No way to De-authorise ArcGIS Server and regain license?

This is just about Server licenses; I haven't figured out how to get my EDN license showing up on the provisioning page as well.

I had this issue when I made a mistake and authorized a staging server with the Enterprise Advanced license (it should have been Standard). I just did what I've done on pre-10 servers and authorized it with the right license file. When I looked at the Provisioning page on the customer care site, the Advanced server license showed that it was not available. I figured that I should be able to update it on that page, but there isn't anything.

I contacted customer care and it looks like this is one of those oversights by design. The explanations I got from them over the next week or so were:

  1. There's no way to do it because the developers of the system said no one will ever need to change their licenses. To fix it:
    • Call customer support and ask them to manually change it; this can take from a half to a full day to get done. You can do it up to two days ahead of time.
    • The provisioning system is apparently very buggy, or at least is going through constant revision, and with each revision any manual changes are overwritten in the database. If you call more than two days ahead of the time you need the license changed, your changes may be lost.
  2. Go ahead and use the license on another server. They expect you to have to upgrade and replace machines and they actually realize people in the real world need to run the same license on two machines during a transition. The provisioning system is supposed to allow four months for such a case.
  3. After four months of the same authorization running on two servers, the system will do something to render at least one of the authorizations invalid. I'm paraphrasing here, because they weren't at all clear, but I'm assuming one of the servers will no longer run the ESRI software at that point.

So you can go for a while with two servers on the same authorization for a while, but if you don't take one down, they'll do something. But you still have to call and ask them to update things, and as far as I know it's still a manual process so I wouldn't leave it to the last minute.

The new license mechanism really sucks. I understand that locking a license to a specific PC is ok if you are in a production environment. But I am getting crazy with my EDN license. We have to develop extensions based on ArcGIS Desktop and Server for different releases and configurations. This is only possible if we use virtual PC environments and each developer (everyone has a valid EDN license) has to install e.g. ArcGIS desktop in different virtual PCs to develop and test different configurations. With the new license mechanism this is nearly impossible. As stated by Simon calling the ESRI customer care may be ok for the US guys but we have to take the way and call our distributor who then calls USA.

I have the same information Simon, I have experienced the same issues for ArcGIS Server Basic (ArcSDE), my understanding is that this has been identified to ESRI but no more information available.

If there is anyone else out there looking at this please feel free to let us know how you got around it