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 two possibilities to access the beta version of IBM License Metric Tool or IBM BigFix Inventory:

 

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 BigFix console to configure the application and manage your infrastructure.

 

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. Hosted

beta
Product

 

 

1. Extension of the new user interface for software classification

 

 

 

Software Classification is a new panel that introduces a completely new way of looking at your software inventory and relations between the 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.

In this beta drop, the panel is extended with the following functionality:

  • Selecting and assigning more than one component
  • Classifying products from vendors other than IBM (BigFix Inventory only)
  • Confirming and unconfirming the assignment
  • Preview of options that are planned to be implemented.

Documentation

YES YES

2. Install metric utilization for non-IBM products.

Information about products that use the Install metric is available on the All Metrics report. You can see not only the current number of computers on which the product is installed but also how that number changed over time. You can also set a threshold, to easily monitor when the number of installed instances exceeds your expectations.

Documentation

YES YES

3. Collecting the number of users authorized to use application in VDI

Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) is a technology that is used for creating virtual, personalized desktops hosted on a centralized machine. It provides a secure and highly flexible virtual environment, and prevents data loss or breach. You can use BigFix Inventory to count the number of users authorized to use applications in VDI.

Documentation

YES  
4. Support for bundling tags

Bundling tags contain information about the part number of a product to which the instance of a component should be assigned. The tags are delivered only for selected products that are discovered by software ID tags. When a bundling tag is available, it takes precedence over other bundling rules. Thanks to the presence of bundling tags, you can save time and effort related to analyzing to which product a particular component belongs.  

Documentation

YES YES

5. New VM manager status - Insufficient rights

The status indicates that no data was collected from the VM manager because the user that is defined for this VM manager does not have sufficient rights.

YES YES

6. Information about scan duration is available

The Software Scan Status analysis provides information about the duration of the entire software scan. You can use this information, for example, to validate that the scan timeout that you are planning to set is not going to interfere with the scans, or to verify whether optimization is needed to reduce the length of the scan. YES  

7. Installing the scanner in a custom directory

You can choose whether you want to install the scanner in the default directory (on the C: or opt drive) or the directory where the BigFix client is installed. This option is useful, for example, when the security policy in your company does not allow for installing software on the C: or opt drive. In such case, you simply install the BigFix client on a different drive and then install the scanner on the same drive.

Documentation

YES  

8. Forcing reupload of software scan results

If the import of software scan results failed, or when software is not reported properly on the Software Installations report, you can run the Force Reupload of Software Scan Results fixlet.  The fixlet reuploads  inventory data that was gathered by the software inventory and the file system scans to BigFix once. The data is then transferred to IBM BigFix Inventory during the import.  

YES  

9. Support for IBM i endpoints

Because of the lack of support for BigFix clients on IBM i, the discovery is based on disconnected scans, a semi-automated procedure for collecting the data about the hardware and software inventory.

In this beta drop, installation of the scanner, running the capacity scan as well as creation of the file that identifies the IBM i system are simplified and further automated to facilitate software discovery on IBM i.

Documentation

YES  

10. Software discovery on Docker containers

Docker is a platform that allows for automating the deployment of applications inside software containers.

You can use BigFix Inventory to discover software that is installed inside Docker containers as well as measure PVU and RVU MAPC utilization of the discovered IBM products.

Documentation

YES  

11. Tracking VPC licenses

Virtual Processor Core (VPC) is a unit of measure by which a program can be licensed. A VPC can be considered as a physical processor core, provided that the server is not partitioned for virtual machines, or as a virtual core assigned to a virtual machine.

You can use BigFix Inventory to track the VPC consumption.

Documentation

YES  

12. Support for new operating systems You can install the BigFix client on Ubuntu 16 on x86 and Oracle Solaris on VMWare. 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 BigFix Inventory 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 BigFix customer and you already have BigFix server with License Metric Tool or BigFix Inventory Beta fixlet site, update the beta site to the newest version and use the fixlet to download the installer.
  • If you are an existing BigFix customer, but you do not yet have License Metric Tool or BigFix Inventory - write to tem@dk.ibm.com and provide your BigFix serial number to get the entitlement for BigFix Inventory or License Metric Tool beta product. To find the serial number, log in to the BigFix 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 BigFix Inventory version 9 customer and do not yet have the License Metric Tool or BigFix Inventory beta site, write to tem@dk.ibm.com and request the entitlement to 'BigFix Inventory Beta' or 'License Metric Tool' product.
  • If you are NOT yet a BigFix customer and you would like to test License Metric Tool version 9 - use THIS form to generate the BigFix license for License Metric Tool Beta. Next, download the BigFix 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 a BigFix customer and you would like to test BigFix Inventory version 9 - write to tem@dk.ibm.com and request a new BigFix license with the entitlement to the BigFix Inventory beta Fixlet site.

The Beta versions of License Metric Tool and BigFix Inventory work only with Beta Fixlet sites. So first, you need to make sure your BigFix has the corresponding versions of Beta sites:

  • IBM License Reporting (ILMT) v9 Beta  - version 31,  or
  • IBM BigFix Inventory Beta - version 32

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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