Microsoft Windows Server Optimization Flat View Report

IT Asset Management (Cloud)

Using the exact same logic and inputs (minus Show Orphan VMs) as the Windows Server Optimization report released in 2021 R1.4, this report provides a flat list of VM Hosts, hosted virtual machines and computers accompanied by the Optimal license and supplementary criteria information used to calculate it.

The aim of this report is to assist SAM Managers using Business Adapter Studio to perform a batch allocation of computers to their respective Optimal licenses. The following steps can be applied to do this:

  • Export the report to Microsoft Excel.
  • Change the Optimal license names to correspond to the licenses that you have already created.
  • Adjust Optimal licenses to suit your specific requirements. For example, assign the Optimal license to legacy licenses such as the Windows Server 2012 Standard Edition. You might consider doing this if the "Latest WinSvr in cluster" is 2012.
  • Use the modified Excel file as a data source for a Business Adapter to allocate servers to licenses.

The "Forced consumption" column is valid only for VM Hosts that are recommended to consume from a "Standard Edition" license. The license calculation logic will not be able to factor the 90 peak in the counts. Hence the need to "force" the consumption in the allocations.

Note: Please note that an allocation will be valid only for a day as virtual machines keep moving across hosts, and inventory import typically happens once a day.
Note: The Windows Server Optimization Flat View report can be queried for automated allocation to optimal licenses using the GetCustomViewResult SOAP API. To do this, you will need to obtain the ID of the report, which you can find in the FNMP Compliance database (in the ComplianceSavedSearch table), or by using the ReportIndex REST API
Prior to running the report, administrators are required to enter the following inputs:
  • Scope of licenses: Triggers the assessment of Microsoft Endpoint Configuration Manager (previously Microsoft SCCM) deployments for a choice between Windows Server and Core Infrastructure Server licenses (on a cluster basis).
    Note: Core Infrastructure Server (CIS) is the Core Infrastructure Server license that allows administrators to use Windows Server (Standard or Datacenter) coupled with Microsoft's management agent called System Center.
    Tip: In IT Asset Management, the license for either edition of either Microsoft product is represented as a Microsoft Server/Management Core license type.
  • Approach for data center VMs: "Traditional" or "Optimized".
    • Choose "Traditional" if you want the presence of a VM running Windows Server Datacenter edition to require a Datacenter license
    • Choose "Optimized" to have all VMs treated equally, without regard for their edition of Windows Server.
  • Assessment metric: How do you want to assess the density of VMs running Windows Server?
    • 90 day peak: This is the optimal approach. The report will evaluate host by host the movements of VMs based on history and the 90 day peak of non-exempted Windows Server VMs. Note that a daily inventory of your vCenters will ensure the accuracy of the peaks.
    • Worst case: This approach considers that all VMs in a cluster can move to any of its hosts, and calculates the optimal license for each of those hosts, based on the total number of active Windows Server VMs in the cluster. This option is costly.
    • Highest VMs # in Cluster: Applies the number of VMs from the highest density host for the selected cluster when the report is launched. This approach is deemed intermediate, but more realistic than the "worst case" assessment.
    • 90 day peak / VMs: Microsoft introduced in October 2022 the option to license VMs with a minimum of 8 cores with Windows Server Standard if you have Software Assurance. This 4th option will evaluate DataCenter for the host versus Standard for the host (for the 90 peak number of VMs) versus licensing each VM currently on the host with the minimum of 8 cores.

Generating the report

Note: This report is scoped to the data that each operator is entitled to see, according to their access rights. While an administrator can see all available licenses, clusters, consumption, and optimizations, another operator who has access rights restricted to EMEA sees only those elements linked to the EMEA location, and to any of its child locations.
  1. Go to the Microsoft Windows Server Optimization Flat View page (Reporting > License Reports > Microsoft Windows Server Optimization Flat View).
  2. Click Run report to display the results.
All results are shown as of the latest inventory import and license reconciliation process, for which the date and time are shown in the right-hand end of the title bar, against Reconciled:

Reading the report

The following columns (listed alphabetically) are available.
Note: To save space, in several of the following column names these abbreviations are used:
  • (WinSvr Dtctr) for the Microsoft Windows Server Datacenter license
  • (WinSvr VMs) for Microsoft Windows Server virtual machines

Please keep in mind that some columns are accessible by means of the column chooser to limit the default number of columns displayed.

Important: USD currency must be added as a supported currency to your tenant. Note there is no requirement to make USD your default currency. If USD is not added to your list of supported currencies, returned VM host data may contain discrepancies such as missing VM hosts and inaccurate price related data. To add USD currency, navigate to Administration > IT Asset Management Settings > Defaults > Currency Settings. On this page select Add a Currency and then United States Dollar (USD) from the Currency drop down list. When finished select Add.
Column name Description
Cluster name

The path in the virtualization hierarchy to the cluster (in the form of domain/clustername). Cluster names are not forced to be unique, although giving them unique names is best practice. If you need to differentiate between (for example) two clusters with the same name, check the hosts and instances.

