The ITAM Review

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iQuate iQSonar for Inventory and Discovery

This independent review is part of our Inventory and Discovery Tool Review.

Executive Summary

Elevator pitch Powerful agentless discovery for large and complex IT environments.
  • Dynamic User Interface (UI). Everything is interactive and easy to use, and the information is accessible and easy to digest.
  • Unique product adapters
  • Very detailed hardware information
  • Perfect for the datacentre environment
  • Does not address cloud based services or subscriptions
  • IQSonar does not do software usage metering in desktop environments
Primary Market Focus
  • Size: Large enterprise environments
  • Use: Collecting complex server data for Datacentre Licensing
  • Environment: Servers and datacentres

Commercial Summary

Vendor iQuate
Product iQSonar
Version Reviewed Version 3
Date of version release June 2014
Year founded 2002
Customers <100
Pricing structure A number of licensing models are available including: Perpetual, Subscription, and Project Licence.Licensing is based on three dimensions: Vendor/Technology coverage (i.e. Oracle, IBM, Microsoft), estate size, and license duration requirement. Price list not disclosed.
Competitive Differentiators
  • Unique product adapters for complex license vendors such as Microsoft, IBM, and Oracle
  • iQDataHub provides the ability to perform trend analysis with third-party tools

Independent Review

iQuate iQSonar

iQSonar is a sophisticated, easy to use inventory and discovery tool, which possesses a number of unique features for a tool of its kind, such as the unique product adapters and third-party integration.

In The ITAM Review’s opinion, iQSonar has a dynamic UI, which displays an array of useful and relevant information to the end user, such as install base, and hardware information. In addition, everything appears to be interactive and easily customizable such that you can change the experience you receive based on the information you need. Furthermore, the UI doesn’t provide you with an overload of information, instead displaying information such that it can be easily read and understood.

In our view, another impressive feature of iQSonar is its unique product adapters for Microsoft, IBM and Oracle. Product adapters are built in capabilities for managing complex software publishers. Software Asset Management (SAM) tools usual provide some sort of specialist feature for Oracle or SAP licensing, but they don’t often provide the same sort of sophisticated management capabilities for three of the major software vendors. We believe that this feature will certainly help customers better manage their complex licenses to ensure compliancy and also license optimization.

Integration possibilities with other third-party tools are a further positive aspect of the iQSonar product in our opinion. With iQDataHub, users are able to take snapshots of their inventory data over time, providing the capability to perform trend analysis in third-party tools. This allows customers to integrate existing ITAM tools with the iQSonar product, We feel that this is a great selling point for iQSonar as it means users don’t have to endure the hassle of moving to an ITAM solution, they can simply integrate iQSonar into their existing IT infrastructure. It also allows customers to utilize two different data sets, which we believe will improve the users experience in regards to accuracy and analysis purposes.

Another area that we really liked within this tool is how detailed the hardware reporting is. The amount of hardware information you receive is extremely comprehensive, which we believe will no doubt help with any ITAM and Hardware Asset Management (HAM) project or program. Generally, there are large savings to be made in the datacentre and sever environment, there are also savings to be made in the hardware environment. This is where we feel iQSonar could help consolidate your spending and also help you to reduce spending on hardware.

However, despite the number of impressive features in the iQSonar product, we do feel that it is lacking any form of cloud monitoring, an increasing area of spend and risk in the datacentre. With a lot of software and licensing models moving towards a cloud-based structure, we think that some form of cloud inventory solution is needed within the tool to help assist with managing emerging cloud environments such as cloud subscriptions or pay per use cloud computing power.

Overall, we believe that iQSonar is a very sophisticated tool for the datacentre and server environment. iQSonar can handle desktop inventory but does not offer software usage metering in desktop environments. However, as iQuate state that it works with other vendors to ensure smooth integration with third-party tools, there is likely the option to use the product in conjunction with a more sophisticated desktop tool. It would also compliment systems management tools such as Microsoft SCCM.

General Inventory

Inventory of hardware devices in a network is typically based on either a hostname and/or MAC address. Since both these values can be modified within the product, they are not sufficiently adequate for long-term identification (or comparison) purposes and can lead to duplicate records for a single asset. These issues have forced iQuate to provide something different with respects to inventory records to combat the hurdles other solutions fall at.

iQuate states that iQSonar takes a unique approach to inventory and discovery. Each supported platform, application, or technology is assessed and specific, non-changing attributes are identified. iQuate continue to state that using these attributes and a proprietary ranking algorithm allows iQSonar to generate a “unique identifier” to enable consistent identification of assets regardless of configuration changes.

