License Management Using SmartCloud Control Desk


Unified asset and service management software provides a common control center for managing business processes for both digital and physical assets. This Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL®)-compliant software is accessible through mobile devices and integrates with social media and development tools. Now you can choose the delivery model you need such as on-premise, software as a service (SaaS), or VM image and seamlessly change it to suit your business needs.

SmartCloud Control Desk is used regularly to retrieve the details of the software installed on the managed PCs. This helps us to keep track of the licenses of the commercial software and to be compliant.

Types of Smart Clouds

  1. Hybrid
  2. Composer
  3. Public
  4. Distributed

Benefits of SmartCloud Control Desk

SmartCloud Control Desk automates IT infrastructure management routines for enterprises to standardize and secure their networks.

With SmartCloud Control Desk:

  • You can automate regular desktop management activities
  • You can secure desktops from a wide range of threats
  • Users spend less time troubleshooting day-to-day problems
  • You are able to generate comprehensive reports to audit your IT assets
  • Service request management gives you an efficient service desk for handling service requests and managing incidents
  • Change, configuration and release management provides advanced impact analysis and automated change procedures designed to reduce risk and support integrity of services
  • IT asset lifecycle management provides inventory management and software license compliance capabilities; and helps to manage assets throughout their life cycle, optimizing usage of digital and physical assets and minimizing compliance risks
  • Service catalog helps users solve their own problems and provides an intuitive self-help portal and a complete catalog of services
  • It supplies service support and service delivery capabilities for multiple customers in a single deployed instance, increasing profitability and improving customer satisfaction
  • You can achieve and control the manpower and increase integrity
  • You can reduce individual configurations
  • Maintenance is simple when issues occur because they present in the data center

Data on the Usage of Smart Clouding

Software Analysis

  • Software metering: View the software usage details in each computer such as "rarely used," "occasionally used," or "frequently used"
  • Software details: See details of the commercial/non-commercial software used in the network such as vendor name, installation date, software version, and so forth
  • Software license compliance: See the compliant (including over-licensed software) and noncompliant (under-licensed) software used in the network
  • Prohibited software: Learn details of the prohibited software found in the network

Hardware Analysis

Provides complete details about the hardware used in the network. The hardware inventory reports help administrators get details immediately. Some of the reports include:

Capacity Units

Capacity units are the quantity measured to determine whether a software product is used in compliance with its license.

The following capacity units are supported by the Licenses application:

  • Authorized user: Charges are based on a unique person with access to the program.
  • Concurrent user: Charges are based on a specified number of seats running concurrently across the scope.
  • Concurrent node lock: Charges are based on the maximum number of concurrent-use instances, where multiple uses on the same computer (regardless of how many users) are counted as one use.
  • Concurrent user session: Charges are based on the maximum number of concurrent-use instances, where multiple uses by the same user on the same computer are counted as one use.
  • Floating user: Charges are based on the number of floating users who are accessing the program at any time.
  • Installed instances: Charges are based on a specified number of installed instances, or seats, across the scope of the license.
  • MIPS: Charges are based on MIPS. MIPS—formerly meaning millions of instructions per second—now simply represent a calculated value, published for each computer type and model.
  • Millions of service units (MSUs): Charges are based on millions of central processing unit (CPU) service units per hour, or MSUs, the measure of capacity used to describe the computing power of the hardware processors on which S/390® or System z® software runs.
  • Points: Charges are based on points metric designated for a given product. Each product is assigned a specific points value, as documented in the license agreement for the product.
  • Processors: Charges are based on the number of server processors, or independent processing units.
  • Processor core: Charges are based on the number of integrated processor cores on a single chip.
  • Resource value units (RVUs): A resource value unit is a unit of measure by which the program can be licensed.
  • Value units (VUs): Charges are based on value units, the quantity of a specific designated measurement used for a given program.

Schedule Scan

Desktop Central periodically scans the Windows desktops/servers in the network to collect the hardware and software details and stores them in the database. The inventory scanning interval is flexible and can be configured to meet real-time needs. This enables administrators to get up-to-date asset / inventory information at any time without manual intervention.

Alert Notifications

Desktop Central enables administrators to get notified through email in any of the following events:

  • When a new hardware is detected in the network
  • When a new software is detected in the network
  • When software licensing is inadequate and more licenses have to be purchased to be compliant
  • When prohibited software is detected in the network

Desktop Central provides out-of-the-box reports to view the software and hardware details of the network. These reports provide a quicker view of the network inventory details. The ability to export the reports into printable PDF or CSV formats helps to integrate with third-party reporting engines.

Integration Framework in SmartCloud Control Desk

The integration framework is a set of applications in the Integration module in SmartCloud Control Desk. These applications facilitate two-way data exchange between SmartCloud Control Desk and external applications in real time or batch mode. Through the integration framework, you can exchange data synchronously and asynchronously using a variety of communication protocols.

Integration Composer

Integration Composer is an integration tool that imports hardware and software inventory data from external databases into the SmartCloud Control Desk database tables for deployed assets and configuration items. There are some tools scan computers, network devices, and network printers deployed in an enterprise and record information about the hardware and software installed on those assets. Integration Composer transforms the collected data and imports it into SmartCloud Control Desk.

SmartCloud Control Desk provides integration adapters that facilitate data imports for commonly used discovery tools. Each integration adapter provided with Integration Composer specifies how to transform and import data for a specific discovery tool. You also can create and customize integration adapter mappings to meet specific migration requirements. To keep data current, you can schedule regular imports using the scheduling applications in SmartCloud Control Desk or another scheduler such as Windows Scheduler.

