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Manual for Inventory of virtual environments?

Hello there,

is there a step by step manual for the implementation of inventory methods for the various Virtual environment solutions or do we have to click back and forth through the help section within FNMS?

We are using FlexNet Manager Suite 2019 R2 (On-Premises Edition)

Since our Server Admin team is confronted with installation of the agent as well as setting up the zero footprint inventory for our virtual environments for the first time I would like to provide them a step by step manual for the different VM cluster solutions.

If there is any helpful documentation or manual, I would really appreciate that.

Thank you,


(6) Replies

Hi @MGrigorean ,

I'm a little bit confused about your questions.

You say that the agents are installed on servers, which is a ok, but also you say that you want to audit with zero foot print the virtual environment, this puzzles me, because I assume you speak about VmWare inventory, and this inventory is possible or remote from a beacon server or if connection is not possible with ESXtools. 

So I would suggest to install the agent on all servers, VM or physical and doing remote audit of VmWare from a beacon server.

I hope I understand correctly your question 

Hello @adrian_ritz1 ,

we have not installed the agent yet. We are planning to do that but there are also different methods for different Virtualisation solutions. Not for every solution, the agent is the most recommended inventory method or you also have to set up the password manager etc. 

So since I am not an expert for servers and virtual environments and we are setting up the inventory of our servers for the first time, we would like to have a step by step manual of something to follow all the necessary measures correctly and in the recommended way. 

In the help section of FNMS it says, there are different ways of gathering inventory:

In each case, the business goal is to review relationships that show which virtual machines are operating on which hosts (as well as the application software in use). Obviously, there are different techniques across these different technologies, falling into two main classes:

  • For hypervisor virtualization, inventory is collected from the host (or hypervisor), and also collected separately from each of the virtual machines (which, in most systems, are ignorant about their host machine). Then common data from the BIOS for the guest OS (that is, the serial number of the virtualized hardware) is matched to the host's list of guest serial numbers, allowing FlexNet Manager Suite to present a structured set of records of virtual machines related to their hosts. This is the approach used for Hyper-V, Linux KVM, Oracle VM, and VMware (although for Linux KVM, the guest's UUIDs are used as serial numbers).
  • In the case of VMware, the VMware host inventory is collected remotely by an inventory beacon (using the API available on either a vCenter management server or an ESX host). In other cases, the host inventory may be gathered either by an installed FlexNet inventory agent, or by zero footprint inventory collection by an inventory beacon.

And for all the different methods (since we have different virtualisation technologies in use globally) I am looking for a manual which explains every step after the other so we do not miss any steps in between or use the wrong method.


@MGrigorean - This type of guidance and planning is normally provided by your Implementation Consultant from Flexera or one of the Implementation Partners.  Have they not provided this to you yet?  Or did you not purchases any Services work to assist with your implementation of FlexNet Manager?

We did have a project for the general implementation of FNMS with Softline Solutions. Besides a few test PCs, the rollout of the agent was not part of the project so we started planning the inventory of our virtual environment on our own and now we discovered, that this is not just simply installing the agent on every physical machine and VM. 

I found a 400pages long "Gathering FlexNet Inventory" document, I guess this is the most detailed instructions I could get for inventory. I hope we can manage with this.

But I still have a question: In the document it defines the different inventory methods for virtual environments: "Adopted, Agent third‐party deployment, Zero‐ footprint and FlexNet Inventory Scanner" Those methods are also explained in detail in separate chapters with the exact same names.

For Hyper-V the possible methods are "Adopted, Agent third‐party deployment, Zero‐ footprint" that is fine.

But for VMware the only method listed is: "Remote agentless inventory by an inventory beacon using the vCenter or ESX API." Which method of the ones listed above is this exactly? I guess it is the Zero-footprint method but why is it called differently here? Is there something else to do that is not explained in the document? Just want to make sure we are not missing anything important to make this work.

Thank you!


The "Gathering FlexNet Inventory" document refers to different approaches that all utilizes the FlexNet inventory agent one way or another. The VMware method listed as: "Remote agentless inventory by an inventory beacon using the vCenter or ESX API." doesn't use the FlexNet inventory agent and as such is referred to as agentless, and therefore isn't the same as being referred to by the Zero-footprint method.

As recommended by other community members in this thread I also would refer to some of the online training available that I think would answer some of your questions...


Hey Miriam

Thank you for today's appointment. I hope we could answer all open questions. If you have any further topics, please contact us.

Kind Regards

Max Kieselbach
Technical Consultant // Software Asset Management

Softline Solutions GmbH