Category Archives: Useful App

Software Asset Management Obstacle 1 – decommissioning Machines

slickey001

Coming from a system management background, it never ceases to amaze me how many old unused assets are still lurking in active directory cluttering up that efficient looking directory service.

So what do you do to manage all these stale resources, Yes there are a myriad of scripts to pull the last log on date from  a computer account one of which you can see here:-

# This PowerShell Command will query Active Directory and return the computer accounts which have not logged for the past
# 60 days.  You can easily change the number of days from 60 to any number of your choosing.

$then = (Get-Date).AddDays(-60) # The 60 is the number of days from today since the last logon.

Get-ADComputer -Property Name,lastLogonDate -Filter {lastLogonDate -lt $then} | FT Name,lastLogonDate

# If you would like to Disable these computer accounts, uncomment the following line:
# Get-ADComputer -Property Name,lastLogonDate -Filter {lastLogonDate -lt $then} | Set-ADComputer -Enabled $false

# If you would like to move these computer accounts, uncomment the following line:
# Get-ADComputer -Property Name,lastLogonDate -Filter {lastLogonDate -lt $then} | Move-ADObject -TargetPath "OU=OLD-Computers,DC=Contoso,DC=Com"

Great we are making progress now we have the power to automate the task of cleaning up active directory of old stale computer accounts and have the ability to remove old accounts and then all them fancy reports from SCCM and other sources are pretty current and no longer are your staff looking for old assets.

This to me was great process, until I sat down and realized that this isn’t true lifecycle management and really has no place in the enterprise.

For example your company is spending huge amounts of money on software licensing, does your IT manager want to be paying for software licenses which are currently broken or even worse stolen.

So the fact that you have tidied active directory of stale computer accounts, this is a tiny and some would say insignificant house keeping exercise unless you manage the complete life cycle of the device from provisioning to decommision.

The average cost of a Corporate PC’s software licenses is around £1200, and if you don’t account for this in your housekeeping exercise then you might as well throw that money away.

Why do you think software discovery is big business and fetching huge revenues to software companies along with the need to manage the audits every month to remain compliant if there is such a word using these tool sets?

Well let me tell you about Slickey License Manager we have just introduced a new feature called “Decommission” which will place the licenses from these machines back in to the pool for redeployment.

So not only do we issue allocated licenses at the time of install with any Software Delivery Tool, we can also remove any license inventory on old computers and even employees who have left the company.

Is there a better way?

Slickey License Manager

About to hit the ground running is Slickey License Manager;

Slickey makes it easy to deploy boxed, licensed products with enterprise deployment tools.

Up to now, packagers, administrators etc have been hampered in smaller businesses as generally, these type of small to medium companies have purchased software as and when it is needed, and not worried about volume licensing until its too late!

Obviously, it is not a viable option to create multiple packages/applications for the same product with different license keys…

Slickey allows you you create one package or application which ‘checks in’ to obtain available license keys from a central server. This the logs the machine name and date of license retrieval. Similarly, the uninstall will ‘check’ the license key back in once the software is removed.

As you probably already know, this could save thousands in licensing.

Its still a young product, but one which could not only save companies a lot of money, but also save system administrators a lot of time. This all improves efficiency of IT systems – which, lets face it, is the reason we all do what we do!

Check out the website, comments would be VERY gratefully received and welcomed!

Slickey License Manager

ConfigMgr 2012 Application Approval

Out of the box, ConfigMgr 2012 uses Application Approval when users ‘pick’ software from the Catalog.

However, this is all performed ‘in console’ – i.e. the approval needs to be performed by logging into the ConfigMgr console.

Generally, companies would not want this as approval would be done by users’ managers – who would be non-IT.

I’ve come across two methods of creating an out of console experience!

The first was created by my friend Kent Agerlund of http://www.coretech.dk

Kents Solution

The second, I found on twitter (of all places) quite recently. It’s designed by a guy called Neil Peterson

Neils First Blog Post on his solution

Neils 2nd Blog post on his solution

From my tired eyes, they both seem to do the same thing?! Hopefully the guys will comment on the post and give us all a bit more info!

Kent, Neil – over to you!

What ports??

An oldie but a goodie.

Chris Nackers put together a fantastic spreadsheet to show what ports would be used in a particular environment.

Very useful!

What Ports??

Enabling WOL with compliance in CM2012

I’ll be looking to do this in the not too distant future. Wake On LAN is fantastic not only to ensure that your application/update deployment reaches as many people as possible, but also to keep on the ‘green’ path.

There are applications about which enable us to shut down machines at a predefined time, even providing snooze buttons. e.g Take a look at Coretech’s Shutdown tool, this can close processes as well as shut the PC down; Coretech Shutdown Tool

By shutting down machines overnight & at the weekend, a lot of money can be saved in electricity usage. WOL can still however enable us to patch machines and deploy applications.

The following link shows us how to enable WOL by using compliance settings in ConfigMgr 2012.

Enable WOL through ConfigMgr 2012

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@NickolajA Any ideas what this issue I have with modern driver management pic.twitter.com/O6zv5Dt2dK