Skip navigation
All Places > Snow Product Hub > General Licensing Forums > Blog
1 2 3 Previous Next

General Licensing Forums

61 posts

[Updated on 20/03/2019 with SLM 9.1 links]

As you may know, in our Knowledge Base we collect all the most up to date documents and guides about our software. You can filter the data by topic or by category and even order for the "last update" field, but why not having here a quick list of the most up to date documents about SLM 9.0.x? 

 

So, here they are:

 

 

 

 

I hope you find them helpful. In case you need more information about our SnowGlobe Community, our tools, forums and trainings, please check this link: Welcome to Snow – Where to start and things to know 

 

For various reasons (described at the end of this post), compatibility with older operating systems is sometimes broken when we release a new inventory agent version. In these cases, we will still support the older operating system, but you  would need to use an older version of our agent in order to inventory the system.

 

The most recent example is our macOS agent version 6.0.0, which does not support macOS 10.7, so to scan computers with macOS 10.7, you need to use the prior agent version which is 5.1.0.

 

Our colleagues in R&D created the following list of all older operating systems that we still support as of today, by using an earlier version of our Snow agents:

 

Operating system

Agent version

Microsoft Windows 2000 (x86)

Windows Agent version 3.7 (EoS July 2019)

Microsoft Windows XP (x86, x64)

Windows Agent version 5.2.4

Microsoft Windows Server 2003 R2 (x86, x64)

Windows Agent version 5.2.4

Microsoft Windows Server 2003 (x86, x64)

Windows Agent version 5.2.4

10.6 - Snow Leopard

macOS Agent version 2.3 (EoS July 2019)

10.7 - Lion

macOS Agent version 5.1.0

Debian 5.x

Linux Agent version 5.2.0

Debian 6.0.00-6.0.10

Linux Agent version 5.2.0

Debian 7.0-7.6

Linux Agent version 5.2.0

Oracle Enterprise Linux 4.x

Linux Agent version 5.2.0

Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4.x

Linux Agent version 5.2.0

Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.0-5.11

Linux Agent version 5.2.0

SUSE 10

Linux Agent version 5.2.0

Ubuntu/Kubuntu 10.x

Linux Agent version 5.2.0

Ubuntu/Kubuntu 11.x

Linux Agent version 5.2.0

IBM AIX 5.3

Unix Agent version 5.0.4

IBM AIX 5.4

Unix Agent version 5.0.4

Solaris 8

Unix Agent version 5.0.4

Solaris 9

Unix Agent version 5.0.4


All this information can be derived from the System Requirements, but as this has been requested a few times, R&D created this summary for a better overview.

 

So why do we even break compatibility at all?

The main reason is that we need to keep the agents up-to-date with the latest libraries, and these libraries in-turn may lack support for an older OS. The benefit of these newer libraries is often improved security and/or bug fixes.

We welcome you in the community of Snow Software: SnowGlobe.

If you’ve either just joined our Snow Software world or simply want to have a refresh about our available tools, this is the right place for you.

 

The Community: SnowGlobe

Snow Software community is called SnowGlobe. Here you will find not only the discussion forums but also a lot of useful tools to get the best from your Snow applications.

 

The forum collection is called Snow Product Hub
Here you will find Snow employees, customers and partners actively participating to the discussions and we would like to hear also from you! To get more information about how to use the community, how to open a new thread or receive notifications, we have some quick tutorials available here: Help and Getting Started.

 

There are badges to win and some interesting prizes are waiting for the most active community users, so be sure to complete your Profile and join us!

 

Knowledge Base and Documentation

Whether you’re searching for the most up to date User Guide or a How-To article, our Knowledge Base is the best place to check. 
The searches can be refined selecting one or more criteria from the column on the left side. The results can be ordered in several ways, like date or alphabetical order. You can also refine the research for the document type. For instance, if you’re searching for the latest User Guides, simply tick the box "User Guides" in the "Article Type" section on the left panel.

 

Self-training: Snow Academy

If you want to learn further about our software and discover some best practices, our Academy site is the right place! Snow Academy contains many videos and tutorials that can help you to improve your knowledge about our products and get the best from them. 
Many videos are FREE, while some others need to be requested after a subscription plan.

 

The Products

Do you already know all our products? Do you want to know more about them or discuss about them in the related forums? Here's the full list!

SNOW INVENTORY (INV) - Discover devices, software and cloud services on all platforms, audit software installs and track usage. Discuss about it in the Inventory Forum

SNOW LICENSE MANAGER (SLM) - The heart of Snow, Snow License Manager tames the complexity, cost and risk of software and licensing. Discuss about it in the License Manager Forum

 

SNOW AUTOMATION PLATFORM (AP) - Automate key Software Asset Management, Cloud and mobile processes to accelerate adoption and increase ROI. Discuss about it in the Automation Platform Forum 

SNOW INTEGRATION CONNECTORS (SIC) - Maximize the value of existing investments with automated Inventory, ITAM and ITSM integrations. Discuss about them in the SIC Forum


SNOW DEVICE MANAGER (SDM) - A complete enterprise mobility management solution that handles the full lifecycle of mobile devices. Discuss about it in the Device Manager Forum


SNOW OPTIMIZER FOR SAP® SOFTWARE (SOS) - Software license optimization for one of the enterprise’s largest IT costs. Discuss about it in the Optimizer for SAP Forum

 

Support

If you’re experiencing a technical issue and need help from our Support team, you can reach it here: Support Portal
Our service is provided through Cases that can be opened, commented, monitored, closed and even withdrawn in the “My cases” area. 

 

To get the best from our Support, we strongly recommend you to provide all the necessary information while opening a Case, so our technicians can help you promptly.  We also have some very useful guides about how to open a case in the most accurate way:

Hand in hand with Snow Support 

- How to find log files

 

Upcoming events: online and offline

We really wish to meet you in one of our worldwide events!
We like to arrange events in many languages all around the world, to meet our customers, partners and welcome anyone else interested in our software. To know when we will be close to your city and which are the upcoming events, you can check the always up to date list here: Upcoming Events.

 

Added to the events and tours we also do webinars, mainly in - but not limited to - English. They are included in the event list link, so don’t forget to come back from time to time and check them.

 

Ideas

We like to improve our software and really appreciate your help, bringing your valuable suggestions into our features. We have a specific section of our community where these ideas are collected, voted by the community users and evaluated by Snow developers. The discussion board is called Snow Ideas Board.

 

We would really appreciate if you give a look to the existing Ideas open for voting and give your thumbs up (or down).

You can filter the Ideas for "Open for voting" status and let us know your thoughts about it.

 

If you want an overview of what we’ve already added to our applications, following the community suggestions, you can check the Ideas marked as implemented.

 

Blog: SAM, ITAM and Software Intelligence

If you’re a CIO, a CFO, an IT leader managing software consumption and costs and you want to know more, our blog is the right place for you.
Our authors post on our “Snow’s SAM blog” about IT Asset Management (ITAM), licensing, cloud software, Software Asset Management (SAM) and much more.


