Automating Microsoft SPLA Reporting With SPL Tracker – Part 3

We’ve covered a bit of ground in this blog series on Microsoft SPLA reporting with SPL Tracker. We’ll get into more nitty gritty details below, but first, a review . . .

The Need for Microsoft SPLA Reporting

Automate Microsoft SPLA ReportingBack in Part 1 of this blog series, we explored how SPL Tracker targets the widely recognized need for more effective tracking of Microsoft SPLA – and related – licensing.

In Part 2 of our blog series, we reviewed how to associate defined license types with Active Directory groups using SPL Tracker.

Now, in Part 3 of this series, you will witness firsthand the power of correlating actual license usage with the groups that control access to the license types.

Looking Back at Actual Licensing Usage

Once you have associated license types with groups in the Associate Groups section of the SPL Tracker, click on Step 3 – Assess Actual Usage.

In this section, you will need to define the activity lookback period that SPL Tracker uses to determine whether or not specific accounts have been actively using certain license types, such as Remote Desktop Services SALs or Microsoft Office SALs. Typically, this is 30, 45, or 60 days. Enter your preferred lookback period, and then click “Fetch/Refetch Usage Data.”

Effective Microsoft SPLA Tracking Requires That You Assess Actual License Usage - Shown Here in SPL Tracker
Assessing actual license usage over a period of days in SPL Tracker. At this stage, you’re well on your way to automating your Microsoft SPLA usage reports.

Active Users vs. Inactive Users

Once the SPL Tracker consults Remote Desktop Reporter’s database to determine usage for all license types, it will display the active users and inactive users for each type in a list. Inactive users are defined as the user accounts which had permission to use the license type (via membership in the associated Active Directory group), but for whatever reason did not use that class of license within the lookback period.

Managing Inactive Users in SPL Tracker and Automating Microsoft SPLA Reporting
Inactive users are users that had permission to use a certain license type but didn’t. Recognizing trends among active and inactive users can translate into significant savings in a Microsoft SPLA situation.

Moving on to Step 4 – Restrict Access, you can determine which inactive users will be denied access moving forward, by removing them from the corresponding Active Directory group. Even more importantly, you can determine how the user has access to the particular license type, via direct group membership, or via a nested group relationship.

In the next blog article in this series, we’ll see how you can automate this process so that “auto pruning” of inactive users takes place automatically on a monthly basis. Those removed users, if access is not restored during the next monthly reporting period, will result in an ongoing cost savings to your organization. Watch for our next blog article in this series.

And remember, SPL Tracker is downloaded with RDPSoft’s Remote Desktop Reporter. You can download a free 30 day trial today.

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