Allow node licenses on USB stick
It would be very useful if node licenses could optionally be stored on an USB stick, or any secondary disk really. The node, when booting and periodically after booting, would look for the license filepath on all mountable disks. Newly appearing USB disks would have to be mounted automatically.
The primary objective of using the USB stick is to decouple the license from the node data, not so much for portability but for media replacement. We see the occasional media failure and our customers are forced to get us involved as they have to get us to move their license to new media. This is inconvenient for both us and the customer. It would be far less likely that the USB key would fail as it is only ever read.
The USB disk format could be FAT32 to make it easy for a Windows tool to interact with and the node will still be able to mount it.
The node would need to periodically check that the disk is still present to make sure that customers are not just booting up a bunch of nodes with one USB stick. However, we would not want to just shut down processes instantly but ideally give a warning that they will shutdown in a specific amount of time (i.e. 5 minutes) , and then E-Stop the axis first, and only shutdown the process once the axis has been E-Stopped for 5-10 seconds.
A potential bonus to this feature is that it would allow us to deploy a customer facing licensing tool (maybe built-in to Nav GUI or iQ, maybe standalone as desks aren't typically connected to the internet) that would allow them to return/request licenses themselves. The act of buying additional licenses could be entirely done with a combination of the customer tool and web interface i.e. buying additional licenses could be entirely an e-commerce transaction.
This would also allow us to give all engineers/integrators unlimited licenses (always time limited i.e. 1 month) so that we don't have to issue Navigator licenses on all test and R&D nodes all the time.0
The idea for the customer here is that they could purchase backup media with Navigator binaries on it and then use the Navigator backup utilities to restore their configuration onto the new media. The licenses would never have to be touched as they live on the USB stick.0
Great idea. We have discussed putting the licenses on the same style dongle as we do GUI dongles for nodes.0
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