Are you prepared for an Autodesk audit?


teetee:

Some more insights about Autodesk Software Licensing…

Originally posted on Total CAD Systems' Blog:

Understanding installations, activations and registrations is the first defense against being audited and penalized for bootlegging software. Autodesk performs audits regularly. If your software has been over-installed, it is only a matter of time before your audit number comes up. Over installations are the primary reasons people fall out of compliance with Autodesk. In some cases, the users are fully aware they are not compliant. They either do not understand, or do not care that they have violated the license agreement. In many cases, the licenses are simply managed poorly. Higher seat counts take a little more diligence to keep track of. Throw in the need for previous release installations due to a project or third party program and it’s easy to become overwhelmed.

Autodesk software is licensed “per concurrent user”. This is a little confusing because it can seem that it is tied to computers instead. Standalone activations, for…

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New Feature: Autodesk Software License Detection


SoftwareLicenseManagement

Hello JDisc friends,

similar to the last topic about software license management, I would like to introduce a new feature that has been developed under the Christmas tree :-).

Starting with release 3.2 build 3207, we do collect software license information for Autodesk software. Martin Thompson from the ITAM review has published a nice article about Autodesk audits. The new feature enables customers and consulting companies to get the raw information for an Autodesk audit.

The network documentation tool JDisc Discovery collects the Autodesk serial number, the installed product and version, and the license type (standalone, network, evaluation, …).

The feature was inspired by a contact within a company that is specialized on software license management. After having a quick look on how to collect the information, it turned out, that is was not really difficult and straight forward to implement.

If you’re interested in getting Autodesk license information, then download and install the latest JDisc Discovery build!

Now, I am going to be offline for the rest of the year and maybe tomorrow, I’ll be offline as well :-)

See ya in 2015!
Thomas

JDisc Discovery and Software License Management


SoftwareLicenseManagementDear JDisc friends,

I guess most of you are agree that software license management is a pretty hot topic nowadays. Organizations are threated by software audits. On the other side, there is a huge opportunity to reduce license and support cost for software that isn’t in use anymore.

Some of our competitors in the area of network inventory discovery jump on the SLM train and claim to do software license management. So why aren’t we doing the same?

There are several reasons why we do not claim to be a software license management tool.

1. Software License Management is not as easy as you might think!

When you look at software license management, then it might not be as trivial as you might think at the beginning. Most people think first about their Microsoft Office installations where often one installation corresponds to one license. So license management should be pretty straight forward. Count the Office installations, check how many you licensed and then find out whether your are over or underlicensed.

So far so good. But especially companies creating enterprise software such as HP, Oracle, SAP are very inventive in creating new licensing terms and conditions. The correlation between one installation to one license doesn’t exist in that space. Software is often licensed on the maximal number of concurrent users, on the hardware it is running on and other factors. And of course, each vendor has its own regulations and terms. And what makes things worse, they are also very creative in changing the conditions over time. Keeping up-to-date for all vendor terms is not an easy task to do.

2. There are really experienced companies out there doing Software License Management consulting!

On the other side, the enterprise software is in most cases pretty expensive and therefore offers the largest opportunity to save money. Therefore, there are software and consulting companies out there that focus on software either for one single or just two or three major vendors. Those companies have a deep knowledge and understanding in licensing conditions and they can often help to save plenty of dollars.

However those companies are lacking a solid discovery functionality that is often used to understand a customer’s environment. They often rely on self written scripts or tools. Those tools are often not easy to deploy.

3. Cooperate and do not reinvent the wheel!

So what is JDisc doing with respect to software license management? Our strategy is to cooperate with those software and consulting companies. We provide a solid network discovery product that scans both hardware and installed software. In essence, we deliver the raw data that the software license specialists can use to import into their license management tool or to consult a customer.

4. Conclusion

If you are thinking about introducing a software license management product, then check first, whether the software of choice covers all software products that are relevant for you. Especially the costly software products. You find a lot of information on the ITAM Review page about software license management

See ya
Thomas

Be happy and enjoy our free JDisc Discovery Starter Edition!


BeHappyDear JDisc friends,

you thought, that a network documentation software that scans Windows, Linux, VMware, XenServer, MAC OS X, Linux, AIX, HP-UX, and AIX computers is not available for free? Up to now, this has more or less been true!

But with the latest JDisc Discovery build, we add a new product edition to our product portfolio. With our new JDisc Discovery Starter Edition, users can rid of their old fashioned network inventory Excel sheets and move to a professional network discovery solution at no cost! Our new edition is neither limited by time nor by the maximum number of devices!

We have seen those Excel sheets at many places and they are supposed to document the network. But they don’t! I guess anybody is aware, that those Excel sheets tend to decomponse after a while and thus become more or less useless and in some cases dangerous.

We would like to support those users and therefore, we decided to create the new JDisc Discovery Starter Edition at no cost! The Starter Edition is limited in its functionality, but gets all attributes that we typically find in those Excel sheets:

  • Manufacturer and model
  • Device type (such as Desktop, Blade Server, Router, Switch)
  • Operating system version and patch level
  • Seral number
  • Network interfaces

Once, you have used the free version for a while, you might think about using our JDisc Discovery Professional Edition. The Professional Edition gets a lot more device details that you would never ever maintain in a Excel sheet such as detailed hardware and software inventory. Furthermore, we identify dependencies between devices like the relation between a physical host and virtual machines running on the physical host. Although the Professional Edition is not for free (yeah, we also need to earn money :-) ), it adds a lot of value when a deeper understanding of your IT infrastructure is needed or when importing IT inventory information into a CMDB.

