How to make ALEE on Windows connect via forward HTTPS proxy

Overview

The Aspera License Entitlement Engine (ALEE) is used to license an Aspera Enterprise Server with a license entitlement. The entitlement acts as a license, licensing your server (deployed on-premise, or in the cloud) against the entitlement where the license is based upon volume of data consumed, measured in GBs. 

The ALEE engine depends on making an outbound connection from the machine, on port TCP/443 to Aspera's backend licensing platform. In some cases the port TCP/443 is blocked outbound from your environment. If your environment allows you to connect outbound to port 443 but via forward HTTP proxy, there is a way to make ALEE connect through such a proxy.

Pre-requisites

To use ALEE you first need to ensure the ALEE service is installed.

You need to know the details of your forward proxy server for HTTPS.

You must have Enterprise Server version 3.6.2 or newer. 

STEP 1
Stop the Aspera License Entitlement Engine service [it may not be running]

STEP 2
Open up an elevated (Administrator) command prompt on your Windows server. 
Navigate to C:\Program Files (x86)\Aspera\Enterprise Server\alee\bin
Note your install directory may be different, for example e:\ instead of c:\
Inside the \bin directory, remove the service by issuing this command:
>asperalee remove

STEP 3
Using a text editor such as Wordpad, edit the file asperalee.bat in the directory you are in
[C:\Program Files (x86)\Aspera\Enterprise Server\alee\bin].
Scroll down until you get to the section called set SERVICE_OPTIONS=^
In the same section you will find many lines beginning with ++JVM_OPTIONS=
Right underneath the last ++JVM_OPTIONS= entry, add the proxy server details like this:
 
++JvmOptions=-Dhttp.proxyHost=proxy_server_IP_or_hostname^
++JvmOptions=-Dhttp.proxyPort=proxy_server_port_for_http^
++JvmOptions=-Dhttps.proxyHost=proxy_server_IP_or_hostname^
++JvmOptions=-Dhttps.proxyPort=proxy_server_port_for_https
Note that there should not be a caret ^ at the end of the last line. Save the file.
 
STEP 4
Now install the service again. This time, it will be started with the new parameters you have specified in the asperalee.bat file. 
 
>asperalee install
STEP 5
Start the Aspera License Entitlement Engine service. Observe that the service starts and displays its status as Running. If it does not start, there is likely a problem with the new entries in the asperalee.bat file. Ensure all entries are correct as in the example below.
 
STEP 6
You should now be ready to register your Aspera server with the entitlement licensing engine. This is done by navigating to C:\Program Files (x86)\Aspera\Enterprise Server\bin
In the \bin directory issue the following command:
>alee_admin.exe register customer_id entitlement_id
 
Example of a registration that worked:
 
Troubleshooting
If you suspect this is not working, there are some options available to you to troubleshoot.
 
Check status
Check the current alee status with alee_admin:
>alee_admin status
If it works you should see something like this:

License Type: Uses License Server
Status: active
Local license server last reached in the hour of 2013-07-26 16:00
Remote license server last reached in the hour of 2013-07-26 16:00

Can you connect to the licensing servers?
First you may want to check you can actually reach the entitlement servers. A useful command-line tool to check this is curl, which you can download for free from https://curl.haxx.se/
Below is an example, where the proxy used is 10.35.0.1 and the port is 3128:
 
# curl --proxy 10.25.0.1:3128 https://pdx02-cloud.prod.sentinelcloud.com
<html><body><h1>200 OK</h1>
Service ready.
</body></html>

Another option is to simply go to https://pdx02-cloud.prod.sentinelcloud.com/ from a browser on the machine.  Ensure that your browser makes connections through your proxy server, when testing this.

Turn on debug logging
The asperalee logs are located in c:\Program Files\Aspera\Enterprise Server\var\log\alee
To turn on debugging edit the file C:\Program Files(x86)\Aspera\Enterprise Server\alee\etc\logback.xml
 
Find this entry:
 
<logger name="com.sfnt" level="WARN"/>

Change to:

<logger name=”com.sfnt” level=”DEBUG”>

Then restart the Aspera Entitlement Engine Service.

Do not forget to change back to WARN level after you have finished your troubleshooting.
 
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