 

We hope this article has provided several useful tips, links and suggestions, but do not hesitate to ask us any additional question you may have leaving a comment below.

Again, welcome to Snow and enjoy your time into our Community!

In Snow Management And Configuration Console (SMACC) there's a specific section dedicated to the yet unrecognized software. If you have that software installed on one or more computers in your company, you can help us to add the full definition to the list. To do so, it's quite easy and some steps can really help you to provide us complete and relevant data.

  1. Download the SRS Request Template from this link: SRS Template v4.2 
  2. Fill all the mandatory columns with a special attention to:
    • Official Product Name*
    • Official Manufacturer*
    • Official Version*
    • Full Installation Path Including Main Executable*
  3. Save the file in XLS format and send it to our Support Team

What if you miss some of this information? 
To provide the best definitions, that can be valid for each of our customers, we need to be sure that all the necessary data is included in the most precise way. There's a simple trick to collect this data directly from your SMACC with a report. 
Note: Please be sure to have ready the name of the computer/s that have that application already installed and that a Snow agent has already performed an inventory scan.

These steps will help you to collect the missing fields:

  1. Open SMACC and select "Inventory Admin Console"
  2. Open "Devices"
  3. Click on the "Add View" field (available at the top, which is used to create the report)
  4. Name the report as you prefer
  5. In the next step, select the required fields:
    • Device \ Computer name
    • Software \ Software name
    • Software \ SW Manufacturer
    • Software \ Software version
    • Software \ SW path name
  6. Next, filter the report for the computer you are looking for with the installed application
    • Select the Device \ Computer name field
    • Specify "EQUALS" as the condition
    • And specify the name of the computer
  7. Click "Save" so that the report view is created and is now available in SMACC

 

Once you run this report on the relevant computer, you'll be able to find all the necessary fields that were required in the SRS Request Template. A copy/paste will be enough to fill all the columns and then proceed to the submission to our Support team.

Microsoft SQL Server is a relational database management system developed by Microsoft.

As a database server, it is a software product with the primary function of storing and retrieving data as requested by other software applications—which may run either on the same computer or on another computer across a network (including the Internet).

Editions

There are various editions of SQL server:

               SQL Server Enterprise

   SQL Server Standard

   SQL Server Business Intelligence

The number of editions and their names and capabilities varies by version, Enterprise and Standard are available at a minimum. Depending on the version, there may also be some of the editions below available.

SQL Server Datacentre

SQL Server Web

SQL Server Business Intelligence

SQL Server Express

SQL Server Developer

                         NOTE:         Developer edition is functionally equivalent to Enterprise Edition

         It is FREE to use for Test & Development under the existing licensing for your SQL licensing, but          you are NOT allowed to use it for production work or for disaster recovery (DR)

       

Can I use SQL Server Express for Snow installation?

To answer this question, read below for the pros and cons of SQL Server Express.

 

SQL Server Express is a free version of Microsoft’s SQL Server.

SQL Server Express is the most basic offering available. It is a full database engine you can deploy to a server or embed into an application. Express is free and comes with many of the same features as the enterprise edition. SQL Server Express is probably most suited to supporting production applications for smaller to midsize businesses. A typical SQL Server Express use case would be a deployment by developers who do not want to create applications with a database hosted on a server. Using Express, they would be able to develop apps with their SQL Server database.

 

SQL Server Express Benefits

Some benefits come with an SQL Server Express deployment.

  • Cost: One huge advantage of SQL Server Express is that it is free. Your only outlay is the time investment you make downloading and setting up the system. If you only want to learn how to use SQL Server, then Express is for you.
  • Scalability: SQL Server Express is an ideal starting point for smaller independent software vendors since it can be used with any smaller application. The licensing allows Express to be included as part of an app or product.
  • Security: Within SQL Server Express there is the option of free online backup that will help to protect your valuable business data if anything goes wrong.
  • Features: While Express is the “lite” version of SQL Server, there is still an impressive range of features that you would have to pay for with other systems. Express supports native XML, and the SQL Common Language Runtime.

 

 

SQL Server Express Limitations

  • 1GB maximum memory used by the SQL Server Database Engine

  • The maximum size of each relational database is 10GB

  • SQL Agent is not included in Express. The SQL Agent is a background tool which enables administrators to automate tasks like backing up data, database replication setup, job scheduling, user permissions, and database monitoring.

  • The limit on the buffer cache for each instance is 1MB of RAM.

  • The relational database engine is restricted to the lesser of 1 socket or 4 cores.

 

The answer to this question is no, Express cannot be used. Snow products require the SQL Server Agent to run the overnight Data Update Job.

Additionally, the 10GB database limitation is far too restrictive for the size of database most customers. An example of this database size would be under 1000 units the estimated size of the Snow License Manager database would be in the region of 15GB.

 

For guidance on which edition to use, please refer to the Snow System Requirements document which can be found here 

 

Further edition functionality comparisons can be found at the following links:

Editions and supported features of SQL Server 2017

Editions and supported features of SQL Server 2016

Editions and supported features of SQL Server 2014

This article will deal with how to use Snow reporting and License Assignment for Direct License Allocation. Datacenter allocation will be covered in Part 2. This method can be used to assign licenses to a large number of hosts - speeding up the initial allocations when implementing Snow. Its also a good housekeeping task to check regularly that new unlicensed servers arent appearing in the estate. 

First report on the unlicensed servers:

1. Run the ‘License tracking per Computer’ report. Filter on ‘Windows Server’
2. Add columns for ‘Datacenter Name’ as well as ‘Compliance’ and ‘License Requirement’.
3. Filter on ‘Coverage reason’ = None. Your report should look similar to the screenshot below.

4. Save this report and schedule if desired – recommend weekly.
Now prepare the import spreadsheet:
5. Now export this report to XLS – it’s the list of all unlicensed Windows Servers we will work with in the next steps.
6. Remove any servers you don’t want to cover at this time – e.g. other Physical hosts requiring DC licenses
7. Add a column for the ‘Allocation’
8. Add a column for ‘ExternalID’ – this needs to match the ‘ExternalID’ field in the information tab of the license you want to assign (Note ExternalID is normally blank unless you have added a value when you added the license)
You can also use the ‘License ID’ value, which is the unique ID Snow assigns to each license – both fields are visible in the column selector of the ‘List All Licenses’ view from the Licenses Tab

9. In the XLS add the correct number of processors or processor cores to the allocation field, to match the License Requirement field, and the License or External ID of the license where they are to be taken from.

Now import the allocation:
10. From the ‘Home’ menu select a ‘License Assignment Import’ – select the XLSX above

11. Map 'Assign to' – ComputerName and ‘Assigned Quantity’ -Alocation – ‘Type’ is only necessary if datacenter licenses to be allocated. LicenseID or ExternalID is automatically assigned if it matches.

