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Hidden Gems – Part 2

Best Practices for Asset Management with Novell ZENworks

Written by Ken Baker

License Model Maze

Once you’ve loaded all of your proof-of-ownership data, you next need to navigate the license model maze. You might have CAL licenses, per-CPU licenses, OEM based licenses, per-install licenses, named user licenses or site licenses. In addition, was the license purchased under maintenance? Is it a term or perpetual license? Do you have upgrade or downgrade rights? The list goes on and on. So, how do you make sure you have the right license model associated with each individual application? And how do you avoid repeating that analysis process every year when it’s time to renew?

ZENworks Asset Management makes it easy to track multiple license scenarios for your applications, even multiple license models per application. This is possible because each license model is tracked as an entitlement, which in turn is linked to a licensed product.

Still, as you use Novell ZENworks Asset Management to associate the appropriate license models with your cataloged products (a process referred to as creating licensed products), it’s best to start with the most basic license models before dealing with the more complex models. This allows you to become more comfortable with the interface and how the process works before you move on to more complex license models that require more refined definitions.

When creating your licensed products, ZENworks Asset Management lets you batch create multiple licensed products using its Auto-Reconcile Wizard. When using auto-reconcile, it’s still best to focus on a specific group of applications. ZENworks Asset Management lets you do this by filtering your discovered product list by different fields, such as manufacturer or product type.

When you use the Auto-Reconcile Wizard to create licensed products, the process will allow you to do the following:

  • Create one or more entitlements
  • Add catalog products to the entitlements
  • Add discovered products to the entitlements
  • Specify the users or devices covered by the entitlements

Since auto-reconcile only allows you to work on one license model at a time (i.e., per installation, OEM, CPU), you’ll need to repeat the auto-reconcile process for each license model.

To create your licensed products with the Auto-Reconcile Wizard, do the following:

  1. Select the License Management page from the Asset Management tab and then click Licensed Products.
  2. From the Licensed Products panel under the Action menu, click Auto-Reconcile: Create Licensed Products.
  3. When the Auto-Reconcile Wizard launches, use the Manufacturer and Product fields to filter the applications you want to define as licensed products.
  4. Select the licensed products to be created.
  5. Select the destination folder for the new licensed products.
  6. Enter a description for the license entitlements, which will serve as a name for the entitlement and identify it in the licensed products entitlement list. The description can reflect the product name and version, the license model, the license type or any other applicable information. When creating multiple entitlements, you might want to enter the license model type as the description.
  7. Confirm the creation of the licensed products.

While the above summarizes how to create licensed products for basic license models, ZENworks Asset Management, as mentioned earlier, also allows you to handle more complex models. For example, you can bring the different versions of an application into individual entitlements under a single licensed product by using the Merge Licensed Products task from the Action menu. To address downgrade/upgrade rights, you can also use the Merge task or you can simply edit a licensed product and add the versions covered by the license under the Coverage tab. (See Figure 2.)

Once you finish the auto-reconcile and any additional refinements to your entitlements and licensed products, you’ll have access to a software license view of all your software assets. The only remaining steps will be to link your proof-of-ownership information to license entitlements, and—if desired—add purchase summary information, link your license contracts and maintenance agreements to your entitlements, add additional supporting documentation to the entitlement (i.e., original license purchase, license certificates), add demographic data to your devices, and allocate licenses based on device or demographics. Completion of these additional steps can make it easier for you to manage your overall software compliance.

Greater Visibility and Control

Now that you have imported, reconciled and configured all your licensing and entitlement information for your software applications, you can take advantage of the significant time and cost savings provided by the array of reports in Novell ZENworks Asset Management. While you can also create and customize your own reports in ZENworks Asset Management, there are three standard reports that you can take advantage of from the ZENworks Control Center:

  • License Management Reports — Allow you to analyze your license compliance and license allocation data, displaying detailed and summary compliance status, products not associated with a license, detailed and summary purchase information, inventory comparisons and more.
  • Contract Management Reports — Let you analyze contract data from different perspectives such as key financial information, service level agreements, lease details, vendor information, parent/child contract relationships, renewal dates and more.
  • Software Usage Reports — Enable you to analyze the usage of local applications, served applications and Web applications on the devices in your organization. These reports let you easily discover underutilized applications so you can reallocate them to other users or renegotiate your vendor license agreement—and consequently reduce software license fees.

The ZENworks Reporting Server also lets you take advantage of some additional predefined reports on license allocation, purchases, software compliance and software suites. The whole point of these reports—and ZENworks Asset Management as a whole—is to give you greater visibility and control of your software assets so you can stay in compliance, better optimize usage, plan for the future and save money. (See Figure 3.) To learn more about what ZENworks Asset Management can do for you, visit www.novell.com/products/zenworks/assetmanagement. Or if you are already a ZENworks Configuration Management customer, you can evaluate ZENworks Asset Management for free for thirty days. So, why not give it a try? Who knows what additional hidden gems you’ll find?

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