Official release of Snow License Manager 9.2.0

Blog Post created by Myrja.Schumacher Employee on Apr 24, 2019

Released on April 24

Release information

Product:                 Snow License Manager
New version:          9.2.0
Revision No:           410
Build No:                7037
Release date:         April 24, 2019
Distribution:            SUS package
Current status:       Released


New features in Snow License Manager 9.2

Base technology features:
  • Licensing based on cost for Windows Server
    In this release of Snow License Manager, the compliance engine has been extended to determine which edition Windows Server Standard or Datacenter would best fit a given server topology. To achieve this, the compliance engine calculates a number of data points for each standalone server, or server hosting Windows Server Virtual Machines. Snow License Manager now sets the license requirement to the least expensive edition, which is a new paradigm for the compliance engine. VMs that are licensed on a cluster/datacenter level do not require a Windows Server license, however, they have a significant impact on the licenses needed for the hosts they run on, or could run on. To maintain visibility into such VMs, two new entitlement states have been added to the tracking tab: Licensed by host and Unknown physical host.
  • True-up and order support for Windows Server
    Estimating the cost of the next true-up or order is a challenging task for Windows Server licensing. Based on license costs input for each version, Windows Server Assessment reports provide a cost evaluation for running resources – servers, virtual machines, and datacenters – on different versions and editions of Windows Server than the current deployment.
  • Automatic population of DRS and High availability for VMware vSphere 
    New data collected by the recently updated VMware vSphere connector has made it possible for Snow License Manager to automatically populate DRS enabled, and High availability enabled columns – removing the significant amount of manual work required to find this information. Enabling DRS or High availability on a datacenter/cluster has an impact on compliance calculations for Windows Server licensing, and automatic population of these data points removes the error associated with manual data input. The columns are visible in datacenter reports and the Datacenter and clusters view.
  • Cost optimization for Windows Server 
    A new report Windows Server risks has been added to Snow License Manager. This report highlights common scenarios where licensing cost can be optimized for each host.
  • Dynamic compliance exclusions
    The capability to deliver accurate license positions for key software vendors is an important part of exposing risk within an organization. Calculating compliance is complex and further complicated by the many different licensing exceptions and exclusions vendors apply. It is now possible to enter compliance exclusions for computers and applications in Snow License Manager. Compliance is calculated excluding the computers and applications that do not need to be tracked, removing the need to manually adjust every time, which can become unmanageable especially in large organizations.
  • New reports 
    Based on feedback from our users, this version of Snow License Manager includes three new reports:
    ▪ Devices/Computers per user
    ▪ Applications per computer and user 
    ▪ Files per computer 
Advanced optimization for Adobe Creative Cloud (premium):
  • With this release, Snow License Manager provides new features that deliver insights into Adobe Creative Cloud, including capabilities for management and optimization of spend and usage, as well as risk mitigation. At a glance, the Adobe Creative Cloud overview shows how licenses are assigned and used across your organization. Snow License Manager 9.2 introduces the concept of insights, which highlight areas of potential savings or risks that may need to be addressed; such as licenses assigned to users who are not using the applications included in the bundle, or users who only use one of the Adobe Creative Cloud applications, but who are assigned an All-Apps license. This initial version also includes the capability to identify users who run Adobe Creative Cloud applications without a managed license. Such scenarios can occur when users acquire licenses outside of volume purchasing programs, or piggyback a colleague’s installation (which is a violation of current licensing terms and conditions).
Oracle management option (premium):
  • Import Oracle licenses
    Until now, importing Oracle licenses has been a time-consuming manual process and a barrier for customers with thousands of entitlements. It is possible to import Oracle orders in bulk, including incomplete orders, from a Microsoft Excel or a CSV file in minutes, not only saving time, but reducing manual-input errors. Any CSV file that contains the Oracle order data can be used, or you can download the default template file from Snow License Manager.The import procedure allows you to specify, for example, whether you want to automatically create organizations if they don't already exist, and map the content of your import file to Oracle order fields. This feature supports import of incomplete Oracle orders, which can be manually edited in Snow License Manager later on. The same Oracle products are supported for both file-automated import and manual import of Oracle entitlements.
  • Improved license assignment
    The complexity of Oracle licensing demands enhanced capabilities for license assignment. In this release of Oracle Management Option, it is now possible to assign licenses to virtual machines, physical servers, and datacenters/clusters, and multiple orders can be combined to a single license assignment. Support is currently provided for Oracle databases and WebLogic. 
  • Initial support for IBM hard-partitioned environments 
    The capability to run Oracle components in a hard-partitioned environment can reduce the number of licenses required, as you can license based on the processing capabilities of the virtual machine. However, calculating requirements is complex, as it relies on additional data points from the underlying topology, including data about the machine where the component is installed, its host, cluster, and even the datacenter in some cases. Previously, it was not possible to calculate the correct processor count for such scenarios in Snow License Manager, and so license requirements and compliance required additional treatment outside of the Snow environment. In this first step toward improving visibility of the Oracle estate in virtualized environments, Oracle Management Option now captures hard-partition data points, applies the correct rules to calculate the license requirement based on Processor metric or NUP minimum to show compliancy per LPAR. Based on this information, the Is Satisfied column shows a yes if the Oracle product meets the licensing requirements on an LPAR basis. Snow is continually developing this feature to cover additional virtualization scenarios.
  • Initial support for soft-partitioned environments
    The capability to run Oracle components in soft-partitioned environments differs from hard-partitioning as the entire physical infrastructure requires licensing. Accurate topology data is a prerequisite for calculating license requirements for Oracle products in soft-partitioned environment. Details about management servers, datacenters, clusters, physical servers, virtual machines and storage are required. This version of Snow License Manager and its underlying inventory, data processing, and storage capabilities have been enriched to deliver compliance calculations at the cluster level - based on current core factor tables. Compliance calculations currently support Oracle products deployed on VMware, Hyper-V, RedHat, and Xen virtualized infrastructures.
  • Oracle compliance calculation
    In this release, a first step has been taken toward full compliance calculations for Oracle components. Compliance calculations are based on the number of Processors metric and Named User Plus (NUP) minimums. Compliance is calculated when the Data Update Job runs, so it is not a dynamic calculation, similar to the way compliance is calculated for non-Oracle applications.

