How can you manage datacentre software assets? Why is SAM important?
Many organizations understand the need to effectively manage their software in the desktop environment but overlook software in the datacentre. According to Gartner, 80% of software spend takes place within the datacentre, so managing it is vital. But, due to the complexity and variety of licensing models ensuring compliance can be a difficult and time consuming task. However, the implications of non-compliance can be considerable with organizations like Mars and Specsavers previously suffering as a result.
So what are the issues with licensing datacentre software? We believe they fall into 3 categories: complex vendor licensing models, multi-platform environments and virtualization.
Vendor Licensing Models
Each of the major vendors in the datacentre (Microsoft, IBM, Oracle and SAP) have different and complex licensing models. From Microsoft, now basing their licensing for Windows Server 2016 on physical cores, through IBM with more than 250 licensing metrics, Oracle with more than 80 to SAP who base theirs on usage.
Understanding all of these and assessing your entitlement against actual inventory is difficult without some form of automated SAM management tool.
The modern datacentre uses software from a variety of sources. We mentioned above the 4 major vendors of Microsoft, IBM, Oracle and SAP. To that mix can be added UNIX and Linux, of which there are many varieties. This diverse environment places unique demands on discovery and inventory tools as they typically have to operate without agents in the datacentre – something many struggle with.
Virtualization has a major impact on your software licensing. Unless you are fully aware of these implications and able to manage your license position, you could end up paying more for additional software licenses (and fines if the shortfall is discovered during a vendor audit) than you saved through virtualizing in the first place.
Most software vendors licensing rules differ between physical and virtual environments. But, a common theme is that small changes to the virtual environment can have a large impact on licensing requirements. Converting a physical device to a virtual device changes the licensing requirements and you need to check your license agreement to discover what the full implications are. You also need to consider maintenance. Some vendors, such as Microsoft, now require active maintenance on server applications deployed across virtual servers.
SAM for Datacentre Software
The AssetStudio SAM suite products are a number of integrated products that can help you with the complexities of datacentre software licensing. With a common UI and data source linked to rich and easy-to-configure reporting they cover SAM in the datacentre for:
Keen to find out how the AssetStudio SAM suite products can support you in managing datacentre software? Get in touch today with Certero.