Thursday, January 24, 2008

Software Asset Management

Current events finds me revisiting what modern tools and processes are available to address SAM. The current working environment for a large worldwide multi-data center environment seems to have a jigsaw puzzle of pieces that do not add up to form a clear picture.

There is a elementary version of a CMDB but is server hardware centric without populated data for software assets or contracts related information. There is a contracts database that does not tie to physical assets in either the CMDB or individual contracts reporting. There are some discovery tools such as Opsware but the implementation does not address this need?

My current path forward is to leverage this three ring information circus to form a cohesive view. My initial thought is to work with the Opsware folks to write scripts for both intel and unix flavors that will identify software installed on a per server base, populate this information into the CMDB and then link the CMDB reporting to contracts base information for the combined reporting and management.

Not clear yet how this strategy will tie in and would be interested in any relevant opinion of those that have tamed this beast in the past. Particularly interested in how to mine the license keys using Opsware (versus just knowing a product is installed). Would also be interested in COTS solutions that address this IT Data Center / ITIL Asset Management function.



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