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