ana.marquez

Compliance exclusions

Blog Post created by ana.marquez Employee on 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.

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