Optimizing software applications can be quite complicated without the right tools. Automatic license harvesting tools are very useful in keeping idle licenses in check, but indiscriminately suspending or terminating idle processes without proper parameters or necessary precautionary measures may cause more harm than good. After suspension or termination, most applications may be able to resume without incident. However, some may crash which, in some cases, may mean losing a whole day’s work.
Different software applications may require different optimization parameters and harvesting procedures. Challenges may arise if the exact same parameters and procedures are implemented in optimizing various applications.
With these three simple steps, the journey towards effective software license optimization would be seamlessly handled.
Step 1: Distinguish the actively used from the idle.
To successfully manage software resources automatically, monitoring the application’s true active usage is important. However, all applications are not created equal. There are applications that do a lot of background processing, which results to heavy CPU or I/O even though users do not necessarily interact with it most of the time. On the other hand, there are also applications that require a lot of user interaction resulting to frequent keyboard and mouse inputs.
To properly determine if an application has been idle, the thresholds for monitoring activity levels must be flexible. Threshold levels for each of the four parameters – CPU, I/O, mouse, and keyboard – must be defined appropriately and separately for each application.
Step 2: Identify the best course of action for each idle application.
After properly identifying that an application has been idle for a certain period, the next question is what to do with it? Administrators should be able to implement a course of action that is specific to each target application.
Some optimization tools can suspend the application and harvest its license, or terminate the application and free up resources. However, a more advanced tool would allow the execution of several actions before suspension or termination so that the application can be suspended or terminated safely. Such actions may include automatically saving the user’s work progress (using Save As so as not to overwrite the saved file), uploading the remaining data to the server, and creating backups in case of emergencies. The tool should allow the configuration of a set of customized actions for each application, ensuring that the optimization will not destroy anything of value. The goal is to create a sense of security for the users and administrators by taking extra steps to better manage resources effectively.
Step 3: Define usage policies for a more effective software optimization process.
Just like applications, users are also not created equal. Some users need to be given priority for applications that are vital for their job. And some users are simply casual or occasional users of the application and should be given less priority. Therefore, license optimization settings should be customizable enough to exempt power users of the application from optimization actions, or even set certain periods of time, or certain days, for the automatic license optimization to execute.
These detailed and customized usage policies for each application would result to a better, more effective software license optimization process.
User-Centric License Monitor
A real time dashboard is also necessary for administrators to track the status of applications from different hosts. This dashboard should be able to show live data for the In Use and Suspended applications, as well as historical data for the past Terminated applications. Another essential feature for the Terminated instances is the “Save As Path” value, where users can easily locate their auto-saved work.
Setting up custom actions, including generic ready-to-use Save scripts, that would provide flexibility to address each application’s different needs seamlessly are all available in Open iT LicenseAnalyzer2020™. The new User-Centric License Monitor dashboard in the Analysis Server offers administrators the means to monitor and take necessary actions to save software resources.