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HP Asset Manager for Oracle License Management

HPThis is an independent review of HP Asset Manager for managing Oracle Licensing. This review is part of our Oracle License Management Group Test.

HP Asset Manager for Oracle License Management

  • Product: HP Software Asset Management solution (SAM) consisting of HP Asset Manager (AM) and HP Universal Discovery (UD)
  • Version: 9.40 (AM), 10.10 (UD)
  • Version Released: June 2013
  • Year Founded / Turnover:  Founded 1939, Turnover for AM group not disclosed.
  • Total number of customers: AM: 1100+; Universal Discovery for Oracle LMS: 100+; UD: 200;

HP Asset Manager Pricing Summary:

  • Pricing not disclosed

Independent Review

HP’s enterprise inventory and discovery offering ‘Universal Discovery’ (UD) is verified by Oracle’s License Management Services (LMS) organization, which means Oracle LMS will accept data provided by HP UD during a review. HP customers can also feed UD data into HP Asset Manager for reconciliation with Oracle contracts and purchase history. This should shorten the duration of an Oracle audit, and when combined with HP Asset Manager, allow customers some autonomy from Oracle and independent visibility into their own audit risk.

We reviewed HP Asset Manager for SAM last year: see “Strong Enterprise SAM Contender with dated interface”

“Reconciling the disparate worlds of technical configuration data and financial procurement history is based on the principle of ‘Software Counters’; this is a real strength of HP Asset Manager.  Software counters allow Software Asset Managers to build the logic to interpret any conceivable metric.”

https://www.itassetmanagement.net/2013/07/31/review-hp-asset-manager-sam/

I like the versatile ‘Software Counters’ approach adopted by HP, allowing customers to manage a wide variety of license types, but I found the Oracle License Management capabilities weak compared to other solutions in this review.

HP has released SAM Best Practice content package that contains Oracle SAM best practices in early 2013.  This package is updated multiple times per year and is free for HP Asset Manager SAM customers (downloadable from HP LiveNetwork).

This package contains

  • Software compliance counters and Dashboards for the CPU license that use the Oracle core factors (Oracle DB, Oracle Options, management packs and other applications, such as  WebLogic…)
  • Workflows and scripts that pre-allocate the appropriate number of points to the server according to the Oracle Core Factor table. The pre-calculation scripts are regularly updated by HP to reflect the last rules.
  • Crystal Reports on license expenses
  • Oracle Contract samples
  • Demo data, so that you understand how it works
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Reporting on Oracle database options and packs, a major source of risk and potential unplanned cost, is not as clear and intuitive compared to competitors in this review.

Organizations need clear visibility into how each Oracle database instance is configured to understand licensing impact and optimize their Oracle spend.

As mentioned in my previous review of HP for SAM, whilst HP Asset Manager is very versatile, the flexibility comes at the price of having the resource and expertise to operate it. This seems especially true for managing Oracle. However, HP provides assistance by their expert teams, such as Professional Services and HP Software License Management services.

Strengths

  • HP Universal Discovery Oracle Verified
  • HP is the only large IT asset management vendor which is Oracle LMS verified (ServiceNow, BMC, CA, IBM and ServiceNow are not verified)
  • Versatile ‘Counters’ methodology allows customers to tailor license compliance calculations in line with specific negotiated terms.

Weaknesses

  • Reporting on Options and Packs weak compared to competitors
  • No root cause analysis as to why Oracle DB options and packs were installed
  • No initial install date for Oracle DB options and packs
  • Oracle License optimization weak compared to competitors

3 Minute Video

Further Reading:

  • 3 ways to save software costs: Software Asset Management

https://ssl.www8.hp.com/ww/en/secure/pdf/4aa4-6339enw.pdf

  • Right-size licenses

http://h20195.www2.hp.com/V2/GetDocument.aspx?docname=4AA5-0009ENW&cc=us&lc=en

  • Managing Oracle database entitlements using HP Asset Manager

https://ssl.www8.hp.com/ww/en/secure/pdf/4aa3-3865enw.pdf

  • HP UD for Oracle Licensing Data Sheet

http://h20195.www2.hp.com/V2/GetDocument.aspx?docname=4AA4-4155ENW&cc=us&lc=en

In their own words:

“HP Software Asset Management (SAM) for Oracle allows customers to optimize the license usage and total cost of their Oracle software assets, reduce the burden of reporting, and mitigate compliance risk.  First, the HP SAM for Oracle solution includes “native discovery” to discover all Oracle software assets in customer’s physical and virtual environment and inventory application installations.

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It also measures software usage and provides the critical information you need to control your entire environment. The HP discovery mechanism, called Universal Discovery, is Oracle-verified. Second, the HP SAM solution reconciles the data about purchased licenses from your POs and contracts and entitlements with installation data from the discovery phase. The solution provides the out-of-the-box best practices content for most common Oracle licensing models, such as processor core factor table for Oracle Enterprise Edition, socket based for Standard and Standard One, as well as Named User Plus. By having compliance status on Oracle software —on a global and departmental level—HP customers avoid purchasing software through audits, which is probably the most expensive and inefficient way to purchase and plan for software.

Third, HP offers multiple services to help customers optimize their Oracle licenses and do more with the licenses they already possess. HP Services can conduct a comprehensive evaluation of customer’s SAM practices to identify short, medium and long-term steps towards implementing better SAM practices. Afterwards, HP can assist customers to develop and implement processes based on the finding of the SAM review and based on customers’ internal governance policies. Our customers are enabled   to negotiate more favourable terms on their maintenance and support contracts. They can significantly improve their planning and purchase only the licenses they need, avoiding unnecessary license and maintenance expenses for shelf-ware.”

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About Martin Thompson

Martin is owner and founder of The ITAM Review, an online resource and community for worldwide ITAM professionals.

Martin is also 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.

On a voluntary basis Martin is a contributor to ISO WG21 which develops the ITAM International Standard ISO/IEC 19770.

Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter or LinkedIn.

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