Moving Autodesk License Servers via Group Policy

Showing you what I did on a recent project with a client – moving license servers on a few hundred workstations automatically! Very useful when migrating servers or retiring servers, or even making sure workstation have a backup license server in the cloud. Using Group Policy, we make an environment variable on workstation listed on a specific OU. The environment variable will direct workstation to point the Autodesk software to point to the new server.

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AutoCAD 2014 Deployment Customization

Since everyone loves videos (myself included), here’s another one! Autodesk AutoCAD 2014 Deployment creation & customization. No frills video that goes straight into demos, creating a deployment in a DFS path, and then installing it onto virtual machines using Virtual Box.

What’s new with Revit Server 2014?

Autodesk Revit Server, in it’s 3rd gen, improves upon previous versions and allows users within an organization across multiple locations to simultaneously collaborate on Revit workshared projects. I’m going to explain what’s new in Revit Server 2014 and also show you how to set it up in your office. Understand the concepts, and then get the servers ready by installing any prerequisites. It might sound obvious, but before implementing Revit Server in your office, it’s highly recommended to do some planning and draw it out logically how you want / expect it to work. You don’t want to make a bunch of Revit Servers floating around your network and cluttering your VM.

LMTOOLS download

Some clients are down from the storm and have to rebuild their license servers after Hurricane Sandy. If you need the Network License Server Tools for Autodesk 2012 products, the links are below.

Most of you are using IPv4. These are the links you’ll need:

License files are generated directly by Autodesk. If you have your serial number, server name, and MAC address, you’re ready to contact Autodesk. There are two ways to do this:

  1. Go to “register.autodesk.com“, log in, and you can generate the license files automatically.
  2. You can also call Autodesk Activations at 1-800-551-1490 to speak to an Autodesk rep to get a license file.

If you run into any issues at all, do not hesitate to contact us. Our support group is up and running and ready to help!

Apply Update Release 1 to your Revit Architecture 2013 Deployments

Got a follow up video for those you responsible for making deployments in your office. Since the original  deployment was made, Autodesk has release Update Release 1; we’re going to add that update to your deployment image. We’re also going to change two file locations, the Revit Project Data path and the IES file location.

There are two reasons for this change. If you want worksharing to work properly, the folder needs to be write-able for users. Since my DFS location is locked down and I don’t want to bother with permissions and blocking inheritance, I’m going to repath it to the local workstation. The second reason is that you will always have a local copy of the Revit model you’re working on (in case the server falls off the cliff).

Hope the video helps in your deployment needs. If you have questions, feel free to leave comments in the video and I’ll answer them there. Thanks! 

AutoCAD 2013 Deployment Creation & Automated Installation Methods

There are many ways you can deploy Autodesk software and in this post/video, I’ll try to explain the different methods. I’ll also show how you can easily create a deployment of AutoCAD 2013 on a DFS location, using my office as an example. In the video, I’ll also go through different methods of automated software deployment, including batch files, Group Policy, and SCCM.

Deploying AutoCAD 2013 via Group Policy

I initially created a group policy as I’ve always done. Set package installation paths, point to the MSIs. Seems like that didn’t work too well. After a gpupdate /force, the workstation will look like it’s installing the software but when you log in and actually try to install it, you’ll get this errror with ACCORE.DLL crashing.

After looking through a lot of different discussions boards and PDF white papers and going through a few trial runs in our lab, AutoCAD 2013 is now installed in my training rooms, pushed automatically via OU association with Group Policy. It was a little bit of a hassle to figure out the various MSI and MST files needed for successful GPO push, but alas, all is well in the universe again 

Source: Autodesk Wiki Page on GPO deployment

When you know you got licenses…

I know I have 3ds max design licenses, I even checked my FlexLM on my server. It shows I have 50 licenses, but why can’t one of my users start up 3ds max design? When I start the software, I see this message, “The software license check out failed. Error 20.”

I went on a fact-finding mission, checking to see if the workstation actually communicated with the license server. You do this by checking the debug file. If the workstation did try to check out a license, it would leave an entry there. As I expected, there was no entry. I then went back to the workstation and disabled the Windows Firewall. Problem Solved! It turns out that a recent Windows Update actually made the firewall block ports needed by the license server. The fix?

  • Make the few exceptions on the Windows Firewall via GPO,
  • Applied the GPO to my domain,
  • Performed a “gpupdate /force” on the problematic workstation and
  • VOILA!

Beam me back to the network please! [the 2013 version]

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again… You can beam yourself back after you left Starship Enterprise. Okay, I’m not talking about Captain Kirk here, but rather users who disconnected from their offices and left for some sunny location to “work” and subsequently converted their licenses to standalone. Now that they’re back to reality and need to be back onto network seats, a quick and easy change in the registry will fix do the trick!

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Autodesk\AutoCAD\R19.0\ACAD-xxxx\AdLM

Civil3d-2013-reg

NOTE:  The value ACAD-xxxx may change depending on your AutoCAD vertical.  The example above is for AutoCAD Civil 3D 2013.

In that directory change the type for the installation that you require to edit Type:
1 – Network
2 – Standalone
3 – Multiseat Standalone

Revit Server 2013 – Revit model collaboration across LAN / WAN

First with 2011, Revit Server is now in it’s third year and I’m here again showing you how to set it up in your office. Understand the concepts, and then get the servers ready by installing any prerequisites. When you’re planned out and ready to go,  installing Revit Server 2013 in your network and configure your workstations! True Revit model collaboration across a LAN / WAN. Yes, it’s awesome