Today’s briefing was with one of the founders of StacksWare. Don’t forget the second S or you get some other company. Their product gives visibility into the applications installed and running in your virtual and physical environment. A single OVA is deployed onto your vSphere and connected to both vCenter and AD. The appliance then pushes metadata about the applications into a cloud data warehouse. Each customer has their own dashboard with both historic and real-time views of application usage.
The first use case is simple software inventory, what software is installed on which machines. If you are faced with an audit from Microsoft, Adobe or another vendor then this can be a quick resolution (or a quick bill if you aren’t compliant). Real-time usage is also useful to identify concurrency for licensing, for products that allow you to license peak concurrency rather than named users or machines.
There is also a compliance perspective. Both from the angle of making sure only the supported versions of software are used and making sure that only authorized people are using controlled software. In the distant past, I worked at a pharma company. They needed to prove who had access to certain data and needed to identify whether server administrators had accessed applications on the server. StacksWare identifies every executable is run by every user, immediate visibility. There is also a security angle, notifications can be setup that will alert (for example) if an out of date version of Java is launched.
There is a trial of the software available on the StacksWare site. List pricing is US$3 per device per month, I imagine there is discounting for volume and time commitments. By the way, StacksWare started is a research project at Stanford that was supported by VMware. They also won the TechTarget Startup Spotlight award at VMworld 2016.
© 2016, Alastair. All rights reserved.