York, England, 17 January 2013: License Dashboard, the leading developer of advanced software license management solutions, today announced the launch of License Manager 5.7, its flagship software asset management (SAM) tool. Available immediately, License Manager 5.7 is the first SAM solution to offer accurate in-product management of software licenses in virtual server environments, including modelling the effect of Dynamic Resource Allocation (DRA). With License Manager 5.7 organizations can realise the desired cost savings from virtualization with the peace of mind that their software licensing position remains fully compliant. Other notable enhancements include a new ‘Intelligent Import’ function for simplifying the import of software install and hardware configuration information from a range of different inventory solutions, further improvements to the recently launched License Dashboard Cloud Console and additional reporting functionality.
Server virtualization has been widely adopted by many medium-to-large organizations in recent years (sitting at 50% penetration according to Gartner with other sources citing much higher figures), promising to deliver significant reductions in operational and capital expenditure through more efficient utilization of server hardware. In a recent straw poll of its own customers, License Dashboard found that 97% had virtualized at least some or all of their servers, with at least 58% using Dynamic Resource Allocation (or Distributed Resource Scheduler – DRS – in VMware’s product language) which can automatically move applications across several virtual machines according to resource availability and demand. License Dashboard has found that DRA technology can lead to a significant shortfall in an organisation’s software licensing compliance – sometimes up to 500% – because device-centric licensing will often require a license to be applied to every application on every virtual machine that could potentially run that application during peak times. Because DRA or equivalent technologies are often enabled by default, DRA can leave firms significantly under-licensed and open to fines for non-compliance when they are next audited.
Reacting to this pressing customer need, License Manager 5.7 is the first SAM solution to offer native functionality to manage the complexities of software licensing on virtual servers. The new Visualization Node Map (see image:http://www.licensedashboard.com/license-manager-5.7/Virtualization-Node-Map.jpg), available in both the License Manager windows client and the Cloud Console, provides a visual representation of the datacentre, including clusters, physical machines and all guest devices, together with OS and configuration information.
Addressing Dynamic Resource Allocation directly, License Manager 5.7 includes an in-product Dynamic Resource Allocation modeller that quickly illustrates how enabling DRA on virtual servers affects the overall licensing obligations of the organization. This makes it far easier for managers to make informed decisions about which servers and applications are sufficiently business-critical to justify the additional licensing requirements of DRA, versus those where DRA causes an unnecessary expense. The impact of Dynamic Resource Allocation is portrayed visually in the new Visualization Node Map.
“A large percentage of organisations using virtualization with Dynamic Resource Allocation enabled are unaware of the full impact it can have on their software licensing requirements,” comments Sean Robinson, managing director of License Dashboard. “It is not until you can actually see the significant increase in liability that DRA invokes that the issue becomes apparent. That is why we made virtualization analysis and the accompanying Visualization Node Map a priority for License Manager 5.7. By seeing the impact of virtualization on licensing liability for the first time, we are helping organisations to understand the full impact of their virtualization projects so they can make the most informed decisions.”
In addition to support for virtualization, License Manager includes the following notable enhancements:
- Cloud Console enhancements: Officially launched in November 2012, Cloud Console has been further enhanced with License Manager 5.7, including an improved ‘per Business Unit’ user management system to enable a wider selection of stakeholders to use the anytime, anywhere interface without compromising confidentiality or security, improved reporting such as report searches or the ability to save favourite reports, plus additional mobile device support.
- Intelligent Import: License Manager can import, cleanse and analyse software install, usage and hardware configuration data from more than 40 third-party software inventory solutions, including Microsoft SCCM. With License Manager 5.7 this is now easier than ever, as data can be imported from multiple sources simultaneously with the product intelligently understanding and interpreting the source of each data file automatically.
- Further reporting enhancements: There are now a total of 80 pre-configured management reports available in both the Windows administration console and the Cloud Console. To make accessing the right report easier and faster, the Windows interface features similar enhancements to those found in the new Cloud Console version, including a re-organized reporting structure, favourite reports and a search facility.
License Manager 5.7 is available immediately and can be downloaded from the License Dashboard customer support website. Existing customers with a current contract can upgrade to License Manager 5.7 at no additional charge. Retail pricing for License Manager and Small Business Edition remains unchanged.
License Manager was recently confirmed as the first SAM tool to successfully complete the KPMG SAM Tools Assessment and received high praise in an independent review of SAM tools by The ITAM Review, confirming its status as a class-leading software license management solution.
 Gartner, Top Five Server Virtualization Trends, 2012 (21 March 2012),http://blogs.gartner.com/thomas_bittman/2012/03/21/top-five-server-virtualization-trends-2012/
 License Dashboard straw poll of 31 customers conducted in December 2012,http://www.licensedashboard.com/license-management-news/Virtualization-is-a-software-licensing-ticking-time-bomb-warns-License-Dashboard.html
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