Furthermore, iQuate states that iQSonar includes the iQDataHub inventory feature. The iQDataHub is in essence a ‘data warehouse’ that provides an open database for end users and partners to view data and associated API (application program interface) information. iQuate further states that its customers can then manipulate this data and also feed in data from other (possibly already existing within the environment) third-party solutions.

iQDataHub also provides a central repository of software asset related data, allowing the tool to scan data that can be augmented with data from other sources. Data from multiple iQSonar engines, and from different time periods, can be populated in a single location. In addition, it supports cleansing and categorization of scanned data, which in our opinion makes it more useful and easier to work with. As mentioned previously, the iQDataHub allows users to use information from not only iQSonar, but also from other SAM tools. What this effectively means is that the data from the iQSonar tool, and the data from existing third-party solutions can be populated together and stored in a single, central repository for data analysis.


From a discovery aspect, iQSonar states that it uses 100% agentless technology. Once installed on a central server, no additional software is needed before, or installed during, the scanning process. This means that it can automatically detect technology to deliver a complete view of IT inventory, without the need for a list of all assets to be scanned in advance. We feel that using agentless technology is a benefit to the tool, as there can often be flaws with agents, such as users removing them from their machines!

The iQSonar solution is deployed within the organisations network and stores all of the data gathered in a central repository. We believe this to be impressive considering the fact that the information is coming from agentless technology. Having a centralised store for all of the data in our view is an important factor when considering an inventory and discovery tool. You need information to be in one place, not scattered around various databases within the network.

With its agentless technology, iQuate has developed an intelligent tool that can go out and target specific data that the user wants updating in real-time. The user can point the tool to a certain area of the network, and iQSonar will seek out and provide them with updated data that they can they turn into reports for analysis. Whilst iQSonar is off gathering the information, the user interface’s performance isn’t impacted in anyway, allowing the user to continue to use the tool whilst the data is being populated, which we feel that is extremely important for a busy ITAM professional who doesn’t want to wait around for data scans to complete.


iQuate states that iQSonar’s data exploration tool, iQExplore, enables searching and filtering, and extensive analysis across a huge range of attributes delivering results visually in the form of interactive graphs and detailed table reports. From what we have seen the reports appear to be comprehensive and easy to populate, and they can be customized to provide the user with the specific data that they require. iQSonar is no different to other tools in that the report can then be exported into various file formats for analysis and general future use.

In Summary

We believe that iQSonar is a strong offering for any organizations looking for the detailed inventory required to manage complex licensing in the datacentre environment.

In their own words

“iQSonar is the world’s leading IT asset management discovery and inventory solution which can deliver even richer capabilities to your business. It can provide you with:

• Rich business intelligence and analysis

• Advanced data aggregation and augmentation

• Seamless interoperability with your existing solutions

iQSonar is a powerful discovery platform built to handle highly complex infrastructures. Deployed agentlessly across the largest and most challenging of networks with multiple platforms, protocols, devices and applications, it delivers unrivalled visibility of all physical, clustered and cloud-based assets, thanks to its extensive technical breadth and depth.

iQSonar includes the iQDataHub data warehouse, allowing iQSonar scan data to be augmented with data from other sources to provide a rich central repository of SAM related data. Data from multiple iQSonar engines, and from different time periods, can be aggregated in a single location. iQDataHub also supports sophisticated cleansing and categorisation of scanned data, making it even more useful and easier to work with.

As physical, virtual and cloud-based environments grow ever more complex and enterprise-wide demands for high quality business information increase, iQuate understands how crucial it is to have accurate IT inventory. By improving inventory accuracy, we enhance its value for everyone who uses it to make decisions, to optimize service delivery and to drive business performance. iQSonar’s innovative technology is designed to work with other IT management processes and tools, creating a single, sharable and verified IT inventory that is more accurate and useful than ever before.”


Disclaimer, Scope and Limitations

The information contained in this review is based on sources and information believed to be accurate as of the time it was created. Therefore, the completeness and current accuracy of the information provided cannot be guaranteed. Readers should therefore use the contents of this review as a general guideline, and not as the ultimate source of truth.

Similarly, this review is not based on rigorous and exhaustive technical study. The ITAM Review recommends that readers complete a thorough live evaluation before investing in technology.

This is a paid review, that is, the vendors included in this review paid to participate in exchange for all results and analysis being published free of charge, without registration.

For further information, please read our Disclosure page.

About David Foxen

David Foxen is a Software Asset Management expert and enthusiast. He had a vast experience of successfully implementing SAM, SAM tools and also made huge cost savings. A member of the ISO Standards WG21, David is a massive ITAM geek, so uses any opportunity to talk about the subject to who-ever will listen. He believes that the industry needs to share its knowledge and success stories to help the SAM industry mature and become more effective. Always willing to help, his primary goal is to make a difference to organisations and the SAM industry so everyone will know how epic SAM is!

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