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Monitoring Citrix and Terminal Server app usage with ZAM


February 5, 2008 5:52 pm



I have been asked recently if ZENworks Asset Management (ZAM) can help them monitor licenses used over
Citrix or Windows Terminal Server.  The answer is yes.

First of all, the usage monitoring (both local and served) is based on application recognition from
the standard software inventory.  That is, the inventory scans the server and monitors the usage of
all applications found.  First, we find it in the inventory and then we monitor local and served
usage of the applications and pick up this activity every time we conduct a subsequent inventory.

For served usage, zam logS the following details for each session:
> Served Installations Used
> Total Used
> # Not Used
> Devices Used From
> # of Users
> Last Used Date
> Hours Used
> Hours Active
> Ave. Usage Days

ZAM offers a set of standard reports for displaying served app usage, including
served app usage by app, server, workstation and user.

See the ZAM Installation Guide for details on supported versions of Citrix and Windows Terminal Server.

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Do you bar code your IT assets?


November 14, 2007 3:09 pm



One of the things ZENworks Asset Management customers have asked about is integration with common bar code tracking solutions. I am looking to get feedback from the Novell Cool Blogs community about what (if any) bar code solution you use and some thoughts about how you’d like to see it work/integrate with ZENworks Asset Management.

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Daylight Savings Time- OS hotfix reporting with ZENworks Asset Management


March 7, 2007 3:55 pm



For those wait-until-the-last-minute-shoppers types out there. If you don’t have your arms around which computers have been updated to deal with the early DST, then you might want to run a quick report in ZENworks Asset Management to find out.

ZENworks Asset Management collects and reports Windows hotfix data and custom reports can be used to show you a list of machines that do (or, more importantly, do not) have the published Microsoft patches (see KB 931836 and 928388) to correct this.

To generate a report of Windows machines that do not have one of these DST hotfixes installed, you can use the “dependent report” function, whereby you create a custom report (A) to show all machines that have a particular attribute value and then another custom report (B) that includes orkstation “not in Report” (A) in the criteria.

Of course, if you have ZENworks Patch Management, you should not have to worry about any of this at this late hour.

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December 20, 2006 9:28 am



We recently published an article about how ZENworks Asset Management maps to and enables many of the best practices described by the IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL)- particularly the Software Asset Management (SAM) Best Practices Guide.

Check it out here and reply with comments.

If you are not familiar with ITIL, it is simply a framework for organizing and managing IT operations in a way that aligns to a set of services provided to the business. You can read more about ITIL here.

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ZENworks 7.5 Asset Management


November 14, 2006 8:27 pm



Today we officially closed the ZENworks 7.5 Asset Management beta program. I just wanted to thank all the beta sites for your participation and feedback. We will be sending all of the beta sites a web survey so that we can get your final thoughts on the beta and product features.

I am also glad to report that we are very close to general availability. Here is a quick thumbnail of new features coming in this release:

> Web Console navigation and new home page
> Contract Management
> Server-side usage (Citrix and Terminal Server)
> Web app usage tracking/reporting
> Windows Vista and SLED 10 client support
> Windows Vista and SLED 10 readiness reports
> User-defined software collections defined and tracked

Look for more detail on the new release coming soon.

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Laptop batteries again?


September 28, 2006 1:51 pm



Yes, this time Lenovo/ThinkPads. They announced today that about 526,000 Sony batteries shipped in their various ThinkPad models are subject to recall because of the same over-heating/fire hazards that caused Dell to recall 4.1 million batteries. The models were sold worldwide from February 2005 until September 2006 and include these models:

* ThinkPad R Series (R51e, R52, R60, R60e)
* ThinkPad T Series (T43, T43p, T60)
* ThinkPad X Series (X60, X60s)
* ThinkPad T4x Series or ThinkPad R5x Series systems (in some cases)

If you are running ZENworks Asset Management, you can easily create a custom report to query for these system models and then have users run Lonovo’s automated check from this page to determine if the battery is actually subject to recall or
users can enter their battery part number on this same web page to determine if their battery is subject to recall or not.

Either way, it is prudent to create a report of these sytem models and document what steps were taken to ensure that affected batteries were identified and replaced. The auditors will eventually ask for it.

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Gartner IT Asset Management Conference


September 19, 2006 6:34 am



I am in Orlando, Florida at the Gartner IT Asset Management conference.  Novell is a Platinum Sponsor at this conference and I wanted to provide a quick update on a session that we did yesterday. 

The cool thing about the vendor sessions this year is that they are split/ half the time for the vendor and half for a customer to present a use case.  The title of my presentation was: Separating ZENworks Asset Management from the Pack.  In the presentation, I talked about 3 key areas that differentiates ZENworks Asset Management from the competition. They are:

> Knowledgebase approach (BTY- Gartner has picked up on this terminology in relation to discovery)
> license tracking and reconciliation
> usage tracking and reporting

The customer session was presented by Keith Cartlidge from Lockheed Martin.  Lockheed Martin are a long-standing ZENworks Asset Management customer with 40,000 seats under management.  In his presentation, Keith walked through how they use the product and the various ways they are getting value from it.  He told a great story about how when they first were evaluating ZENworks Asset Management.  They were dealing with an Oracle maintenance renewal at the time and used their old inventory product to produce a report of all Oracle installations.  The problem was that the report did not identify and breakout the products in a way that would allow them to tie back to licensed products.  They sent the report to Oracle and asked them to identify which file(s) went with which products and after several months, Oracle finally said, they couldn’t figure it out. 

So, Lockheed Martin scanned their systems with ZENworks Asset Management and through a sample check, determined that it accurately identified and reported Oracle applications at a level needed to determine the right maintenance renewal. 

This is all possible because of our Knowledgebase approach to discovery and inventory and the Tech Analysts that work on ZENworks Asset Management and update the Knowledgebase on a monthly basis. 

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Dell Battery Recall / ZENworks Asset Management


September 1, 2006 7:18 pm



I am the Product Manager for ZENworks Asset Management. This is my first post on Novell Cool Blogs.
But, I come bearing gifts.

We know that many you are grappling with issues around the Dell battery recall (announced August 14 2006). There are 4.1million batteries subject to recall- a subset of the 22 million batteries shipped with laptops over the period covered by the recall. Dell’s recommended approach involves physically inspecting every battery and based on a 5-digit string embedded in what they call the PPID (Part Piece Identification), entering the full PPID on this page to determine if the battery is actually subject to recall.

That is a lot of batteries to check manually. We can help narrow the list of systems that have batteries that need to be checked by hand. Here is how:

We have been working with Dell since this story broke and after working through a variety of technical details and testing, we determined that:
a) we can discover and report the battery model numbers consistently and reliably;
b) the battery model numbers include the 5-digit string that Dell says indicate a battery that should be physically inspected so that the the full PPID can be entered into the Dell web site; and
c) we can isolate systems that need to be checked and report them in ZENworks Asset Management

So, we have posted a new Predefined Custom Report Definition to the Novell Cool Solution site
The ZENworks Asset Management Web Console allows you to import and run predefined custom report definitions (which are imported and exported as XML files). We have constructed a predefined custom report definition that you can download, import and run to isolate laptops that need to be checked manually. Be sure to check prerequisites on the Cool Solutions site.

Of course, this only works for batteries that are in the laptops when we scan- not the spares in the desk drawers out there.

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