How does Altiris determine how to assign licenses to a client computer? I know each computer gets a unique GUID when it is discovered. I am more curious about how Altiris knows the client is a new computer. For instance, our IT Support Techs are always reimaging PCs due to corrupt or bad hard drives. The hostname of the PC remains the same, but, after the reimage is complete, Altiris will list the asset twice. Each asset record--both with different GUIDs--is consuming a set of client licenses, and the old record will not be purged/pruned/etc. until our regularly scheduled purge process runs, which occurs if the client has not checked in in two months.
I was always under the impression that Altiris assigned licenses based on hostname; however, that does not appear to be the case. Any thoughts or suggestions?
It's based on GUID. Altiris always understands things by their GUIDs. Rarely (never?) will something be identified by name.
You need to include a retirement/deletion step in your reimage process so that your IT Support Techs understand that an asset must be removed from Altiris prior to the reimage. The replaced hard drive must be triggering enough of a hardware change that the NS wants to assign a new GUID. It's the same thing if a motherboard were being replaced -- it appears as a hardware change so the GUID is reassigned, since the NS doesn't know it's seeing the same system.
I wouldn't tighten your purge policies -- I think adding a manual removal step to your reimage process makes sense. Alternatively, create an exception report that runs using a notification or automation policy (not sure which version you're running) and provides a list of all computers with duplicate names, including last check-in time and GUID. You can verify duplicates manually and delete them, or, if you have confidence, could use the results of a report in an automation policy that deletes the record from the NS. (To do something like this, you would want to pull all computers that are duplicates that have not reported for more than 7 days.)
Does this help?
It does help, thank you. We are still on NS 6 (R8), which already has some known licensing bugs in it. Do you know if simply changing the computer hostname is enough of a difference for Altiris to issue the asset another GUID?
It will not. Are you dealing with duplicate GUIDs, or just curious how they're created?
Because the GUID is generated when the agent checks in, if a hostname changes afterward, it won't change the GUID. And what a mess that would be were it true!
easy way is to routinely delete all the computers from the list and let them report in. This cleans up the list and number of license in use.