Datacenter Software Optimization

The easy way to stay compliant and reduce costs
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The Challenge

Managing software in the datacenter is challenging and highly complex

Whilst your initial focus for SAM may be on the desktop, it has been estimated that 80% of software spend now takes place within the datacenter, so the need to manage and optimize license spend here is critical. However, the complexities of vendor licensing programs, different metrics and associated stipulations around installation, usage, virtualization etc. make optimization easier said than done. This means that not only is your datacenter software licensing prone to non-compliance, but you are probably wasting money on unnecessary licenses.

Oracle

Oracle licensing rules are notoriously complex and through their License Management Services Division they will rigorously ensure compliance. This business practice means that Oracle is routinely within the top 5 vendors likely to audit, so it makes sense to pro-actively manage their software in order to drive the best possible value.

If organizations are found to be using unauthorized or unlicensed Oracle software, it may result in a breach of contract and/or violation of intellectual property rights leading to financial penalties and risk of significant un-budgeted spend.

This complexity means that it can be easier than you think for organizations to unintentionally break their contractual agreements with Oracle – it is difficult to manage Oracle licenses and hard to control utilization. This is true for Oracle software across even small estates.

Oracle is not just about databases as there is a number of additional solutions which organizations also have to manage including Middleware and E-Business Suite, all of which add their own complexities to Oracle licensing. Key factors which need to be considered include:

  • Oracle License Agreements
  • Order Documents
  • Terms and Conditions
  • Hosting
  • Metric Definitions
  • Partitioning
  • Core Factors
  • Product minimums
  • Multiplexing

As always, the biggest risk is change: when something changes within the Oracle landscape all of these factors need to be assessed to quantify the potential impact.

IBM

IBM licensing, with its component, product and bundle elements, is intensely complicated. For their most popular license metric, PVU, IBM’s licensing T&Cs (International Passport Advantage Agreement Section 1.14) state that end users are required to utilise ILMT, TAD4D or Bigfix to capture inventory data which is then used for evaluating licensing requirements. However, ILMT is notoriously difficult to manage and maintain from a resource, time and cost perspective. Also ILMT has certain limitations all of which probably leaves you feeling as though your hands are tied.

SAP

Complex Named User and Package license metrics make SAP licensing management notoriously challenging, difficult to measure and time-consuming. The costs of getting it wrong can easily run into hundreds of thousands, quite commonly millions, of dollars.

SAP licensing T&Cs stipulate that end-users have to submit annual inventory data which is subsequently analyzed against entitlement to calculate any licensing shortfall. Like many organizations, you may rely solely on SAP USMM (usage and system measurement module) & SLAW (SAP License Administration Workbench) for license management and reporting purposes; however, they are set up to work in SAP’s favour and don’t function as effective SAM solutions able to capture instances of severe over-licensing or identify opportunities for optimization. Problems encountered include: incorrectly assigned licenses, insufficient information on which to build licensing optimization, and high value license type defaults.

Most available SAP licensing optimization solutions are either based on legacy technology, or manually intensive processes and both struggle to process large volumes of data. Hence problems with inaccuracy and unreliability are inherent.

The Sarbanes-Oxley Act, and its European equivalent, places clear responsibilities on companies establishing and testing procedures and internal controls for financial reporting. A key part of this is understanding and managing risk, particularly where it relates to the use of computer systems. With regard to your SAP system there are two main areas that need to be considered in this context: segregation of duties: users with a combination of access that can lead to financial loss; and critical access: users that have a single level of access that is deemed critical.

Microsoft in the datacenter

With new licensing rules introduced for Windows Server 2016, many organizations face a confusing period whilst they upgrade and transition their existing server software to the new agreements. From differing virtualization rights between different editions to moving from processor-based licensing to one based on cores, the changes need to be understood to ensure you do not unwittingly become non-compliant.

As it likely that these rules will be adopted by all future Microsoft server products, it is vital that you have a full understanding of exactly what software you have installed and also the type of hardware it is running on.

Solution

Whatever your datacenter licensing challenge, Certero has it covered

Certero is able to deliver exactly the same compliance, cost and utilization improvements for licensing in the datacenter as for the desktop, including managing all the complexities associated with licensing optimization. The highest levels of automation come as standard, improving accuracy and efficiency.

Oracle

AssetStudio for Oracle is one of a few solutions covering database, middleware and E-Business Suite. AssetStudio for Oracle is able to accurately capture entitlement, reduce the risk of surprises by robust discovery of the Oracle estate, automatically capture a complete and thorough inventory (with associated consideration of virtualization technology, partitioning etc.), culminating in the establishment of an optimized Effective License Position.