Click next and the preview screen shows the allocations that will be assigned

12. Proceed if no errors and perform a ‘License Recalculation’ to see the results in Snow License Manager

Caught in The Web

Tracking and metering software usage is one thing – but what about tracking web applications? This article will serve as an introduction to the world of Snow Web/Cloud App Metering. We will take a look at the two methods Snow provides – and their limitations, pros and cons.

 

Web App Metering Method

The “traditional” method of web app metering is fairly basic and still fully supported by Snow – set a web pattern in SLM:

 

 

A web.config file is then created in the Snow Agent install folder on the client machine. This method works by referencing the client machine’s DNS cache. You can view this on your own machine from a command prompt using the command ipconfig /displaydns.

Unfortunately, whilst this technique is largely robust enough to show who had accessed what, this method will not show the where and the how long. For example, it will show that a user had accessed the site, but not what features and not the length of time.

Furthermore, the DNS cache is not readable in all corporate environments – proxies can block this, for example.

 

Cloud App Metering With Inventory 6

Cloud App Metering incorporates DIS (Data Intelligence Service) rules. Within the DIS, patterns and rules are stored which can recognise which features, pages, tools, etc of a particular web app was used.

This is useful as many web apps offer different subscriptions levels which make certain parts available. With Cloud App Metering, it is possible to view which features are actually being used and which aren’t.

 

 

The task of adding web patterns into Snow License Manager is not necessary here, as the DIS rules are uploaded to the Software Recognition Service. Each web app is then assigned a unique ID and the rules are stored within the Snow Inventory database.

The Cloud App Metering rules are then downloaded by the Snow Inventory Agent and stored on the local machine.

 

Browser Extensions

 

 

The above is facilitated by the use of a browser extension – currently we support Chrome, Firefox and Internet Explorer 11. Browser extensions are installed via the agent, once Cloud App Metering has been activated within the Snow Inventory admin console.

The browser extension will capture all URLs accessed by the browser and stores the information in a \cloudmetering\extension-output directory within the %ProgramData% hidden folder in Windows – this data is obfuscated, meaning it cannot be read and interpreted in plain text. The agent will compare the contents of these results with the web app patterns received by the DIS rules and, when a match is found, will store them and delete all results from the extension.

This data is then sent with the .SNOWPACK file when the scheduled scan and send occurs. Once the Data Update Job runs, it is visible in Snow License Manager.

Cloud App Metering does not store data centrally for all web traffic – only websites that have DIS rules attached!

 

 

 

Setting It Up

Here’s how to setup the Snow Inventory to start using Cloud App Metering:

  1.       Agent .config file – the snowagent.config file must contain the following lines within the <SystemSettings> section:

    <Setting key="saas.firefox.enabled" value="true" />

    <Setting key="saas.ie11.enabled" value="true" />

    <Setting key="saas.chrome.enabled" value="true" />

  1.       Activate Cloud App Metering within Snow Inventory console:


  2.       Select the configuration you are rolling the change out to:

  3.       Once the agents receive the instruction, the browser extension will appear on the client machines:



Sluggish Snow License Manager tables, reports taking too long to load? This article aims to provide a starting point when diagnosing possible performance issues, particularly for larger environments.

 

If you have the following issues, you may need to look at your SQL Server platform:

 

  • Snow License Manager IIS web app usage generally slow and sluggish
  • Reports taking too long to generate
  • SLM website hangs
  • .SNOWPACK agent scan files in \Incoming\Data\Error folder with SQL timeout errors

 

Performance Anxiety

This article aims to provide advice on where to improve performance in the following areas:

 

  •  Speed of Inventory Agent .SNOWPACK file processing
  • Accessibility and usability of the Snow License Manager web application
  • Speed in which the over-night Data Update Job takes to run
  • Other general performance issues

 

Snow Software do not have any best practice guidelines for monitoring performance and usage. This task must be carried out by the customer. The advice offered in this document is largely based on previous engagements with similarly sized customers as well as the application of widely recognised industry best practices.

 

 

Dressed to Compress

SQL Server 2008-2014 Enterprise, or SQL Server 2016 Standard SP1 is recommended to allow Data Compression – this will reduce database size. This may increase the CPU usage as data is decompressed, but will not affect the IOs, so performance should not be affected overall and the decrease in database side should off-set this overhead.

 

Storage

A recommended disk configuration for large environments (over 100k seats) suggestion is as follows:

C: OS Drive

D: SnowInventory Database Data File, High-Speed Disk

E: SnowLicenseManager Database Data File, High-Speed Disk

F: TempDB Data File, High-Speed Disk

G: Log Files, High-Speed Disk

A configuration such as the above has been shown to give good performance for such large environments. The drives above should be separate physical disks and not separately partitioned volumes.

 

Monitoring - What's Going On?

To aid in identifying where the performance issue may lie, customers should investigate the SQL server. As a start, the monitoring counters common to all Windows Servers can be used.

 

 

 

Third-party monitoring tools may also be used to get further analytical information. Some suggestions on areas to monitor could be:

  • Processor(Total)\% Processor Time – This is a basic indicator that should demonstrate that the server is running within the accepted parameters. The counter being in the 20-40% range would be considered acceptable, but spikes of over 80% could be a concern.
  • Memory\Available MBs – tracking the available MB of memory can highlight if the amount of memory installed on the server is the issue. It can also help establish if other processes are using memory that could be used by SQL Server.
  • Paging File (Total)\% Usage – If a lack of memory is causing issues, it could be that the Page File is being used. Reading and writing to and from disk instead of memory will cause noticeable performance decreases.
  • PhysicalDisk(Total)\Avg. Disk Sec (Read & Write) – Two counters displaying this metric for both read and write can show how fast the I/O subsystem can respond to data requests. Latency values of more than 20ms may be an issue and should not be expected is SSDs are used.
  • System\Processor Queue Length – If this counter reports on the number of threads that are queued for processor. If this is above 0 then there are too many requests per core than the processor can handle, which will have an impact on performance.

 

 

 

Conclusion

Many of our customers now have large environments of 80-150k seats. For this amount of data and users, they would see improved performance by carrying out some or all of the following:

  • Ensure a 16 core processor is used
  • Ensure RAM size is 128GB
  • Ensure storage volumes are split across enough physical disks and that the disks are high performance SSDs
  • Migrate to SQL Server 2014 Enterprise or SQL Server 2016 Standard SP1 in order to enable SQL Data Compression
  • Monitor SQL server performance for an extended length of time to ascertain the times and extent of the performance issues
hans.andreasson

Oracle Java

Posted by hans.andreasson Employee Oct 15, 2018

Licensreglerna kring java ändras. Att få veta hur det ser ut i er miljö är enkelt: rätt filter och rapporten är klar. Det som gör detta möjligt är Snow´s programvaruigenkänning på Java och 6 miljarder andra executables (SRS / DIS) för knappt 100 000 tillverkare.

