I am working with a vendor who is supplying a server-based application which requires licensing for activation. There are two options, software-based licensing and hardware (USB-dongle) based activation. What are the pros and cons to using hardware or software license keys in an environment where the application software is running on a VMware based server? The USB hardware license key will be plugged into one of these: https://www.digi.com/products/usb/anywhereusb
There are two applications which are being licensed: Vendor: Iconics Software:GENESIS32 SCADA platform Vendor: Rockwell Automation Software: FactoryTalk (RSLinx)
This is the reasoning the vendor gave for their preference for hardware keys:
We have found that hardware keys are more stable than software keys, especially in a VM environment. Software keys are usually attached to the hard drive or NIC id of a computer. Any time this number changes (hard drive failure, VM reconfiguration, etc) the license is lost and needs to be reloaded with the help of the manufacturer. Today’s licensing is done over the internet, and most servers do not have internet access, so dealing with licensing issues has become a major headache. Hardware keys work well for the VMs because they don’t reside on the VM. If you have an image failure or other server failure, you can copy in a new image, point to the license key, and you are up and running.