Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Best Tools For Network Inventory Management?

kdawson posted more than 5 years ago | from the IPs-and-users-and-boxes-oh-my dept.

Networking 251

jra writes "Once every month or so, people ask here about backups, network management, and so on, but one topic I don't see come up too often is network inventory management — machines, serial numbers, license keys, user assignments, IP addresses, and the like. This level of tracking is starting to get out of hand in my facility as we approach 100 workstations and 40 servers, and I'm looking for something to automate it. I'm using RT (because I'm not a good enough Web coder to replace it, not because I especially like it) and Nagios 3. I've looked at Asset Tracker, but it seems too much like a toolkit for building things to do the job, and I don't want my ticket tracking users to have to be hackers (having to specify a URL for an asset is too hackish for my crew). I'd prefer something standalone, so I don't have to dump RT or Nagios, but if something sufficiently good looking comes by, I'd consider it. I'd like to be able to hack a bit here and there, if I must. Perl and Python, along with C, are the preferred implementation languages; least favorite is Java. Anyone care to share their firsthand experiences with this topic, and what tools they use (or built) to deal with it? "

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

first (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28775505)

First post by managed inventory!

Numara Software (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28775535)

Track-It! = Helpdesk, SNMP Discovery and Audit, Windows Discovery and Audit, plus a few more goodies

User, not a Sales Rep, but still a Coward

Belarc Advisor (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28775645)

B A to make a paper trail. OK, I work with a bunch of CPAs, and the hundred or so machines you have make this only arduous, not impossible.

Besides, it gives a detailed accounting of the types and branding of network, audio, video, and other chips on the motherboard. I took delivery of a dozen supposedly identical Acer computers, and not a single one could accept a Macrium backup from another there was so much variability. Virtual machines, yech.

But you do need to keep track of license numbers, by hook or crook. This blunt axe will do it.

Landesk might work for you. (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28775541)

I use Landesk, it also does patches, AV, hardware inventory, software inventory, you can block some applications, remote control, etc.

you track your IP addresses? (1)

Em Emalb (452530) | more than 5 years ago | (#28775547)

Are you not using DHCP? I ask cause if you aren't....uh...why not?

Here at my company we're looking at a few different things, right now we have it up on an internal wiki page and it sucks...but the process has been back-burnered like 10 times already.

Re:you track your IP addresses? (1)

huckda (398277) | more than 5 years ago | (#28775579)


Re:you track your IP addresses? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28775819)



Re:you track your IP addresses? (1)

Em Emalb (452530) | more than 5 years ago | (#28775655)

Also, the key thing for where I work is the ability to bar-code scan (for example) the service tags and vendor codes on our desktop/laptops and have that populate a DB as well..along with everything else.

It's a huge undertaking though, to get everything in order. It's really something that needs to be done right from the start, or when you fork-lift laptops or something. Sucks. I swear you could hire a team of monkeys to do this year round and they'd still be lagging behind after 2 months.

Re:you track your IP addresses? (2, Informative)

exes (853401) | more than 5 years ago | (#28775939)

Would you recommend DHCP for network switches? I ask cause if you would....uh...why?

Re:you track your IP addresses? (1)

Em Emalb (452530) | more than 5 years ago | (#28775959)

In most companies I've been around or worked for, the number of users far far out-paced the number of switches, servers and routers.

So yes, you are correct, you'd need to track at least 1 IP for each of those devices, and exclude the rest from your DHCP pool(s).

Re:you track your IP addresses? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28776089)

uh... maybe they don't want to use DHCP. Maybe their upper management doesn't want to use DHCP. Maybe no one there knows how to use DHCP. Maybe they track IP addresses for security reasons. Drop your attitude, you sound like one of those Linux RTFM guys from the mid-nineties. We all know they were the life of the party.

Re:you track your IP addresses? (3, Insightful)

afidel (530433) | more than 5 years ago | (#28776531)

network gear=static
random network devices=static

In any non-trivial network you will have a significant percentage of your IP space utilized by static devices. Then you get into tracking multiple sites and their associated network information and it starts to get fairly complicated. We're small enough with a couple dozen sites and a dozen or so subnets at our corporate campus that we use a multi-tabbed excel document with the first tab being a table of contents.

Open-Audit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28775553)

Does just fine for me.

God help me (1)

Capt.DrumkenBum (1173011) | more than 5 years ago | (#28775565)

I have a crap excel spreadsheet I inherited from my predecessor.
If I ever have time I have been thinking about a database backend with a web frontend.

Re:God help me (2, Interesting)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 5 years ago | (#28775965)

God help you?

You've got an excel spreadsheet? You're a lucky bastard.

