FlexNet Manager for Microsoft: Features

Automated Microsoft Software License Management and Software License Optimization


Product Use Rights Library

FlexNet Manager for Microsoft includes a Product Use Rights Library for Microsoft that enables it to determine an accurate license position and optimize license consumption—which reduces software costs. Product Use Rights vary depending on the type of software license agreement used to buy the software (e.g. Enterprise Agreement, Microsoft Products and Services Agreement (MPSA), etc.).

These rights include:

  • Upgrade—the right to use the latest version of the software as soon as it becomes available. (A Software Assurance benefit).
  • Downgrade—the right to use an older version of the software than the version purchased.
  • Right of second use (aka portable use)—the right to use the software on both a desktop and a laptop with the same owner and only consume one license.
  • Multiple versions—the right to have multiple versions of the same application installed on one device and only consume one license.
  • Virtual environment use rights—the rights associated with running the software on a virtual machine, virtual desktop or as a virtualized application.
  • Roaming Use Rights—these rights define how users can remotely access server based virtual desktops from third party devices, or run the software in a virtual OS environment on a third party device. These rights apply to Microsoft Office 2013, Microsoft Project 2013 and Microsoft Visio® 2013, for example.
  • License Mobility Rights—the right to move on-premises software to the cloud to run on third party shared servers.

‘What If’ Analysis

Simulation capability is provided for Microsoft server-based licenses, allowing customers to perform "What If" analysis to understand the licensing implications of a change to their IT environment.

This ‘What If’ Analysis feature enables the calculation of a new Microsoft license position considering:

  • Hardware change
  • Shared processor pool settings changes or the addition or removal of shared processor pools
  • Virtual Machine (VM) property changes
  • A change of physical host for virtual machines
  • Addition or removal of software installations

What If Analysis provides information on the financial impact of the change from a software licensing perspective.

Support for Microsoft License Models

Server Core License Type
A license type called the Microsoft Server Core License is available to model the licensing of Microsoft SQL Server® 2012 and other products. This license type factors in the latest licensing rules from Microsoft for server products using a core-based metric. This includes the associated core factor table, the minimum core counts on virtual machines for which the license is applicable, and the limit on the number of Operating System Environments (OSE) permitted for each core license.

Server Processor License Model
License models for Microsoft server products licensed using the processor metric are also available. They cover products such as Microsoft Windows® Server 2012 (one license covers 2 physical processors), SQL Server (pre-2012), Microsoft BizTalk® Server, and Microsoft Commerce Server.

Microsoft System Center License Models
FlexNet Manager for Microsoft supports System Center licenses for the desktop, including: The Microsoft System Center Client User License and the Microsoft System Center Device License.

Optimization of Microsoft Client Access Licenses (CALs)

Microsoft Client Access Licenses (CALs) entitle users to access software running on servers. Many critical Microsoft server products use this license model, so CALs are a key part of determining an accurate license position. Managing CALs can be difficult, however, due to multiple CAL types (per user and per device), CAL levels (based on features used), and the ability to purchase CALs either standalone or in suites.

FlexNet Manager for Microsoft helps enterprises understand actual usage of Microsoft CALs to optimize licensing costs for those server products that use the server + CAL license model. It automatically collects CAL usage data using User Access Logging (UAL) technology and server-specific tools. FlexNet Manager for Microsoft reports allows license managers to identify potential cost savings by switching from per device CALs to per user CALs (or vice versa) or shifting users of under-utilized Core CAL Suite licenses to standalone CALs that cover their business needs at a lower cost.

Microsoft Contract Support

For Microsoft Enterprise Agreements and other contract types, upcoming payments can be estimated based on current product utilization, and a license position report can be produced to show annual true-up amounts. For Microsoft Agreements and Enrollments, the SKU library provides pool and points information to allow reports on point consumption over time, for each enrollment.

Microsoft License Statement Import

To help quickly establish a Microsoft license posiiton, FlexNet Manager for Microsoft includes the ability to import Microsoft License Statements (MLS). This is a faster alternative to processing purchase order data and can be used to establish a license entitlement baseline that is sufficient for many organizations. Also, processing of purchase orders can coexist with MLS data. Newer MLS statements can be imported to stay current with the latest entitlements.

License Change Review

This feature analyzes differences between Flexera Software content libraries—particularly the Product Use Rights Library—and existing software licenses. Recommendations such as applying product use rights templates and adding applications to the license record are made so that the license repository can be kept up to date.

  • Changes to software vendors’ product use rights are incorporated in the library via monthly updates and can be automatically applied to existing licenses.
  • An opt out option is available for these changes if there are specific (non-standard) product use rights in contracts with a publisher.
  • Automatically benefit from improvements in the Flexera Software libraries, e.g. new links between Stock Keeping Units (SKUs) and applications in the Application Recognition Library, new SKUs with associated product use rights, etc., that may impact existing licenses.

License Change Review ensures that your license compliance position is always accurate and optimized.

License Exemption by Device Role

The process of creating device exemptions, based on the role of the device (production, test, backup/DR/failover, training, etc.) is now automated by using product use rights supplied by the Product Use Rights Library and assigning a role to each inventory device. When an inventory device is assigned to a role that is exempted in the product use rights for the license, meaning that the device (e.g. server) does not require a separate license for that role, the exemption is automatically applied during license reconciliation. This reduces the number of license consumed which can reduce your ongoing costs for software.

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