I’m starting this article with a question for all SAM tool managers and license managers.
Are all your company’s IT assets recorded in your SAM tool?
If not, what percentage is missing and which ones?
If you are sure that you can answer these questions correctly, you have achieved something very basic. If you don’t know the answer or are unsure, you probably can’t rely on other statements from your tool.
In this case, the basis for correct SAM tool results, compliance reports and alerts on critical license situations is missing.
So here is my first tip:
Get clarity on which IT assets can be found inventoried in your tool and which cannot be inventoried.
Only if you know the “black spots” of your inventory can you develop additional methods to hold the missing assets and evaluate them from time to time.
You can use tried and tested methods to do this:
-You ask your administrators
-You keep Excel lists with exception assets
-You analyze other IT tools, e.g. the Active Directory
Don’t panic, a missing device will not be your downfall. Unless it is an ESX host that is responsible for Oracle VMs.
It is important to establish a system that is executed regularly.
In addition to the question of whether you can quantitatively find your IT environment in your SAM tool, the SAM tools require several additional and recurring fields of activity:
Is your SAM tool, including the product catalogue, up to date with the latest version published by the manufacturer? How regularly are updates installed?
Regular updates ensure that the latest detection and calculation rules for software usage are applied. It is possible that previously unrecognized or unidentified products have been added to the catalogue.
Are all your “known” devices inventoried? What is your process for new IT assets to be installed? Is inventorying a mandatory step?
How do you recognize devices on which a scan agent has been forgotten? You can also contact administrators here. Alternatively, other systems must be consulted for plausibility checks.
New system in the Active Directory, but not in the SAM tool?
New system delivered via the service, completed ticket, but the system is not in the SAM tool?
New system in the DHCP server, but not in the SAM tool?
Errors in the inventory
IT assets were last scanned for the SAM tool 3 months ago, but you know that the device is permanently “online”?
Something is wrong here. There is probably an error in the transmission of the scan data.
Other systems for plausibility checks can also help to recognize this error.
Software is not recognized correctly
Even if SAM tool manufacturers claim that the detection rate is almost perfect, you should remain vigilant. Industry-specific products must first be reported to the SAM tool manufacturer so that they
can be included in the catalogue. To check the recognition, it helps to take a close look at sample systems and their installation. Which of these ended up correctly in the SAM tool?
Metrics are not applied correctly
Tools also include the calculation logic for the products with their product catalogue. Metrics such as “per core” and “per user” are of course familiar. But which metric should you use? Do you have contracts that result in other calculations? Is the database automatically licensed for certain applications? Does your hoster license your operating systems? However, they are regularly determined by your scanning system and shown by the SAM tool as requiring a license per core.
You probably know that a SAM tool does not know independently whether an SQL server is to be licenced per server / cal or per core.
Our experience is that tools calculate 80% of all installations correctly. But 20% require manual checking and correction.
Incorrect jobs in the SAM tool
The more automated jobs work for the data in your SAM tool, the more you need to monitor. Every job can also produce errors or simply stop. Connected systems move, technical users are changed, authorizations are modelled. Activate monitoring to ensure that jobs do what is expected of them and that you recognize in good time when something goes wrong.
You need to keep an eye on all these pitfalls. So, stay on the ball. If you would like support in checking your SAM tool from time to time, we will be happy to do this for you. We have many years of experience. We will work with you to establish mechanisms to ensure that your SAM tool is continuously meaningful.
If you take all this advice into account, you will be one of the few who can justifiably rely on your SAM tool.
Managing Director and License expert of SAMtoa GmbH