Tutorial: Managing software in the service provider environment

Available from 9.2.2. In this tutorial, you will learn how to create computer groups that allow a service provider to manage software and generate audit snapshots per customer.

A service provider is a company that provides other organizations with access to software installed on machines that are owned and maintained by the service provider. There are three typical scenarios that are used in the service provider environment.
  • Software that is installed on one virtual machine is used by one customer
  • Some of the software that is installed on a virtual machine is used by the service provider
  • Software that is installed on one virtual machine is used by many customers
For more information about the first two scenarios, see: Service providers. The last scenario is not supported by BigFix Inventory.
Learning objectives
After you complete the lessons in this tutorial, you will know how to perform the following tasks:
  • Ensure that each customer can run scans and perform other actions in the BigFix console only on the computers on which the software that he uses is installed.
  • Define the scope of audit snapshots by creating computer groups in BigFix Inventory.
  • Import part numbers and manage software per computer group.
  • Filter out software that is not used by the customer from reports.
  • Generate audit snapshots per computer group.
Time required
This module should take 60 minutes to complete. If you explore other concepts related to this tutorial, it can take longer to complete.
Service providers who need to manage software and provide separate subcapacity reports for each customer.
Data visibility
Some of the items in BigFix Inventory are visible globally to all users. Other items are visible only for the user who has access to a particular computer group. If you grant your customers access to BigFix Inventory, review which items are visible globally and which are visible per computer group. For more information, see: Service providers.
  • Install the scanner on all computers that you want to monitor. For more information, see: Installing the scanner.
  • Configure VM managers that control virtual machines in your environment. For more information, see: Managing VM managers.
    Tip: If each customer should be allowed to view information about all VM managers in the infrastructure, use basic VM management (central). If each customer should be allowed to only view information about VM managers that control the virtual machines that he uses, use advanced VM management (distributed).
Conventions used in this tutorial
The tutorial is based on the example of a service provider whose customers are Bank ABC and IT Company.
Lessons in this tutorial
The tutorial contains the following lessons:
  1. Lesson 1 (Optional): Creating a site, a computer group, and an operator dedicated to each customer
  2. Lesson 2: Creating computer groups to manage software per customer
  3. Lesson 3: Managing software and generating audit snapshots per customer