CI (Configuration Item) records in CMDB are often of relatively poor quality and regularly insufficient initially to support a viable licensing position to be determined. Areas such as old data, incomplete data fields, missing environment and status information, missing virtual/physical mapping and far more need to either be addressed or catered for by policy in order to use this. Best practice will include full reconciliation between multiple sources of device data to derive a golden record against which licence positions can be overlaid. Find out more about ITAMS’ Data Hub Service, our new and proven approach to IT Asset Data Reconciliation.
A frequently missed but crucial element of the licensing calculation involves the accurate tracking of the environment in which the asset is used (production, test, development, DR etc.) and the status of the asset (cold standby, out for repair, in stores etc.). All of these aspects must be properly tracked at an ITAM level to allow licensing optimisation. Many organisations simply treat all assets as production for licensing purposes to overcome this, but with some vendors this can cost £Ms!
Properly modelling and recording contract rights and terms and proof of purchase data to adequate levels is crucial to avoid having to re-buy licences, as is the process for capturing this data and ensuring it gets into your licensing calculations with a full audit trail attached. Simple spreadsheets with list of products and purchase volumes is not enough to resolve an audit challenge.
Most major vendors have complex criteria requiring the use of information which cannot (technically and or cost effectively) be collected by ‘tools’, even specialist tools such as SNOW, Flexera and Aspera. Contrary to marketing claims, none of them model top vendors anywhere near automatically across the range of their product families. Therefore, templates and the automation of the collection of manually entered data becomes crucial. Typically, techniques such as ‘drop boxes’ for manually collected data coupled with automated scripts to upload these files are used. This often requires custom code and licensing knowledge as well as knowledge of the tool in question.
ITAMS has developed a number of tools to assist with the calculation of effective positions as part of a service, including GEAR 1 which processes Oracle LMS script files and leverages the Oracle mandated data collection process.