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FlexNet Manager Suite Hotfix 2018R1-02

FlexNet Manager Suite Hotfix 2018R1-02

Summary

Announcing a hotfix to FlexNet inventory agent that improves Oracle inventory, improves inventory scheduling, and repairs installation/upgrade issues on specific platforms

Synopsis

FlexNet Manager Suite Hotfix 2018R1-02 updates the core inventory executable (ndtrack), bringing improvements to all its various forms:

  • The full FlexNet inventory agent, whether installed automatically during device discovery (the 'adoption' process), or downloaded and deployed using third-party tools

  • The lightweight FlexNet Inventory Scanner, a separate executable on Windows, and on UNIX-like platforms the ndtrack.sh script

  • The version saved on inventory beacons and used for zero-footprint inventory collection (the executable is remotely installed, run, and removed again, leaving no permanent installation footprint).

This hotfix repairs the following issues (in numerical order):
KeySummary
FNMS-30893Locally-installed FlexNet inventory agent does not support inventory of Oracle 12c pluggable databases [republished as FNMS-61891]
FNMS-52683On SuSE 12 SP2 and later, installation of FlexNet inventory agent fails when ndtask.service cannot start
FNMS-49768Agent random inventory schedule is insufficiently random [republished as FNMC-39]
FNMS-58954On UNIX platforms, agent-based Oracle inventory fails when there are restricted permissions on Oracle directories
FNMS-60414Upgrading FlexNet inventory agent on CentOS / Oracle Linux 7.4 fails when earlier version does not support custom paths
FNMS-61481On macOS, installation of FlexNet inventory agent fails because MGSFT_RUN_CONFIGURE is not found

Discussion

Availability on cloud instances

This hotfix was deployed to the US and European cloud instances for FlexNet Manager Suite in early May 2018. Customers using SaaS/cloud implementations should particularly note the Additional Information section below for required action.

Availability for on-premises customers

Customers with on-premises implementations of FlexNet Manager Suite versions from 2016 to 2018 R1 may choose to download and implement this hotfix. Take note of the Additional Information and Related Documents sections below. The downloadable zip archive for the hotfix is available through the Product and License Center, which requires your customer credentials to log in: https://flexeracommunity.force.com/customer/apex/CCDownload. After logging in, find FlexNet Manager Platform, and click the Access Above Products button sitting just below that. Look for FlexNet Manager Suite Hotfix 2018R1-02.zip.


Summary of improvements

Oracle inventory improvements

FNMS-30893: Earlier releases allowed for an inventory beacon to connect directly to an Oracle server and gather inventory from any container database (for Oracle 12c or later) and any pluggable databases available through your chosen discovery method (such as a TNSNames.ora file); and this functionality remains available unchanged. However, a locally-executing copy of ndtrack (the core inventory component) running on the Oracle server could not previously discover and collect inventory from the pluggable databases.

This functionality has now been added for ndtrack, regardless of how the tracker is delivered to the target inventory device (the Oracle server). Thus, you can now collect inventory from pluggable databases using:
  • The complete FlexNet inventory agent, whether installed automatically during ?adoption? of the inventory device, or installed by third-party tools/techniques

  • The lightweight FlexNet Inventory Scanner (for UNIX-like platforms, this is packaged as the ndtrack.sh shell script)

  • The zero-footprint method, where an inventory beacon installs ndtrack on the target device, executes it, and removes it immediately afterwards (leaving zero installation footprint).

After inventory upload and import to the compliance database (which typically happens overnight), the pluggable databases are displayed in the Oracle Instances page of the web interface for FlexNet Manager Suite:
  • The container instance has ~CDB_ROOT attached to its instance name

  • Each pluggable database displays the same instance name, a tilde character, and the name of the pluggable database: containerInstance~pluggableDBName.

Backward compatibility means that this hotfix may be applied to versions of FlexNet Manager Suite from 2016 to 2018 R1, any of which may then collect this inventory from Oracle 12c (and later) pluggable databases.

