Setting Up The Citrix License Server Appliance

If you haven’t checked out the Citrix License Server Appliance yet, it’s something that is worth your time.  While traditionally, Citrix licensing has been accomplished through a Windows server based tool (The Citrix License Server Management Console), it can be now be done through a lightweight linux based VM that can be hosted anywhere on your Xenserver deployment.

Traditional Windows baased licensing servers have their ups and downs (Literally!).  They can crash, need to be rebooted, have services get hung, or even eat license files occasionally, corrupting them beyond repair.  Our initial testing on the Citrix license server appliance seems to reveal that none of those issues are present on this cutting edge little VM.

You will find the new Citrix License Server Appliance listed when you log into MyCitrix under the Downloads section here:

The License Server Appliance will show up as “License Server VPX” in your MyCitrix downloads.  It will download as an XVA file, which will be ready for importing into your Xenserver Xencenter console.

Once you start to import the license server appliance into your xencenter console, some basic network configurations will be required to make it work.  Be sure to add the correct network adapter to the virtual appliance, and remember that only one network adapter is supported for use with the Citrix license server appliance right now. (We tried to add a second, but were never able to make it work)

Once the import is complete and the network adapter is configured, the setup through the console is very straight forward.  You will boot up the VM and see the following screen:

You will create a root password for the appliance, and then configure a DNS hostname and IP address for the box via the linux user interface here:

Once completed your license server appliance console view will look like this, and you’ll be ready to configure licenses via an easy to use web interface GUI

From another system, you will browse to the license server web console and find that it looks very familiar, just like the old Citrix License Server Console really:

Once there, you will import the license files you’ve downloaded from MyCitrix just like you always have:

In order to make sure that the license files become ready for immediate checkout, be sure to click the Administrator button above and force the license server appliance to re-read the license files.  This is equivalent to how you used to restart the licensing services on Windows Server license servers, and is done like so:

Once completed, and the licenses are operating normally, your console will look happy like the following screenshot, and your Citrix License Server Appliance configuration is complete:

We’ve been very happy with the testing we’ve done in the lab so far on the Citrix License Server Appliance, and we’ve turned the memory down on it’s VM to below 300MB without any issues.  It’s an extremely lightweight little appliance that almost never needs to be rebooted, just like most Linux based appliances.  For all of the reasons listed above, it certainly looks to be the future for licensing, and is sure to alleviate many of your licensing headaches!

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