May 11, 2017 - 07:12 AM
I hate to preach on this, but the best 'SAM tool' is SEBCAK (SAM Exists Between Chair And Keyboard).
When people say 'SAM', they most likely are talking about the ability to determine thier license position ( which is truly a subset of SAM). But to calculate license position effectively, you need three legs of the SAM tripod :1) effective inventory data 2) effective license data 3) proper 'calculation algorithms' to compare 2) and 1).
'Management' solutions ( such as Spiceworks, Sysaid... and even the upcoming SAM functions of ServiceNow!!) see SAM as 'checkmark 'value-add' and give you the ability to 'insert license counts' and then do simple 'XLS' math... but they do not (yet) incorporate the money savings 'usage rights' that the vendors offer. These usage rights (mutliple install rights, downgrade rights, production state rights... which is the 3rd piece of 'calculation algorithms') are the key to delivering SAM as a cost/risk reduction value to your management team.
Be advised that if you use a tool (whether 'value-priced' or not) that offers a 'simplistic' method of license calcuation; you have to be the 3rd 'calculation algorhim' in the SAM process and you have to 'extend' the tools output to apply usage rights calculations... otherwise, you may erroneously determining an incorrect license position.
That said, there ARE low cost solutions out there ( though I'm not aware of opensource or free) that offer the SAM tripod value fomr a license POV Many of them are available as web services.
Steve at AssetLabs
May 11, 2017 - 08:12 AM
I totally (TOTALLY!) agree with you! Indeed my question was not very complete, in fact I use to "be" the "SEBCAK" as leg 3 of your tripod.
But often legs 1 (inventory data) and leg 2 (license data) are missing or very hard to retrieve and check.
Often my clients told me: "please help us to organize our SAM but we don’t want to spend a lot"
My approach in this cases is:
- reduce scope to just one or two vendors
- find license information
- find "assets" data (hardware, users, Clusters etc) and Software installations
- and then I make the analysis of licensing applied to these assets and provide actions for optimization or contract renewal
After this there are two following steps:
- organize existing processes, roles, license and installation data to be as efficient as possible
- enlarge the scope
Usually clients are still not ready to make the investment at this point, but it becomes hard to manage all this stuff without any tool support (I don’t think that Excel or some custom database would be the good “Tool”).
This is why I need some tool.
So it would be useful to have that it provides:
- License and contract management (to consolidate my data in a repository accessed during processes)
- Integration with discovery tools and basic IT asset to consolidate and schedule data update
Having the possibility to write myself algoritms to implement compliance/shelfware would be a plus (it’s just to save time and avoid basic errors) but I can continue “manual” analysis.
This is what I’m looking for, and why the two product that I have mentioned look me interesting because I need to organize the “proto-SAM” to keep track of licenses, contract and inventory information and I need a “data aggregator” to give a clear vision and a “data base” for implementing processes.
Then in the next step I will teach Client’s people how to make license analysis, and he will decide if it worth the investment to buy a more powerful tool.
Hope I have clarified my need, maybe I’ve been too much verbose, but it’s always interesting two share experiences and receive advices.
The reason why I ask the question is because
May 11, 2017 - 11:18 AM
Those three device discovery/managmenet solutions are brilliant in what they do ( and AssetLabs integrates with two of them as a data source), but they truly lack the sophistication of proper license-logic.
To delicately beat up one of the best device discovery/management solutions out there, here is a Lansweeper license-cost report:(from https://www.lansweeper.com/license-co...)
The cost of a missing Windows Server 2003 , ENT edition is $2,999?
Nope, the cost of a missing WinServer 2003 ENT = WindowServer STD 2016 core cost * # of cores on that device ( depending if it's physical)... or it could be covered by a PROC based WinServer 2012 !. Don't even get me started on SQLServer.....
And at the desktop level, you can see that licensing is limited to the version, and not the Productline. Failure to determine multiple install rights, downgrade rights and other exemption rights means you're incorrectly eating into your license pool for that entire productline ( all version of a product)
Not to pick on Lansweeper ( Geert: if you are reading this, 1st 3 rounds on me), but many desktop discovery solutions offer a limited - and limiting - license calculation that tends to over-calculate any licenses owing. Sure, you can use the simple approach, but you'll be in for a rude awakining when it's your turn for a MS 'SAM Review'.
So, if you are going to use such products - without any other License management service that integrates with it - then YOU have to be the SAM License calculator....