Nov 21, 2017 - 04:46 AM
First off get ready for the flood of opinions from tool vendors.
My suggestion is take a longterm view:
1)Figureout your processes (if you want a inexpensive investment, check out SAMCharter's Process kit), as they will drive the conversation on how and what your tool selection should be performing.
2) Build a set of requirements for your environment and organization. Generally, this is called a BRD (Business Requirement Document) or SRS (Software Requirement Specifications). Make these requirements quantitative (1-10) or binary (yes or now).
3)Review the Top names in SAM (Flexera, Aspera, Snow, Eracent, K2, Ivanti, etc.) and compare each of them to your set of requirements.
4) Go forward and deliver extreme value to your organization.
Here is the shorter term view:
Specifically to your "snapshot" for your first pass question... I owuld suggest using free tools like MAP, LanSweeper, and/or RVTools. These will get you started but it'll be extremely painful to normalize/rationalize their outputs. For the short-term you could look to augment or automate some of this by using Assetlabs or Movere for MS products.
Hope that helps but I;m sure others have other valueable suggestion as well.
PS Don't miss the forest through the treesand taking the longterm perspective will allow you to not get stuck in the "operate without tooling" situation that normally occurs when you do everything manually.
Nov 21, 2017 - 05:19 AM
thanks fore the mention Kris !
Firstly, your investment in SCCM is absolutely one of the best tools for collecting hardware and software. No, SCCM is not a SAM 'Solution';, but it's one of the keystone 'sources' of data used forMicrosoft licensing analysis.
The next tool is MAP.... and it's free. You need MAP to get the editions of SQLServer ( of which SCCM does not.. though some other SCCM-competitors do)
Your last tool is RVtools; it will obtain the precise cluster/proc/core/vCPU/active state of your VMware-centric Clusters, Datacenters. Even MAP doesn't get this stuff.
With those three tools, you absolutely have all the dots 'collected'; the next part is to connect them ( determining exemptions due to PUR-purchase usage rights). In theory, you *can* connect the dots, assuming you have the knowledge, time and experience to normalize/rationale ( etc) . If not, a SAM/License service provider could assist.
Lastly, beware of concepts such as 5% accuracy. SAM is all about cost recognition; a single instance of SQLServer ENT starts at $32K... and we can show you how a single instance of a WinServer 2016 could blow a $1 million hole in your WinServer 2012 Datacenter. Prioritize your 'accuracy' by the cost of each productline, not the % of inventory. Safer to to be out 10% on MS Word than 1% on SQLServer ;)
Nov 23, 2017 - 03:38 AM
So, prioritise Datacenter first, then Citrix
If you have any Oracle or IBM really focus on that, particularly IBM sub-capacity PVU licensing. It is very, very easy for IBM non-compliance to end up in the £ms and there is little opportunity to optimise once the audit letter hits your CIO's desk.
I can only speak for the tool I use (Snow) but that will be able to consume your SCCM data and also pick up non-compute devices via SNMP. It can handle the specific nuances of Oracle, IBM, and Microsoft metrics and plugs in nicely with AD which is great for discovering inventory holes. Also has dedicated connectors for vCenter and ServiceNow. The current version is pretty easy to deploy, configure and update, particularly if you use a third party hoster.
The thing with SCCM is that it is a veritable firehose of data - what a good SAM tool will do is sort the wheat from the chaff and provide some detailed insights. For SQL Server, for example, Snow can provide insight into whether licensing individual hosts or entire clusters is the way to go.
Nov 28, 2017 - 01:25 AM
The hard(er) part comes from determining what your entitlement looks like. Finding this can be a challenge, depending on the complexity of your organisation and how software was acquired in the past. You'll need to collect what proof of purchase information you can, but turning this into entitlement (for example, matching base licences with upgrades, calculating what version was avaialble when maintenance was dropped) is a challenge and this is where a SAM tool can help. SAM tools will provide you with 3 things .
1 Accurate application recognition - based on your inventory source.
2 Product use rights. this is what calculates the entitlement
3 SKU library - to match your purchase data against a licence or maintenance type
I believe SCCM didn't feature on the tools review as it is an inventory source rather than a SAM tool