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Harvesting underutilized software from client computers

Client Management Suite

Client Management Suite lets you define software products, deliver them, collect information about installed software, and track software usage. To define, install, or uninstall software you use the Altiris Software Management Solution. You can track software usage with Altiris Inventory Solution.

You can use the features of Asset Management Suite to manage purchased software licenses and view license compliance. Asset Management Suite combines licensing data with software usage tracking data. This lets you discover overdeployed licensed software and identify the computers from which the software can be uninstalled to reclaim licenses.

The software usage tracking functionality of Inventory Solution supports Windows workstation operating systems only. The software usage information is limited to Windows XP, Vista, and 7 computers.

After you uninstall the software, you can use Altiris Software Management Solution from Symantec to deliver an alternative application to the same computers. For example, you may want to uninstall Microsoft Visio and replace it with Visio Viewer.

Table: Process for harvesting underutilized software from client computers

Step

Action

Description

Step 1

Meet the prerequisites.

You must have Symantec Management Agent installed on the client computers. The client computers must be registered with Notification Server.

See Preparing managed computers for evaluating Client Management Suite

Step 2

Install the Inventory and Application Metering plug-ins.

See Installing the Inventory and Application Metering plug-ins

Note that the plug-ins are delivered to the client computers by policies, so that the time when a plug-in gets installed depends on the Symantec Management Agent's configuration request interval, which is one hour by default. It can take up to one hour for Symantec Management Agent to receive the policy and install the plug-in. You can request configuration manually from the Symantec Management Agent GUI, or by running the Update Client Configuration client task.

Step 3

Install the Software Management Solution plug-in

This plug-in lets you deliver and manage software, and check compliance on client computers.

See Installing or upgrading the Software Management Solution plug-in

Step 4

Collect full inventory.

The predefined inventory policies are enabled by default and configured to run ASAP on every computer with the Inventory plug-in installed. Then, policies run daily or weekly to send the updated inventory information to Notification Server.

For example, the Collect Full Inventory policy is configured to run once on every computer as soon as possible, and then every Monday at 18:00.

You might already have the software and the file inventory collected from the client computers and stored in the Configuration Management Database (CMDB). If the data is not yet available, turn on the policies and modify the schedules according to your needs.

See Gathering inventory with predefined inventory policies

Step 5

Define managed software and enable usage tracking.

To prepare for software usage tracking, collect software inventory, define manageable software products, and then enable usage tracking for the software according to your needs.

See Manually creating the managed software products

See Tracking usage of the managed software products

Step 6

(Optional) Add licensing information.

If you installed IT Management Suite, use Asset Management Suite to track licenses for the software.

See Creating a licensed software product

When you add licensing information, you can use reports and dashboards to view how many of the licensed software installations are used. Based on this information, you can uninstall software from the client computers that do not use it.

In this example, Symantec recommends that you view the summary software product licensing compliance on the Software Licensing dashboard.

To view the compliance and usage data for a particular software product, in the Symantec Management Console, on the Manage menu, click Software.

See Tracking the software license compliance

For more information about managing licenses, see the Altiris Asset Management Suite from Symantec User Guide.

Step 7

View the Underutilized Software report and create a static filter for the computers from which you want to uninstall the software.

Decide which software you want to uninstall to reclaim licenses, and then open the Underutilized Software report.

You create a static filter, and then use this filter for the Quick Delivery task that uninstalls the software.

See Saving computers with underutilized software in a custom filter

Step 8

(Optional) Configure additional filtering criteria.

You can add an exclusion to your static filter. For example, you can include a large number of computers in your static filter, and then add filters to exclude computers from a particular organizational group, computers that are used by managers, and so on.

See Adding exclusions to the static filter

Step 9

Uninstall underutilized software.

You can use the wizards that are provided by Altiris Software Management Solution to uninstall software.

See Uninstalling underutilized managed software products