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Possibility to exclude computers from license counts

For most our systems we have one test install and one prod install or similar. There doesn't seem to be a way to be able to exclude computers (like test servers) from the a SW Assets license count, which would be very useful. If this exclusion could also be connected to an AD group it would be even more useful.
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  • joivan_hedrickjoivan_hedrick Cireson Consultant Advanced IT Monkey ✭✭✭
    Hi Jon,

    Aye, an exclusion list is indeed missing. One possible workaround would be to use Authorization on your software assets. In this scenario, you could assign your test servers/computers to have an Organization (or cost center, or Location) of "TEST". Then, you could assign your software assets to only have authorized organizations other than "TEST". This would assume that your Windows Computer objects have related Hardware Assets, which have Organizations assigned. 

    It does have a bit of overhead to set up for an exclusion, but does work fairly well. 

  • Brett_MoffettBrett_Moffett Cireson PACE Super IT Monkey ✭✭✭✭✭
    [email protected]_hedrick suggests, setting the Authorization of a software asset to only production systems is the best way to handle this in our Asset Management solution. This could be done via named computers, location, cost center etc.

    Another solution would be to exclude test servers from the ConfigMgr connector collection, so the asset data never gets populated. Of course, if MS ever came knocking for an audit, you would then have to prove that all servers\PC's in that collection fell under a different license agreement etc.
  • Jon_RunheimJon_Runheim Customer Adept IT Monkey ✭✭
    Good ideas, will try them out! Thanks :smile:
  • shaun_ericsonshaun_ericson Advanced IT Monkey ✭✭✭
    @Jon_Runheim Just curious if the Authorization scenarios worked for you from the above? Apologies for the delayed response as we are starting to digest top voted feature requests and didn't see how this one ended up. Thanks!
  • Jon_RunheimJon_Runheim Customer Adept IT Monkey ✭✭
    The authorized computers could be used but would be a very manual approach as new servers are coming in all the time - which would make it rather ineffective. :neutral:

    We have around 600 servers so there are a lot of changes and it would easily get outdated = unreliable.
    The different server types gets placed in different OU's in AD - Prod or Test, so if the authorized computers could be automated / auto-discovered it would solve lots of the problems, like being AD OU-based.
    Worst-case is to have custom powershell-scripts to automate the population of this, but it's of course not a desired solution.

    To have an auto-discover solution set up per software assets authorized computers is perhaps also not a desired solution from a Service Manager performance point of view?

    Out of what we've seen in audits so far is that the same groups of test computers reappear in license after license. Perhaps there could be a "common" groups of test computers that can be defined, that you could select to exclude from the license counts of certain licenses?
    Like one common group of test computers for Microsoft licenses, one for Adobe, etc.
    Just a thought if an auto-discover route wouldn't be possible.. :smile:

  • Brett_MoffettBrett_Moffett Cireson PACE Super IT Monkey ✭✭✭✭✭
    @Jon_Runheim I think each scenario would be different for each organization who was attempting to do this so it would be almost impossible to build a solution that would satisfy everyone.

    I can see where you are going with this though....  so lets thin of a generic solution together.

    What if there was a check box (Boolean control) on the Hardware Asset class that was something like "Exclude from License Calculations"
    This automatically adds this Hardware asset to the Excluded list for Software Assets.
    PC's that are developer machines, SOE test boxes, Dev servers or contain MSDN licenses will then never be counted.

    It would then not be hard to automate a listing from an AD Group to auto check that value for the hardware asset.

    Just spit ballin'

    Thoughts?
  • Jon_RunheimJon_Runheim Customer Adept IT Monkey ✭✭
    That actually sounds like a really good idea that I think would cover most scenarios and could be applicable to most companies.
    That could then either be managed manually or be fairly easily automated with SCO/Powershell and would instantly cover all SW assets.

    If this feature would be implemented..
    ..it would be nice to also have the excluded ones appear on the SoftwareAsset/RelatedAsset tab under a new view - RelatedComputers-ExcludedFromLicenseCounts. Just to show that the computer has the software asset, but is not counted.
    That view should perhaps not be editable, just for information purpose to instantly give a complete picture for the SW responsibles.

    Interesting conversation :smile:
  • Jon_RunheimJon_Runheim Customer Adept IT Monkey ✭✭
    Another idea on that suggestion - when working with exclusions like this there is a very common question asked in all the exclusion cases, which the auditors are intersted in as well - Justification for the exclusion.

    To next to the checkbox on the Computer Asset also have a small text-field for a short justification would be extremely helpful. Why was it excluded.. Helps when backtracking as well.
  • shaun_ericsonshaun_ericson Advanced IT Monkey ✭✭✭
    Thanks @Jon_Runheim , I like the latter ideas on this thread. We are working through the top voted feature requests at the moment and you will see what gets added this cycle across the solutions. Thanks.
  • Vladimir_TepikinVladimir_Tepikin Customer IT Monkey ✭
    It would be very helpful for non-production environment.
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