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Method to port license codes between servers in a cloud environment

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000244678D
Publication Date: 2016-Jan-06
Document File: 2 page(s) / 32K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

Scale out Power systems are being released with support for dual hypervisors ( PowerVM and PowerKVM). These systems are typically 1 or 2 sockets low end systems. Users can license some of the features on these systems. For eg., AIX operating system can be installed on a PowerVM hypervisor as a licensed feature while Linux operating system can be installed by default on systems with both hypervisors. There can be other licensed features too on the system both for host and service processor. Typically, the licensing status of features is stored in a secure area of a Flash device (non-volatile storage) that can be accessed by hypervisor. This non-volatile storage can be part of the planar itself or part of a separate Field Replaceable Unit (FRU) on the planar. These planars or the FRUs on the planars are customer replaceable entities. Once the FRU is replaced, customers need a mechanism to transfer the licensing status from the old FRU to new FRU. In this article, a method is described to transfer license codes across servers in a secure way and also ensure that the license codes on the old server are disabled thereby preventing the same license codes being used across multiple systems.

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Method to port license codes between servers in a cloud environment

Scale out Power systems are being released with support for dual hypervisors ( PowerVM and PowerKVM). These systems are typically 1 or 2 sockets low end systems. Users can license some of the features on these systems. For eg., AIX operating system can be installed on a PowerVM hypervisor as a licensed feature while Linux operating system can be installed by default on systems with both hypervisors. There can be other licensed features too on the system both for host and service processor. Typically, the licensing status of features is stored in a secure area of a Flash device (non-volatile storage) that can be accessed by hypervisor. This non-volatile storage can be part of the planar itself or part of a separate Field Replaceable Unit (FRU) on the planar.

These planars or the FRUs on the planars are customer replaceable entities. Once the FRU is replaced, customers need a mechanism to transfer the licensing status from the old FRU to new FRU.

Currently, server vendors provide mechanism to port license status manually. As the license codes are always tied to the serial number of the system ( so that they are not misused on multiple systems ), customers have to contact the vendor ( IBM ) and ask for a fresh license code for the target FRU. There are few disadvantages of this method
a. There is no way to ensure that the license codes on the old FRU have been disabled or not usable unless customers return the FRU for field quality analysis
b. Users have to go through the complete process of entering information on a website or contact field support with the required information and wait till a new license codes are generated.

c. In a cloud setup with thousands of servers, the probability of several servers failing is high and users cannot be expected to follow this manual process every day for each server.

In this article, a method is described to transfer license codes across servers in a secure way and also ensure that the license codes on the old server are disabled thereby preventing the same license codes...