In this guide we are going to run through a quick walkthrough of StacksWare, here's a summary of what we'll cover:
- Real-time application inventory & usage
- Detailed PDF Reports on Software Across All Machines (VDI, Virtual Servers)
- Discover which users are running applications and where (including thin clients & App Volumes)
- Track & optimize software licenses
- Assessments (Track software used on physical machines, helping with migration planning)
Before You Begin
Before you begin this walkthrough ensure you have the following:
- A valid account in the VMware TestDrive environment, sign up here if you do not yet have an account
To learn more about StacksWare for VMware SE's, view the dedicated 1-page website at: https://stacksware.com/se
Background Info - Talking points
StacksWare originated from a Stanford University / VMware joint research project, which was sponsored by Sanjay Poonen, COO at VMware.
StacksWare is a stand-alone product that deeply integrates with VMware Horizon and AppVolumes, providing advanced insight into which applications are installed and running on all guest operating systems in a customer environment.
The product has an on-premises component which is easily deployed via an Ubuntu OVA appliance, and all data and analysis is performed on a cloud based web portal.
Let's get started, to begin with open up Chrome and navigate to the StacksWare portal at:
Login to the demo environment by proviging the details in the form
The dashboard will load, showing an overview of the environment information
Background Info - Talking points
From here, we can see the # of processes that ran over the past month (blue graph), top used applications (beneath the graph), and then license recommendations (on the right). StacksWare has the ability to input software license terms (e.g. # of seats, high-watermark, etc), and then compare that to the actual usage information -- Potentially showing over or under spend on software contracts.
Click on the “Applications” Tab, to view a table inventory of all the applications found installed or running across all machines in the organization (i.e. consolidated across VDI, servers, physical workstations, etc).
Click on an application in the table to drill-down, from here, we can see detailed insights about a particular piece of software.
Note the high watermark graph.
Clicking on “Versions” at the top tab will show a table of all versions of that software found in the environment
Similarly, the “Machines” tab at the top will show all machines with it installed.
Finally, the “activity log” provides an audit-log table, with a comprehensive record of every single time the application was ever run.
If we click on the packages tab, and then select a package from the table, we’ll see licensing insights. We’ve gone ahead and put in sample license data (124 physical cores) for SQL Server. StacksWare compares this in real-time to the historical usage, lets us know that we’re out of compliance (165 cores vs 124), and presents us with our liability.
If you click the machines tab, we can see all the machines StacksWare has been configured to track (Virtual Desktops, Virtual Servers, Physical Workstations, etc) all in one table.
Clicking on a machine in the table will show insights & reports about this one machine. From the tabs at the top, we can view the applications installed, AD users that have signed in, ESXi Host history, and an application activity log.
Finally, if we go back to the “Machines” table we were just on, and click the “Groups” tab, we’ll see a table of all the machine groups (note: Users also can have groups). “Groups” of machines can be defined within the StacksWare product, or can be imported from Active Directory (configured during install).
Clicking on a group in the table will show reports in aggregate for all the machines.
That's a logical place to stop, see below for free trial details!
Full-featured 15-Day Free Trials are available
Go to https://stacksware.com/free-trial to get started.
Installation typically takes 20 minutes (just deploy the StacksWare Ubuntu OVA)
For support or questions, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org