Lightweight Kubernetes agent reduces footprint

IT Asset Management version 2021 R1.2

In the cloud release last June (version 2020 R2.5), the Flexera Kubernetes Inventory Agent was announced. This tool (quite separate from the long-established FlexNet Inventory Agent) allowed reporting on Kubernetes resources (nodes, pods, and annotations from container images); returning sub-capacity license-related data from the IBM License Service; and reporting on additional software in nodes and containers by temporarily injecting the FlexNet Inventory Agent.

This 2021 R1.2 release introduces a third distinct tool for inventory collection – the Lightweight Kubernetes Inventory Agent. You can use this as an alternative to the Flexera Kubernetes Inventory Agent when you need:
  • A smaller installation footprint for this agent
  • Minimal (read-only) privileges for the account running the Lightweight Kubernetes Inventory Agent
  • No injection of the FlexNet Inventory Agent into your containers (perhaps because of your enterprise policies around security of Kubernetes containers).
While meeting these more restrictive guidelines, the Lightweight Kubernetes Inventory Agent nevertheless provides most of the functionality of its older brother, the Flexera Kubernetes Inventory Agent:
  • It reports on the Kubernetes resources in use within the cluster (nodes and pods, along with the annotations you might attach to container images)
  • It reads the RESTful API of the IBM License Service to collect details for sub-capacity licensing of IBM software within the Kubernetes cluster (recall that using the IBM License Service is mandatory for measuring license consumption for IBM Cloud Pak® solutions and IBM® stand-alone containerized software) – but of course, this reports only on IBM software, and not on any products from other publishers
  • It reads any annotations (metadata) that publishers attach to their products that are installed in the container (currently a practice used by IBM, although other publishers may begin to adopt this in the foreseeable future).

The one thing that the Lightweight Kubernetes Inventory Agent cannot do is report on software running inside a container when the software does not carry a publisher's annotation. This is because it does not inject the general-purpose FlexNet Inventory Agent into the container. This means that, if you are running software from other vendors (apart from IBM) in your Kubernetes containers, you must provide an alternative method of collecting software inventory and tracking license consumption for that environment.

Comprehensive documentation for the new Lightweight Kubernetes Inventory Agent has been added as a new part of the Gathering FlexNet Inventory reference (cloud edition only at this stage), available in either PDF or HTML through the documentation website.

IT Asset Management (Cloud)