The Beta Program

We are opening the new stage of the beta program to show you the features that we are currently working on. You have now three possibilities to access the beta version of IBM License Metric Tool or IBM BigFix Inventory.

 

IBM Endpoint Manager for Software Use Analysis (SUA) is rebranded into IBM BigFix Inventory (BFI).

 

Installable beta

Download and install a beta version of License Metric Tool or BigFix Inventory to test the features that are currently being developed. This type of beta allows you to work directly with the application web user interface and the Endpoint Manager console to configure the application and manage your infrastructure.

 

Selected beta features in GA code

If you are planning to perform a fresh installation or upgrade to License Metric Tool or Software Use Analysis version 9.2.2, you can enable and try out selected beta features that are provided with the new version of the application.

 

Hosted beta

You can use the hosted beta system to log in straight to the License Metric Tool or BigFix Inventory web user interface to explore the available reports and panels.

 

Feature Description A. Installable beta B. Selected beta features in GA code C. Hosted beta Product

1. Support for IBM i endpoints

 

 

 

To discover software and hardware inventory on IBM i systems, install the scanner on each of your IBM i systems, and then use the QSH to initiate various types of scans that would normally be initiated by a Fixlet Initiate Software Scan. The following types of scans are available: catalog-based scan, capacity scan, ISO tags scan, and package data scan.

Documentation (LMT and BFI)

YES

YES

(version 9.2.3)

 

2. Setting the license threshold for IBM products

You can set a license threshold to indicate the maximum number of license units that a product can use within a particular computer group. The threshold is then used to calculate whether license utilization is above or below your expectations.

From the list of predefined reports, you can choose the Exceeded Thresholds report and schedule emails to be sent whenever a product appears on that report. It will ensure that you are automatically notified when metric utilization for any product exceeds the threshold which will allow you to quickly react to license overconsumption.

Documentation

YES   YES

3. New user interface for classifying IBM products

Software Classification is a report that introduces a completely new way of looking at your software inventory and relations between discovered components and licensable products. It provides a flat structure with software installations broken into single components, which makes it easier to view your software assets and manage relations between them.

It also provides the possibility of classifying components that were discovered through software ID tags by allowing to create custom bundling definitions.

The report is a combination of other well-known reports: Software Installations and IBM Software Classification. It aims to eventually replace the latter and become an integrated place to manage the discovered software components and their relations with licensed products.

Documentation

YES   YES

4. Optimization of the scanner cache folder

The scanner cache folder stores information about scanned files and directories in your file system. By knowing the hierarchy of files, the scanner can locate them quicker, which results in shorter scans.

The amount of disk space that is needed for the cache depends on the number of files that are being scanned. If the current location of the cache folder cannot ensure sufficient disk space, you can optimize the cache. Thanks to the optimization, the cache includes only files relevant for the types of software scans that you are running.

Documentation

YES    

5. API to retrieve cluster information

Information about the cluster to which a computer belongs is available on the Hardware Inventory report. It can also be retrieved through REST API. The information can be then used, for example, to calculate the license demand for Oracle or Microsoft.   

Documentation
YES   YES

6. All VM managers are visible on the user interface

Until now, the VM Managers panel listed only VM managers that are managed in central mode. Now, it also lists those that are managed in the distributed mode. Options such as editing, deleting, or testing connection are still applicable only for the VM managers that are managed in the central mode.

However, the read-only view of VM managers that are managed in the distributed mode on the user interface gives you a clear overview of all VM managers that are defined in your infrastructure.

Documentation

YES   YES

7. Improved troubleshooting of VM managers

When VM managers in your infrastructure have status other than OK, and you are not sure how to troubleshoot the problem, simply click the name of the status. You will be redirected to a documentation page that provides the most common reasons for each status and how to proceed.

YES   YES

8. Disabling the transfer of VM manager credentials

When the security policy in your company does not allow for transferring VM manager credentials through the network, you can configure BigFix Inventory so that the credentials are not transferred to the server.  They are also not displayed on the VM Managers panel when you edit the VM manager.

Documentation

YES   YES

9. Support for VMWare vSphere Fault Tolerance

VMware vSphere Fault Tolerance allows for reducing virtual machine and application downtime to zero.  If a server failure occurs, a live shadow instance of a virtual machine is created. The instance is up-to-date with the primary virtual machine.  

BigFix Inventory can handle the situation when shadow instances of virtual machines are created and can properly calculate PVU utilization of software that is installed on such machines.