I have a customized Peoplesoft implementation for asset tracking, designed by three blind goatherds, one of whom also had leprosy (I may be exaggerating a bit. I suspect it was more like twenty, ~since having more people design a system is always a good idea~).

Seriously... Search for asset. Find asset. Enable correct history mode. Click through four forms to get to custodian details. Update custodian details. Run asset update process. Check process monitor for error messages. Resolve errors. Rerun update process. And that's a simple change.

Heaven/Hell forbid there was any issue with the Tag # or Serial # assigned to an asset.

Hell hath no torment like a Peoplesoft implementation used for something it has no business being used for.

Re:God help me (1)

Capt.DrumkenBum (1173011) | more than 5 years ago | (#28776047)

I'll send you a copy. That way there will be two of us using it and that is enough people to start a support group.
The first step is to admit you have a problem.
I forget steps 2 through 11, but I am sure:
12. Profit.

OpenNMS (5, Informative)

spun (1352) | more than 5 years ago | (#28775571)

It's open source, it's free, it's a complete network management system, and you can import existing asset information as well as populate through network discovery. We use it here at the New Mexico Child Youth and Family Development Department, with 53 offices, 2500 workstations, and 80 servers. []

Re:OpenNMS (4, Informative)

Z00L00K (682162) | more than 5 years ago | (#28776883)

I can agree that OpenNMS is a good choice. It contains most of the features you want for IT administration.

The only disadvantage I have discovered with OpenNMS is that it is a bit heavy on resources, so I would recommend a dedicated server for the monitoring.

Do you want it to be open source or not? (4, Informative)

GPLDAN (732269) | more than 5 years ago | (#28775573)

Open Source use OpenNMS: []

Want commercial software?: Solarwinds Orion with IP Monitor.

Re:Do you want it to be open source or not? (2, Funny)

spun (1352) | more than 5 years ago | (#28775637)

Haha, beat you to it by mere seconds. OpenNMS in the hizzouse! :)

Re:Do you want it to be open source or not? (1)

gandhi_2 (1108023) | more than 5 years ago | (#28775963)

4 digit uid...

in the hizzouse!

Daaaaaaad! That's embaaaaaaaaaaaarasing!

Re:Do you want it to be open source or not? (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 5 years ago | (#28776323)

Your erudite sig demonstrates your strong preference for decorum.

Landesk (1)

deAtog (987710) | more than 5 years ago | (#28775581)

Landesk [] is one such solution.. Unless of course you need something to monitor software installed on non-Windows machines...

Re:Landesk (1)

afidel (530433) | more than 5 years ago | (#28776589)

Landesk has Mac and Linux clients, which is one of the big things that makes it stand out in it's market segment.

Re:Landesk (1)

snowblind (175857) | more than 5 years ago | (#28776925)

Unix as well... (1)

polgair (922265) | more than 5 years ago | (#28775587)

This has clients for mac, linux, windows. You can pool each device for hardware/software configs. You can do patches through them. It can do network devices as well. And it's open source :)

Re: (1)

hguorbray (967940) | more than 5 years ago | (#28776291)

We are using both ocsinventory and openNMS and they both seem to have their advantages

OCS seems to be superior for pure inventory -ie CPUs, RAM, NIC, and HW and has a cleaner interface.

NMS has more active agent-based monitoring (extensible via SNMP) and is really good at tracking connectivity/downtime by NIC and also network stats such as packet stats over time, etc. and has decent time sequence graphs out of the box.

they are both open source and seem to have their different strengths, so try 'em both out and see what works

There may be more functional overlap than what I have indicated above, but this is based on the way we have used them

-I'm just sayin'

Roll your own... (3, Interesting)

Fallen Kell (165468) | more than 5 years ago | (#28775601)

We finally made our own. We created a mysql database and table schema storing the hardware information along with the schema for locations in the facility (typically cubicles, offices, labs, and server rooms). Wrote up a website using PHP with proper forms to insert new hardware, move hardware from one location to another, or remove hardware, and search functions to find hardware. We went a little further as well by getting floor and building plans and made clickable image maps for all the locations so that you can just browse to the building/floor/cubicle, see what is in there already, and add new stuff or move existing stuff etc., as well as have a way to highlight the location of a particular piece of hardware if you looked for it based on hostname, etc.

It really isn't that hard to do. And if you setup your database tables and schema correctly so that you can easily expand for new hardware types, buildings/locations, it isn't too hard to maintain. The hardest thing that we deal with is when we move into a new building and we have to generate the floor map, but it doesn't usually take more then a few hours at most.

Re:Roll your own... (1)

UltimApe (991552) | more than 5 years ago | (#28776549)

I'm actually doing a similar thing right now, coding it up in perl. How big is your database's schema? How long did such an endeavor take you?

