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Floating Licenses

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RStudio Server Pro version 1.1+, RStudio Connect version 1.5.4+, and Shiny Server Pro version 1.5.6+ support floating licenses.

 

Note that if the Job Launcher feature of RStudio Server Pro is enabled on your license, you are not likely to need a floating license in addition. RStudio Server Pro with Launcher allows you to run R sessions and background jobs on external cluster resource managers. With this configuration, you can use a traditional license on your main RStudio Server Pro instance, and let the Launcher handle the sessions for you. This is the easiest way to run sessions remotely without having to manage them explicitly via Docker containers and a floating license.

 

From the admin guide:

The RStudio Job Launcher provides the ability for RStudio Server Pro to start processes within various batch processing systems (e.g., Slurm) and container orchestration platforms (e.g., Kubernetes). RStudio Server Pro integrates with the Job Launcher to allow you to run your R Sessions within your compute cluster software of choice, and allows you to containerize your sessions for maximum process isolation and operations efficiency. Furthermore, users can submit standalone adhoc jobs to your compute cluster(s) to run computationally expensive R scripts.

 

To get started with the Job Launcher, you must have a license that enables it, and then you can use this Getting Started article to set up the local Launcher to get familiar with the most basic configuration.

 

If you do not have the Job Launcher enabled in RStudio Server Pro but you need to manage multiple ephemeral containers, a floating license may be the right choice. It is also the best choice for managing ephemeral instances of the other RStudio professional products like RStudio Connect and Shiny Server Pro.

 

Do I need floating licensing?

Most likely no. By default, RStudio products come with support for activating and deactivating license keys. Floating licenses require additional setup and are only recommended if traditional licenses are not working with your architecture. Floating licenses can be required in environments where servers often shut down without deactivating the license. This scenario is most common with ephemeral backends such as Docker containers used outside the context of the Job Launcher feature. Deployments with long-running instances, including in docker containers, generally do not need floating licenses.

 

How does floating licensing work?

With floating licensing, professional RStudio product servers lease a license from a persistent micro-server. The micro-server manages the license itself, and leases on that license can be acquired and released by the RStudio product servers as needed.  If an RStudio product server is shut down without releasing its license lease, a new RStudio product server can acquire that lease after it has expired, or is manually released.

Screen_Shot_2017-08-14_at_3.19.59_PM.png 

How do I use floating licensing? 

To use floating licensing:

  1. Setup a persistent micro-server. The server can be small (1 core, 2 GB RAM).

  2. Download the appropriate floating license server.

  3. Install the floating license server:

    sudo gdebi <license-server.deb>  # replace with the downloaded deb name

    OR

    sudo yum install --nogpgcheck <license-server.rpm> #replace with the downloaded rpm name

  4. Activate the floating license on the micro-server:

    Online mode, if your license server has an internet connection (use product specific command from admin guides, below):
        sudo [connect-license-server | rsp-license-server] activate <product-key>
        sudo [connect-license-server | rsp-license-server] start

    Offline mode, if your license server does not have an internet connection:
        See the instructions in the relevant administration guide, linked below.

  5. Follow the product specific instructions to enable floating licenses:
    RStudio Connect 
    RStudio Package Manager  
    RStudio Server Pro 
    Shiny Server Pro

  6. Ensure that the RStudio product servers can reach the license server to acquire license leases. If your license server is behind a firewall, you may need to open the appropriate port on the license server; see the administration guides linked above for details.

How do I renew my floating license? 

Renew the floating license on the micro-server:

Online mode, if your license server has an internet connection (use product specific command from admin guides, below):

    sudo [connect-license-server | rsp-license-server] deactivate
    sudo [connect-license-server | rsp-license-server] activate <product-key>

    sudo [connect-license-server | rsp-license-server] start

Offline mode, if your license server does not have an internet connection:
    See the instructions in the relevant administration guide, linked above.

Note that the updated license information may not appear on your product server right away, depending on your license lease length, e.g. warnings may remain for a brief period. You can cause the product server to check for a new lease immediately by running the

<product-specific-command> license-manager status 

command for your specific product.

Do I need a new license key to use floating licensing?

Yes.  Your existing key will need to be switched to floating type.  Please contact support@rstudio.com if you are interested in floating licenses. 

Does floating licensing change how many instances I can use?

No. Floating licensing does not change how many servers or containers can be active at one time. 

Does floating licensing work offline?

Yes. Floating licensing does not replace traditional offline licenses. Both traditional and floating licenses can be activated offline. The RStudio product servers will need network access to the licensing server. 

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