Agent Third-Party Deployment: Collecting the Software

IT Asset Management (Cloud)

You have decided to deploy the FlexNet Inventory Agent with a third-party tool of your choice. Start with the appropriate version(s) of the FlexNet Inventory Agent.

The FlexNet Inventory Agent is supported on a variety of platforms (listed in Agent Third-Party Deployment: System Requirements).

Before collecting your software and arranging deployment, it is best practice to ensure that there is an inventory beacon available within each subnet where you might execute discovery rules. This allows the inventory beacon to reliably use ARP or nbtstat requests to determine the MAC address of a discovered device (reliability of these results is reduced across separate subnets). Where, across subnets, only an IP address can be found for a device (that is, the device data is missing both a MAC address and a device name), a record is created for the discovered device; but because IP addresses may be dynamic, this is insufficient to allow merging with more complete records (which also contain either or both of the MAC address and a device name).

Such complete discovery records may be created automatically when inventory is first returned from the locally-installed FlexNet Inventory Agent: not finding an existing, complete and matching discovered device record to link with the inventory device record, IT Asset Management automatically creates one. This means you may see multiple discovered device records with duplicate IP addresses: one record is complete (from inventory), and one or more others are missing identifying data (across subnets) as discussed. These cannot be merged automatically, and you are left with a manual task to clean up incomplete duplicate discovered device records. What's worse, if you have a rule to repeat the discovery process (for example, looking for newly-installed devices) and you still have incomplete discovery data from an inventory beacon reaching across subnet boundaries, the unmatched and incomplete record is recreated at each execution of the discovery rule.

In contrast, having a local inventory beacon in the same subnet as target devices provides both the IP address and the MAC address, which is sufficient for matching discovered device records. If you must do discovery across subnet boundaries without a local inventory beacon, ensure that there are full DNS entries visible to the inventory beacon for all devices you intend to discover. This allows the inventory beacon to report both an IP address and a name (either the device name or a fully-qualified domain name [FQDN]), which combination is again sufficient for record matching.

When your network infrastructure is in place, you can begin to deploy the FlexNet Inventory Agent.

To collect the FlexNet Inventory Agent software:

  1. On the workstation where you plan to configure the package for installing FlexNet Inventory Agent, use a web browser to log in to the web interface for IT Asset Management.
  2. Go to the Inventory Settings page (Data Collection > IT Assets Inventory Tasks > Inventory Settings).
    The Inventory Settings page displays.
  3. Scroll down to the Inventory agent for download section.
  4. Prepare for editing the bootstrapping file:
    • For target devices running any version of Microsoft Windows: click the hyperlink to Download bootstrapping template file, saving the file to a folder of your choice (such as C:\temp). This file must be customized for your deployment, minimally to identify the bootstrap inventory beacon with which FlexNet Inventory Agent will first communicate (details are forthcoming in Agent Third-Party Deployment: Edit the Configuration File for Microsoft Windows).
    • For target devices running UNIX-like systems: there is no equivalent download of a sample file, but full details for constructing your own are included in Agent Third-Party Deployment: Configuring the Bootstrap File for UNIX. No immediate action on the bootstrapping file is needed now.
  5. From the Inventory agent drop-down list, select the (first) version of the FlexNet Inventory Agent you want to deploy.
    Be sure to scroll down, as the most recent releases are at the bottom of the drop-down list. You may choose whichever recent version is approved for use in your enterprise. In general, it is recommended to deploy the latest version.
    Tip: If you are configuring a UNIX-like server for collection of Oracle inventory by the installed FlexNet Inventory Agent, be sure to download version 13.2.0 or later. Earlier releases of the FlexNet Inventory Agent may fail to collect Oracle inventory on servers where permissions prevent global access to Oracle directories or files.

    The same software is known by different (historical) names on different platforms (a managed device is one which has the FlexNet Inventory Agent locally installed). In the current release, you can select from the following supported platforms:

    • FlexNet Inventory Agent, which is for Windows platforms
      Tip: In earlier releases, the FlexNet Inventory Agent was known as ManageSoft for Managed Devices.
    • ManageSoft for AIX Managed Devices
    • ManageSoft for HP-UX Managed Devices
    • ManageSoft for Linux (i386) Managed Devices
    • ManageSoft for Linux (x86_64) Managed Devices
    • ManageSoft for Mac OS X Managed Devices
    • ManageSoft for Solaris (sparc) Managed Devices
    • ManageSoft for Solaris (x86) Managed Devices.
  6. Click Download, and save the archive to a folder of your choice.
  7. If necessary, repeat the download of any additional versions that you choose to configure and deploy.

IT Asset Management (Cloud)