The OpenLM Online parser tool is a sleek online painless interface for parsing license server logs and license files. It highlights license usage patterns and statistics, and produces insight on license inventory, utilization and availability.
In this article I have referred to a real organization’s usage of ESRI ArcGIS as a case study. The conclusions are in no way confined to that software or organization.
One of the unique benefits of the Online Parser tool is the benchmarks data. OpenLM accumulates average and mean deviation statistics that reflect the mainstream of license usage patterns in relation to specific features.
License administrators may use this information to compare license usage statistics in their organization with that other companies, and draw operational conclusions as described below.
Concurrent licensing is all about using and releasing licenses. Ideally, users should release licenses as soon as they’re done using them. At the risk of being simplistic: short average session duration implies a healthy organizational culture, whereas long average session length implies that users are unnecessarily keeping licenses for themselves.
Fine – tuning this observation will require a closer look at
- Objectives that have been assigned to this examined group of users
- The Organization’s preferences and methods of employing specific features
- ‘Freak’ sessions that may throw off the average statistics (e.g. Single license that has been left active over the weekend)
The image below shows an organization’s average ArcGIS ArcView session length, in comparison to the ArcView’s benchmark (taken from 99 samples). It is apparent that the users of this company tend to keep the ArcView longer than the benchmark (204 minutes vs. 168). We recommend that the Software Asset Manager (SAM) summons a staff meeting to convey this message.
An insight to the cause for this excessive license holding is presented in the following benchmark: Number of denials per hour.
This benchmark provides insight on the utilization of acquired licenses.
- A small amount of license denials implies that licenses are being fully utilized. In large organizations license denials are promptly covered by other licenses that have recently been released, so the effect of few license denials is negligible.
- Having too many denials or having not been denied licenses at all implies that licenses are either too few or too abundant and under-utilized respectively.
In the image below, there have not been any denials recorded. Apparently, licenses are too abundant and under-utilized. This may explain the users’ linger at returning licenses as apparent on the ArcGIS ArcView “Average session length” benchmark chart above.
Total utilization percentage is defined as the ratio between the total usage in a given time period, and the total potential usage of all acquired licenses during that period, i.e.:
∑ (Number of used licenses per session * Individual session’s usage time within observed period)
(Total number of licenses * Observed period)
The conclusion that ArcGIS ArcView licenses are too abundant concurs with the “Total Utilization percentage” benchmark chart. The image below depicts utilization percentage that is lower than the utilization benchmark for ArcGIS ArcView.
In this example, we believe that the license administrator should present this information to higher management. Management should consider cutting down on ArcGIS license procurement and maintenance, to optimize software expenditure.
The number of daily sessions per user is another metric for assessing the rate of license ownership transfer between users. It is complementary to the “Average session duration” metric described above. The image below is concurrent with the other benchmarks analyzed in this case study; Users are not checking their licenses back into the license pool at the expected rate.
This article shows a distinct case in which ArcGIS users of a specific organization have too many licenses at their disposal. They are oblivious to the need to return licenses, and keep the ArcView application open, idle on their desktop.
- Inform the staff on this required change in organizational culture.
- Cut expenditure on ArcGIS license procurement and maintenance
- Employ the OpenLM license management tool, to identify and retrieve idle ArcView licenses back to the license pools.