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Application Metering - Which is the best way?

Created: 12 Mar 2013 • Updated: 13 Mar 2013 | 4 comments

Hi all,

We are now deploying Altiris CMS 7.1 SP2 in our corporation and we are strarting to decide how the Application Metering is going to be, as we have found that the application doesn't cover some of our specs (f.e. Dataprovider is poor and doesn't add "out of the box" values). In this way, we have seen that there are two ways to meter applications:

- Based on products: Products are SW resource logical grouping, based on some deffined rules. This is a very good option to manage SW Catalog but we have found some problems:

  • You can't meter to a defined target, as it uses an internal metering policy and is Global. I think this may be a problem, as in our company there are different sites and countries, and also companies, and some applications may be locally managed, and this kind of policy doesn't allow this functionality.
  • Each SW Resource discovered, is automatically added to a product if complies the rule. However, if you want to activate application metering,  you have to add manually EXE files. This need a lot of work updating and reviewing all products continuously.
  • A software resource can only be in a single product. This means that if you have "Microsoft Project" product, you can't have another product called "Microsoft Project 2010". This is a minor problem, but I think it could be great to have the option to have different products with the Same SW Resources. For example, have MS Access and also Office Professional.

- Based on SW Resources: This is a good option as you decide which is the target of each policy, but it erequires a lot of work to keep updated, as you have to keep updated all the rules, new versions....

So, which are your best practices on this? How many applications are you metering?


Operating Systems:

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dodgint's picture


It really depends on what your goal is for App metering. What is it you are trying to accomplish by knowing when an application is used? A typical situation for us is to know who is using the software that has licensing implications. Have I purchased and installed more licenses than is being used or did I not purchase enough and I am out of compliance. License harvesting of un-used installed software is a great way to keep your costs in control. If we setup a Software Product and track the purchases, then we would typically turn on the metering function too

Another use is to deny the execution of software. There are times we find that we want to block an application from running.

We are one company in a single time zone, so I have not had to figure out the granularity of which site will be monitored by which policy, so I am not any help there, but I do see what you are looking at.

Todd Clark County IS Vancouver,WA

Iker1234's picture

Thanks Todd.

I think we have a mixture of all the cases, and we are new with Altiris, so just we are analyzing and understanding which is the best way to meter, or when to use each way. However, I think this should be a post that should be typed as poll, I mean, I wanted to know how Altiris users are developing Application Metering. Having this, I feel that there are two ways:

- Application metering based on Products. This is the best one I think, as all Asset Management is based on Products. The main problem is that metering is applied to all devices, not allowing to define a target.

- Application metering based on SW Resources. It allows you to define single metering policies with defined targets, but it could become a nightmare to admin them (We are expecting over 30.000 nodes, and more than 2.000 managed apps).

Patrick Schmid's picture

If I understand you correctly (but may not be the case)

Did you have a look at:

Manage -> Policies -> Software -> Application Meetering

And create there the "detection" you like on the product, and also the targets (region based).

And create a report based on that

Iker1234's picture

Thanks Patrick, that's one of the ways we are managing. As I have told to Todd in the previous post, I think I should have created this post as a poll, as I would like to kbnow Altiris users feedback on application metering.