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FNMS installed on Amazon RDS MS-SQL engine

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We have an customer that we are deploying FNMS 2019 R2 within AWS and they are asking us if FNMS will support installation against Amazon RDS (MS-SQL Engine) instead of a standard MS SQL server installation.

 

Not familiar with Amazon RDS so wanted to confirm with community if this would work and be supported by Flexera.

 

Thanks

Craig

 

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Here are some further insights on Amazon RDS and its potential for hosting FlexNet Manager Suite databases:

  • Amazon RDS SQL Server 2017 does not support the SQL Server "CLR" feature. FlexNet Manager Suite requires this feature, and I know of no way that it can be made to run on RDS SQL Server 2017. The following Reddit thread contains some advice reported to be from AWS Premium Support from ~Sep 2018 about this, including guidance to consider using SQL Server on EC2 instead: https://www.reddit.com/r/aws/comments/8zbqvw/sql_server_2017_clr_support/.

  • Amazon RDS SQL Server 2016 does support the SQL Server "CLR" feature, and basic testing suggests that there aren't any obvious showstoppers to using this platform. However it isn't a viable long-term platform unless RDS with newer versions of SQL Server end up adding support for CLR back in.
(Did my reply solve the question? Click "ACCEPT AS SOLUTION" to help others find answers faster. Liked something? Click "KUDO". Anything expressed here is my own view and not necessarily that of my employer, Flexera.)

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The FlexNet Manager Suite 2020 R1 On-premises release now formally claims support for running its databases on Amazon RDS with SQL Server 2016 R1 and R2 - see FlexNet Manager Suite 2020 R1 System Requirements and Compatibility (On-Premises Edition).

Various considerations already covered in this thread continue to apply:

(Did my reply solve the question? Click "ACCEPT AS SOLUTION" to help others find answers faster. Liked something? Click "KUDO". Anything expressed here is my own view and not necessarily that of my employer, Flexera.)

View solution in original post

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mfranz
Level 16 Champion
Level 16 Champion

Hi Craig,

Most likely not. I guess the CLR support will be the issue.

There was a similar discussion regarding Azure: https://community.flexera.com/t5/FlexNet-Manager-Forum/FNMS-amp-Azure-Database-as-a-Service-any-experiences/m-p/103099#M1189

Best regards,

Markward

Softline Group is Europe's leading independent expert in Software Asset Management.

Hi Craig,

With the latest FNMS 2019 R2 release, FNMS now supports SQL Server with the "CLR strict security" instance-level configuration setting (required by AWS). So this obstacle might potentially be resolved now.

Another hurdle is that FNMS requires using Windows Authentication for SQL Server. When using SQL Server in AWS, you probably need to invest into AWS Managed Microsoft AD, too.

As an alternative, you could consider running a local instance of SQL Server on an AWS computer that is a member of the same Windows domain as your FNMS application server.

The statement from @MurrayPeters  that @mfranz  pointed us too obviously still holds true - Flexera cannot claim full support until they complete their due diligence/QA. 

Here are some further insights on Amazon RDS and its potential for hosting FlexNet Manager Suite databases:

  • Amazon RDS SQL Server 2017 does not support the SQL Server "CLR" feature. FlexNet Manager Suite requires this feature, and I know of no way that it can be made to run on RDS SQL Server 2017. The following Reddit thread contains some advice reported to be from AWS Premium Support from ~Sep 2018 about this, including guidance to consider using SQL Server on EC2 instead: https://www.reddit.com/r/aws/comments/8zbqvw/sql_server_2017_clr_support/.

  • Amazon RDS SQL Server 2016 does support the SQL Server "CLR" feature, and basic testing suggests that there aren't any obvious showstoppers to using this platform. However it isn't a viable long-term platform unless RDS with newer versions of SQL Server end up adding support for CLR back in.
(Did my reply solve the question? Click "ACCEPT AS SOLUTION" to help others find answers faster. Liked something? Click "KUDO". Anything expressed here is my own view and not necessarily that of my employer, Flexera.)

The FlexNet Manager Suite 2020 R1 On-premises release now formally claims support for running its databases on Amazon RDS with SQL Server 2016 R1 and R2 - see FlexNet Manager Suite 2020 R1 System Requirements and Compatibility (On-Premises Edition).

Various considerations already covered in this thread continue to apply:

(Did my reply solve the question? Click "ACCEPT AS SOLUTION" to help others find answers faster. Liked something? Click "KUDO". Anything expressed here is my own view and not necessarily that of my employer, Flexera.)
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Hi Chris,

Thanks for the update!

My understanding is that with FNMS 2019 R1 and newer, CLR integration in SQL Server is required for FNMS to operate. This applies to all releases of SQL Server, including SQL Server 2016 R1 and R2.

After some investigation, I found some documentation that describes how CLR integration can be enabled on AWS RDS SQL Server. Apparently, this approach does not work with SQL Server 2017/2019 though.

When using SQL Server 2014 or 2016 on AWS RDS, as described in the 'sqlshack.com' article, you have to create an RDS parameter group in AWS and update the 'CLR enabled' parameter. Then you have to apply this parameter group.

A side note to this topic... most organizations running SQL Server on Amazon RDS may be able to skip connecting it to FNMS based on the simple principle that Amazon RDS ALWAYS includes the license for SQL Server. So unless you need to license another product (not SQL Server) based on its database usage in RDS, there is no compliance risk to having SQL Server running in RDS.

Oracle Database on RDS is still sold in BYOL configuration, so Flexera connection to RDS is still important if on-prem Oracle db licenses are being moved to RDS.