Set Up and Collect Inventory, and Reconcile

FlexNet Manager Suite 2022 R1 (On-Premises)

The IBM approval for using FlexNet Manager Suite for sub-capacity license calculations is dependent on you using the full FlexNet inventory agent, locally installed on each IBM server (that contains software with IBM PVU or IBM VPC sub-capacity licensing), for high-frequency inventory gathering.

As well, operation of two hidden (and automatically maintained) targets for inventory gathering requires that discovery and inventory processes have run at least once, so as to provide 'seed' data to start the automated processes.

To help meet these requirements, this process summary covers deploying the FlexNet inventory agent, and triggering the first inventory upload and license compliance calculation. Also take note of the requirement for the full import and license reconciliation process to run on a daily schedule.

To initiate inventory collection:

  1. Install the FlexNet inventory agent on each IBM server.
    You may achieve this through your preferred method, as described in the Gathering FlexNet Inventory PDF file, available through the title page of online help:
    • You may use the built-in 'adoption' process (see the topic Automated Adoption Summary in the above document)
    • You may use an alternative deployment technology of your choosing (for which, start with the topic Self-Managed Deployment: Collecting the Software in the same document)
    • You can even deploy by hand, if you so choose.
      Important: Be sure to deploy the entire FlexNet inventory agent, and not just a subset of executable files.
    In those processes, you identify (usually in a bootstrap or configuration file) the inventory beacon to which each installed FlexNet inventory agent should initially report.
  2. Wait.

    The installed FlexNet inventory agent contacts its preferred inventory beacon, and downloads its default policy. This includes gathering standard hardware and software inventory (but not tracking application usage, which is not required for IBM sub-capacity licenses). The default policy also distributes the standard schedule for inventory collection. You can see the schedule settings in the web interface of FlexNet Manager Suite by navigating to Discovery & Inventory > Settings and reviewing the Inventory agent schedule section. The default is that the FlexNet inventory agent collects inventory at a random time within a one hour window, commencing at 5:45am local time on the target inventory device. As soon as the inventory collection is completed, the data is uploaded to the inventory beacon. Once successfully staged on the inventory beacon, it is uploaded to the central application server (and there is an overnight catch-up scheduled upload to recover from any temporary network problems). On the application server, a web service receives the file and resolves it into the inventory database (or, if the web service is overloaded, temporarily saves the file in the Incoming folder, and then imports it to the inventory database as soon as possible). Once staged in the inventory database, the data is included in the next full inventory import and license consumption calculation, which by default runs at 2am daily. In short, using the default schedules, if you install the FlexNet inventory agent today, you can expect to see first results of the automated processing the day after tomorrow.

    If the automated processes are not fast enough for your current requirements:

    1. Log into the target server using an account with local administrator privileges. (A target server is any one that may run software licensable under an IBM PVU or IBM VPC license.)
    2. Start a command line window using the Run as administrator option.
    3. Issue the following commands:
      • On Microsoft Windows servers:
        ndschedag –o ScheduleType=Machine
        In the pop-up window that appears, run Generate Inventory.
      • On Unix-like servers (such as AIX):
        1. Open the file /var/opt/managesoft/scheduler/schedules/sched.nds with a text editor.
        2. Find the line that defines the inventory collection event in the file, and copy the eventId associated with the event.
        3. Navigate to the bin sub-folder in the installation folder for FlexNet inventory agent.
        4. Complete the following command line, pasting the eventId on the command line inside double quotes: ndschedag –x "eventId"
    4. Wait about 20-30 minutes for the inventory gathering, upload, and resolving process to complete. (This resolution is into the inventory database.)
    5. As an operator in the Administrator role, in the web interface for FlexNet Manager Suite, navigate to License Compliance > Reconcile.
    6. Clear the check box for Reconcile all publishers, and use the search control that appears to select IBM and Add publisher.
    7. Select the check box for Update inventory for reconciliation (only available to operators who are members of the Administrator role).
      This is the switch that causes your uploaded inventory, waiting in the inventory database, to be imported for the license calculations.
    8. Click Reconcile.
      The license reconciliation process is scheduled, and runs as soon as the batch processor is free.
    9. On the right-hand side, Ctrl+click View more in System Tasks.

      The System Tasks page opens in a new tab. You can expand the entry for your process, and see separate rows for Import inventory devices and Reconcile licenses. The page refreshes automatically, or you can update the page with a manual refresh action.

      When the import is completed, and license consumption has been calculated (in the reconciliation process), you can inspect the license(s) you created in Configure Appropriate Licenses and see the relevant inventory devices listed on the Consumption tab of the license properties.

  3. Manage exemptions applicable to any inventory devices.
    In Configure Appropriate Licenses, you set up the license exemptions for any device roles permitted in the license agreement. Now it is time to configure the matching device roles on any applicable devices:
    1. In the Consumption tab of the appropriate IBM sub-capacity license, locate any inventory device that requires an exemption.
    2. Ctrl-click the name in the Device column.
      The inventory device properties open in another browser tab. Alternatively, you can click the Open button, in which case the device properties page replaces the license properties.
    3. In the General tab of the inventory device properties, select the appropriate value from the Device role drop-down, and click Save.
      From the next full compliance calculation, this inventory device will no longer consume from this license (nor from any other license that allows exemptions for the same role). It remains linked to this license (in the same way as if you had made an allocation), but its consumption is zero. If you return to, and refresh, the Consumption tab of the license properties, the selected reason is displayed in the Exemption reason column.
  4. Visit each new IBM sub-capacity license (for which this is the first inventory import and license consumption calculation), and review any individual device exemptions on the Consumption tab, adjusting as necessary.
    The license is now functional, with at least one attached application that is showing consumption after the initial inventory import. It is now possible finally to turn on high frequency scanning of devices to identify any hardware or hosting changes. The 30-minute high frequency checks feed into the daily full import and license compliance calculation, where:
    • Links from inventory devices to licenses are reevaluated
    • Any new devices added to IBM sub-capacity license consumption are picked up in a timely way
    • The calculations of points consumed per region are reworked as part of each full license compliance calculation, retroactively covering the entire data retention period and using the latest data available (including corrections to inventory data, device exemptions, and so on).
    A daily full import and reconciliation is the default schedule; and you may check and adjust your settings as follows.
  5. Confirm that a full import and license compliance calculation is performed daily:
    1. Navigate to the system menu ( in the top right corner), and select System Settings.
    2. Select the Inventory tab.
    3. Scroll down to the section Managing the processing queue for imports and reconciliation.
    4. Ensure that the following settings are in place:
      • Frequency: Daily
      • Every: day
      • Schedule after: (say) 11:00 pm (you may spin up an appropriate time, based on your other scheduled activities, such as inventory imports from third-party sources).
    5. If you have made changes, click Save (in the bottom right corner).

FlexNet Manager Suite (On-Premises)

2022 R1