Hi - I urgently need some help.
We have a very successful Vmware solution that we use to demo our product suite. All products used within the Vm are licensed and thats fine, but the problem is - Vmware makes it very easy to simply replicate, and distribute to other employees who may not have the apropraite licenses to use the software. As our company grows bigger we are very concerned and wish to ensure that there is no unlicensed software in our company however we are unsure of how to tackle the monitoring of vmware instances as there is no formal way of tracking it, and to ensure that all instances are licensed for both vmware and the prducts within it. How do other companies tackle this ? Are there any ideas that you can share ? We are thinking of removing Vmware now as a result unless we can find some other method to aid us in this problem.
Please note that the VM is therefore not installed on a server, rather deployed on laptops for demo purposes where the image can be copied to other employees without sys admin being aware. This is where the problem lies - is there any way of cortailing this or being able to track it.
It all boils down to permissions. You create a small group of people which will be the only people that can clone or create a new VM. Now a small group has control that you can manage.
VMware ACE might work for you in that case
To a large extent this is no different then tracking how many copies of Windows or Office you're running company wide. Using SMS reports or something along those lines.
You can do a report on machines that have VMware software installed and then on the VMDK files as well.
You're going to have to have some kind of inventory agents running on all your machines to properly track software as it's being distributed.
The problem thickens though !!
Our sales guys use the VM to configure demos for customers. Some experienced users then like to share there Vm's with others so they can reuse or make backups for safe keeping. How do we track this.
Can't see ACE handling this ?
I am making some assumptions that the sales folks are using workstation or player. If the laptops are not encrypted you also risk the chance that someone could steal the laptop and get the software that way also.
Is it possible to put the demo copies on a server in a data center. This would require that when doing a demo offsite that someone use some kind of method to connect remotely to the virtual demo machines.
We run reports that provides us with the workstations/ laptops that are running vmware, microsoft, and other virtualization products. We also have a report that provides us with any vmx and vmdk files on local machines.
If someone has the laptop on which the VM image is installed all hope is lost unless the drive is encrypted with a strong password. And even then, it may be possible to crack the password depending on how much time you wanted to take or who was doing it.
Encrypt the disk is the best way to go if you must use it on laptops. The other option is to use a VPN/SSH Tunnel to access the demo from a secure monitored location.