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Using Notification server 7 to meter and record Microsoft App-V

Created: 07 Feb 2011 | 5 comments

I am investigating whether or not Notification Server 7 can be used to record metering/usage, licensing and inventory of our virtual applications.

We have physical Clients running Windows XP (sp3) with the Microsoft Softgrid v4.2 client installed.

We use Softgrid to deploy the majority of our desktop applications. 

Has anyone any experience or knowledge in this area.

Is this possible?

Thanks in advance

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jharings's picture

Application Metering was never designed (in the Altiris world) to monitor license usage, in the sense you could create a pool of 500 licenses (for example) and then as each one was used it would count against that pool.

It will show you what is in use vs. being used, based on the monitor policies and summary data (the actual installed vs. used report, at least in v6, did not require the specific monitor policy for each app to be created).

If you have Asset\CMDB solution, you can tie in the inventory data with the contract\license #'s, but you can't really leverage Application Metering to drive the result I think you are looking for.

As for virtual apps, App Metering isn't going to care if an app is virtual or not, as long as it's "active". Now, I'm a bit ignorant about Softgrid, vs the Symantec SVS app, so that may not even apply for you.

Jim Harings
HP Enterprise Services
1st Rule of Connect Club: Mark the post that helped you the most as a 'solution'. 2nd Rule of Connect Club:You must talk about Connect club.

mclemson's picture

As Jim said, with CMDB you can import your licenses, and with regular ol' Altiris 7 Client Management Suite, inventory solution will return a list of products.  You then tie those licenses you imported to those products.  (Right now, it doesn't know which license is actually installed like a Belarc Advisor or Jelly Bean tool would tell you which license is installed on a computer.)

Application metering, part of Client Management Suite 7, would provide the usage reports you're looking for.  Virtual doesn't matter.

What you don't get is metering in the sense that you prevent overuse of a license or can create a network license model for a piece of software, e.g. don't let more than 15 users open Adobe Pro X.  That's not part of Altiris.

Mike Clemson, Senior Systems Engineer, ASC
Intuitive Technology Group -- Symantec Platinum Partner

wthompson's picture

Thanks guys

I am using license packages available via softgrid (app-v) to control max concurrent usage of licenses.  So thats not what I need Notification server to do, I just wanted to find out if NS can actually inventory virtual applications in the same way it does with locally installed applications.

ie if a user who has permission to run Adobe Photoshop CS3 via softgrid on a particluar pc will the Altiris agent report that usage back to the NS database?

So that I can view virtual application usage bu user or by pc?

Thanks again.

mclemson's picture

If this were SVS, and you had the SVS plug-in installed, and then deployed Adobe Reader physical, Office physical, and CS3 virtual, inventory reports would show Adobe Reader, Office, and CS3 installed on WTHOMPSON-PC.  If you created an application metering policy for Office and for CS3, your application metering reports would show start and stop events for Office and for CS3, allowing you to run the Application Usage by Computer report.  This includes a user in the report.

The only question, really, is how it would detect App-V.  I would imagine in the same way.  If virtualization presents it to the OS in a manner indistinguishable to the OS, certainly Altiris would play nicely with it as well.

Mike Clemson, Senior Systems Engineer, ASC
Intuitive Technology Group -- Symantec Platinum Partner

KSchroeder's picture

I think the "kicker" is...when the app is executing via App-V/Softgrid/whatever, do you see photoshop.exe in Task Manager?  If so, then Metering can see it.  May get a bit interesting when trying to "hook" it launching via AMInit.dll...but all you can do is try! :)

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