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SySAM 2.0: Reference Architecture and Best Practices Guide

INTRODUCTION

“License management”.

Do those two words rank just about the lowest on your list of daily priorities? If so, you are definitely not alone. As DBAs, we would much rather spend our time tuning our servers and queries to get the most performance out of them we could, not worrying if our server is correctly licensed. Yet, software licenses can be expensive, and keeping track of what ones you have can help keep costs in control, help budget for growth, and reduce out-of-compliance liability. License management ... it’s one of those things that no one really wants to do, but it’s an important job that can dramatically affect your company’s bottom line.

One of the biggest challenges most IT shops face is simply knowing what products they have deployed, and making sure that those products are licensed properly. If they do have sufficient licenses, they want to make sure that they are deployed properly and effectively. You certainly don’t want 20 licenses installed on one production server that is under-utilized, and then far too few licenses installed on another production server that has reached its maximum capacity. How do you know if you have extra licenses available? Do you know how to effectively use those extra licenses in your environment? Do you know if you are over deployed? How do you currently plan for next year’s needs? You would be surprised how many IT shops have no true way to answer these questions, and they almost always make a guess .... leading to too few licenses, too many licenses, or incorrect deployments, costing the company money in the long run.

One of the main reasons that Sybase implemented SySAM was so that customers could easily track and manage their licenses. It’s true that SySAM turns products and features on or off, but that wasn’t the primary driver for why we implemented it. The vision was never to have Sybase “police” your environment and “nail you to the wall” when you weren’t in compliance, and SySAM doesn’t report any information back to Sybase. Rather, customers were asking us for a better way to track their licenses, and (at the time) help them with their SarBox compliance. There’s nothing really proprietary with what we have implemented; it uses an industry standard license management technology that can be extended beyond Sybase products (or, integrated into an existing license management framework). This is actually a plus for Sybase ... many other DBMS vendors don’t have anything equivalent, which often times leads to ugly compliance deals.

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