October 17, 2012
A cheerful face and a very angry voice are examples of incongruities because they do not go well or fit together. Jason Keogh, Founder and CTO of the company, is scheduled to speak this week at the International Association of Information Technology Asset Managers upcoming conference (IAITAM ACE) on the provocative argument that "SAM isn't a problem -- so why are there so many solutions?" Keogh's presentation is a key part of the Virtualization Track at IAITAM ACE 2012 which is scheduled to occur October 18 in Rancho Las Palmas Resort in Palm Springs, CA.
Keogh’s presentation will expose many of the misrepresentations that many companies present as their position in trying to sell Solutionshfor Software Asset Management. In taking a closer look at these sideways positioning statements, it doesn’t make a lot of sense. Software Asset Management isn’t a problem, so it doesn’t need a solution. SAM is a process (or a set of processes) – it needs inputs and provides outputs.
Software Asset Management tools (such as HP Asset Manager, IBM TAMIT, and various tools from Flexera, Snow, CA, BMC, etc.) generally try to encapsulate processes – some have a wider scope than others and all have various strengths and weaknesses, different areas of focus, etc.
Tangible Benefits of License Management
Software Asset Management goes well beyond License Management and compliance and encompasses everything from asset acquisition (procurement) through to asset disposal (retirement). However License Management is a key focus of SAM at the moment because it provides real benefits to the organization, including:
- Cost savings (in the form of license optimization)
- Reduced risks associated with vendor audits, whether it be before, during or after the audit process
- Accurate information relevant to regulatory compliance
A Reality Check on License Metrics
Software deployed on servers in the data center make up the majority of your total software spend (depending on industry specifics mid to large size enterprises typically spend 70-80% of their software budget on big ticket items from Oracle, IBM, Microsoft, SAP, etc.). This same software often has license metrics which are based on intangible and difficult to ascertain data points – for example:
- Low level CPU data relating to cores and hyper-threading
- Virtual server configuration (CPU and memory pool allocations, pinning, etc.)
- Clustering (at application or OS level, Veritas Clusters, Windows Clusters, RAC Clusters, etc.)
- Application specific configuration (Oracle database option usage, WebLogic components, WebSphere JDBC connections, etc.)
“SAM Solutions” fail to deliver this level of detail about the environment. The “Discovery” elements of these product sets simply don’t get to the level of detail required. It is irrelevant how big a solution’s “library” or “catalogue” is – it cannot provide the really important information that actually determines if licenses are required or not – e.g. If Partitioning is in use within a given Oracle Enterprise Edition database and if it has been configured in such a way that impacts licensing or which servers are in what clusters and what resources are being maintained by those clusters, etc..
There is More to SAM than Meets the Eye
The central theme is that Software Asset Management (SAM) goes well beyond license management and compliance. Rather, it includes a whole set of processes that take place throughout the entire software lifecycle, encompassing everything from asset acquisition (procurement) through to asset disposal (retirement).
"License management is a key focus of SAM because it provides real benefits to an organization, including cost savings, reduced risk of vendor audits, and regulatory compliance," says Keogh. "However, SAM has many influences throughout the organization and can enable more transparent cost-effective procurement and planning processes."
SAM’s Value in the Datacenter
Another important point Keogh will make is the fact that datacenters have the most potential to benefit from SAM practices, especially those that include software spread across hybrid virtual and physical servers. Software deployed on servers in datacenters make up the majority of an organization's total software spend -- typically 70-80%.
Keogh will draw from real-life iQuate customer successes to illustrate how the company solves licensing and other SAM issues across both server and desktop estates.
"iQuate's iQSonar product delivers where typical SAM solutions -- especially the discovery elements of these solutions -- fail," says Keogh. "iQSonar provides granular levels of detail about the environment. It is entirely agentless, multi-platform and returns complete details on hardware, software, virtualization and clustering."
iQuate delivers an enterprise software platform engineered to gather all of the data required to accurately establish software licenses from vendors such as Oracle, IBM, Microsoft, Symantec and VMware, as well as identify hardware. To learn more about iQuate and its offerings, visit www.iquate.com.