Adobe LiveCycle Multi-core Licensing Policy FAQ

The following FAQ provides illustration and guidance on the terms that relate to the LiveCycle ES CPU licensing terms as defined in the Adobe LiveCycle License located here:

The Adobe LiveCycle License always takes precedence in the event of any conflict. The FAQ provides options that customers can follow to confidently maintain compliance with the LiveCycle “per CPU” licensing model as defined in the ”Supplemental Terms for Adobe LiveCycle” (refer to link for EULAs above).

It is also important to have read and understood multi-core policy as defined here:

What is Adobe’s licensing policy for multi-core processors?
For Adobe LiveCycle products which are licensed on a per-CPU basis, Adobe has implemented a pricing and licensing policy, which addresses the multi-core processors being brought to market by leading hardware vendors.

The Adobe policy on multi-core licensing states that every 2 core processors on a multi-core machine are equivalent to one CPU from a licensing perspective. In addition, any remaining unpaired core processor(s) will also be deemed a CPU.

For example, if a customer licenses Adobe LiveCycle Forms on a per-CPU basis and plans to deploy the software on a quad-core processor, they will require a license for 2 CPUs.

The following products are covered by this policy:
LiveCycle Data Services ES
LiveCycle ES Connectors for ECM
LiveCycle Digital Signatures ES
LiveCycle Forms ES
LiveCycle Output ES
LiveCycle PDF Generator ES
LiveCycle Process Management
What about single core CPUs?
Single core CPUs will count as one CPU.
What about CPUs that have less efficient cores?
Adobe’s multi-core licensing policy does not differentiate between the multi-core machines offered by the various hardware vendors.
What about the use of partitioning to reduce the number of CPU licenses required?
Customers can partition their servers to run Adobe software on a fewer number of cores as long as the total number of cores/CPUs that are enabled to run the Adobe software does not exceed the licensed number.
When does this multi-core licensing policy take effect?
The policy will take effect with the release of LiveCycle ES 8.0.1, currently scheduled for July 18, 2007.
Why did Adobe implement a multi-core licensing policy?
Adobe provides flexible licensing options by offering its LiveCycle software via multiple license metrics (eg. per CPU, per User). Pricing is determined based on the relative value offered by the LiveCycle software according to the license metric chosen. The new multi-core processors provide a significant performance improvement over present single-core architectures. The multi-core licensing policy seeks to create pricing alignment across the disparate hardware architectures.
What about CPU licensing in a virtual environment?
My project requires 2 CPUs of various LiveCycle modules. My company’s standard configuration is a 6 core system. How can I ensure the project remains in compliance with what we have licensed?
The standard calculation for licensed CPUs to cores for LiveCycle ES is one licensed CPU can utilize 2 cores on a multi core system. Thus your project is licensed to use 4 of the 6 cores on your company’s standard system configuration. Adobe does not permit LiveCycle to be installed in non-compliance. The option Adobe recommends is that virtualization or partitioning be used to limit the LiveCycle software from operating on more cores than have been licensed.
What forms of virtualization and partitioning does Adobe really accept as meeting the need for core limiting under the "using a reliable and verifiable means of hardware or software partitioning" terms in the LiveCycle License?
Adobe has experience with several forms of virtualization and partitioning and has worked with several of the primary vendors to simplify compliance for our customers.
a) Customers using Windows or Linux systems are recommended to use VMWare virtualization. There are options at various licensing costs including free versions. The specific configuration Adobe recognizes as limiting core usage is setting the "Virtual Processors" assigned to the images operating LiveCycle to be equal to the number of cores licensed for LiveCycle.
b) Customers using IBM AIX are recommended to use Logical partitions (LPARs) to limit core usage. LPARs are now a standard feature of current Power systems. The specific configuration Adobe recognizes as limiting core usage is setting both the "desired_procs" and "max_procs" assigned to the LPARS operating LiveCycle to be equal to the number of cores licensed for LiveCycle.
c) Customers using Solaris systems are recommended to use Dynamic System Domains (where available) or Solaris 10 (capped) Containers which are a combination of Dynamic Resource Pools and Solaris Zones where the amount of CPUs in the pool is limited to the number of LiveCycle cores licensed.
Can "Processor Affinity" be used as a "reliable and verifiable means of hardware or software partitioning"?
No "Processor Affinity" is not a reliable or accepted method to maintain compliance with the LiveCycle "per CPU" licensing terms.