The big debate
The debate on spreadsheets vs. tools is a sort of SAM version of the chicken and the egg. And just like in the aviary version, the jury is still out. Yes, tools are supposed to make our lives easy and we’d all love to ditch the spreadsheet and still have clean, reliable and complete data. Unfortunately, SAM tools are notoriously bad with enterprise software and will generally struggle to accommodate a complex infrastructure topology in order to satisfy requirements for most license metrics.
Not to say that SAM tools are bad, far from it, but most of them will only be as good as the data that gets imported. It would be great if the “garbage in — results out” premise would work, especially in an automated fashion. Unless your SAM tool offers advanced data cleaning, recognition and deduplication features, you’ll mostly find yourself running under “garbage in — uncertain reporting out”.
Our job as software asset management experts is to clear uncertainty and to bring peace of mind to our stakeholders and without a clear way of cleaning and validating data, claiming that the data is bad is just calling the kettle black.
Getting all your licenses and software usage under control seems like a daunting task. Even if we’re talking just about one product and it’s associated add-ons, the licensing ramifications will have you talking to several departments, filling a couple of change requests and giving yourself pep talks to not give up.
This tutorial series will give you all the information and practical tools needed to generate a reliable baseline, a stepping stone so to say, to first of all tackle your Oracle Database licensing and as a bonus, that can be used for most enterprise software licensing.
Once you’ve gone through the process and have created a deployment baseline, you can potentially save your company thousands of dollars. Oracle Database products are expensive and even one less processor license required might cover for the open bar budget at your next team building.
What’s even better is that maintaining this baseline will not require that much effort. Contrary to popular belief, the way enterprise software is used does not change a lot. Just look at all the companies still purchasing old hard drives or the number of legacy systems present in any organization. Enterprise systems and generally enterprises are averse to change. Applications using Oracle Database are no different. You won’t deploy a new Oracle Database every month and you won’t reconfigure your existing databases on a regular basis either.
So, what does it take to create your baseline? You’ll need a couple of things detailed below:
- An overview showing where Oracle Database products are installed.
- The Oracle LMS Scripts (also known as ReviewLite)
- Data exports from your infrastructure teams
We will of course need a place where we can store all this information and a way to do our calculations. Whether you ultimately want to import this data in your SAM tools or connect to a reporting tool and generate eye-catching dashboards, it all starts from a spreadsheet.
In our next post we will focus on creating an Excel file where we’ll collect all the necessary information for a comlpete analysis. Stay tunned.