In the increasingly likely event of an Oracle audit, AssetStudio for Oracle automates compliance; evidence can be substantiated in one click, instantly removing ambiguity. Out-dated, inaccurate and manually-intensive methods, calling on the skills of scarce, highly knowledgeable Oracle licensing consultants, are a thing of the past. Once you have Certero’s AssetStudio for Oracle in your corner, you’ll never lose an argument with Oracle again!

IBM

With AssetStudio for IBM, Certero is one of only a few vendors able to provide detailed discovery and inventory of IBM software coupled with highly automated optimized license management and compliance.

With a unique automated approach which eliminates over-reliance on time consuming and error-strewn manual process, AssetStudio for IBM overcomes all these shortcomings.

Passport Advantage data is easily imported and sophisticated automation utilized to streamline the process, reduce error and generate accurate entitlement. AssetStudio for IBM will recognize the product and understand its upgrade, downgrade, virtual environment and general product usage rights. This intelligence is built into the solution for literally thousands of IBM products and will even form a view of which products can be part of bundles.

Once the component-to-product-to-bundle relationships have been established, entitlement is automatically reconciled against inventoried deployment and usage data to create sub-capacity consumption reports. Relevant product use rights are fully considered and help ensure a clear effective license position. This can be used independently of ILMT, or in conjunction to provide a comparable report, thereby supporting verification and quality assurance processes.

The reporting capabilities of AssetStudio for IBM are second to none. Sub-capacity license reports can be generated, either on-screen allowing drill-downs and various product views, or as a detailed report that can be used for further assessment. Both are sufficient to allow informed business decisions to be made on IBM software product usage and strategy across the infrastructure.

SAP

AssetStudio for SAP Applications is an easy-to-use, highly automated, SAM solution that lets you proactively manage your SAP estate and optimize usage, safe in the knowledge that, when the time comes to formally submit your annual inventory data, there won’t be any nasty surprises. It does this by removing complexity and reducing manual effort required to assess the license position, by performing a deeper and more relevant analysis of deployed SAP systems.

AssetStudio for SAP Applications is designed to work in your favour and has an element in ‘rules builder’ that enables Engine/Package licenses to be easily defined, measured and captured. A critical analysis of roles and authorizations is undertaken across your SAP systems, taking into account actual usage.

AssetStudio for SAP Applications is a finely-tuned, high-performance, highly automated solution built on the latest technology. It uses a rules-driven, rich-data approach which essentially eliminates those tasks which previously had to be carried out by SAP licensing consultants.

AssetStudio for SAP Applications runs off-line in a Windows environment; data from SAP is captured through a connector, so at no time is there any threat of disruption to your business-critical operations.

The rich information captured by Certero’s solution enables the generation of three, increasingly refined, ELPs. The first ELP is the ‘current’ view and is essentially the same as would have previously been submitted via SLAW. The second ELP is the ‘suggested’ view and is a refinement achieved by analysing roles and allocations. The third and final ELP is the ‘optimized’ view, which takes account of actual usage information in order to produce the most refined position. The associated monetary value for each ELP is generated; so as changes are made you are able to instantly see the impact and demonstrate the value of using the technology.

Although not directly related to software asset management, AssetStudio for SAP Applications has a Risk Analysis and Control Module to help address financial and security control challenges by providing information on users and roles that have the potential to perform and carry out actions associated to risks. Rulesets enables the analysis of risks in one or more SAP systems. Owners can be defined and associated to a risk or critical action. Roles and authorizations can be analyzed and assigned to help identify and address potential conflicts of interest. Role and transaction data for a particular user can be captured and analyzed to identify where risks may have been realized. The system can be set up to provide notification of violations allowing action or mitigation to be undertaken.

This facilitates an understanding of the scope of sensitive functionalities and segregation of duty conflicts behind key business processes, as well as enabling the identification and mitigation of any conflicts among the SAP user population.

Microsoft in the datacenter

Certero offers a specific solution to manage Microsoft licensing and the hardware it is running on. Understand what, where and how your datacenter software is being used, all at point of inventory.

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Benefits

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Certero’s datacenter solutions remove the mystery of complex licensing programmes, putting you in control, optimizing utilization, minimizing cost and assuring compliance.

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All Certero’s SAM solutions are designed to run either independently or together holistically and optimally on the Certero Platform. This means you have the benefit of a common database and user experience is consistent throughout the platform. Administrators can reach operational competency quickly and with minimal training overhead, whilst on-going support is simplified and overall costs reduced.

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Certero’s highly automated solutions minimize the need for manual intervention, improving accuracy and reducing any reliance on ineffective tools which can’t deliver, or expensive licensing consultants.

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Parameter driven BI reporting, via Acquaintia, transforms all your raw data into useful knowledge, allowing you to manage all your software assets across your entire IT estate efficiently, effectively and dynamically.

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With Certero in your corner, you’ll never lose an argument with Microsoft, Oracle, IBM or SAP again.