Software Asset Management (SAM) with System Center Configuration Manager – Software Metering (Part IV)
In this fourth article about using SCCM to talk about SAM (Software Asset Management) Let’s talk about Asset Software Metering (software metrics).
To remind you of our agenda and the agenda of the items, use the link started: https://msincic.wordpress.com/2016/05/03/software-asset-management-sam-with-system-center-configuration-manager/
Introduction of the Software Metering
When you need to manage use of software is important to control who needs and actually uses a given software asset. Often we are faced with the situation of users requesting and installing various software, or even put it in pictures, and the company is paying the Bill for something that was never used.
Previously up to version 2007 R3 was possible indicate how many concurrent executions could be carried out in a software, but this type of licensing no longer exists. In the current licensing rules include the installation of a software and not the execution. Companies that still use the method of simultaneous execution using logs on the server or key locks .
A good example of the necessity of Metering are products such as Access, Visio and Project. Many installations of Visio and Project were made for a single occasion that the user needed and there was consuming license and therefore money.
The case of Access is the difference between Office Standard and Office Professional, which in very different values (Professional enough to be more than twice the price of the Standard) but in functionality the main difference is Access and Skype For Business full. Few users actually use the Access, most could only use the Runtime engine. In the case of the SfB can use the Basic version that just does not work for VoIP or multi-point Conference, which are little resources used in everyday life of most users.
Enabling the function
It’s not a Software Metering Server role and a feature that is controlled by the Management Point. The basic operation of the Metering can be described as:
- You enable the Software Metering rule in settings of agents
- We created or enabled what inventoried software will be measured
- The agent receives metering rules to control the use of the software indicated
- These data are periodically sent to the Management Point that will consolidate
To enable the rule, just go in Administration-> Client Settings and change the default rule or create a specifies:
In the example above I enabled the Metering and pointed out that the agents will report every 7 days. This time is important within its asset management schedule, if you manage assets on a monthly basis can increase the biweekly period, but it is important to remember that if the collection period is high may have delayed data.
For example, if the collection period is 20 days and a given agent made the report of data on day 14, it will only report again on day 4 of the following month. If your reports are generated on the first day of the month, he will be with incomplete data for this example. Therefore, in general choose the period of 7 or 5 days.
After you have enabled the agent rule can indicate on the server which the retention period of the data, and if we want the list of software is copulada automatically:
Note that it is possible to indicate that a software only to appear automatically in the list if it is more than 10% of computers, to avoid that the list be so great with any executable that exists on the machines. Also note that we can set a limit and after this (in the example 100 softwares) will no longer be created the rule for new software.
Defining the software that will be measured
The Metering takes advantage of software inventory to generate a list, bringing all disabled:
The easiest way to work the Metering is enabling for the desired software, but that’s how inconvenient the file version (File Version) because the inventory generates version rules.
This can be useful for companies that have multiple software licenses in different editions, for example the Visio 2010, 2013 and 2016. In these cases it is possible to know who uses Visio on version specifies.
However, in most cases it is irrelevant. Do not control who uses each version, because almost all of the software do not allow different editions on the same machine.
Therefore, you can change the data or create new rules using wildcards such as “*” to indicate that any version, language or name goes for the rule. For example, we can change the rule above VMConnect.exe version for “*” or “6.*” and thus increase the range of measurement rather than create a rule for each version.
In addition, you can create your own rules like the example below:
In this case we’re measuring the use of the Word in any language version of Office.
Software Metering reports
There are currently 13 reports to the Metering:
Some are very interesting and worth mentioning.
The first one is the “Total Usage for all metered software programs” that provides summary data of all software with rule enabled, sorting by local usage or by Remote Desktop:
As the TS/RDS licensing is different from local licensing, these data are very important to generate an optimized licensing for the enterprise.
Another report that seems to have a lot of added value but serves administrative purposes is “Time of day usage summary for a specific metered software program” as it provides a view of demand:
For example, this information may be useful to measure network performance on client server applications such as SAP, TOTVS or others who suffer spikes in use during the day.
Other reports also provide interesting data:
- Computers that have a metered program installed but not run in time – allows you to view the computers that have, for example Project and don’t use it during the whole month
- Computers that run a specified metered software program – is the reverse of the previous one, showing who used the program during the month
- Total usage trend analysis for a specific metered software program-this report details the previous one, because it shows how many times a particular software was used and for how long. This report will make it possible to identify someone who used a software and kept it open for 10 seconds, indicating that actually opened by mistake.
The Software Metering is not a part of the SAM, do not represent licensing data as does the Asset Intelligence.
However, the Software Metering is essential to reduce and optimize the licensing that companies pay, for allowing to know who actually uses a specific software to work.