FME Desktop on Amazon AWS EC2 or Other Cloud Virtual Machines

Liz Sanderson
Liz Sanderson
  • Updated

This article applies specifically to using FME Desktop on Amazon AWS EC2, but the concepts should also apply to Google Cloud Platform Virtual Machine and Microsoft Azure Virtual Machine.

FME Desktop Installation

FME Desktop should be installed as usual on the virtual machine. Please keep in mind that FME Desktop should be installed on the root volume of the virtual machine; installing to added volumes can cause the license key to change, which will break a fixed license.

A t2.medium would be the minimum type; t2.large is recommended. The minimum recommended volume size is 30GB.

FME Desktop Fixed License

Please remember that under the terms of the FME Software License Agreement section 2. Permitted Uses A, you need to configure access to fixed licenses in such a way that the FME Software is only accessible to a single user. If you intend to have multiple users access an FME license, then you should be using a floating license.

After FME Desktop is installed, request a fixed license as usual. This license should continue to work if the virtual machine is rebooted, or stopped and then restarted at a later time.

The fixed license is tied to a specific volume, so if an AMI is created, and then a new instance is created from that AMI, it will require a new license. If you need to create multiple instances from an AMI, you will need to use a floating license.

FME Desktop Floating License

Connecting FME Desktop on an EC2 virtual machine to a floating license server requires that the floating license server is visible to the virtual machine. This means that most floating license servers that are within a company's network won't work. An alternative is to install the floating license server used by FME Desktop on another EC2 instance.

FlexNet Floating License Installation

The FlexNet software used by FME will work on a t2.micro or t2.nano instance. T2.micro is sometimes available as a free instance.

For the Security Group, be sure to create a "Custom Inbound TCP Rule" to expose ports 27000-27010.

FlexNet automatically uses ports 27000 through 27009. Port 27010 will be used for the Vendor Daemon.

Once the virtual machine is created, download and run the Floating License Installer (bottom of the page) on the virtual machine.

On Windows, ensure that the Firewall has an inbound rule or exception for ports 27000-27010. Ports 27000-27010 must be open for both the Firewall and the Security Group on the license server.

Request the safe.lic file as usual, and then open the safe.lic file in a text editor. On the VENDOR line, append PORT=27010, so that the second line in the safe.lic file looks like:

VENDOR safe PORT=27010

If you do not set the VENDOR port number, then a random port will be used each time the license server service starts, and that port will likely be blocked by the Firewall on the virtual machine, and the Security Group the virtual machine is in. Additional information about how to specify port numbers used by FlexNet can be found here.

Stop the FME License Server service, and restart it. You can now connect to the floating license server using the public IP address or the private IP address if you are in the same VPC.

The safe.lic file created for the FME License Server is specific to the virtual machine it was created for; if you create an AMI of your license server, and then create a new instance, a new safe.lic file will be required.

Hiding the License Server

There are two ways to limit access to the license server:

1. Configure the Security Group to only allow access from a specific set of IP addresses.

2. When creating the virtual machine for the license server, set `Auto-assign Public IP` to `Disable`. Then only a Private IP Address will be created, and only machines in the same VPC will be able to connect to the license server.

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