 

Kontakta din snowkontakt eller sales@snowsoftware.com om du behöver hjälp eller har frågor.Oracle Sun Java fitler report

 

Enemy: Unknown

Your organisation has Snow Inventory and Snow License Manager up and running. Agents are rolled out to all devices on your estate and you are starting to make use of all the data. One fact remains: your network is huge. Multiple VLANs, multiple regions connected by MPLS, secured networks and more – how can you be sure that you can see every network device? After all, SAM is only as effective as the data you put in. In this article, we will discuss an all-to-often overlooked functionality that Snow Inventory provides – Discovery.

 

The Gateway Drug

Snow Inventory offers scalability through the use of Snow Inventory Gateways. We can install as many Inventory Gateways as is required – this is included within your Snow Inventory license. These Gateway Service instances can then be used to feed back discovery data on a network back to the Inventory Master Server.

 

 

Gateway Server instances can then be managed from within the Inventory SMaCC console on the Master Server:

 

Double-clicking into a Gateway will allow you to configure Network Discovery:

 

 

Discovery Methods

Now it’s time to look at the different types of discovery we can use…

 

Active Directory

Using an LDAP, we can identify machines across any number of domains. The data gathered can then be cross-referenced by Snow License Manager to identify any computers that are in the domain or domains and give an output of the machines that are not inventoried (i.e. there is no Snow Inventory Agent installed on the machine).

Any domains that do not have a Trust Relationship to the domain where the Master Server resides will require a Gateway Server within that domain.

 

SNMP (Simple Network Management Protocol)

Not all network devices can be fully inventoried, but you can still discover them. Who knows what devices you may have out there sitting in frame rooms? SNMP, or Simple Network Management Protocol is usually used for remote management of simple devices – uninterruptable power supplies (UPS), routers, switches, printers and other such devices may not even be running a full operating system but still have network connectivity so that they can report back basic information to your IT team – IP address, MAC address, serial number, firmware version etc. Snow Inventory can use this to discover and report on such devices.

 

DNS Lookup

Domain Name System lookup – DNS assigns a name to an IP address. Inventory can use this to attach hostnames to IP addresses to further identify devices.

 

TCP/IP Fingerprinting

TCP/IP Fingerprinting is used to try and determine what OS is behind the IP address that has been discovered. This can particularly help identify elusive Linux and Unix machines, as well as Windows, if WinRPC is unable to.

 

WinRPC/WMI

This protocol is used solely for Windows remote management and is another tool that Inventory could use to potentially identify a Windows machine on the network. Port 135 must be open on the target machine to be able to be scanned via WinRPC.

 

SSH (Secure Socket Shell)

SSH protocol is most often used to remotely manage Unix devices, for example, when using a tool like PuTTY to SSH protocol is used (usually via port 22) to secure copy (SCP) files to a Unix-based machine. Using this protocol, Inventory can identify Unix machines on the network.

 

Making Use of Discovery Data

Once Inventory has discovered two of the following – an IP address, a MAC address and a hostname, then this device is discovered and will show up on Discovered Devices reports within Snow Inventory.

 

Within Discovery, there are a number of default views:

 

 

AD and SIM Computers – All computers that have been found by the Active Directory discovery or any SIM Connectors.

 

Reachable Network Devices – Any devices picked up by the SNMP protocol, i.e. switches, printers etc.

 

Reachable Unknown Devices – These devices have been discovered but there is not enough information to determine much more than the IP address and MAC.

 

Reachable Computers – These devices have been discovered by either the WinRPC/WMI, TCP/IP Fingerprinting or Active Directory protocols to determine the operating system.

 

Reachable Computers with Snow Inventory Client 3.x for Windows – This is useful for identifying any Windows machines that are still using the old Inventory Client. These machines can then be targeted for Inventory Agent deployment.

 

Dear reader,

 

This time around, I’ve decided to write a blog post about managing a Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) within the Snow License Manager. I’ll try to explain and show ways to determine how to draw up an overview of all VDI’s and their relation with the actual physical hardware clients and users. Besides this, we’ll also have a closer look into ways you will be able to create license requirements for the Windows Desktop Operating Systems being used from within the VDI and of course what the impact of a VDI has on you overall application landscape.

 

So…after reading this blog post you should be able to:

 

  • understand what a Virtual Desktop Infrastructure is and how this data is represented in Snow License Manager.
  • analyze your own VDI environment and the virtual applications being used.
  • analyze the business consumption with regards to which device and / or user is accessing a VDI.
  • add Microsoft Windows Operating System & VDA licenses in Snow License Manager to cover the use of VDI’s.
  • create and save easy-to-use reports specifically for your VDI estate, including compliance information.

 

 

VIRTUAL DESKTOP INFRASTRUCTURE

First lets get the facts and figures out of the way, so to speak…. What exactly is a Virtual Desktop Infrastructure?

 

Virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) is virtualization technology that hosts a desktop operating system on a centralized server in a data center. VDI is a variation on the client-server computing model, sometimes referred to as server-based computing. VDI is a good and solid alternative to the server-based computing model used by Citrix and Microsoft Terminal Services. There are two main approaches to VDI: persistent and nonpersistent.

 

  • Persistent VDI provides each user with his or her own desktop image, which can be customized and saved for future use, much like a traditional physical desktop.

 

  • Nonpersistent VDI provides a pool of uniform desktops that users can access when needed. Nonpersistent desktops revert to their original state each time the user logs out.

 

Picture 1

 

In the screenshot above (picture 1) we can see a common example of different kinds of devices using virtual desktops, which are being streamed / pushed to the devices from the server back-end. In this particular case the virtual desktop has a Windows Operating System installed. The last thing I would like to add, which is very important and is a vital difference between a virtualized applications, is that a virtual desktop infrastructure contains:

 

  1. a virtualized operating system
  2. installations of virtualized applications
  3. and its own data

 

Hence, the reason it is called a “virtual desktop”. Instead of streaming a virtual application to the device, a whole desktop with pre-installed apps and data will be streamed to the device.

 

 

VDI & SNOW LICENSE MANAGER

With the use of the Snow Inventory Client installed in the virtual VDI environment, all of the necessary data will be visible and manageable in Snow License Manager. Together with the integration between the Snow Software platform and the hypervisor technology used to host the virtual VDI pool(s), you will be able to establish a clear overview of the physical datacenter and all of the VDI’s available to be consumed by the business. This also includes, information about what is actually installed in each VDI, and the usage of each application made available in the VDI. You will be able to see which specific kind of device and which user has been using a VDI and the installed applications.

 

List all VDI’s

Lets first focus on generating a total overview of all VDI’s being inventoried in the IT-estate. With the use of the Snow Inventory Client installed in every single VDI (template), we’ll end-up with similar information of each individual VDI, just as we would when inventorying a physical computer. Once this data is available in Snow License Manager, we can have a look at the total number of VDI’s available in the system. If we navigate to the “Computer” category, from the drop-down menu we need to select the List all computer option, as shown in picture 2 below.

