Amazon Connector

IT Asset Management (Cloud)

This part introduces the Amazon connector, with a particular focus on managing licenses that you provide for software used in the cloud (often called "bring your own [software] license", or BYOL). The complementary case, where you purchase instances fully provisioned by Amazon Web Services (including the provision of relevant licenses), is of less interest to your license management team, and is perhaps more the focus of your finance team.

The Amazon connector serves two main, and closely related, purposes:
  • It tracks instances (typically, virtual machines that are tracked as inventory devices) that are hosted for you in the Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2)
  • It performs discovery of Oracle Database installations in Amazon Relational Database Service (RDS). From the data uploaded from the Amazon connector, IT Asset Management automatically creates both discovered device and inventory device records. The discovered device records allow you to target those Oracle Databases for direct inventory collection; and the database inventory is combined with data received from the connector to provide licensable results for your matching inventory device records.

In relation to EC2 instances, the Amazon connector is only a part of a complete BYOL management strategy for this cloud service provider. By itself, the Amazon connector does not gather sufficient data to allow for license management: for example, it does not gather software inventory for the applications that are running on your cloud-hosted devices.

For that reason, this part covers more than the Amazon connector itself. As well as details of prerequisites, set up, and data gathering with the Amazon connector, the part includes some insights into:
  • Processes for gathering complete hardware and software inventory for your EC2 instances
  • Considerations for license management
  • Preparing different Amazon Machine Images (AMI) from which to launch instances capable of reporting software and hardware inventory.
In fact, using those guidelines, you could configure inventory gathering in AWS EC2 without using the Amazon connector at all. Provided that you are deploying the latest FlexNet inventory agent (13.2.x or later), inventory alone even identifies the cloud service provider. What the Amazon connector adds is:
  • Automatically setting the Hosted in property in the inventory device records created when inventory is returned
  • Adding the cloud service provider and instance details when these are missing from inventory collected by legacy versions of FlexNet inventory agent, or from third-party inventory sources
  • Populating the Cloud Service Provider Inventory page with records of instances currently running in your AWS EC2 environment, including a few properties that are additional to the normal hardware and software inventory
  • Importing permanent records of instances that were previously running but that have now been terminated (and for which, as a result, any prior inventory devices records have now been deleted)
  • Triggering automatic deletion (completed at the next full import and compliance calculation) of any inventory device record linked to an instance that is now terminated
  • Discovering Oracle Database installations in Amazon RDS.

This part focuses on background about the Amazon connector, and additional material you need in order to build license management around the Amazon connector. You will not find details about how to choose the right connection method for your business processes (there are three methods available), or how to undertake the actual connection here. Instead, step-by-step instructions for configuring the connection to AWS EC2 are available in the online help at FlexNet Manager Suite Online Help > Inventory Beacons > Inventory Systems Page > Connecting to External Inventory Systems > Managing PowerShell Connections > Managing AWS Connections.

IT Asset Management (Cloud)

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