System Settings: Inventory Tab

FlexNet Manager Suite 2021 R1 (On-Premises)

The Inventory tab on the System Settings page enables you to specify global settings that affect all types of inventory gathering, regardless of the source. (Additional settings that are exclusive to FlexNet inventory are available by navigating to Discovery & Inventory > Settings.)

The settings on this page fall into the following sections:

Change management

The change management settings enable you to control how FlexNet Manager Suite manages the related data when you import new data from system like Active Directory, or change device properties for existing devices. The following change management settings are available in this section:
  • Synchronize device location with site subnets — Designed mainly to help you with initial setup, this option creates locations (a kind of enterprise group) that match the names of networking sites imported from Active Directory. It then uses the imported subnets within each site to select which inventory devices belong within each site, and automatically creates location entries in the Ownership tab of the inventory device properties to assign each device to the location that matches its networking site. Each time that you import data from Active Directory (with this option selected), FlexNet Manager Suite:
    • Checks that each imported site (matched by name) already exists as a location; and if it does not, creates a location to suit
    • Uses the IP address that each inventory device has reported in its previously-uploaded inventory to assign the device to the correct location.
    Note: To avoid competing data overrides, leave this option unselected if either:
    • You are managing your site, subnet, and location hierarchy manually through the web interface of FlexNet Manager Suite
    • You prefer to import location structures using a business adapter, using the Business Importer.
    Tip: If you are licensing software from IBM using IBM PVU licenses, and have made FlexNet Manager Suite the source of truth for sub-capacity PVU consumption calculations, locations must also be mapped to the three IBM regions that are mandatory for calculating and reporting peak points consumption. This is a separate step; and you can use the Enterprise > Locations page to map the automatically-created locations to the appropriate IBM regions.
  • Synchronize enterprise groups in user and device properties — When you change the enterprise group allocations for a user, the same changes are made automatically to any devices assigned to that user. The reverse is not true: changes to the enterprise groups for a device record do not automatically change the user record.
  • Synchronize assigned user with calculated user — When the calculated user is updated for a device, the assigned user is also updated. This is another one-way relationship: changes to the assigned user do not affect the calculated user. Note that the first inventory import after the check box is turned on sets the assigned user to the calculated user for every device. If you turn this check box on and save the dialog, a warning message will advise you that this is going to happen.
  • Link virtual machine to the same asset as VM host — When a VM host is linked to an asset, virtual machines hosted on it are also linked to that asset.
  • Update virtual machine location to match host location — When you change the location to which a VM host is assigned, the locations of guest virtual machines associated with the VM host are also changed to the same value. The default setting is true, so that by default the locations of host and guests are matched. (Also notice that, where the host is linked to an asset, a change of location on either 'side' is reflected to the other. This means that in a chain of asset, host, and guest, changing the location for the asset is reflected to the host – and vice versa – and by default also copied to the guest VM.)
    Tip: When this preference is true (the default), the Location value on the Ownership tab of the inventory device properties for the guest virtual machine is a read-only copy of the value on the host. If you now reverse this preference to false by clearing the check box and clicking Save, and then refresh the Ownership tab on the guest's properties, the Location field for the guest is now independently editable (while at first continuing to display its previous inherited value, which you may now replace).
  • Update virtual machine cost center and corporate unit to match host properties — When either the cost center or corporate unit is updated for a VM host, the corresponding property is also updated to the same value for all virtual machines running on the VM host. This is the default behavior when Always is selected and saved. To prevent any matching of the VMs' cost centers or corporate units with those of the host, select Never and save. A third option gives more flexibility: when you select Only when virtual machine has no existing group, those VMs for which you have not made a specific setting (in their inventory device properties) copy their groups from the host's settings; but you may give ownership of any VMs to specific groups, and these settings remain, independent of any setting or changes to the host's cost center or corporate unit.

Oracle Database instances

The Remove after drop-down list in this section enables you to choose a period of time to wait before any instances of Oracle Database that are no longer reporting inventory are to be automatically removed. The default is Never (that is, cleanup of these instances is not performed).
Important: If you want to preserve history on any instances of Oracle Database that are no longer reporting inventory, ensure that Never is selected for the Remove after drop-down list.

Actual cleanup of any instances of Oracle Database that have not reported inventory is performed by the FlexNet inventory data maintenance scheduled task, using the setting in this section. For more information about this scheduled task, see the Server Scheduling chapter in the FlexNet Manager Suite System Reference PDF.

Here are some examples of why Oracle database instances might stop reporting inventory:

  • The server previously hosting an Oracle database instance continues to report hardware inventory, but no Oracle database instance is appearing in software inventory. If Oracle Database has been uninstalled from this server, a record of the original Oracle database instance still exists, but software inventory can no longer report on any instances from this server.
  • The server previously hosting an Oracle database instance reports in inventory that the instance has changed: it is now hosting a new Oracle database instance, and the original Oracle database instance is no longer reported.
  • Authorization to access the database instance has changed on the Oracle server, but the connection details have not yet been updated in FlexNet Manager Suite.
  • The server previously reporting an Oracle database instance no longer appears in inventory at all.
  • You should also validate that software inventory is still being successfully imported form the target devices, to ensure that the lack of inventory from a previously reported database instance is not part of a wider failure of inventory gathering, perhaps because of configuration changes or virtual machine redeployment.
Oracle database instances that have been removed from their hosts remain visible in the web interface until all of the following steps have been completed, in this order:
  1. Your selected period since their last appearance in imported inventory has expired.
  2. The FlexNet inventory data maintenance scheduled task has run.
  3. The next reconciliation (which, by default, happens each night) has completed.
Tip: This setting may be changed as required. For example, you could leave it as Never until you are aware that some data cleanup is required. You may then choose an appropriate period, and wait for the above-mentioned three steps to be completed.

