FlexNet Publisher is a popular software license manager from Flexera Software that supports a vast collection of software applications using a wide range of licensing models, including floating licenses, node-locked licenses, named-user licenses, subscription-based licenses, pay-per-use licenses, etc. Formerly known as FlexLM, it provides software vendors several key benefits, including support for compliance management for different licensing models, prevention of revenue loss, and strong application protection.
Aside from license management functionalities, FlexNet also includes utilities that could help administrators with basic software usage monitoring and inventory tasks. However, for more in-depth usage metering and analysis, companies may need to employ a more robust usage metering solution, especially if they have multiple license servers in different locations and time zones.
Here are four ways to effectively meter and optimize the usage of software licenses managed by FlexNet:
Although administrators can manually track software licenses using the FlexNet utilities for each license server, it would be tedious to do if the company has multiple license servers, especially if those license servers are located in different sites around the globe. In this case, it would be much better to have a centralized view of usage data from all license servers on a single dashboard. Centralized usage data also allows for a deeper analysis of software usage across the entire organization, which is especially useful when looking for optimization opportunities.
Real-Time Monitoring and Alerts
FlexNet can show administrators some basic real-time usage data, such as how many licenses are currently checked out and who checked them out, but it can only show usage data on that particular license server. To effectively view real-time usage data on multiple license servers across the entire organization, administrators would need a software metering tool with a centralized monitoring dashboard that would allow them to see not only the total number of licenses used and the users who have checked them out, but also other important information, such as how many licenses does each user have checked out and for how long, how many licenses are still available or how many denials have been recorded, etc.
It is also quite impossible for administrators to use all their time personally monitoring the license usage of many different applications. Therefore, it would be helpful to have automated alerts for events that they deem important, such as when a certain application’s licenses have reached 95% utilization, or when denials occur, or if certain users have checked out multiple licenses, etc.
These tools make it easy to determine the sufficiency of available licenses for various users, spot possible instances of license hogging, and implement solutions to potential issues that may arise.
Variety of Data Sources
Usage data obtained from FlexNet utilities may be enough to get a basic sense of license usage, but more data is needed to get a clearer picture of the company’s real software usage. Collecting data from the OS kernel, I/O and other log files, and comparing and aggregating them with the data obtained from FlexNet could provide a better understanding of how the company, in general, and the users utilize their software assets. By gathering usage data from many different sources, this process ensures a more accurate aggregated usage data that can be used for in-depth reports.
Collecting usage data from various sources would also allow administrators to distinguish active from inactive software usage. Inactive usage is when a user checks out a license and leaves the application running without actively using it. Some users do this to “reserve” the license when they think they would need it later. However, doing so could prevent other users who need to use the application now from checking out the license, which could also result in denials if the available licenses have run out. Monitoring active/inactive usage can help uncover many opportunities for license usage optimization and also allow users to modify their behavior in regards to wasting precious software resources.
Software usage metering is important for every company that uses expensive software to ensure the availability of licenses for all users and promote productivity while improving the efficiency of software usage. Although FlexNet provides basic license monitoring functionalities, an advanced license usage metering solution is necessary for more effective and robust reporting, analysis, and optimization.
Open iT help companies take this burden off their shoulders by providing advanced reporting, analysis, and optimization capabilities that are especially tailored to the requirements and initiatives of the company.
Learn more about what Open iT can do for you and how it meters applications by connecting with us today.