How to detect and protect against VM technology

With the increasing use of virtual machines, it is important to consider how their use can affect how you control the use of licensed software. Read our post on Protecting Your Software on Virtual Machines for more general information. 

You may want to enforce different licensing restrictions for different environments, such as charging more for a license that allows your software to be run in virtual machines.

Depending on which licensing client you are using, see the sections below for information regarding virtual machines.

Protection PLUS 5 SDK

With our advanced licensing client, Protection PLUS 5 SDK, you have multiple options for licensing software running in virtual machines.

If your customers are connected to the Internet, our Cloud-Controlled Network Floating Licensing is our recommended way to securely license software running in virtual environments. 

For details on detecting virtual machine guest environments and system identification on virtual machines guest, view the following topics:

Instant Protection PLUS 3 and AutoCrypt SL

Our wizard-based licensing clients can determine if your software is running in a virtual machine (or through Remote Desktop Services / Terminal Services). You can enable a setting that prevents your software from running in a virtual machine, which can stop users from abusing their license, such as by activating once in a virtual machine and then cloning that instance.

  • In Instant Protection PLUS 3, the "Prevent itself from running in virtual machines" setting is on the last step of the wizard (either Wrapper Settings or File Output)
  • In AutoCrypt SL, the "Prevent itself from running on virtual machines" settings is on the Wrapper Options step.
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