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ColdFusion 10 licensing in auto-scaling AWS environment

New Here ,
Oct 25, 2018

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I'm working on a project to migrate a number of legacy CF10 applications to a Windows auto-scaling environment in AWS.

I'm trying to find out if this is a supported configuration, and if so, what type of licensing we would require.

The plan is to create a base server image (AMI) for the application. This base image would be used in an auto-scaling group to launch as many VM (EC2) instances as required to support the current load.

We can configure the minimum, and maximum EC2 count for the group, and configure the instance type used and vCPU count. However in AWS obviously we wouldn't have any visibility or control over the physical servers used to run the EC2's.

Any assistance would be greatly appreciated.

Adobe Community Professional
Correct answer by Dave_Watts | Adobe Community Professional

Yes, this is a supported configuration, in that you can do it. But Adobe doesn't really provide any specific licenses that take a variable number of servers into account. Also, Adobe doesn't provide any EC2-specific licensing as far as I'm aware - EC2 instances are treated as physical servers for Adobe licensing purposes. There are two licensing options that will ensure your compliance with licensing requirements. One is for you to simply purchase as many CF licenses as you'd need for the maximum number of servers you'll have in the auto-scaling pool. This would mean you're paying more for CF licenses than you typically need at any given time, and you might have to buy more licenses if your maximum auto-scaling pool size increases over time.

The other option is to "rent" CF from a third party AMI provider. You'll pay a monthly cost for images created from this AMI that covers the licensing for CF, which is actually paid by the third party to Adobe. Since you're a Windows shop, this would work well for you as they only offer a Windows AMI. I don't recall the name of the company offhand - it just recently changed, I think - but if you search the AMI Marketplace for "ColdFusion" you'll find it. The AMI has ColdFusion already installed. There's no reason why you can't customize it, or even remove it and reinstall it yourself I guess, as long as you're paying the "rent" for the AMI itself. You can use this AMI to create your own custom AMI, but you will of course be billed the surcharge for the original AMI for those instances you create from your custom AMI.

Setting aside licensing, there are some other considerations for your migration. For example, you'll probably want to refactor your application so that it can use shared storage. You could use EFS if you were using Linux instead of Windows, but you'll probably find S3 a better solution in a Windows environment. This will let you simplify your base image and file storage quite a bit.

Dave Watts, Fig Leaf Software

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ColdFusion 10 licensing in auto-scaling AWS environment

New Here ,
Oct 25, 2018

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I'm working on a project to migrate a number of legacy CF10 applications to a Windows auto-scaling environment in AWS.

I'm trying to find out if this is a supported configuration, and if so, what type of licensing we would require.

The plan is to create a base server image (AMI) for the application. This base image would be used in an auto-scaling group to launch as many VM (EC2) instances as required to support the current load.

We can configure the minimum, and maximum EC2 count for the group, and configure the instance type used and vCPU count. However in AWS obviously we wouldn't have any visibility or control over the physical servers used to run the EC2's.

Any assistance would be greatly appreciated.

Adobe Community Professional
Correct answer by Dave_Watts | Adobe Community Professional

Yes, this is a supported configuration, in that you can do it. But Adobe doesn't really provide any specific licenses that take a variable number of servers into account. Also, Adobe doesn't provide any EC2-specific licensing as far as I'm aware - EC2 instances are treated as physical servers for Adobe licensing purposes. There are two licensing options that will ensure your compliance with licensing requirements. One is for you to simply purchase as many CF licenses as you'd need for the maximum number of servers you'll have in the auto-scaling pool. This would mean you're paying more for CF licenses than you typically need at any given time, and you might have to buy more licenses if your maximum auto-scaling pool size increases over time.

The other option is to "rent" CF from a third party AMI provider. You'll pay a monthly cost for images created from this AMI that covers the licensing for CF, which is actually paid by the third party to Adobe. Since you're a Windows shop, this would work well for you as they only offer a Windows AMI. I don't recall the name of the company offhand - it just recently changed, I think - but if you search the AMI Marketplace for "ColdFusion" you'll find it. The AMI has ColdFusion already installed. There's no reason why you can't customize it, or even remove it and reinstall it yourself I guess, as long as you're paying the "rent" for the AMI itself. You can use this AMI to create your own custom AMI, but you will of course be billed the surcharge for the original AMI for those instances you create from your custom AMI.

Setting aside licensing, there are some other considerations for your migration. For example, you'll probably want to refactor your application so that it can use shared storage. You could use EFS if you were using Linux instead of Windows, but you'll probably find S3 a better solution in a Windows environment. This will let you simplify your base image and file storage quite a bit.