 

Picture 2

 

This will present the “List of” all computers that are currently being inventoried in your total IT-estate – either with the use of the Snow Inventory Clients and / or an integration with a third party inventory tool -. The list might also include possible hyper-visor servers. By using the available filters and the appropriate columns we are able to create an overview of all VDI’s. In the example (picture 3) we can see that the column selector needs to be opened first to add the VDI column.

 

Picture 3

 

After adding that particular column we can set the filter to Yes, which will create the list we are looking for, as shown in picture 4.

 

Picture 4

 

Form this list, I’ll select a VDI to have closer look at the detailed overview. Especially, when  using the Snow Inventory Client you may expect to see the following in-depth details (picture 5).

 

Picture 5

 

The User Interface is basically the same as when also looking at the detailed overview page of an individual laptop, server or computer, to name just a few other types of assets that might end-up in your personal Snow License Manager portal. The type of assets will always be display to the left of the computer name:

 

If we zoom in on a couple of interesting tabs available in the detailed overview, we'll see that in the screenshot above (picture 5) we get a nice list of all applications used from within this particular VDI. What is important to point out, is that this will either be an application that is actually installed in the VDI bubble or it will be an application that is streamed separately to the device that is running the VDI at that particular moment. In Snow License Manager, both will also be a part of the total application list. Later on in this blog I’ll highlight some interesting reports, in which you’ll be able to distinguish between these applications.

 

Looking ahead at the data we might need for compliance calculations, we can see a tab that displays the number of unique user that have been using this particular VDI (picture 6). If the appropriate license metric for one of the virtualized applications in this VDI session would be based on the number of unique user, the calculation would be based on these two users - after adjusting the license metric of the application first -.

 

Picture 6

 

We can also see a tab that will give information about each unique machines that has accessed (run) this VDI (picture 7). You may expect to see different kinds of machines in this tab, which will be based on the company assets used to run VDI’s and weather you’ll be able to also approach a VDI from your privately owned assets, like mobile phones, tablets or a laptop. The Snow technology will be able to create easy-to-use list of data and reports so you know exactly which user has used which machine to run which VDI or VDI’s.

 

Picture 7

 

Another very interesting tab to have a closer look at is the “Information” tab. In this tab we’ll see lots of different details ranging from the bit-rate of the Windows Operating system to specific details about the Snow Inventory client. What you’ll also find in this tab, is the link to the physical server that is hosting the VDI, including the information about which hypervisor technology is used. This is highlighter in the screenshot below (picture 8).

 

Picture 8

 

If I would click on the specific host server (ESX18057), I’ll end up on the detailed overview page of that machine, including the information about the cluster it belongs to, as shown in picture 9.

 

Picture 9

 

 

VDI REPORTS

When it comes to using the reporting section specifically for a VDI environment, it is possible to use three available reports straight from the start. Out-of-the box, Snow License Manager contains a separate group that houses 3 unique reports for VDI usage and management. Below you'll find a screenshots (picture 10) of the section I’m referring to. The group is called “VDI (3)” and contains the following 3 reports:

 

  1. All devices that have accessed a VDI
  2. All user that have accessed a VDI
  3. Applications per VDI computer

 

Picture 10

 

In the "all devices" report, you can view exactly which specific company owned machine or any other possible privately owned machines has been using a VDI from the total available VDI pool(s). If you have implemented an organisation structure in the Snow platform, you’ll also be able to see the distinguish between business units. This information is important for those software vendors out there, that need to know the total number of physical devices that have been using application from within a VDI!

 

The "user related" report shows information about each unique user that have accessed one or more VDI’s, including first and last used information. Also in this case, an available organisation structure will distinguish between business units. With regards to specific user related license metrics this is very important information.

 

The third and last report, will show all applications that have been used from within each VDI. This means all applications installed or either used per VDI computer. All installed applications will be the default available applications in the VDI (template), just like the installed Operating System. Once a user is running a VDI locally on his or her device, other applications could also be used during that session, based on company protocols and user privileges. These other applications are streamed seperately to the VDI one by one and will also show up in this report. If you wish to switch between views, there is a criteria you can easily add to this report as shown in picture 11.

 

Picture 11

 

If you set this criteria to “No” it will only display the default installed applications of the VDI’s accessed per computer, and if you set the criteria to “Yes” it will display all virtual applications that have been streamed separately to all VDI sessions. Of course, you could add additional criteria and filters to analyze a specific vendor or application etc.

 

Besides these out-of-the-box available reports in the specific VDI group, I would like also like to point your attention to the following two reports available from the same "Reports" category, but located in different groups. The first report is available from within the Standard reports group and is called “Applications per device” (by default).

In the screenshot below (picture 12) I have create a specific detailed overview by applying the following columns:

 

  • Device/Computer – which is the physical machine used to run the VDI
  • Remote Server name – which is the actual VDI
  • Application manufacturer
  • Application
  • No license required – by applying the Yes/No filter you can easily switch and manage all applications that have a financial commitment, thus need a license!
  • Last user on device
  • Last used
  • and 3 columns with usage information….

 

Picture 12

 

The other report can be found in the group called “Datacenter”. The default name of the report is called “Physical and virtual servers per datacenter” as shown in the screenshot below (picture 13). By applying the necessary criteria (like; Virtual set to Yes and Operating system set to Not Like + words like Server, Linux etc.) you could end-up with this decent reports. The report will display the relation between the physical hosting layer and all the VDI’s running on top, including relevant information like the inventory column. It is important to know if a VDI is not being inventoried by the Snow Inventory Client.

 

Picture 13

 

 

VDI COMPLIANCE IN SNOW LICENSE MANAGER

By using VDI technology in your own IT-estate and being able to report on relevant data with the help of the Snow platform, you will be able to investigate the usage of VDI sessions from different angles. Up until now I’ve tried to explain how the collected data is presented in Snow License Manager and which specific reports will also assist you to get a better understanding of the consumption. A part from all this relevant information, you would also like to establish useful compliance information to determine particular license risks or possible optimization possibilities.

 

In order to create the correct compliance information, you’ll need to first determine the appropriate license metric that must be applied to each individual applications that is being used from within a VDI session. Vendors likes Microsoft and Adobe might approach the calculation of the required licenses, as to be based on the number of unique physical devices or the number of actual users that have access to a VDI. A vendor like VMware, might approach the calculation as the total number of unique VDI’s that have been accessed during a particular period in time.

