Skip navigation
All Places > Snow Product Hub > General Licensing Forums > Blog > 2019 > April
2019

Since the beginning of time, Windows operating systems have had a major version and edition, and then various updates. Originally Service Packs, but since Windows 10/2016 its been version numbers.

Now Snow always used to report on Service Packs, but since version numbers have been used, Snow Inventory would pick these up, but there was no report in Snow License Manager. This is now fixed - you can access version numbers in the Operating Systems Report:

And also in the computers tab within the OS Application

So why is this interesting? Older Windows 10 and 2016 builds are going End of Service, and as such need to be updated - 1607 and earlier are already End of Service.

ana.marquez

Compliance exclusions

Posted by ana.marquez Employee Apr 29, 2019

This is one of four blog posts related to features in SLM 9.2.0 release.

A capability for all SAM programs is being able to provide an accurate license position and financial risk exposure to the organisation for key software manufacturers. This is complicated in general, however a crucial challenge is being able to account for the exceptions and exclusions that many manufactures have within their licensing rules. This results in the need to manually adjust compliance figures each time the organisation needs to know what their license position is, and the risk associated. This quickly becomes almost unmanageable in large organisations. Even just documenting and calculating which computers are being excluded and why is a huge task.

 

The SAM development team at Snow have been investigating how we can help resolve this, engaging with SAM specialists from around the globe, coming to a solution that allows our users to manage these scenarios with ease. The new feature, compliance exclusions, allows a SAM manager to document these license scenarios and tell the Snow platform which applications should be excluded, from what computers. This allows Snow to remove the license requirement from computers with those applications, impacting compliance and therefore the risk and cost reported.

This is done through the creation of exclusion rules, where a SAM manager can either manually or dynamically select which applications and computers should be included in the rule, as well as a name and description of which licensing rule this is related to. They can also see which platform user created the rule, when and who last updated it, and detailed reporting on the results of all of the rules that have been added.

 

To give you a taste, below is a detailed example of how this feature can be used to help solve Microsoft MSDN licensing. As always, get in touch or comment on this post with questions.

 

In many organisations purchasing Microsoft software, a number of employees and their devices are licensed for non-production use through MSDN licensing. In some cases, the SAM team might not need to track the spend on MSDN licensing, however they do need to remove the license requirements created by computers and servers dedicated to non-production use from the rest of their Microsoft licensing.

To account for this scenario in our compliance calculation, see the example below using the exclusions feature:

 

Navigate to the Administration section and then select Compliance Exclusions

Select "Add exclusion":

Enter a name and description - in this example we enter in some information related to how we are using this rule to help with MSDN licensing:

Select applications to be included in this exclusion rule either manually or by adding a dynamic criteria - in this case we add all of the applications that are created by Microsoft and filtered out any Office 365 applications to keep the example simple - however you could target specific application families, or specific apps, or even exclude some applications. With this criteria it means that any new Microsoft application that gets released will be included automatically:

Select computers to be included in this exclusion rule either manually or by adding a dynamic criteria - in this case we target all computer whose hostname contains the naming convention "dev", allowing us to automatically apply this to new hosts that are added with that convention. Whilst this is a simple example, the complexity of the criteria can match the complexity of your environment:

View a summary of all the computers and applications that will now have their license requirement removed when the rule is active is shown:

When hitting save we are prompted to active the rule if we are ready for it to impact compliance:

Now the rule is active, you can see how it is impacting compliance on the computer details page of computer with excluded applications:

And see its impact on the overall compliance of one of the excluded applications on the applications detail page:

 

As always, if you have any questions feel free to post in the comments section or reach out to me directly.

I've had recently a couple of requests about Security information in Snow.

After providing the specific user guides and getting a good feedback about their content (no doubts about it! ), I thought they could be useful for the SnowGlobe community too.

Below you can find the direct permalinks, so you can reach the documents easily without searching in the full Knowledge Base.

 

Technical Description: Security Considerations in Snow License Manager 9

 

Technical Description: Security Considerations for Snow Analytics

 

Technical Description: Security in Snow Inventory for Snow Inventory 5

 

Technical Description: Security Considerations for Snow Inventory 6

 

User Guide: Federated authentication with SAML for Snow License Manager 9

 

User Guide: Federated Authentication with SAML - Update revision 8.3

 

I hope you find them useful!

 

Note: in each KB Article page, you can click on the "Subscribe" button (on the top right), to get a notification every time the User Guide is updated.

aaron.fryer

Snow Agent Monitoring

Posted by aaron.fryer Employee Apr 6, 2019

Snow Agent Monitoring

_______________________________________________________________

DOCUMENT DATE            21/03/2019
AUTHOR                              AARON FRYER


 

INTRODUCTION
This document will provide some best practice processes and tips to monitor the behaviour of the Snow Agent.


