System Center Licensing Information and MAPs

System Center Licensing Information and MAPs

Q: Can the Microsoft Assessment and Planning (MAP) toolkit gather usage information on System Center 2012 licensing?

A. Ensuring license compliance is a huge concern for many organizations and typically the MAP tool is used to inventory and access license state for OSs and services such as SQL and Lync. Several people have emailed me asking me if it can be used to inventory use of System Center 2012. The short answer is no, but it's important to understand why.

System Center 2012 is licensed for the entities being managed (there are no licenses needed for the actual management servers), and System Center 2012 has many different components including Configuration Manager, Virtual Machine Manager, App Controller, Operations Manager, Data Protection Manager, Service Manager and Orchestrator.

Some of these components have agents on the managed OSs that could be gathered as part of the MAPS inventory of the installed programs. However, there are also many agentless capabilities including Operations Manager agentless monitoring and Orchestrator where there is no way to ascertain if its being managed by System Center or not.

Consider Service Manager licensing based on user access. Also consider Linux and Unix machines can be managed with System Center which would not be inventoried by MAPs.

The best way to gather System Center deployment would be using System Center 2012 Service Manager that has hooks into the data from Configuration Manager and Operations Manager. But there would still be potential gaps that couldn't be automatically discovered, and you would still need to understand if an OS instance was being covered by a datacenter license for System Center or if it had its own standard license.

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