You will love this! #1: a report that provides your full inventory gap!

Second of an 18 post series, this “You will love this!” article introduces a solution developed by NR SAM Consulting that could make your SAM Manager life easier!

2/9/20242 min read

Exhausted running after... "Exhaustive inventory"?

Last week's Dots Connected #1 post provided the first keys to reliable inventory... which is the foundation of successful Software Asset Management: "Fresh, exhaustive, relevant". Let's address exhaustivity today.

"We need full inventory" seems a fair requirement but is probably one of the most time-consuming activity in the project phase of the SAM journey. "Can we trust what we have?", "are we missing something?" are the nagging questions that need to be addressed even before we can start thinking about compliance or optimization.

It is always easier to close a gap than run after ghosts in the night. We need a target. What sources of truth can give us this target? How can we assess the difference between what inventory we have and what we should have?

Take a classical situation where existing inventory tools exist when you start a SAM project, and you want to use existing data (in our use case, SCCM and BMC ADDM), but you want to replace gradually the other sources with the Flexera agent. Not to anticipate our next post on choosing the right inventory tools, but SCCM is decent for desktops but may miss specific information (Acrobat enabled editions for instance) or may be painful to activate metering... ADDM, that provides precious application mapping information, can be super dangerous on Oracle because it does not collect options usage and tends to report Oracle Databases also on the LPARs hosts, which leads to incredible over-estimation of license consumption.

So, we need to understand what is yet not inventoried by any tool and what comes from other inventory tools but not the Flexera agent. That's where the magic of SQL can help!

The report presented today is the grail regarding exhaustivity. It combines:

  • vCenter information (note that the VMs Inventory Gap Analysis report implemented with the SAM Operations Hub exposes this information)

  • Active Directory Information. Particularly useful for users’ desktops and laptops. AD computers are imported into ITAM... but invisible. In addition, the last login date is not collected today and is so useful. An AD import with Physical table creation will be necessary.

  • Any non-Flexera inventory source reporting a computer that the Flexera agent does not report.

The information comes with last inventory date (for other sources), last logon date (for AD), last vCenter Inventory date, Operating System, host, cluster and vCenter for VMs...

Once you have this list, it becomes a game to work with IT, see the list decrease, do a second round, understand some issues etc.

You may just focus on vCenter & AD if your goal is not to make the Flexera agent covering the full scope.

You can add specific flags: the "HasOracleDatabaseStdOrEnt" flag in the case below was critical as ADDM reported Oracle Database but was not sufficient for accurate license consumption calculation (for database and options).

If you are on premises, you can enjoy this immediately by contacting me. If you are a Cloud customer, this is a matter of patience and the report may be productized (In a SAM Data Transparency Hub?), like the 30 reports I created that now support the 3 published SAM Operations, SAM Optimization and SAM Publisher Hubs that you can explore in the Flexera ITAM Best practice information available in Flexera Community post.