 

REQUIREMENTS

- Snow Inventory 5.x / 6.x

- Procdump tool
Download here -
https://download.sysinternals.com/files/Procdump.zip

- Windows Debugging tool
https://developer.microsoft.com/windows/downloads/windows-10-sdk


 

Using the procdump tool

 

- Download and install the procdump program
- Extract the contents to C:\Temp
- Run command prompt as an administrator
- Browse to the directory C:\Temp via command prompt

Collect a memory dump file based on high CPU usage

The "-c [%value]" argument specifies the CPU usage threshold after which a memory dump file should be collected.

The "-c" argument is usually combined with the following ones:

"-s [secs]" – specifies how long the CPU usage should remain at a specified level for a memory dump file to be collected. The default value is 10 seconds.

"-u" – specifies the CPU usage of any particular processor core to be tracked, comparing the average CPU usage of all the cores.

 

 

 

Collect a memory dump file based on high memory usage

The "-m [MBs]" argument can be used to specify memory usage threshold after which a memory dump file should be collected.

Example. Collect a memory dump file if the process memory usage is larger than 500 MB.

Once there is a successful dump of the application that’s being monitored, you’ll find a .dmp file placed in the directory.



To view the dump file, you’ll require the Windows Debugging tool


 

Snow Agent Logging

The snow agent logs can be viewed remotely from the Snow Inventory console using the below method in the SMACC.

- Browse to device
- Double click the device to open the settings
- Browse to log file in the navigation pane





 

CHANGING THE LOG LEVEL OF THE AGENT

It can be useful to change the log level of the agent to give you more visibility on the errors you may be facing when troubleshooting the snow agent.

To do this, you’ll need to browse to the directory C:\Program Files\Snow Software\Inventory\Agent and open the snowagent.config file

It’s recommended to use notepad++ when opening this file to make editing easier and more clear.

On line 72 change the log level to verbose and on line 73 the MaxSize setting to 10000. Below is an example of what you should see in the snowagent.config file once these changes have been made. Once done, save and close the file and stop and start the Snow Inventory Agent service.

  <Logging>

    <Level>verbose</Level>

    <MaxSize>10000</MaxSize>

  </Logging>

Snow Active Directory Discovery
_______________________________________________________________

DOCUMENT DATE            14/03/2019
AUTHOR                              AARON FRYER

INTRODUCTION
This document will walk you through how to enable Active Directory Discovery for Snow Inventory.


 

REQUIREMENTS

- Snow Inventory 5.x / 6.x

- An Active Directory user account which is a member of the domain users group.


 

ENABLING ACTIVE DIRECTORY DISCOVERY

Login to the Snow Inventory Server and open the SMACC Console. Browse to Inventory Servers and click the show details option to be directed to the next page.




 


On this page, you’ll need to click edit





You’ll now be presented with this menu, tick the box to enable Active Directory Discovery, this setting will start searching for machines in your domain once enabled and saved.


 

Click the Add option and you’ll see a list of options as below. Fill out the options below and click add and then save.




 

To enable User Discovery options, complete the same process and hit save once done.

Hello SnowGlobe,

we often receive requests about or minimum requirements to build a well structured and sized Snow environment, such as operating system, database, disk space, memory, etc.

We have created a System Requirements document that is constantly kept updated by our R&D team.

 

This is the permalink, so R&D will always post here the most recent version: 

Snow System Requirements - System requirements for all Snow products

 

Add it to your bookmarks!

 

Note: in each KB Article page, you can click on the "Subscribe" button (on the top right), to get a notification every time the User Guide is updated.

Hej alla,

Det finns ett fåtal platser kvar på våra utbildningar nu i april på vårat huvudkontor i Solna Business Park,
se till att säkra din plats i dag!


Utbildningarna är:

 

Är ni intresserade av andra kursdatum eller kurser i Norden kolla in denna länk: Kurser i Norden 2019

För andra tillgängliga platser i världen kolla in denna länk: All Snow utbildning

 

Vid frågor kontakta oss på training@snowsoftware.com

 

Välkomna!

Hej hej, SnowGlobe!

I'm glad to inform you that we still have some few places available in our courses in April 2019 held in our HQ in Solna Business Park (Sweden).

The courses are:

 

If you are interested in other courses available in the Nordics region, please check this link: Courses in Nordics area 
For other available locations all around the world, please check this link All Snow Training

 

If you have any questions, reach us at training@snowsoftware.com

 

You're wecolme!