Preparing for Integration

SmartCloud Control Desk supports many deployment options. Before you define and implement import schedules, review your product configuration to determine the kinds of imports required and plan schedules for importing data.

Types of IT asset management:

SmartCloud Control Desk can receive different types of IT asset management data. The IT data can be imported from IBM Tivoli Software Knowledge Base Toolkit, IBM Tivoli Asset Discovery for Distributed, IBM Tivoli Asset Discovery for z/OS, and additional discovery and system management tool databases.

Launch-in-context integrations:

SmartCloud Control Desk allows you to launch in context directly to the user interfaces of other products.

Importing software catalogs:

SmartCloud Control Desk includes a Software Catalog application into which you can import data from external software catalog repositories.

Importing IT asset disposal data:

Asset disposal is one of the life cycle processes supported by SmartCloud Control Desk. To facilitate management of asset disposal data, SmartCloud Control Desk enables you to import data from external sources about how you dispose of your IT assets.

Integrating IT assets with configuration items:

In SmartCloud Control Desk, if you determine that IT asset data and configuration item data provide information about the same asset, you can link the records.

Integrating license data from external sources:

To integrate software license data with external data sources, use the Integration module applications, also known as the integration framework, in SmartCloud Control Desk.

Using Integration Composer to import deployed asset data from discovery tools:

You can import deployed asset data using Integration Composer together with an integration adapter.

Creating a baseline set of IT assets:

When you first implement SmartCloud Control Desk, you can create an initial set of IT asset records in the database. This is done by using the data that an asset discovery tool collected and that you imported into the deployed assets tables.

Procurement Process

When you are procuring the software or hardware from the vendor the following is required:

  • You must raise the request for the Architecture team to find the requirements to launch the software or hardware.
  • The approval process needs to be in place to procure the software / hardware
  • A grace period is required for a vendor to procure the software/hardware
  • You must complete the approval process and receive software entitlements / hardware
  • Once the hardware /software arrived you need to do the configurations to make the system to work without any issues.
  • You need initial support from the vendor to process things and move in right direction.
  • By using the SmartCloud Desktop Control you can avoid all the above activities since smart clouding will make the things easy.

Desktop Virtualization

Completing Desktop Virtualization Deployments

Like server virtualization, desktop virtualization helps IT managers easily manage, secure, and deploy technology and reduce costs. Today's mobile users require more consistent, security-rich access to files and applications from a variety of user devices—tablets, laptops, smartphones, and more. Desktop virtualization can help you meet these demands with flexibility, choice, and self-service for your employees.

Choice of robust virtual desktop solutions designed in close cooperation with Citrix, Microsoft, and VMware. Software, hardware, and services that helps:

  • Streamline IT administration and simplify the transition to a virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI)
  • Simplify desktop administration, support and management
  • Enhance security and compliance management and improve availability and reliability
  • Provide flexibility so users can work anytime, anywhere regardless of device
  • Better support growth initiatives for mobility and flexible work locations

Why We Need to Go to SmartCloud Control Desk

Pros and cons of traditional software licensing and compliance management approaches:

  • Impact technology—SaaS, Cloud, Virtualization—has on-software licensing and compliance management
  • The increasing complexity of software licensing models—from strict enforcement to usage-based software licensing
  • There is a growing trend towards trust but verify compliance management approaches, including automating compliance management

Track Software Assets Usage and Support Audit Readiness

Smart clouding is the best process to track the usage of the assets and find the performance of the software or hardware. Cloud computing helps track and assess shared computing resource usage accurately, and better manage the cost of your cloud and IT services.

SmartCloud Control Desk:

  • Provides insight into virtualized and physical IT assets — discover who is utilizing shared resources and what is being used. This helps quantify how departmental and project behavior contributes to overall IT total cost of ownership.
  • Includes advanced analytics — uses reporting and usage metering coverage for virtual and cloud computing resources, storage resources and network resources.
  • Provides user visibility into the cost implications of services — helps bring down costs while delivering IT services more efficiently.
  • Supports cloud show back and chargeback processes — provides an accurate metering and cost rating tool for tracking business processes against budgets.
  • Integrates more secure cloud usage reporting with cloud provisioning and management products — allows users to better manage the infrastructure cost of cloud offerings.

Audit Readiness Reports

  • Install Based Audit Report
  • Processor Based License Audit Report
  • Points Based License Audit Report
  • PVU Based Audit Report
  • PVU Sub Capacity Based Report
  • Software Products by Vendor and License Report

About the Author

Venkat Avirneni is a specialist in IBM Tivoli technologies. He has experience in IT industry with strong knowledge in analysis, design, development, and administration of IBM Tivoli product group and business intelligence applications with Java and J2EE technologies.

He has extensive experience with development, management, and operation of implementation support services including standardized implementation methodologies, standardized training programs, and standard operating procedure development. He is experienced in implementation of SmartCloud applications (SCCD, SCCM/ TUAM ), IBM Maximo Asset Management (EAM), Tivoli Asset Management for IT (TAMIT), Change and Configuration Management Database (CCMDB), Tivoli Service Request Manager (TSRM), BIRT Reporting and Actuate Reporting with Maximo, as well as RDBMS like MS SQL Server, DB2, Oracle, Teradata, and MS Access.