Definition of a Data Contributor
Subscriptions for NSS are licensed according to the capabilities of the software that you use (Solution Areas) and the number of active directory accounts that contribute data to the environment being managed with those capabilities; Data Contributors.
Data Contributors are defined as unique file/folder owners that fulfil the following two criteria:
1. They own files/folders in the repositories managed by NSS
Every file and folder has an owner, this is an attribute of the object in the file system. The owner is an account in Active Directory and is identified by their Security Identifier (SID). Owners can be service accounts, regular user accounts, shared accounts, or similar. NSS counts unique SIDs for all files and folders managed by NSS.
2. The owner has been resolved within the last 90 days
If an account has been deleted from Active Directory, the owner SID can no longer be resolved and NSS will classify the owner as ‘unknown’. If the account was deleted a few days ago, it will still be counted as one Data Contributor. However, if the account was deleted more than 90 days ago it will no longer count as a Data Contributor. All accounts in this state (‘unknown’ for more than 90 days) are counted as a single Data Contributor. This is done in order to avoid the number of Data Contributors accumulating over time (as Active Directory accounts are created and deleted).
Here are some examples of situations to help you understand how Data Contributors are counted.
Example 1: One User With One Account
In this example you have one user using the same account to save data in several folders. This is only counted as one Data Contributor.
Example 2: One User With Several Accounts
In this example, one user is using two accounts to save data in the file system. This will be counted as two Data Contributors.
Example 3: Several Users With One Account
In some cases, users might share logins for the same account. This would be counted as one Data Contributor.
Example 4: Account Exists in AD But Has No Data in the Environment
In this case, only user A has saved data to the managed repositories. User B has an account in Active Directory but has not saved any files yet. This would only be counted as one Data Contributor.
Example 5: Account Has Been Disabled in Active Directory
The account has been disabled at some point in the past, but still owns data in the repositories being managed by NSS. Since the account is not deleted, this would count as one Data Contributor.
Example 6: Account Has Been Deleted Less Than 90 Days Ago
In this example, both account A and B have been deleted. Neither of the accounts will be resolved by Active Directory. However, NSS has resolved both accounts within the past 90 days, before they were deleted. Each individual account would count as one Data Contributor.
Example 7: Account Has Been Deleted More Than 90 Days Ago
In this example, neither of the accounts will be resolved by Active Directory. As in Example 6, Account B was deleted less than 90 days ago and will therefore be counted as a Data Contributor. However, since Account A was deleted more than 90 days ago it will not be counted as a Data Contributor. The SID for Account A, and all other SIDs for accounts that were deleted more than 90 days ago, will be summarised as ‘Unknown’ and will only be counted as one single Data Contributor.
If you have more questions regarding how Northern counts the number Data Contributors, please contact your sales representative at firstname.lastname@example.org.