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As license management becomes increasingly complicated, software asset managers require intricate license monitoring systems, with advanced alerting and presentation capabilities. Such systems provide both System Administrators and Managers insight on the software distribution and maintenance that is suitable for their organization.

Alert types

Software License alerts are required for real time action taking, as well as for making decisions on software license maintenance and purchase.

Real time

Action alert types include warnings against conditions that obstruct license granting , decrease software utilization and reduce the organization’s productivity. Examples for such alerts are:

Usage session duration: Has one of your engineers checked out a license and kept the application running, though he himself is now sipping margaritas in the caribbean ?

License monitoring alerts may not provide a flight ticket, but will indicate sessions that are excessive in length.

Duplicate license usage: Do your users suffer a multiple personality disorder ?

If not – why do they open separate sessions on different workstations, wasting expensive floating licenses ? Perhaps it is time to call all their personalities in for a meeting.

License server activity: Is the license server down or unresponsive ?

This condition will directly affect the deployment of software licenses, and drop productivity. An external tool is required to monitor and catch such cases. In addition, statistics on downtime and responsiveness may be accumulated for further analysis.

License monitoring systems are ideal in providing exactly this capability. It is good to note here that such license monitoring systems are better installed on a machine other than the license server itself, in order to benefit from this alerting capability.

Surpassing predefined license usage percentage threshold: Are your users reaching the floating license bottleneck ? Will you need to release licenses back to the license pool ?

License monitoring tools may be configured to recognize idle software sessions and retrieve such idle licenses at license usage rush hours. Such alerts are a good indication for license availability in the organization. License managers may also choose to intervene and release licenses manually in order to provide licenses for deprived users.

Long term decision making

Other alert types will assist in gathering data for future license maintenance and procurement decisions.

Usage assignment to correct groups and projects: Have your users been reporting their license usage according to their organizational membership ?

Users may be oblivious to software billing according to cost centers. License monitoring systems may indicate users who have not attributed their software license usage according to their assignment of organizational units, groups and projects.

Frequency of license denials

The monitoring of license denials provides an important metric to assess license distribution throughout the organization. The frequency of denial occurrence is a fine indication, pointing out a bottleneck condition.

Of course license denials should not only rely on license server denial logging, but only take into account ‘true’ denials, e.g. occurrences in which users were deprived of license usage.

Feature expiration date: oops ! we’re out of licenses !

Don’t be caught by surprize the day after your licenses have expired. License monitoring systems should be able to point out licenses that are nearing the end of their lifecycle.

Conclusion

When you look into buying a license management and monitoring system, it is also important that the system will not keep all the goodies for itself, but also notify IT personnel when alert conditions are met.

This is also an apparent benefit of alerting systems that are integrated into license monitoring tools over in-house developments for localized license monitoring solutions.