You will love this! #2: a report that tells you everything about your MSDN Subscriptions needs!

This “You will love this!” article introduces a solution developed by NR SAM Consulting that could make your SAM Manager's life easier!

2/22/20242 min read

Microsoft non-production server applications licensed cheaply and securely

There is an efficient and cost effective option to license non-production Microsoft installations (mainly Windows Server, SQL Server, SharePoint Server and Exchange Server): subscribe the users who access the applications for testing or development purpose with MSDN subscriptions (This actually now a Visual Studio Subscription). If the IT team accessing non-production servers is restricted, this will be worth subscribing to Visual Studio, if the team is large (with many externals that have high turn over), licensing non-production systems with classical licenses could be a good option.

"Who should have a subscription?" could be a tough question, unless the IT team is extremely well organized.

The "Usage on Development Servers For MSDN" report brings you the answer. The report catches the useful data in 12 tables, puts it together so that you can understand and make a decision...

First, it is a user centric view. You are interested in who should get the subscriptions...

Then, this is all about who does what on non-production servers. This is vast. Last logged user (that are not always reported on Windows Server) is not perfect and reports only one users. Last used application by users is more interesting but there may be executables that are not recognized: the report catches the best available data to catch any usage over 30 days

  • The recognized applications (Microsoft / non-Microsoft) usage with non-production server name

  • The latest raw file evidence usage (Name, date)

  • The latest raw installer evidence usage (Name, date)

Talking about file usage, you can activate the metering of explorer.exe that is the most reliable sign of activity on a server. You need to exend usage tracking with this non-MSI application with a "Manual Mapper" as explained in the Extending metering and usage collection in FNMS solution shared as attachment in the Flexera metering and usage SAM Best Practice Webinar recording.

Once you know somebody has activity on a non-production server, you may want to know if he has an MSDN subscription. That's the information you get with the "Has MSDN" column.

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.

Check back the list of 18 "Dots Connected" or "You will love this!" posts published or to come in this article.