FlexNet Normalized Inventory for Servers: Features

Hardware and Software Inventory, Identification and Normalization


Discovery & Inventory

FlexNet Normalized Inventory for Servers provides both agent-based and agentless technology to collect physical (Microsoft® Windows®, Linux®—including Ubuntu support, UNIX®, and MAC OS X® platforms) and virtual machine (VM) inventory of datacenter server hardware and software across the IT estate.

Flat File Inventory Import
The enhanced Flat File Inventory Import feature in FlexNet Normalized Inventory for Servers allows manually generated CSV and Excel inventory data files to be easily brought into the system using simple templates.

Microsoft SQL Server® Discovery and Inventory
The FlexNet Normalized Inventory agent brings back details about SQL Server components (e.g. Reporting Services), versions and editions—information not available from other tools.

Virtual Environment Discovery and Inventory
FlexNet Normalized Inventory for Servers supports collection of inventory for both VMware® (vSphere®/ESX Server®) and Microsoft (Hyper-V®) environments. It correlates virtual machines (VM) to physical hosts and collects information on allocation of hardware resources to VMs to enable accurate license management of processor/core based license models.

Server Cluster Support
Server cluster inventory is supported in FlexNet Normalized Inventory for Servers. A cluster is a group a machines, physical or virtual, working together. VMware vSphere vMotion® clusters are automatically inventoried through the VMware ESX and vSphere inventory capability. Hyper-V clusters are also automatically inventoried through the Hyper-V inventory capability.

Support for Hardware Partitioning
Discovery and inventory of hardware partitions for IBM® AIX® LPAR, HP-UX® nPar, vPar and Oracle® Solaris Zones technologies is provided. The relationship between hardware partitions and their host is reported in the FlexNet Normalized Inventory console. The calculation of an accurate license position requires, in some circumstances, the clear identification of these environments and the specific license properties associated with them. The Oracle Processor license model for instance, supports hardware partitioning but has specific rules in these environments.

Software Installation and Last Used Dates
FlexNet Normalized Inventory for Servers records the first time a software title was discovered on a device. This date can be used as an approximate installation date of the software. The ‘last used date’ tracks the date the application was last used on a device. It is based on software usage data. This date can be used to identify potential candidates for license reharvesting.

Stale Inventory Removal
In some circumstances multiple external systems may report inventory data for the same device. This enhancement allows users to set up rules to discard old inventory in favor of a newer one or to merge multiple inventory data sources together.

Import of Inventory and Usage Data from Third-Party Tools

FlexNet Normalized Inventory for Servers provides out-of-the-box integration to many existing IT systems, including configuration management, discovery and inventory tools.

Data can be collected from these 3rd party systems:

Software Identification and Normalization

The The Application Recognition Library is used to scrub raw inventory data and provide a normalized list of installed software per device. It contains recognition rules to identify software— including publisher, title, version, and edition—for more than 223,476 software titles from 16,000 publishers. Applications with no evidence are also highlighted in the product. Customers can easily detect them to add their own recognition rules, if available.

ISO 19770-2 provides a standard for software identification tags that contain authoritative identifying information for installed software. The Flexera Software Microsoft Windows agent automatically scans for software tags on each device. In compliance with the standard, the digital signatures in any discovered software ID tags are verified to confirm that tags have not been tampered with. Tags are supported by the Application Recognition Library and used to identify software installations. Reports have been added to expose the inventoried tag data.

Integration with ServiceNow and BMC

FlexNet Normalized Inventory for Servers provides out-of-the-box integration with ServiceNow Asset Management and the ServiceNow Configuration Management Database (CMDB), and the BMC IT Service Management solutions including BMC Discovery (formerly ADDM) and Atrium CMDB, to enhance ITSM processes. FlexNet Normalized Inventory for Servers populates the normalized list of software titles per device (physical or virtual server) into the CMDB.

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