Microsoft Azure Connector

FlexNet Manager Suite (Cloud)
This part of the reference introduces the FlexNet connector to Microsoft Azure, enabling you to
  • Collect Azure virtual machine data
  • Track the license model for Windows Server and SQL Server in the cloud, particularly for installations that are taking advantage of the Microsoft Hybrid Benefit (AHB) that allows you to "bring your own license" (BYOL), re-purposing licenses originally purchased to authorize product installations in your on-premises environment in one of two ways, either:
    • Transferring the license entitlements to cover installations running on instances in Azure instead; or
    • In strictly limited cases, using the same license entitlements to simultaneously authorize installations on-premises and in Azure.
Tracking cloud license models for each instance using AHB requires that the connector uses the Microsoft Az module of PowerShell cmdlets for managing resources in Azure.
Tip: If you have previously implemented the Azure connector (prior to version 2020 R2.3, internally identified as 16.3.0), the earlier connector used an earlier and less capable module called AzureRM, which is now outdated, no longer receiving bug fixes, and not capable of supporting future functionality. For this reason, best practice is to uninstall the old AzureRM module, and replace it with the current Az module. While strongly recommended, this is not mandatory; but if you persist in using the old connector with the AzureRM module, you cannot track any cloud license model utilizing the Azure Hybrid Benefit.
Because the Azure connector gathers information that is separate from, and does not include, full hardware and software inventory, this reference covers more than the connector itself. As well as details of prerequisites, set up, and data gathering with the connector, the part includes some insights into:
  • Processes for gathering complete hardware and software inventory for your cloud-based instances
  • Considerations for license management.
In fact, using those guidelines, you could configure inventory gathering in Azure without using the connector at all. Provided that you are deploying the latest FlexNet inventory agent (13.2.x or later), inventory alone even returns the cloud service provider. What the 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 Azure 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
  • Importantly (when the Microsoft Az module is in use), tracking use of the Azure Hybrid Benefit to license installations of Microsoft Windows Server and Microsoft SQL Server in the cloud.
This reference focuses on background about the connector, and additional material you need in order to build license management around the connector. You will not find details about making the actual connection here.
Note: The Microsoft Azure inventory connector does not collect virtual machine information for virtual machines managed by Microsoft's classic deployment model. For these devices we recommend you use an alternative such as the inventory spreadsheet upload, the Business Importer or simply through editing manually.
Note: Containers are not currently supported.

Step-by-step instructions for configuring the connection to Azure 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 Azure Connections.

FlexNet Manager Suite (Cloud)

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