Common: Acting on Inventory Results

IT Asset Management (Cloud)
This topic applies to all forms of gathered inventory:
  • All forms of FlexNet inventory gathering, including all the cases covered in this document
  • Inventory imported from third-party tools, such as Microsoft Endpoint Configuration Manager (previously Microsoft SCCM), IBM ILMT, and others
  • Inventory imported in spreadsheets or CSV files.
Computer details imported from software and hardware inventory are displayed in the All Inventory page (Inventory > Inventory > All Inventory). Here you may choose whether to:
  • Manage each device as an asset.
  • Mark the device as Ignored (unmanaged). At a later time, you may choose to begin managing any ignored computers.
These cases and others are explained below.

Managed Assets

You may manage the following device types as assets:
  • Computers
  • Mobile devices
  • VM Hosts.
Virtual machines, VDI templates, and remote devices are not tangible assets (remote devices are created when the only inventory available is usage or access control list data from a Citrix environment, when it assumed that, for example, a user's home computer that cannot be inventoried has used a virtualized application).

When your goal is to link devices to asset records, it may be easier to start from the Inventory without Assets page (Inventory > Inventory > Inventory without Assets). In any inventory list, simply select one or more devices, and click Create an asset (see the online help for more information).

Once you choose to manage a device as an asset, you are then able to perform all of the normal hardware asset operations:
  • Assign ownership of the asset in your enterprise (as you can also assign ownership of computers that are not assets)
  • Associate the asset with purchase orders and contracts (including lease contracts) and monitor expiry of lease contracts
  • Monitor warranty details
  • Allocate licenses to the computer (licenses are also managed on devices that are not assets)
  • Have IT Asset Management automatically flag changes made to the device’s configuration
  • Receive alerts for any assets that stop reporting their configuration details during compliance imports.

Ignored Computers

Inventory devices that you choose to ignore are those that you do not wish to manage, at least for the present time. The records are not deleted, but these devices become 'inactive' in the following ways:
  • Ignored devices are not visible in most inventory listings, including Inventory Issues, Out-Of-Date Inventory, Inventory without Assets, and Active Inventory (but of course, they are available in Ignored Inventory)
  • Changes to the configuration of ignored devices are not flagged
  • If an ignored device stops reporting during inventory imports, the missing device does not appear in the Out-Of-Date Inventory list
  • Applications installed on ignored computers are not counted in license compliance calculations.
Tip: You cannot ignore an inventory device that is linked to an asset record. If you need to do this, first select the device in a listing, and choose Remove link.
At any time, you can choose to begin managing an ignored device as a hardware asset. Simply select the device in the Ignored Inventory page (Inventory > Inventory > Ignored Inventory), and click Activate.

Duplicate serial numbers

IT Asset Management does not rely on serial numbers alone to differentiate between inventory device records. For example, other attributes used may include:
  • The external ID, the identifier for the inventory item in the source data (for example, the numeric MachineID returned from Microsoft Endpoint Configuration Manager (previously Microsoft SCCM), or the numeric ComputerID assigned in the internal inventory database of FlexNet inventory data)
  • The computer type, manufacturer, and model
  • For virtualization, the type of virtual machine, and (when applicable) a partition ID
and so on.
However, it happens that inventory records may be different in all other values, but have matching (duplicate) serial numbers. There are a few common causes for inventory correctly containing multiple devices with a common serial number:
  • Computer manufacturers do not always assign unique serial numbers, so that it is quite possible to get duplicate serial numbers from quite separate machines (particularly when these were bought in a batch).
  • A computer may have been partitioned, and the inventory tool may return the common serial number of the underlying host for separate partitions, producing multiple records with the same serial number.
  • Computers that have been rebuilt may, for a time, produce two different inventory records with the same serial number — one from before the rebuild that has not yet gone stale and been removed by the inventory tool (the last inventory date on this record is typically old), and a second from after the rebuild. Typically these will have the same serial number; but the rebuilt computer may have a different name and be deployed to a new domain. If, as commonly happens, the inventory tool does not recognize the new computer as a rebuild, the two records will also have different external IDs from the inventory tool. This means that nothing matches except the serial numbers.
You can identify inventory devices with duplicate serial numbers as follows:
  1. Navigate to your preferred listing of inventory devices (for example, the All Inventory page (Inventory > Inventory > All Inventory)).
  2. Clear any existing filter, and in the simple filter control (top left, near the page heading):
    1. Click Add filter.
    2. In the left-hand option list, choose Alert.
    3. After a moment, in the right-hand option list, choose Serial number is not unique.
    4. Click the blue check (tick) icon to commit this filter. After a moment, only devices with duplicate serial numbers are shown (hover over any of the red alert bubbles to confirm this by reviewing the tooltip text).
  3. Click the Serial number column header to sort the listing by serial number. This groups the matched sets together.
You can now investigate the duplicates. It may be possible, for example, to ignore old device records of machines that have been rebuilt (although best practice is to have them cleaned out of the inventory source data).

IT Asset Management (Cloud)