YES    

10. Support for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 Little Endian and PowerKVM

You can detect software that is installed on Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 Little Endian. You can also use PowerKVM as a supported virtualization technology on this platform.

YES    

11. Support for Linux MSPP Multiple Shared Processor Pools are supported on Linux for IBM Power Systems. YES    

12. Sharing feedback with only a few clicks

Customer feedback is in the heart of the BigFix Inventory and License Metric Tool development process. Thanks to the newly introduced feature, you can send us your feedback with just a few clicks.

If you are having problems with panels and reports or think that some of them might be improved, just click the Send Feedback button that is in the top-right corner of the user interface. Each panel has a separate button that creates an email message with the panel name, version of the application that you are using, and - of course - your comment. It helps us quickly determine where the problem is and what needs to be done.

YES   YES

 

 

Provide your feedback

Your feedback is crucial for the development team and your comments and suggestions are very much appreciated. Test the new features and let us know what you think and what can be improved. Use the following communication channels to provide your feedback:

 

How to participate in the beta?

The information about how to get access to the beta sites is available in the appropriate sections below. If you're decided, let us know and we will do our best to provide you with the access as soon as possible.

 

How to get the installers for installable beta?

Get access to the beta downloads page and browse through the available packages. You can download and install License Metric Tool and Software Use Analysis on Linux or Windows. Each of those installation types requires that you have the IBM Endpoint Manager platform installed in your environment.

  • If you are an existing Endpoint Manager customer and you already have Endpoint Manager server with License Metric Tool or Software Use Analysis Beta fixlet site, update the beta site to the newest version and use the fixlet to download the installer.
  • If you are an existing Endpoint Manager customer, but you do not yet have License Metric Tool or Software Use Analysis - write to tem@dk.ibm.com and provide your Endpoint Manager serial number to get the entitlement for Software Use Analysis or License Metric Tool beta product. To find the serial number, log in to the Endpoint Manager console. In the bottom-left corner, click BigFix Management, and then in the navigation tree, click License Overview.
  • If you are an existing License Metric Tool or Software Use Analysis version 9 customer and do not yet have the License Metric Tool or Software Use Analysis beta site, write to tem@dk.ibm.com and request the entitlement to 'Software Use Analysis Beta' or 'License Metric Tool' product.
  • If you are NOT yet an Endpoint Manager customer and you would like to test License Metric Tool version 9 - use THIS form to generate the Endpoint Manager license for License Metric Tool Beta. Next, download the Endpoint Manager server from this LINK (choose production version - not evaluation) and install it using your generated license. You can find detailed instructions in License Metric Tool documentation.
  • If you are NOT yet an Endpoint Manager customer and you would like to test Software Use Analysis version 9 - write to tem@dk.ibm.com and request a new Endpoint Manager license with the entitlement to the Software Use Analysis beta Fixlet site.

The Beta versions of License Metric Tool and Software Use Analysis work only with Beta Fixlet sites. So first, you need to make sure your Endpoint Manager has the corresponding versions of Beta sites:

  • IBM License Reporting (ILMT) v9 Beta  - version 28,  or
  • IBM BigFix Inventory Beta - version 29

Once the Beta site is available use the following Fixlets to download the installer to your chosen endpoint:

  • Download IBM License Metric Tool, or
  • Download Beta IBM BigFix Inventory

In case of any problems with accessing the beta code, please let us know by writing to talk2sam@us.ibm.com and we'll get back to you.

 

How to enable beta features in the GA code?

To enable the features log in to BigFix Inventory/License Metric Tool and go to https://host_name:port/management/beta_feature. Then, select the appropriate check box depending on what feature you want to enable.

 

How to access the hosted beta system?

The hosted beta system is a shared evaluation system provided with the latest beta code; ready for you to try and test. You can access it through a virtual private network (VPN) connection.

We offer separate hosted environments for License Metric Tool and BigFix Inventory. Complete the following steps to explore them:

  1. Request access by sending an e-mail to talk2sam@us.ibm.com.
  2. Log in to the Early Program using your IBM ID and then register with the access key that you received in response to your e-mail.
  3. Download and install a VPN client by using the Early Program Cloud gateway. For login, use the user name, password, and the gateway URL that you received in response to your registration.
  4. Log in to the Beta application through a web browser using the same credentials.

The process is not entirely automated. If you do not receive a response within the next business day, contact us at talk2sam@us.ibm.com.

 

 


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