Licensing of Novell PlateSpin Migrate explained

Novell PlateSpin Migrate is licensed on a rather customer unfriendly manner. For each conversion a license needs to be purchased. To prevent customers using the same license on multiple instances of PlateSpin Migrate, the license is tied to the server PlateSpin was installed on. To apply for a license key file, a hardware id is generated. Several characteristics of the server PlateSpin Migrate has been installed on are used to generate the hardware id.

One of the characteristics used for generation of the hardware id is the Windows Server Product key. And this can lead to issues in obtaining a working license key file.

For one of my customers I installed PlateSpin Migrate. Before I actived Windows Server I generated a hardware id using the License Manager and sent it to Novell. They sent me a license key file in return. Instead of applying the license key file immediately, I first activated Windows Server using a product key.

Thereafter I installed the PlateSpin license key file only to find out it reported an error. I rerun the License Manager to find out it reported a new hardware id, different to the one I sent to Novell.

So the lesson learned is to first activate Windows Server and then  request Novell for a license key file!

Novell is very helpfull in supplying a new file but I do not like their policy. For numerous reasons customers can have the need to install PlateSpin on a new server. For instance the original licensed server crashed, or is used for other purposes. I prefer having the risk of  abuse on non-hardware tied licensing being added to the pricing of the product than this customer unfriendly way of licening. A customer is in the current method of licensing always dependent on the assistence of Novell for being able to use the product they paid for.


About Marcel van den Berg
I am a technical consultant with a strong focus on server virtualization, desktop virtualization, cloud computing and business continuity/disaster recovery.

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