Oracle Fusion Middleware

This section controls whether information about the many applications forming part of the Oracle Fusion Middleware platform is included in the nightly generation of the audit report that you can archive for the Oracle Global Licensing and Advisory Services (GLAS). For details about downloading this archive, see Oracle Instances.
Tip: Before this setting has any effect, you must first use the Inventory Settings page to authorize collection of the appropriate inventory and associated files. For details, see Oracle Fusion Middleware Scanning.
  • Include Oracle Fusion Middleware — Once authorized, the FlexNet inventory agent regularly returns specialized information collected from the relevant inventory devices, as well as files copied from the devices and uploaded, as required by Oracle GLAS for tracking compliance for Oracle Fusion Middleware. When this check box is selected, this uploaded information is combined with audit data for Oracle Database products in the same archive, ready for submission when required.
    Tip: This functionality requires FlexNet inventory agent version 16.1.0 or later, and you must have downloaded InventorySettings.xml version 56 or later, which contains the updated Oracle GLAS scripts. (The version number of this file is included in its first line, and the file is updated as part of the regular download of the Application Recognition Library.) Note that this functionality works for both:
    • Local installation of the FlexNet inventory agent on the Oracle server
    • The zero footprint inventory collection method, where the appropriate components of the FlexNet inventory agent operate from a selected inventory beacon to gather the inventory remotely (for details about the different methods of inventory collection, see the Gathering FlexNet Inventory guide, available through the title page of online help).
    If your computing estate includes any of the Oracle Fusion Middleware applications, reporting them as part of your audit information is a mandatory requirement for Oracle GLAS. Therefore, once the required versions of FlexNet inventory agent and InventorySettings.xml are deployed, it is normal to select this check box and leave it selected from that time forward. A change in this setting takes effect for the next license consumption (compliance) calculation, by default scheduled overnight.
  • Mask user names and IP addresses for Middleware (passwords are always masked) — Select this check box to have all user names and IP addresses that appear in the Oracle Fusion Middleware imports replaced by the value text_removed. As noted on the check box, all passwords appearing in the imported Middleware information are always masked with the same replacement text value, regardless of the setting of this check box. These user name and IP address values are not required in an Oracle audit, and may legitimately be suppressed in this way, if this is required by your enterprise security standards.
This reporting of evidence (and uploaded files) for Oracle Fusion Middleware by the FlexNet inventory agent has been verified by Oracle as an acceptable source for your audit reports.
Note: In the early stages of data validation, you may wish to use this check box as a toggle, turning it on for one overnight license reconciliation (so that uploaded data is added to the audit file and may be inspected there); and turning it off next morning, so that the following full license reconciliation overwrites the audit archive with the previous data that excluded the Fusion Middleware contribution. Of course, this can be only a very temporary process while you get your licenses and supporting purchase information properly linked for these Fusion Middleware applications. As soon as possible, you should leave this check box turned on permanently, so that audit-ready information including all your Fusion Middleware applications is available for archiving each day.

Blocklisted serial numbers for devices

The settings in this section enable you to match one or a set of serial numbers that are problematic. An inventory device with a serial number that matches these settings:
  • Is still included in imported inventory, through to the compliance database (blocklisting does not remove a device)
  • Still consumes from any appropriate licenses (license consumption is unaffected by blocklisting serial numbers)
  • Shows an alert in most lists of inventory devices, and in the properties of the affected inventory device (but not, for example, in the properties of any asset record linked to this device)
  • Appears on the Inventory Issues page
  • Cannot be matched by serial number against a hardware asset, although any devices already linked to assets remain linked (blocklisting a serial number prevents its further use for automatically matching inventory device records against asset records).
    Tip: A blocklisted serial number cannot be used in "either direction":
    • When you created/imported asset records with serial numbers before related inventory was imported (in which case, a normal serial number allows the newly-imported inventory device to be automatically and silently linked to the asset record)
    • When you had the inventory device already imported, and subsequently created/imported asset records (in which case, a normal serial number allows the asset to appear as a Recommended asset link that you can accept in any inventory listing).
    A blocklisted serial number prevents both of these processes.

If you make changes to the settings in this section, the serial numbers of inventory devices are reassessed at the next full inventory import (associated with the nightly compliance calculations). Alerts and listings are updated after that import.

The following options are available:
  • Serial numbers containing only these characters will be blocklistedFlexNet Manager Suite blocklists the device if its serial number is made up exclusively from one or more of the characters listed here, in any order. Any additional characters not listed here but included in the serial number means that the serial number is not blocklisted. The pattern to match can be up to 512 characters in length. Examples:
    Value Result

    The source pattern.

    46y Serial number blocklisted.
    640.yyy Serial number blocklisted.
    640.ydx Serial number OK (contains one or more characters that are not blocklisted).
  • Blacklisted serial numbers — Use this setting when you know the exact serial numbers of the devices that you want to blocklist. You can use the + icon to add another serial number. Each serial number can be up to 100 characters long.

Activity logs

This setting enables you to specify the number of days for which the activity logs are retained in the system.

CAL usage data retention

This setting enables you to specify the period for which the CAL usage inventory records are retained in the system. The default value for the Number of days to keep CAL usage inventory is 90 days, but you can specify any value up to 365 days.

FlexNet Manager Suite (On-Premises)

2021 R1