 

Another very important matter might also be the virtual Operating System that is used inside your VDI bubble (environment). Most likely, this will be a Microsoft desktop operating system like Windows 10 or Windows 8. In order to actually run & access a VDI with a Microsoft desktop operating system on your local physical machine, you need to have the right license to do so. I would like this blog to be about the management of VDI environments in Snow License Management, and not spend too much about all the possible and mandatory license rules and available products in the market today. I will however, like to mention that Microsoft basically offers two vital option in order to be compliant on “the right to run & access a VDI that has a Microsoft desktop operating system installed”:

 

Windows Desktop OS with active Software Assurance (option 1) and Windows Virtual Desktop Access (option 2) are the licensing options required when accessing a Microsoft desktop operating system in a Virtual Machine (like a VDI). Windows SA and Windows VDA are device based licenses, and under select Volume Licensing agreements available in a Per User license option. Essentially the Windows VDA license is for devices or users that do not qualify or do not have Windows SA; such as thin clients, 3rd party owned devices and any device without Windows SA.

 

To determine and know for sure which license solution would be most suited for your personal situation, I kindly advise you to contact your trusted software advisor, the software vendor or your reseller (LSP) to assist and advice you on this specific topic, both with regards to the Microsoft VDI Operating System license options as well as to the individual applications used in your personal VDI environment!

 

At the moment, the Snow platform is only able to manage “device based licenses” with regards to the Windows Desktop OS Software Assurance and Windows Virtual Desktop Access licenses.

 

In the screenshot below (picture 14) I’ve selected the Microsoft Windows 10 Enterprise desktop operating system, and clicked on the compliance tab to hightlight the following.

 

Picture 14

 

Having the correct Snow Inventory Client installed on physical machines and in virtual computers like a VDI (Snow Inventory Client 3.7 or higher and for VDI the client must be configured with IsVDI=Yes), the Snow platform will be able to make a very important distinguish. As you can see in picture 14, the total number of unique installations of Windows 10 Enterprise is 842. The total number of Windows 10 Enterprise installed in VDI’s is 23, and is not taken into account.

 

It is important to understand that although the 23 installation of Windows 10 Enterprise are installed in the VDI environment. The installations must still be licensed with active software assurance (option 1) or VDA licenses (option 2). 

Also when looking at the application list of a single VDI, you’ll see the following remark in the “Remark column” (picture 15). The remark means that the operating system is installed on a virtual computer and of course will need to be licenses accordingly.

 

Picture 15

 

In the case that you have machines in your environment that are not being inventoried by the Snow Inventory Client, but do use your VDI’s, the following will take place in Snow License Manager. A couple of examples of machines that are not being inventoried could be a thin-client or a zero-client, but I could also be any third party device. In this case, when the Snow platform detects these types of machines it will automatically add the need for a Microsoft VDA license. Also when the Snow platform sees any inventoried machines that is covered with a Windows Desktop OS without active Software Assurance, it will automatically add the need for a Microsoft VDA license.

 

Using the report “All devices that have accessed a VDI” I will not only know exactly which physical machines has used a VDI, but I’ll also know which of these devices are not being inventoried, as you can see in picture 16. In this particular example, the report contain 10 unique machines that have run & accessed a VDI and that 1 of those 10 machines is not being inventoried.

 

Picture 16

 

With the use of picture 17 I can visualize what I meant to say, that the Snow platform will automatically add the need for a Microsoft VDA license. It is not actually an applications that is installed on any device, but it is added to the list of applications to highlight the necessity of the license right! In this way it will also show up in your Microsoft compliance summary.

 

Picture 17

 

Before, I actually start adding the necessary quantity of licenses, I would also want to analyse the installation of the actual Microsoft desktop operating system(s) we are using on our physical machines. In this example, I’ve gather information – which I would like to keep very keen and simple – that looks like this (picture 18).

 

Picture 18

 

I’ve been able to determine the total amount of unique Windows desktop operating systems that is installed in the VDI environment, but also on physical machines. As already mentioned and determined using the correct report, I know that 10 of these “so-called” installations are from VDI’s. These 10 installations still need to covered with licenses.

 

The next logical step would be to add the correct license entitlements owed by the company, which in the end should alter & update the Compliance Summary report with the correct facts and figures. From there, you should be able make the best next business decision.

 

The example in the screenshot (picture 19) below, shows that my company owns a total of 50 Microsoft VDA license based on devices. Hence, that you don’t forget to add the license subscription period.

 

Picture 19

 

The other licenses the company owns are Windows Desktop OS licenses with active Software Assurance. In this example shown in picture 20, these are Microsoft Windows 10 Enterprise Plan E3 licenses with active Software Assurance, that you need to activate in the second tab as demonstrated in picture 21. You can either add the actual period of the Software Assurance purchase or use the period of the agreement the license purchase itself is linked to!

 

Picture 20

 

Picture 21

 

Before I end this blog, there is still one vital remark and matter I wish to address. For the applications used from within each VDI session, you need to set the correct license setting in Snow License Manager. Of course, you’ll only need to do this for those applications that actually need a license. The correct metric that might apply, will depend on your personal business choice during the procurement of the licenses. Therefore, you’ll need to look-up the correct metric in your own purchase records, if not already stored in Snow License Manager. I would recon that the most common used metrics will be either per device or per user. In the screenshot (picture 22) below you can see how to alter the license metric for an application.

 

Picture 22

 

You first need to select the application that you want to edit. By clicking on “Edit application” you can select the second tab (picture 22) and then apply the correct metric; user or device!

 

Don’t hesitate to comment on this blog post or reach out to me or any of your local Snow contacts for more assistance and guidance.

 

 

My other blog about Windows Server Management

 

My other blog about SQL Server Management

 

My other blog about importing and tailoring a Microsoft License Statement (MLS)

 

My other blog about creating a digital contract management system in SLM

Purpose

  • Define the high-level process and the steps required to carry out bulk computer archiving in Snow License Manager.
  • Provide an additional mechanism of control in respect to complying with internal company asset life cycle management policies.
  • Help save a significant amount of time ordinarily required to carry out this task manually on a machine by machine basis where there is a requirement to archive many machines in Snow on a periodic basis.

What is Archiving

Snow license manager provides two separate means of removing computer records from the Snow database using the Web UI.

Delete

Using the “Delete” option will permanently remove the computer record from the Snow database and there will be no further access to that computer inventory record in Snow.

Note: Choosing to delete instead of archiving will depend entirely on the needs of your business and should be detailed in your data retention policy so please ensure you refer to this prior to taking this action.

Archive

The Archive option will also perform the “Delete” function however, prior to the deletion it will take a point in time (POT) Snapshot of the machine records which it retains in the License Manager database as an archive record in case you need to refer to it in the future using the standard archived computer report available in Snow License Manager.

Note: Choosing to archive instead of deleting will depend entirely on the needs of your business and should be detailed in your data retention policy so please ensure you refer to this prior to taking this action.

Why Archive?

In short, computer assets will at some point of their lifecycle be permanently removed from the corporate network and disposed of for several reasons i.e. No longer supported, damaged, lost, replaced etc. If the computer records remain in Snow license manager and software applications are reported as installed and or in use on the respective computers, then they are consuming licenses not only for Snow but for those applications identified on the machines.

