You will love this! #5: An automation to ensure Windows server, SQL server and Red Hat Linux optimal editions for each server.

This “You will love this!” article introduces a solution developed by NR SAM Consulting that could make your SAM Manager's life easier with helping you managing more clever licenses for accuracy and optimization! You will see an example of allocation automation for license optimizations leading to huge savings.

4/11/20244 min read

Making licenses even cleverer than optimization reports with full automation!


In the last "Dots connected" article, we saw how, once you have the right inventory strategy with the best inventory tool(s) and correctly configured your Flexera licenses, you can influence consumption to be optimal with licensing intelligence: choose the best licenses depending on IT architecture. Intelligent license restrictions, allocations etc.

This article shows how NR SAM Consulting can set up automations that will reflect this optimal license consumption in the licenses.

Not to go to deep into details, the optimization allowed by intelligent license restriction is powerful but will not easily go fine grain (Host per host) and will be more adapted to “cluster’s situation”. There is no way for the intelligent restriction to use sophisticated reports that contain complex calculations, or correlations.

If you want a host per host optimization (for Windows or SQL Server, or Red Hat for instance), recalculated day after fay, you have no other choice than reflecting the optimization logic of the optimization reports in a scripted allocation.


To reach this, NR SAM Consulting performs the following for a Flexera One ITAM cloud instance :

  • Extract the data, using REST or SOAP API with a PowerShell script.

  • Use the extracted data in a local SQL database to perform optimization calculations using the following information: number of cores, cluster’s VM density, number of VMs, peak number of VMs over 90 days etc. to compute the “best allocation”: "This host should consume from Windows Server Datacenter or Windows Server standard" for instance.

  • Use a Business Adapter on the beacon that will use the data in the SQL table where optimizations have been calculated to perform allocations.

If you are on premises, a SQL script will be created that will allocate VMs and Physical Hosts to licenses before license consumption is calculated.

The principle is simple… the SQL behind the scenes requires solid skills.

The SQL not only applies the sophisticated optimization principles that you can find in the Red Hat, SQL or Windows Server optimization reports that I created and shared as a License architect and implemented as a Product Manager, but also factors the specificities of your situation:

  • Should certain clusters installed with older versions of Windows Server be covered with Windows server licenses that are not under Software Assurance?

  • Are some Red Hat servers not maintained in the Red Hat portal excluded from consumption?

  • Are there consumptions you don't want to optimize to stay aligned with your internal governance? For instance, some licenses dedicated for a project have to be consumed by the related infrastructure

All this fine tuning is encapsulated in a scripted logic. You will just let the automation go and perform the optimized license consumption, day after day, whatever VMs movements are!


If you want to make Flexera One ITAM more optimized and automated, just contact me.

Want to learn more?

I would recommend some of the recorded SAM Best Practices Webinars I delivered you can find in the Flexera Community

You can find the links to the 24 recorded Flexera SAM Best Practices Webinars in the "ITAM Best Practice Available in the Community" Flexera KB article.

Once licenses are cleverer and optimized, all the rest comes

I have seen some customers frustrated that licenses were not doing the full optimization and my answer was: "You are right, in an ideal world, everything should be aligned and your optimal license consumption should be fully computed with the license, but look, with the reports, you can have 90% of the clever job done, finish in Excel and save millions for your next true up"

This was a pragmatic Consultant / Product Manager answer to adapt to a technical limitation... but as everyone knows, a perfect world is better than a world of workarounds!

Indeed, the gold of ITAM is data, and particularly license consumption data. From this license consumption, you can make financial liability analysis, charge back... observe trends on who consumes what etc. If your licenses are inaccurate and truth resides in reports the full data related to these strategic applications will not be relevant.

Once the automated allocation are performed, the data you find in financial or trend reports, as the Licenses Purchased And Consumed By Location or the Compliance Trend illustrated below.

What it looks like

Nothing spectacular, except that your overall consumption will be USD 3 millions lower on Windows Server than if you were applying a basic "All ESX Server covered with Windows Server Datacenter"!

A second thing is that each license shows the "Why" of the allocations in the quite recent "Allocation reason" field.

Finally, in complex cases, you can force the consumption with an "overridden consumption" in the Allocation definition with the Business Adapter mapping.