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Same product primary in one license, but supplementary in another

Hi, Does anybody know or can point to docummentation on how Flexera calculates license consumption when the same product is set to primary in one license, but is also secondary in another? Let's say there are licenses L1 (IBM Authorized User) and L2 (IBM PVU). L1 has primary products P1, P2, P3 and a lot of supplementary products with one of them being S1. However, the same S1 is one of primary products of L2. By default, L1 sits higher than L2 in license consumption priority order. A server has P1, P2, and S1 installed and I would expect all consumption to be covered by L1. However, only P1 and P2 are consuming from L1 and S1 consumes from L2. Why S1 isn't covered by supplementary product use right of L1. Is it because it's a primary product of L2 and this takes priority over supplementary use or should I look for some other reason? Thanks.
(6) Replies
By Level 17 Champion
Level 17 Champion

Hi, this is not a direct answer on how FNMS does it, but may help you getting on the way:

  • Change the ComplianceReader.config log level to DEBUG
  • Run the compliance reader with some additional parameters

ComplianceReader.exe -it writers -e licensereconciliation -v -overrideparams PublisherFilter=IBM

What you should get in your logging folder (C:\ProgramData\Flexera Software\Compliance\Logging\ComplianceReader\) is a debug log containing datails about how FNMS applies licenses. SoftwareTitles, Computers and Users are referenced using IDs, so you may want to have some IDs of examples ready for analysis.

By Level 3 Flexeran
Level 3 Flexeran


This is a very interesting question and the answer is a bit complicated. First of all, for bundling to take priority we need to find installs of multiple products on the same computer. FlexNet Manager is not able to determine relationships of bundled applications across multiple computers. Once multiple products are detected on the one computer, the bundle will take priority.

The complicated part is once supplementary products are involved. Because IBM's rules are that supplementary products can only consume a bundle license when associated with a primary product install, FlexNet Manager takes the pessimistic approach and only automatically consumes supplementary product installs when they are on the same computer as a primary product install. This is an intentional decision to ensure we don't assume bundles where no relationship exists.

Flowing on from this is the fact that if a computer only has supplementary products installed on it, it is an operator decision that it is legitimately part of a bundle license (and associated with a primary product install on another computer). This is currently achieved by allocating the computer with supplementary products installed to the bundle license. Without the allocation it will not consume the license and the installs will end up on other licenses.

For the scenario you describe all of the consumption should definitely go to L1 as it can cover all of the products. The only exception to this is if there are more products on L2 and it can cover those better then that will adjust the order.

A product being primary or supplementary does not affect license priority, what matters is the number of products installed on the computer and how many products of a given license that fills. We try and optimally fill bundle licenses to not waste entitlements to other products. Hopefully the above answers your questions and explains this topic a bit more.

Thanks for reply. The insights were very helpful. Having looked at this a little bit more, I've found out something new: The server in question has installations of several products which are covered as supplementary by L1. However, none of those installations are linked to L1. Only primary products P1 and P2 are linked correctly. And S1 is linked to L2, probably because it's a primary product of that license. So, it's not clear why supplementary product installations are not linked at all. What adds to the confusion is that in Test environment everything is covered as it's supposed to: P1, P2, S1 and a few other supplementary products are linked to L1. There is no consumption from L2. I am now thinking if this could be related to the version of FlexNet Manager suite. Test runs 2019 R1 and Prod is on 2017 R3. Could that be the case?
Normally a product being supplementary or primary on a license shouldn't impact which license is chosen. I suspect what you are seeing is the effects of the number of titles installed relative to the number of titles on each license. FlexNet Manager Suite tries to optimize use of licenses by considering this to use the license with the closest matching number of products. This can get very complicated and confusing when there are multiple overlapping licenses involved. This is tricky to explain so I'll give an example. Assume we have the following licenses (where each number is a distinct product, P and S indicate supplementary and primary):
  • L1 with P1, S2, S3, S4, S5
  • L2 with P2, S3, S4
Then a computer with products 1, 2 and 3 installed. This means it can fill 3 of 5 products on L1 and 2 of 3 on L2. So because the delta on L2 is 1 product, that gets applied first. Hence what you are seeing in your example. The only way to control this is via allocations, if you allocate the computer to L1 that will make all installs possible end up on that license.

Just to clarify, in your example, S2 and P2 is the same product, isn't it?

It seems to correspond with the behaviour I'm experiencing, but what about Product 1 then? It looks like it would be covered by L1, after products 2 and 3 were covered by L2. It can't be left without a license, if it's licensable product.

So, instead of having all 3 products covered by a single license, we end up with 2 licenses being consumed. Does not sound like a good optimization, especially if S2 and S3 are set not to consume L1.

Using allocations is a possible workaround, but is not a perfect solution as well. A recent example: a server was reinstalled, it retained previous name, but got a new serial number. A new record was created in Flexera with all previous allocations remaining linked to an old record. License consumption increased and allocations had to be reset manually.

Drawing relevance to the License Consumption order reference: index.html#concepts/App-HowDoesLicenseConsumptionPriorityWk.html we are also seeing a similar issue with Duplicate licenses allocated to the same device. L1 : P1, S2, S3 L2 : P2, P3, P4, S5 On a device with Applications 1,2 and 3 installed, we see FNMS assigning both licenses (Duplicate) to this device.