Device corporate unit The corporate unit that is linked to the device shown in this row.
Device cost center The cost center that is linked to the device shown in this row.
Device location The location that is linked to the device shown in this row.
Remember: If this device is a virtual machine, and your system setting Update virtual machine location to match host location is set to true, this location may be inherited from the host where the VM is a guest.
Device name The name of the inventory device in this row. The compliance calculation updates this field with the machine name returned in inventory (matched by several properties, including serial number).
Device role

Specifies the role assigned to a device. Assigning a role may allow for exemptions that limit license consumption for roles specified in some license agreements. Device roles (where permitted by the product use rights on a license) can exempt devices from consuming entitlements on a license to which they are (and remain) attached. For example, some license agreements may grant an exemption for testing devices. For more details, see Allocations and Exemptions.

Possible roles include:
  • Backup / Archive — This device cannot be started without first restoring it from an archive copy. Typical publisher terminologies include backup, or archival.
  • Cold Standby / Disaster Recovery — This device is not currently running, but could be started at any time. Typical publisher terminologies include disaster recovery, cold standby, cold disaster recovery, or failover.
  • Development — This device is used exclusively for system development. It does not carry any production load.
  • Hot Standby / Active Failover — This device is running, and probably doing work such as mirroring database changes. Typically, this system requires a license, so that it would be unusual to select this role for an exemption. Typical publisher terminologies include hot standby, active, active clusters, mirroring, HA, standby, or remote mirroring.
  • Production — Specifies that the device is being used in the production environment, and it consumes license entitlements for its installed software. This is the default value for all newly imported devices, and you need to change it to reflect any other specific role.
  • Test — Specifies that the device is being used exclusively in system testing, and does not carry any production load.
  • Training — Specifies that the device is being used for training purposes. Most publishers require that this use is exclusive, and may also require that the device is within a dedicated training facility.
  • Warm Standby / Passive Failover — This device is on, but is idling and not carrying any production load.
Device Type
The kind of computer (or other device) represented in this row. Possible values include:
  • Computer
  • Virtual Machine
  • VM Host.
Forced consumption

The total exposure (for the next annual true-up) of consumption for all rows relating to devices covered by the Windows Server Standard license.

Displays values only for VM Hosts that are recommended to consume from a "Standard Edition" license. The license calculation logic will not be able to factor the 90 day peak in the counts. Hence the need to "force" the consumption in the allocations.

Hosted in

Shows whether the inventory device is on-premises (the default, meaning the device is within your enterprise), or in a cloud operated by a particular service provider. For some cloud service providers (like AWS and Azure), the Hosted in value is set automatically through inventory. For other cloud service providers, you must make a selection manually.

Hosted in cloud

Indicates No if the inventory device is hosted on-premises (within your enterprise). Indicates Yes if the inventory device is hosted in the cloud by a cloud service provider. Most inventory devices hosted in the cloud are virtual machines; but this value is available for all inventory devices, because some cloud service providers also rent entire machines (for example, AWS provides dedicated hosts and bare metal instances). This is a convenience column for grouping/filtering inventory devices that are hosted in the cloud. The name of the cloud service provider for each inventory device is available in the Hosted in column.

Host name

The host name of the stand-alone virtual host. Host names are not forced to be unique, although giving them unique names is best practice.

Latest WinSvr in cluster For all devices within the current cluster that are running Windows Server, this is the most recent version reported. This can help administrators decide if they want to continue using a legacy license not covered by Software Assurance.
Operating system

The operating system running on this device. This value is collected from the device inventory record.

Value may be blank for rows that do not represent a single inventory device.

Editable in the Hardware tab of the inventory device properties (for manually-created records).

Optimal license
The preferred license to apply to the virtual host, stand-alone device, or orphan VM in this row. The Optimal license is one of:
  • Microsoft Windows Server Datacenter Core license
  • Microsoft Windows Server Standard Core license
  • Microsoft Core Infrastructure Server Suite Datacenter Core license
  • Microsoft Core Infrastructure Server Suite Standard Core license.
Please refer to Comment on optimization to check how the Optimal license was assessed.
Peak WinSvr VMs (90 days) The largest number of VMs running Windows Server on the current host server at one time within the last 90 days.
System Center VMs in cluster Within the cluster containing the host shown in this row (see Cluster name), this is the number of VMs that have a client for System Center or Endpoint Configuration Manager installed. If this number is greater than zero, CIS licenses are required if CIS is in scope.
WinSvr Dtctr VM hosted (90 days) In the last 90 days, history shows that at least one VM running Windows Server Datacenter was deployed on this host.
WinSvr VMs in cluster For the current cluster (see Cluster name), this is the total number of inventoried VMs that are not exempted, and are running any edition of Windows Server. This may be thought of as the "Windows Server VM density" for the cluster.

IT Asset Management (Cloud)