The ITAM Review

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Trouble Finding Oracle on Your Network?

finding_OracleI spoke to Pat Durkin at IQuate as his team prepares to showcase their technology at Oracle OpenWorld 2009 next week.

Pat described how they have adapted their technology to allow their customers to gain an accurate view of their Oracle installations.

Most large enterprises that use Oracle will be familiar with Oracle License Management Services (LMS) who approach them at least once a year and ask them to complete an Oracle Server Worksheet. Whilst the LMS team do their best to make this a positive experience, this is usually an arduous task that may take many weeks or months to complete.

Even if the customer has very good ITAM processes and solid tools, discovering all Oracle instances, processors, CPUS, sockets and transposing these details into the worksheet can be quite a challenge.

  1. The biggest challenge is physically locating the servers with Oracle installed, since the installation fingerprint of an Oracle application is different to most software. The traditional approach for inventory tools is to look at the existence, size and header information of .exe files which doesn’t work for Oracle. Pat said “In 100% of cases we’ve found discrepancies between what the DBA discovered and what was actually installed“
  2. Sometimes a DBA will inadvertently install costly database options during install that are not required.
  3. The price of a license sometimes depends on the processor rating which can be tricky. For example an administrator might login to the machine to inventory the number of cpus and find four, but in reality two dual core processors are installed which can have expensive consequences.

IQuate uses agent less technology to find Oracle instances on a network, using a combination of techniques including ports and processes running. The tool then, given the appropriate credentials, will connect to those Oracle instances in an agent less fashion and run the oracle scripts that generate the information that is critical for licensing. This information is then auto-populated into the Oracle Server Worksheet (See the sample Oracle Server Worksheet on the Oracle website here).

Working Example

IQuate were invited to validate a detailed manual Oracle audit which had been completed for a large public sector organisation. The manual process had already taken weeks of elapsed time and had been completed by their own internal Oracle DBAs and external advisory support.

During a 2 hour process, Pat’s team installed the software and scanned the IT estate.  They discovered additional machines running Oracle, more instances than previously identified, detailed information on Database Options in use and an overstatement of 44% on the number of processors involved.

OracleScan

Pat admits that their company is not in the business of completing Oracle reconciliations but helping companies gather an accurate position. However generally he finds that as a result of their scans, customers typically find that they have a blend of under and over-licensing issues. They find servers that are unaccounted for (Which means the client owes Oracle more revenue) and database options that are overstated or not stated correctly (Which can deliver cost savings).

More about IQuate can be found here.

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About Martin Thompson

Martin is owner and founder of The ITAM Review, an online resource for worldwide ITAM professionals. The ITAM Review is best known for its weekly newsletter of all the latest industry updates, LISA training platform, Excellence Awards and conferences in UK, USA and Australia.

Martin is also the founder of ITAM Forum, a not-for-profit trade body for the ITAM industry created to raise the profile of the profession and bring an organisational certification to market. On a voluntary basis Martin is a contributor to ISO WG21 which develops the ITAM International Standard ISO/IEC 19770.

He is also the author of the book "Practical ITAM - The essential guide for IT Asset Managers", a book that describes how to get started and make a difference in the field of IT Asset Management. In addition, Martin developed the PITAM training course and certification.

Prior to founding the ITAM Review in 2008 Martin worked for Centennial Software (Ivanti), Silicon Graphics, CA Technologies and Computer 2000 (Tech Data).

When not working, Martin likes to Ski, Hike, Motorbike and spend time with his young family.

Connect with Martin on LinkedIn.

One Comment

  1. Ben McCullom says:

    Our 4.0 release is going to have an Oracle discovery and inventory report and process built into it as

    a base process.
    Thanks Ben

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