Enhancements in Snow License Manager 9.2

Base technology enhancement:
  • Powerful search with filters and save 
    The search functionality for computers and applications has been enhanced with additional capabilities. It is now possible to filter searches for more granular results, save searches so that frequently-used searches can be reused without having to re-enter complex search criteria, and progressive load to improve response times for searches resulting in large datasets. In addition to refining search results based on organizational unit, further refinement is enabled through the application of filters. Users who frequently use the same search criteria to locate specific information can now save those searches for reuse later on, and saved searches can be edited.
Oracle management option (premium):
  • Additional status for Oracle Middleware 
    In addition to Active and Inactive, the status column for servers running Oracle Middleware now includes the Quarantined status. In Snow License Manager, the status of a server is set to quarantined if it hasn't reported inventory data for a period of time controlled by the QUARANTINE_DAYS setting in Snow Management and Configuration Center. 
  • Batched data fetch 
    Snow License Manager now fetches data about Oracle Middleware from Snow Inventory Server in batches instead of collecting all the data for the customer site in one go. Customers with large sites should experience performance improvements.
  • Environment overview of discovered computers 
    This widget on the Oracle overview page now shows just the computers that have specifically been inventoried for Oracle instances. The graph no longer includes data about discovered and inventoried computers and instead provides useful insight by highlighting computers where an Oracle database might be deployed.
  • Recommendation and report removed 
    The Devices that can run Oracle software recommendation has been removed from Oracle Overview page as has the report with the same name.
  • Middleware data deletion 
    When a computer is deleted, any Oracle Middleware data related to that computer is now also deleted.

Corrections in Snow License Manager 9.2.0

Oracle management option (premium):
  • When viewing a favorited Oracle database that has been deleted, the user will see an empty database screen with data fields populated with (n/a) indicating that the information about the database is no longer available.
  • The Save and Cancel buttons now display correctly on the pop-up window when editing scheduled Oracle reports.
  • Selecting an Oracle order listed under an Oracle agreement now navigates correctly to the Oracle order page.
  • The counts for servers and databases shown in the Last 4 weeks column in the Oracle product view are now correct.
  • To improve the user experience in terms of information displayed, the Server column has been removed from the data grid of the Databases tab.
  • Size of the breadcrumb text has been corrected to align with the standard for Snow License Manager.

Product dependencies

Snow License Manager 9.2 includes the following product dependencies:
  • Advanced optimization for Adobe Creative Cloud requires Snow Integration Manager (SIM) 5.15 or higher and a correctly configured Adobe Creative Cloud connector to extract the necessary data points from the Adobe Portal.
  • Automatic population of DRS and High availability for VMware vSphere requires Snow Integration Manager version 5.14 or higher and a correctly configured VMware vSphere connector.
  • Oracle Management Option requires Snow Inventory Server 6.0.5 or higher.