Software License Management (SLM) used to be about avoiding audits and penalties for being under licensed. But today, many organizations are over licensed and paying annually for maintenance and applications that are not used and sometimes not even installed. Of course it’s easier to simply count the number of desktops, laptops and servers and purchase a volume licensing agreement from each major vendor that covers everything. But how much money are you wasting annually by doing this?
Many organizations also do not have an automated way to check the vendors’ audit data. Prior to the audit, an organization should know it’s license position, both installed and used products and license rights purchased. This is particularly important for server software, where the license is usually attached to a physical server, but the software is running on virtual guest operating systems. Many organizations also spend the majority of their software budget on server software, so it is particularly important to have accurate and up to date data on your server installations for Microsoft, Oracle, IBM, SAP and others.
Belarc’s unique features for SLM
Belarc’s products offer the following unique features to help manage and optimize your SLM task:
Belarc obtained a U.S. patent in 2013 which automatically determines when all installed software was last used. This feature is very useful for software harvesting, where instead of purchasing additional copies of Project, Visio or Office Pro, for example, these packages can be moved from desktops where they are under utilized to those who need them, thereby avoiding the cost of additional purchases and maintenance. Belarc’s method discovers the last used time of all the installed applications immediately and does not need to be installed for six months to a year before the data can be used.
On the server side, BelManage automatically discovers all of the virtual machines (VMs) and the dependency mapping between the VM guests and the physical host machines. This data is essential for licensing server software such as SQL Server, Windows Server and Oracle databases. This information is used in the Data Analytics reports which combine the discovered server data with the licensing metrics for these products and the purchase records. BelManage supports Windows, VMware and Linux hypervisors and the Windows, Linux and Solaris (x86) server operating systems.
This is where a licensing tool such as Belarc’s Data Analytics module can be very helpful, because it combines the discovered instances of software, with our customer’s purchase records and the current product licensing metrics from the vendors. This also allows our end-users to run what-if scenarios to see what licensing scheme works best for their organization.