Dave Watts, Fig Leaf Software

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Oct 25, 2018 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Oct 25, 2018

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Yes, this is a supported configuration, in that you can do it. But Adobe doesn't really provide any specific licenses that take a variable number of servers into account. Also, Adobe doesn't provide any EC2-specific licensing as far as I'm aware - EC2 instances are treated as physical servers for Adobe licensing purposes. There are two licensing options that will ensure your compliance with licensing requirements. One is for you to simply purchase as many CF licenses as you'd need for the maximum number of servers you'll have in the auto-scaling pool. This would mean you're paying more for CF licenses than you typically need at any given time, and you might have to buy more licenses if your maximum auto-scaling pool size increases over time.

The other option is to "rent" CF from a third party AMI provider. You'll pay a monthly cost for images created from this AMI that covers the licensing for CF, which is actually paid by the third party to Adobe. Since you're a Windows shop, this would work well for you as they only offer a Windows AMI. I don't recall the name of the company offhand - it just recently changed, I think - but if you search the AMI Marketplace for "ColdFusion" you'll find it. The AMI has ColdFusion already installed. There's no reason why you can't customize it, or even remove it and reinstall it yourself I guess, as long as you're paying the "rent" for the AMI itself. You can use this AMI to create your own custom AMI, but you will of course be billed the surcharge for the original AMI for those instances you create from your custom AMI.

Setting aside licensing, there are some other considerations for your migration. For example, you'll probably want to refactor your application so that it can use shared storage. You could use EFS if you were using Linux instead of Windows, but you'll probably find S3 a better solution in a Windows environment. This will let you simplify your base image and file storage quite a bit.

Dave Watts, Fig Leaf Software

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Oct 25, 2018 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Oct 25, 2018

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And ... I just noticed you mentioned you're using CF 10. I don't think there are any third party AMIs for CF 10. There are for CF 11 and CF 2016, if I recall correctly, and one will be out for CF 2018 shortly enough.

I would really recommend moving to at least CF 11 as CF 10 is no longer supported.

Dave Watts, Fig Leaf Software

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Oct 25, 2018 0
New Here ,
Oct 25, 2018

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Thanks Dave, for the very fast and helpful responses. Can I just clarify. If we were going to purchase 1 Enterprise license for each EC2, we would just need to ensure that we use instance types with no more than 8 vCPU's?

Regarding CF11. Our developers have told me that the applications won't be able to run on anything later than CF10, unless they do a significant amount of re-writing of the code.

I've read in other forums that there is (or was) an option to purchase CF11 licenses, but then use them for a CF10 install. Is this option still available?

One final thing. Do the licenses expire? Or are they a one-off purchase for a particular version?

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Oct 25, 2018 0
Participant ,
Oct 26, 2018

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As far as I understand, today, you can buy CF 2018 licenses and downgrade to 2016 (Adobe provides exclusive download links and a license key). No other purchase option is available.

You can use CF 10 as long as you like. However, there's a chance a security related error may be found that will not be fixed. You should be careful when your site is available to the public internet. Errors may exist in CF or the JDK. CF 10 is able to use JDK 8. Free updates will not be available after January 2019

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Oct 26, 2018 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Oct 26, 2018

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Sorry, I went to bed after my previous response!

Honestly, I would be quite surprised if code that runs on CF 10 doesn't also run on CF 11 with minor fixes at most. But I don't know your applications as well as your own developers do, so take that with a grain of salt.

Adobe does allow you to downgrade licenses. In other words, you can buy a license for a new version and use it for older versions. This is perfectly acceptable, and won't affect what you're trying to do. You will, of course, have to abide by the restrictions of a given license, so for example you can't have too many vCPUs on a single Enterprise server.*

Adobe's licenses are perpetual. The "rent" you pay for approved third-party AMIs is not, obviously. And honestly, if you plan on doing this for any length of time, you'll probably find that purchasing licenses is cheaper than using third-party AMIs.

Finally, Bardnet is right about the upgrades and the JVM stuff. That may paint you into a corner as Oracle has changed their JVM licensing for Java 8.

Dave Watts, Fig Leaf Software

* So I've made a fairly concrete statement about CF licensing right there, but I should warn you that CF license interpretation is as slippery as an eel. If you ask ten Adobe salespeople about CF licensing, you'll get eleven different answers. I recommend that you yourself read and interpret the licenses in good faith, and purchase CF accordingly, rather than asking Adobe salespeople whether you're conforming to the license or not. You will in all likelihood know as well as or better than they do.

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Oct 26, 2018 0
New Here ,
Oct 28, 2018

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Thanks again Dave. One other question I realised I need to find the answer to...

Assuming we have purchased the appropriate type and number of licenses based on the maximum number of EC2's we'll be running. How do I actually assign a licenses to each instances? Considering these instances will launch and terminate based on load.

Can I create my template instance and register it with a single license key, and then use this as an image to launch multiple EC2's? i.e. All instances sharing the same key? Or would I somehow need to assign a unique license key to each running instance when it starts?

Obviously the second option would be more complicated to setup.

Thanks,

Eugene

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Oct 28, 2018 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Oct 29, 2018

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You can use the same license key on all instances, as long as you've purchased enough licenses.

Dave Watts, Fig Leaf Software

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Oct 29, 2018 0