If you do not archive or delete these entries from Snow it will have a direct impact on the overall software license compliance position and in turn will have financial and potentially legal implications.

Refer to your organisations data retention policy as this will govern what records are kept and for how long.

Your company’s requirement to reference these archived computer records would typically arise either for audit, legal, security, transformation related activity or simply for historical reference purposes.

The high-level Process

Step 1 - Create a custom Field in Snow

You should only have to do this once, after that the field will always exist in the Snow custom field list unless it is removed as part of a manual clean-up process.

See screenshots below:

  • Click on Home --> Administration-->Custom fields

  • Click Add

  • Select the category -- ‘Computer/Mobile device’

  • Select the Type field – choose ‘Yes/No’
  • Type ‘Archive’ in the Name field – This will be the custom field name.
  • In the description field, you can add whatever test you feel appropriate here to help you identify why you have created this custom field. For this one a suggestion would be to add ‘Created to support bulk archiving of computers in Snow process. This adds a field against each computer in Snow with the ‘Archive’ yes or no option which can be updated manually one PC at a time or via a bulk import’.
  • Next add a check to the Mandatory field to enable it to be a mandatory item against each computer.
  • The last field provides you the option of choosing ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ for the default. In this case, it will be ‘No’ by default as the option. As we only want to add ‘Yes’ to the machines we want to archive.

Step 2 -Create Import Template

Create the excel import template – this is a simple two columns excel file using machine name and the custom field [Archive].

See sample below:

Step 3 – Create list of machines

Add the list of machines to the template – Insert all the machine names in the Computer name column and add the word Yes to the ‘[Archive]’ column.

See sample below:

Save this file with a unique name for audit purposes in the Archived computers folder with a date relevant to the date you are archiving the machines.

Don’t over write the template!

Step 4 – Start the Import

Start the import process.

  • go to [Home]--> [Import Data] and choose ‘Update Existing Computers’ option.

  • Then browse for the saved Archived computers list in the Archived computers folder you saved earlier as per step 3

  • Click Next

Since we are importing an update to existing computers, in Step 2 of 5 of the import process ensure that for the ‘New Organisation Action’ selection is set to ‘Do Nothing’ and that the ‘Obsolete computer action’ is also set to ‘Do nothing’

In the next stage, you will be asked to confirm the Field mappings and as there are only 2 fields that we are importing against i.e. ‘Computer Name’ and ‘[Archive]’ Snow will want to ensure that it maps correctly for the import so this stage will allow you to correct any Mapping errors.

In the screenshot below you will see what should happen at this stage of the process and how the fields should look.

The options – ‘Trim leading or trailing white space’ is for ensuring that you are not importing any whitespace as this will affect the way Snow locates the relevant computers you are trying to update so if you have copied the data into excel and there are potentially white spaces in the text then select this option to ensure better results and avoid repeating the process.

The option ‘Map by Index’ can be ignored but ensure there is no check in the box then click next

  • Click Next.

The 4th stage of this import process will provide you a chance to preview and validate that the data you are importing and updating against will work and if any errors are identified i.e. if the computer name you are trying to update in Snow through this import is not found in the Snow computers list, then it will show up as an error at this point.

See example below:

If errors do exist, then you can take a note of these now and complete the import process and deal with the errors separately or cancel the import and correct the problems then start the import process again.

To do this you will need to export the exceptions/errors – click on the export invalid rows option and save the resultant excel file in the same location as the archive computers list so that you can deal with them as a separate task if required.

Example below

Once you have exported any exceptions, clicking next will provide a warning screen asking if you would like to continue excluding the exceptions. If not, then click cancel and go back to the beginning of the import process once you have resolved the exceptions.

Sometimes the machines with the errors are not identified in Snow as they may have been archived already or they just don’t exist in Snow at all. Check these exceptions and if you are happy to proceed then continue with the import process.

  • Click next and complete the import –

In this example, we have only imported against 1 machine so the completed import will show you in this case ‘1 row imported successfully’.

If in your import, you have multiple lines to import and there are errors then it will show you this along with the number of rows that encountered errors.

See screenshot below:

  • Click Finish.

Step 5 - Validate

To validate the list of computers to be archive and that your import/update was a success:

  • Click on ‘Computers’ --> ‘List all computers’.

  • Next use column selector to add the custom field you created called ‘Archive’.

  • Drag the ‘Archive’ field so that it slots in next to the ‘computer name’ field.
  • Next - use the drop down in the ‘Archive’ field column and choose ‘Yes’, this will then list all the machines you have updated with the custom field option to ‘Yes’ – The result will list only the machines you have chosen to archive.

At this point you can validate that the list of machines you have updated through your import matches that of the original import list. Once you are confident that they match you can move to step 6 which is where you can go ahead and archive the computers.

Step 6 - Archive

Now you need to perform the bulk archive – so select all the computers in this list, ensuring that you ONLY select the machines that have a ‘Yes’ against them in the Archive column.

  • Then choose the option next to the column selector and select ‘Edit computers’

Then you can add notes to the notes section

It is important now that you choose Archive and not delete the reason being is that Archiving takes a Snapshot of the machines prior to deletion and deletion does not. This enables an audit trail to exist and allows you to track the life-cycle of the machines, its users and the applications installed etc.

Once you select Archive, Snow will ask you to confirm. At this point if there is any doubt you can back out and check off any doubt or simply go ahead and confirm the Archiving of the selected machines. Once a machine is Archived it cannot be un-archived you should simply wait until the computer is reconnected to the network and scanned again with a Snow inventory agent and that would then add that same machine name back into the Snow DB and then just repeat the process if necessary to archive it again if that were the requirement.

This will now be the end of the Bulk archiving process steps.

You can check in the ‘Archived Computers Report’ located in the ‘Standard Reports’ section of Snow License Manager to confirm that your computers have been successfully archived.

THIRD-PARTY INVENTORY CONNECTORS 

 

Snow Integration Connectors (SIC) can automatically consolidate audit data from multiple inventory tools into a single view of all software and hardware assets from across the network and beyond.  

 

All audit data imported through a Snow Connector is automatically processed through the Snow Software Recognition Service to ensure the accuracy of software titles, versions and more.  

 

In some cases, there are limited requirements, or customers are using a 3rd party tool / ITSM / Helpdesk, where Snow does not have a standard connector to date. In this scenario Snow offers a generic file and database inventory connector or bespoke integration options.

 

One scenario I am often asked by customers is, that they have a 3rd party tool in place and are looking into capabilities of visualising normalised data that’s been gathered by Snow in a tool they have already heavily invested in.

 

From a tool perspective, Snow has a few options available to customer using the tool.