I wish everybody a happy holiday season and keep posted! There’ll be a lot new stuff coming next year!

Cheers,
Thomas

What’s coming next?


FutureDear JDisc friends,

we just have finished our 3.2 release with its new licensing schema and we did a major redesign of our WEB page. Hope you like it!

Not it is the time to have a quick look on what we have on our plate for the next couple of months. Adding new devices as we find them is our daily business. Apart from that, we are working on two major topics in the next months. Topic number one is improving our dependency mapping add-on. So far we are able to detect the TCP/IP connections for devices on the network. Graphical dependency maps illustrate how devices communicate with each other within your network. Currently, the dependencies are limited to displaying TCP/IP connections between computers. The following image illustrates how computers communicate within your network. Knowing which TCP/IP ports offer what service already adds a lot of value when you need to understand the communication paths between servers on your network.

DependencyMap

But imagine if you would know that a process called “oracle.exe” on server A is communicating to a “java.exe” process that can be identified as a JBoss installation on server B! Including the processes within the communication paths enables to understand your distributed application topology! As you might know, we are working together with several CMDB and ITSM vendors. Those partners will definitely benefit from the new feature as they can automatically map your IT infrastructure to your IT services.

The second focus area for the coming months is identifying the SAN environment. We envision to implement a phased approach. Phase 1 will find the HBAs and their world wide names. In phase 2, we’d like to determine the connections between the servers and the storage switches. The last phase would add the feature to detect the zoning configuration and the connections between the storage switches and the disc arrays.

Stay tuned….

Thomas

New Logo, New Web Site, New Release, New Licensing Schema


NewWebPageDear JDisc friends,

our company exists now for more than 5 years and some things didn’t change as much as we would have liked them to change. Our WEB page is one of the things that we always wanted to modernize, but that always had a lower priority than new features, releases and projects.

1. WEB Page

However, in april we decided to create a more modern looking and technically up-to-date web presense. The new web presence has several new features:

  • Social media buttons that bring you directly to our social media platforms. Register there to follow us on Twitter and Google+.
  • Newsletter registration and deregistration for our quarterly newsletter
  • A new price calculator reflecting the new pricing schema

2. New Pricing Schema

So far, JDisc offered three different editions for three customer segments. This has been radically changed. The editions are history and are replaced by a credits schema. We introduced a tiering for different device types:

  • Tier 3: Unix computers (HP-UX, Solaris, AIX)
  • Tier 2: Linux, VMware, MAC OS X and Citrix XenServer
  • Tier 1: Windows computers, switches and routers
  • Base tier: All remaining (mostly SNMP based) devices such as networked printers, multifunktional devices and others

Each tier has a credit count assigned that defines how many credits you need to purchase in order to scan such as device. Of course, Unix computers require more credits than ordinary Windows computers. Once you have an estimate, how many devices fall into each tier category, then you can calculate a total credit count which then leads to the total price for the installation.

Checkout the new pricing and licensing options.

We believe, that this model fits better to our customers, than the model before and we are looking forward to your feedback.

3. New License Type: Annual Subscription

JDisc offered so far two license types. The perpetual license is designed for users that would like to use the software permanently. The project license is made for IT service providers and consulting companies. Those users normally use the product only for the project duration.

We have added the Annual Subscription as a third license type for users who would like to pay for the software usage over multiple years.

4. New JDisc Discovery Version

Of course, all those changes do not come without a new major JDisc Discovery release. The major change for the new release is the new licensing. However, as usual, we’ve added a lot of new devices and other features to our version 3.2.

Check out the development news.

  • New licensing schema
  • New Java Version (Java 8)
  • F5 Load balancer discovery scans load balancer pools and the pool members
  • Improved HTTP/HTTPS protocol based discovery
  • VMware ESX/Citrix XenServer operating system detection via HTTP/HTTPS
  • HP Blade server discovery
  • Windows 10 preview detection added.

We hope that you like the new web page, the new licensing and our new product version.

Arrest the Culprit!


dreamstime_xs_33986796_culpritDear JDisc Friends,

I would like to share a pretty nice story that illustrates the value of having an up-to-date network documentation.

Recently one of our clients contacted us and he said: “Look, we have some device on the network that uses the same IP address as our Microsoft Exchange server!”. Of course, that causes trouble and affects the Microsoft Exchange server’s operation. The only thing he knew is the MAC address that has been recorded in the Exchange server’s event log. But the question is how to find the machine with the MAC address! You might check out the ARP caches of your routers in case you have access to them. However, the suspect migth be already offline and thus the entry might have been already deleted from the router’s ARP caches. Finding the device is not so easy without having an up-to-date network documentation. With JDisc Discovery, the client could create a custom report including all MAC addresses and then easily find the device with the suspicious MAC address.

This is just another example why an accurate network documentation is so important…

See ya!
Thomas

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