Service providers

9.2.2 Available from 9.2.2. To properly calculate subcapacity values in the service provider environment, divide the computers in your infrastructure into groups that represent your customers. Then, manage software and generate audit snapshots separately for each 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.

Scenario 1: Software that is installed on one virtual machine is used by one customer

In this scenario, all products that are installed on one virtual machine are used by one customer. To properly calculate PVU values for each customer, perform the following steps:
  1. Configure VM managers that control virtual machines in your environment.
    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).
  2. If you grant your customers access to the BigFix console to allow them to run scans and perform other actions on computers, create a site, a computer group, and an operator that is dedicated to each customer. Then, provide the customer with credentials for the dedicated operator. This way, you ensure that each customer has access only to computers on which the software that he uses is installed.
  3. Create computer groups that represent your customers in BigFix InventoryLicense Metric Tool. Ensure that each group contains only machines with software that is used by one customer. Avoid creating computer groups that overlap as it might distort the obtained results.
  4. Bundle software and generate reports per customer:
    • If you give customers access to BigFix InventoryLicense Metric Tool or when each customer account is managed by a separate person, create dedicated BigFix InventoryLicense Metric Tool users, each with access to one computer group. Then, provide each customer with credentials for the user dedicated to their company. Each customer can manage software and generate reports for the software that they use.
      Restriction: To ensure that each user has access to information only about computers that he uses, do not assign the user with the Administrator role. By default, this role has access to the All Computers group. Thus, a user who is assigned this role can view information about all computers in the infrastructure.
    • If you manage customer software, generate a separate audit snapshot for each computer group. Then, provide each customer with their report.
For detailed instructions, see: Tutorial: Managing software in the service provider environment.

Scenario 2: Some of the software that is installed on a virtual machine is used by the service provider

In this scenario, some of the software products that are installed on a virtual machine are used by the service provider, not the customer. To ensure that the customer is not charged for these products, perform the following steps for each computer group:
  1. Open the All IBM MetricsAll Metrics report and filter out the product that is not used by the customer.
  2. Set the report as the default view for the computer group to which your user is assigned.
  3. Generate the audit snapshot. It will not contain the software that is not used by the customer.
Restriction: All instances of the product that you filter out must be used by the service provider.
For detailed instructions, see: Tutorial: Managing software in the service provider environment.

Scenario 3: Software that is installed on one virtual machine is used by many customers

In this scenario, multiple customers access software that is installed on one virtual machine. This scenario is not supported in BigFix InventoryLicense Metric Tool.

Data visibility

Some of the items in BigFix InventoryLicense Metric Tool 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 InventoryLicense Metric Tool, review which items are visible globally and which are visible per computer group.

Table 1. Data visibility

The table consists of three columns and 17 rows.

Item Visible globally to all users Visible per computer group
Data retention period Yes
Email server Yes
LDAP server Yes
PVU table Yes
Retrieved computer properties Yes
Software catalog Yes
VM managers (in the basic VM management scenario) Yes
Audit trail Yes
Bundling Yes
Computer groups Yes
Contracts Yes
Part numbers Yes
Reports Yes
Software exclusions Yes
VM managers (in the advanced VM management scenario) Yes
Unrecognized files Yes