  • Calling the Snow API to return specific data;
  • Utilising the Stock Reports within Snow License Manager and exporting these on a schedule for import into a 3rd party tool;
  • For those on-premise customers, from within the Snow Inventory console, exporting reports containing un-sanitised / ”raw” data

Where there is a need for specific data to be exported in a set format or data from more than one report this is where the above measures become redundant.

 

 

Why implement a 3rd party connector?

Snow can provide ITSM solutions and 3rd party tool integrations, with the valuable SAM intelligence required to both maximize the efficiency of a service desk function and ensure high user productivity.  


In a service desk function, clean and accurate data from Snow License Manager can be used to help: 

  • Accelerate problem resolution by providing accurate and normalised software data, including vendor name, title, version number and patch level
  • Facilitate new software deployments by confirming if the organisation holds appropriate licenses to fulfil requests;
  • Support change management processes by identifying software and hardware that does not comply with standards, or requires upgrading

 

Combining the power of Snow’s SAM platform with service management solutions provides organisations with a complete and integrated solution for managing software and hardware use across the network.  

 

REAL WORLD EXAMPLES

 

FOCUS: Snow License Manager / Snow inventory data visible in 3rd party tool

 

Business requirement

IT Support Desk receives calls from users detailing an issue. The IT Support Desk analyst needs to know further information about that users machine such as RAM, what processor they are using.

 

Despite providing instructions for the end user to provide this information, this is either “lost in translation” and the end user is unable to supply this OR they take so long to gather the requested information the ticket site unresolved for weeks.

 

Solution

The customer alongside Snow Services individuals undertake conversations that identify what information should be displayed in the 3rd party tool from Snow combined with any other sources.

 

This is translated into a project with a solution design being created detailing the data flow and requirements.

 

Currently the 3rd party tool is an unknown tool and no official Snow connector exists. In this case, Snow would create a series of scripts and configuration to collate the data reports into an export(s) ready for the customer to configure their tool to import in this data.

 

Pre-deployment, there will be several development and rigorous test cycles undertaken on local Snow environments that are similar in size / complexity to the customers to ensure the solution stands up within the end customer environment.

 

During the deployment into the customer environment, subject to the specifics of the project, scripts and configuration are deployed and the end to end solution is tested.

 

Detailed technical documentation is provided to cover the specific integration project.

Project is handed over to the customer for any outstanding actions and signed off.

 

A further example of some of the project that have been scoped is where information from an external source is imported into Snow License Manager.

 

FOCUS: 3rd party tool outputs enrich Snow License Manager content

 

Business requirement

HR system contains information relating to individual’s department service desk queue owners

This information needs to be cross referenced to a static list of teams to service desk queue owners held locally which is looked up based on a code held within an existing custom field ‘Desk Queue’ along with other information.

 

            

               Example of ‘Desk Queue’ contents

   

            

            Example of customer supplied spreadsheet with team number to match to ‘Desk Queue’

 

Solution

This information cannot be extracted via API calls but can be exported manually from the system once a month as a .csv file.

 

Information cannot be pulled out the system as a list detailing which user belongs to which service desk queue owners, but a field associated to each user that contains desk queue code + department name can be cross referenced against a team list.

 

The team will utilise Snow License Manager Web Configurator functionality to import a spreadsheet detailing each user and the Team number which populates into a custom field called

 

The first two/three characters of the custom field ‘Desk Queue’ is to be used to join to the customer supplied spreadsheet on the “Team Number” field with the service desk queue owners being populated from the lookup below.

   

This queue owner is updated within a custom field ‘Queue Owner’ as seen below.

 

               

 

In summary, the below flow diagrams highlight what is considered as part of any scoping when importing or exporting from Snow or a 3rd party tool

 

  3rd party tool export for import into Snow

     

Snow export for import into 3rd party tool

 

               

 

To ensure a successful integration, the scenario is fully scoped out with each customer so all elements of the solution are considered and tested before implementation into a live environment. 

 

Please contact your local Account Manager for further information regarding custom integrations.

Hi comminuty,

 

This days have appeared new ideas in the Snow Ideas Board .

 

I've seen one that demand the functionality to share Snow boards in the same way we can do for Reports (see Sharing Snowboards)

 

I received this request from one customers, so I temporally applied the following workaroud:

 

Go to the SnowLicenseManager.dbo.tblSnowboard table and execute the following sentence:

 

SELECT [CID]
,[UserID]
,[SnowboardID]
,[WorkCopyForSnowboardID]
,[Name]
,[CreatedDate]
,[UpdatedDate]
FROM [SnowLicenseManager].[dbo].[tblSnowboard]

Where CID = <CustomerCID>

 

 

Document the original UserID assigned for the SnowBoard you want to share (in the example 1. This will required to restore the previos state if you need to modify the Snowboard again), and take the SnowboardD that identify you Snowboard from the result list, and execute the following sentence:

 

Update [SnowLicenseManager].[dbo].[tblSnowboard]
set UserID=0
Where SnowboardID ='6ED76EA3-7875-4238-963F-0E4F40096F30'

 

The UserID=0 means that the SnowBoard will be shown for all users.

NOTE: The known limitation after apply this workaround is that you'll need to assign the UserID to the previous UserID if you want to edit it again. 

 

Hope this help meanwhile.

 

Best,

Jorge

Hi community,

 

Some of our partners and customers are suffering the consequences of their IT governance policies that allow final users having administrative privileges.

 

This is a regular practice at consulting companies. For example: the consultants roles, especially IT Consultants, need extra privileges to install additional applications when they're assigned in a customer case, service or project.

 

Ok, we've got two problems here:

  • The first one, is that some people from our company have applications from the customer side, and some times this means a compliance risk.
  • And the other one is directly related with a security risk: the users can install applications on demand, non approved by IT department, or even uninstall applications.

 

Yes, I know you know that SLM offers differents ways to report this risks, like Black Listed Applications or Compliance summary report.

 

But, what happen when a user uninstall the Snow Agent?

Or what happen when a user delete some support scripts from the Snow Agent folder?

How can I identify users with admin privileges?

 

For the Snow Agent uninstallation issue, you can use ootb reports to list the status of the reported computers.
If a computer that you know that is alive is moved to quarentine pool, you must start to investigate. Some computer might have connectivity issues (ports, firewall blocking, etc), but this uses to affect massively to your computers (VLANs, Sites, etc)

NOTE: You can take a look of this post, discussing about how to hide the Snow Inventory Agent application from the Control Panel - Add / remove programs section

Windows agent 5.x.x - hide from add/remove programms

 

To identify if a user has deleted support files or not, we've been working with a customer to create a custom report to show exceuted PS scritps during the agent scan. This could be usefull to determine is some of those scripts are failing or ara missing from the agent side.
This is the result:

 

In same way, we've defined also a report and a signed PS script to collect local users and groups info from the computer.
This is the result:

 

So, if you find yourself suffering this issues, don't hesitate to contact your local Snow representative to support you with this.

 

BR,
Jorge