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Flexera FlexNet Manager Suite 2019 R2 release... What's new?

With the release of FNMS2019R2, Flexera introduces new functionalities as well as many bugfixes. In this article, the focus lies on the product enhancements FNMS2019R2 brings.

New insights into license reconciliation – new views Application Licenses Assessed.

To provide better understanding why an installed application is consuming from a license, FNMS2019R2 introduces ”show licenses assessed views”. From the latest license reconciliation, it shows all the licenses that were assessed for authorizing a particular software installation, and gives reasons why each one was either rejected or accepted. This view is not integrated in the main navigation menu’s, but is available only through the property sheets of other objects – and changes slightly depending on how you access it. This can be accessed from the  License properties Consumption tab, and for the User properties and Inventory device properties from the Licenses tab.

Ability to restrict FlexNet inventory agent communication to selected inventory beacons

This release of FlexNet Manager Suite introduces the concept of inventory groups that can be used to restrict FlexNet inventory agent communication to a subset of inventory beacons. Limiting which inventory beacons can be contacted by which FlexNet inventory agents may help reduce infrastructure overhead, giving you more control over the load balancing of communications, uploads, and network traffic. New Inventory group settings section has been added to the Inventory Settings page (Discovery & Inventory > Settings > Inventory group settings). 
Here, you can combine the following: 

  • A target set of one or more installed FlexNet inventory agents 
  • One or more inventory beacons.

ServiceNow integration application v4.1certification


FlexNet Manager Suite has updated its ServiceNow integration application to version 4.1. The application, which has received ServiceNow certification, adds the following new and improved functionality: 

  • Support for ServiceNow versions Kingston, London, and Madrid. 
  • Significant performance improvements when FlexNet Manager Suite exports large amount of data to ServiceNow. 
  • An issue has been resolved with ServiceNow exports to FlexNet Manager Suite where the export was not completing

Evidence visibility enables resolution of application recognition issues

Investigating and resolving application recognition issues has hugely improved the new Evidence tab which lists the evidence discovered for a selected inventory device. Now when you see a listing for an application which you don't think is installed, or if you can't find an application which you know is installed, you can view the evidence used to recognize the applications on that device. Using this new evidence view enables you to identify and then determine the best way to resolve any discrepancies. Fixes might include assigning evidence to an application for recognition, or sending a request to add new evidence to the Application Recognition Library. The new Evidence tab is located in the properties for the selected inventory device. It displays different evidence types for Installer File, and WMI evidence in sub-tabs shown across the top of this tab. 
Each record includes: 

  • Details of the inventory source for this evidence 
  • Whether the evidence is recognized by the Application Recognition Library
  • Whether the evidence is assigned to an application.

Targeted FlexNet inventory agent upgrades

Upgrading FNMS agents is less complicated in FNMS2019R2. With this release a section of the Inventory Settings page has added a new Upgrade mode option: Upgrade selected platforms in the selected targets. Similar to Upgrade selected platforms, the new Upgrade selected platforms in the selected targets option lets you choose one of the versions of FlexNet inventory agent available from the application server, and specify any combination of the supported platforms along with selected targets that should self-update to your selected FlexNet inventory agent version. This functionality works Platform-based, even if you have not setup sides and subnets in FNMS. Simply apply the update on for example “Windows only”-devices. Alternatively you can restrict the upgrade more if you do have setup a “test target” in FNMS. Perhaps an enhancement request towards Flexera would be to offer the possibility to apply the update not only by Platform type, but also by Operating system like Windows10 and Windows Server 2019.

On all supported UNIX-like platforms, FlexNet inventory agent from version 2019 R1.2 (13.4.1) and higher like 2019R2 collects additional inventory evidence for Java. Evidence is collected no matter what method was used to deploy FlexNet inventory agent:

Once FlexNet inventory agent is deployed on a UNIX-like platform, inventory data is returned as installer evidence (of type “Any”). 
The installer evidence returns the product version and the publisher name, such as Oracle, IBM, or Azul; but the edition of Java SE, such as Advanced, Advanced Desktop, or Suite, is not currently imported. The imported evidence is automatically available in the All Evidence page (on the Installer Evidence tab); and version 2414 or later of the Application Recognition Library (ARL) supports automatic recognition of supported Java versions from this evidence. 
No change is required in commands for inventory gathering by the FlexNet inventory agent, nor by its core inventory component the tracker (ndtrack) where used separately. However, if you wish to gather Java inventory from devices where the archive was copied into place and the installer was not run, the “include directory” preference must be correctly set to allow scanning of the folder where Java is installed. (As always, preferences on UNIX-like platforms are saved in the file /var/opt/managesoft/etc/config.ini, and may be distributed as part of the deployment process in a mgsft_rollout_response file. For more details, see the Gathering FlexNet Inventory PDF file, available through the title page of online help.)

Support for inventory of Linux KVM virtualization

FlexNet Manager Suite now imports inventory from Linux virtual hosts using Kernel-based Virtual Machine (KVM) infrastructure. Hosts and their guest VM’s are imported and shown in their correct relationships when:

  • Inventory has been gathered from the VM’s by a locally-installed FlexNet inventory agent
  • Inventory has been gathered from the host server, either by a locally-installed FlexNet inventory agent or through zero footprint inventory collection by an inventory beacon
  • The default behaviour has not been turned off in the config.ini file on the host. The VMs are displayed with a new VM type called Linux KVM.

The baseline KVM virtualization does not support clustering (although this functionality is provided by some of the alternative management tools that can be overlaid on KVM). Therefore, this first increment of KVM support lists hosts and their guest VMs in the Unclustered hosts and VMs group on the Virtual Devices and Clusters page of FlexNet Manager Suite.

Support for Linux KVM requires version 2019R2 14.0.0 or later of the FlexNet inventory agent, and release 2019 R2 of FlexNet Manager Suite installed on your application server(s). In addition, if you want to use zero footprint inventory collection (remote inventory collection by an inventory beacon), version 14.0.0 or later of FlexNet Beacon must be installed. For more information, see the Common: Collection from Virtual Environments topic in the Gathering FlexNet Inventory PDF, available through the title page of online help.

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Softline Solutions is Flexera’s Global Software Asset Management implementation partner and helps organisations to get the most value out of their SAM/ITAM tools. 
For further information about the Flexera FlexNet Manager Suite 2019 R2 release, contact the Softline Solutions’ team now.

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Ronald Schreur | Tags: Flexera, Software Asset Management