IT Operations Management (ITOM)

How can you ensure license compliance in an OM deployment?

How can you ensure license compliance in an OM deployment?


In a typical HP Operations Manager (OM) installation with thousands of agents connected, there is a challenge to ensure license compliance and to optimize license management. Even though there are tools like HP Asset Manager  and others to manage licenses, the real bottleneck is getting the actual data about the node that will qualify the node’s license, into different categories like “OS-Instance-based Licenses” or “Target connector Licenses” or “Tier-based Agent Licenses” etc.


-         Refer the whitepaper on Licensing Best Practices and Reporting for more detailed explanation of the licenses here.

-         For HP Systems Management Center and Service and Operations Bridge Center Licensing Guide refer this.

-         Cut license costs and risks of software non-compliance --- and optimize license management.

-         Simple steps for ensuring license compliance.

-         Some of the license management solutions: Dell KACE license management software, SAMANAGE License Management & Compliance.


The easiest way to get the number of licenses used is the license report tool each OM server provides.



HP Operations Manager for Windows (OMW)


On the OMW, the html report is the best and most comprehensive. This report can be generated through the “License Report” tool. Using the tool,  reports are generated for agent, server and each SPI individually.


There is also a text-based report tool “ovolicense -r -p HPOM –detailed”* which provides the license status report and also shows CPUs, osvendor, ostype, license status etc. for each of the nodes.



HP Operations Manager for UNIX (OMU)


 “ovolicense”*tool exists on OMU which also provides the license status report along with CPUs, osvendor, ostype, license status etc. for each of the nodes.


On the HP Operations Manager for Unix, there is a support tool available called the 'OVOLTTest'. This tool allows to print all license relevant information of all nodes.

Node information, without license information, is also available via 'opcnode -list_attrs node_name=<name>'.


While the license report (generated with ovolicense) is available on OMU 9.x and OMW 8/9, the “OVOLTTest” and “opcnode” tools are only available on OM for UNIX 9.x and have no counterpart in the OMW.


OMU 8.x has a tool called “opclic” to provide the number of manager and agent:

-       Licenses installed

-       Licenses that have been purchased.

-       Delta between licenses installed and purchased


More info on this here.


*Apart from the server manuals there are some more details on ovolicense here.



How to count instance/target connector license?


After working with the HP compliance team that is responsible for the customer audit for license compliance, we realized that the current tools with OM, provide information on the installed licenses and available licenses. But, they do not provide any hint as to whether the node has the correct license, atleast when it comes to the “instance license” or the “target connector license”.



What is the immediate solution?


For each node, if we can leverage the customer’s existing SAM or Hardware Management Tool we can provide the following:

-       Hardware Make/Model

-       Processor Information

-       VM to Host Mapping

-       VM Infrastructure – VMs > Hosts > Clusters – Hardware Make/Model for each, and VM Mobility understanding


We can then use the information obtained to apply an appropriate Tier or Instance license. 


To get this in action, I have created a Perl script based tool (as an attachment to this blog) to report virtual host and guests reducing the need for creating manual reports e.g. from vCen “What does the tool do?”.


The tool collects the following information from the node, given as a parameter to it, and shows it on the OMU/L server:


-       Host on which this VM is hosted -- Applicable only if target system role is Guest

-       System name

-       Name of the cluster to which the host belongs

-       Total number of CPU cores

-       Total number of virtual CPUs

-       System role

-       CPU type

-       Machine Hardware and platform


For each of the above values, the tool gets the data from the remote agent’s performance metrics or system commands.

Below is the list of sources for each of the above data point:

-       BYLS_LS_HOST_HOSTNAME metric        : Host on which this VM is hosted (only if Guest)

-       BYLS_LS_HOSTNAME metric                      : System name

-       BYLS_CLUSTER_NAME metric                    : Cluster name to which the host belongs

-       BYLS_NUM_CPU_CORE metric                   : Total number of CPU cores

-       BYLS_NUM_CPU metric                                : Total number of virtual CPUs

-       GBL_LS_ROLE metric                                     : System role ("GUEST", "HOST"  or "STAND")

-       "model name" from "/proc/cpuinfo"       : CPU type

-       "uname -im"                                                      : Machine Hardware and platform


This tool can be run from the OM server (either Windows or Linux) to fetch the given node’s attributes that will help you decide on what type of license is needed for the remote Linux vCenter or vMA node.


How to use the tool?


To execute this Perl tool “perl [<remote nodename>]”. If remote nodename is empty, the metrics are collected from the local system.

If the remote system is not a vCenter or a vMA the values will be empty.


The tool and a Readme is available as an attachment to this blog.


Next steps

In the next update of the tool, it will query the OM to identify Node Listing and SPI Deployment and gather the relevant data from each of the node.



Thanks to Vimal Kaul, Stefan Bergstein and Jaganathan Rajagopalan for inputs to this blog and the tool.


Some of the references used in creating this blog:

Whitepaper on optimizing license management.

HP Operations Manager Technical White-Paper on Licensing Best Practices and Reporting.

HP Systems Management Center and Service and Operations Bridge Center Licensing Guide.

Additional info on the existing licensing tool on OM.

OM license management guide.


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