavailable.
  • This model can require more time for setup and maintenance than other models.


Redundant License Server Model

In the redundant license server model, all of your software licenses are configured on three different servers. Each server contains the same license file so all of your software licenses are available on each server. The Network License Manager is installed on each server and can monitor and issue licenses as long as at least two of your three servers are functional. In the redundant license server model, all three servers must be located on the same subnet and have consistent network communications (slow, erratic, or dial-up connections are not supported).


  • If one of the three servers fails, all licenses that are managed in the server pool are still available.


  • If more than one server fails, no licenses are available.
  • All three servers must reside on the same subnet and have reliable network communications. The redundant server pool does not provide network fault tolerance.
  • If one of the three servers is replaced, the complete redundant server pool must be rebuilt.




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