FNMS-58954: On UNIX-like platforms, collection of Oracle inventory may be configured to require the FlexNet inventory agent (which must run as root) to impersonate other trusted accounts with lower privilege levels (for details see the Common: Child Processes on UNIX-Like Platforms topic in the Gathering FlexNet Inventory PDF, available through the title page of online help). The impersonation relies on the setuid and setgid UNIX utilities. The ndtrack executable has been enhanced to also set the supplementary group IDs so that this impersonation succeeds even when global read access has been removed to lock down Oracle directories or files. This same fix also improves the security of FlexNet inventory agent on UNIX-like platforms.

Scheduling improvements

The fix to FNMS-49768 means that when you set your Agent inventory schedule (available through Discovery & Inventory > Settings) to have a Commence within time window, the start times are more randomly spread within that period, no longer clustering around a small number of offsets within the window.

Installation/upgrade improvements

Three of the improvements in this hotfix affect installation or self-upgrade of FlexNet inventory agent on specific platforms (FNMS-52683, FNMS-60414, and FNMS-61481). Note that for FNMS-60414, the issue occurs only when upgrading from a version earlier than 12.1.1 of the FlexNet inventory agent (on the platforms noted).


Additional Information

After installation of the hotfix (already applied in the cloud instances, and available for on-premises customers to download, and then execute the scripts as documented in the supplied readme.txt file), the following changes exist in your system:

  • Latest agent ready for third-party deployment: Version 13.0.1 of the FlexNet inventory agent is immediately available for you to download and deploy using your preferred deployment tool. In the web interface for FlexNet Manager Suite, navigate to the system menu > Data Inputs > Inventory Data tab > Download inventory agent > Inventory agent, and scroll to near the bottom of the drop-down list of available versions.

  • Adoption version set to latest agent: If you create rules to trigger any automatic adoption of a target inventory device (that is, automatically installing the FlexNet inventory agent on the device), version 13.0.1 is installed.

  • Upgrade version setting is unchanged: The new version of the FlexNet inventory agent is immediately available for self-upgrade on inventory devices managed through policy (which includes all devices reporting automatically through inventory beacons); but the upgrade process honors your current setting for automatic self-upgrades. The details for changing the self-upgrade settings depend on which implementation you are using:

    • For an on-premises implementation, see Adopted: Specifying an Installed Agent Upgrade in the Gathering FlexNet Inventory PDF, available through the title page of online help (this topic is available only in the on-premises edition of that PDF file)

    • For a cloud implementation, ask your authorized support contact to speak with your Flexera Customer Service Manager, or to raise a support case at https://flexeracommunity.force.com/customer/SupportSFCaseInsert (login required), to request that your maximum upgrade version for the inventory agent is updated to 13.0.1.

  • Inventory beacon 13.0.1 is ready to deploy: There is no change in the FlexNet Beacon code itself for this release. The only change when you update the inventory beacon software is to update the version of the ndtrack executable that is automatically installed on the inventory beacon, ready to use for any zero-footprint inventory gathering that you may have configured through your discovery and inventory rules. To enable your inventory beacons to upgrade to this release, in the web interface for Flexnet Manager Suite visit Discovery & Inventory > Beacon settings, and adjust Beacon version approved for use (if it is not already set for Always use the latest version).

Tip: Keep in mind that the upgrade limit setting for the FlexNet inventory agent also acts to downgrade any installed FlexNet inventory agent of a later version. Unless your upgrade is set to always use the latest version, the above defaults mean that a new adoption installs version 13.0.1 of FlexNet inventory agent, and at the next policy check, the adopted device is downgraded to the maximum version you have configured.



Related Documents

For customers with on-premises implementations of FlexNet Manager Suite, the following documents are included inside the downloadable zip archive for this hotfix:
  • A readme.txt file with details of all command-line actions to implement the hotfix
  • A PDF document "FlexNet Manager Suite Hotfix 2018R1-02" providing additional information on the hotfix, supported versions, installation prerequisites, and flow-on effects.
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