40 Servers, 100 Workstations (0, Troll)

Russ1642 (1087959) | more than 5 years ago | (#28775609)

Government operation?

Re:40 Servers, 100 Workstations (-1, Offtopic)

spun (1352) | more than 5 years ago | (#28775785)

Or, you know, maybe the servers don't serve the workstations, but some type of external entity that buys some sort of a service, what do you call them? Customers? Nah, it would have to be that mean old incompetent government, the source of all evil. Why is that the go-to fall guy around here? Am I the only one who has seen the same level of incompetance in the private sector?

Re:40 Servers, 100 Workstations (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28776273)

yes you are

GLPI (4, Interesting)

ZERO1ZERO (948669) | more than 5 years ago | (#28775613) []

This might be the sort of thing, coupled with the OCNS agent it'll scan your network and log all the data into a myql database. Ticket system which allows users to report stuff attached to an asset, reporting, contracts, and stuff. Worth a look.

I'll second that (1)

charnov (183495) | more than 5 years ago | (#28776757)

I have used this set up successfully to catalog 100's of workstations, servers, and network devices across 5 states.

I also added NetDisco for tracking and discovery of network gear.

I've used a bunch (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28775619)

but I always come back to Zombo Network Manager Suite []

hands down the best out there, unlimited, and free

Configuration Management DataBase (1, Troll)

Colin Smith (2679) | more than 5 years ago | (#28775623)

There must be a million of them. Yeah, you can get autodiscovery as well.

Google is your friend.

OCS (2, Interesting)

vinn (4370) | more than 5 years ago | (#28775629)

We use OCS and really like it: [] It's one of those things that tends to just work well. In fact, our version is about 2 years old now and we haven't had a need to upgrade it at all because it's just doing what it need to do.

Re:OCS (1)

IMightB (533307) | more than 5 years ago | (#28775717)

Yeah I like OCS Inventory + GLPI, for network monitoring I use Nagios, though I'm seriously considering checking out OpenNMS to replace my Nagios 2.9 installation.

To the toolboxes... (4, Insightful)

f8l_0e (775982) | more than 5 years ago | (#28775633)

who keep tagging stories like these and especially 'Ask Slashdot' submissions with the domyjobforme tag, please STFU. Quite often, the submitter has done extensive research on the matter and shared his or her observations and is looking for people to share their ideas or experiences. Your attitude does not fit in with the open source spirit that the readers of Slashdot enjoy being a part of. If done as a joke, it is no longer funny.

Re:To the toolboxes... (3, Insightful)

the_weasel (323320) | more than 5 years ago | (#28775701)

Amen. Unfortunately there will always be elitist arses who think that just because they know a little bit about some obscure topic, anyone who doesn't is a lazy slacker. I don't have any need for asset tracking of this nature at the moment, but i found the topic interesting, and learned something from the few comments that have appeared so far. The politics and YRO topics bore me to tears. These topics are why I still bother to visit this site.

Re:To the toolboxes... (1)

Galestar (1473827) | more than 5 years ago | (#28775735)

The submitter should try a forum, this is a news site.

Re:To the toolboxes... (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28775859)

The submitter should try a forum, this is a news site.

Dear Slashdot Forum,

you're never going to believe this, but every word of it is true.

Last Tuesday, me and my network inventory specialist, I'll call her Sally, were managing a little inventory, if you get my drift, when our assistant IT admin Veronica walked in unannounced. Well, from there things got a little be continued....

Re:To the toolboxes... (2, Insightful)

EvanED (569694) | more than 5 years ago | (#28775883)

So you want the "Ask Slashdot" section dropped entirely? After all, none of them are really news.

Re:To the toolboxes... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28775945)

No it isn't, it's CmdrTaco's blog, and last time I checked Taco could put whatever the fuck he likes on it. If it is a pure news site, why do you think it has an 'Ask Slashdot' section? Fucking plebeian.

Re:To the toolboxes... (5, Insightful)

Bigjeff5 (1143585) | more than 5 years ago | (#28776251)

Or he could try the Ask Slashdot section.

Oh wait...

P.S.: Slashdot is not really a news site. It looks like it is, but it isn't. It's a news aggregation site who'd primary "feature" is the opinions of fellow slashdotters. Most news sites don't recieve or want comments on their stories. Slashdot does, and the entire site is built around facilitating that. Go check out a slashdot story sometime to see what I mean. There will be a 200 word summary post and 150 comments, most of them centered on three or four discussions. That's Slashdot's added value to the news they serve. Hell, half the time the news here is stone cold, broke out days weeks or months before Slashdot got ahold of it, but the discussions make it interesting.

Re:To the toolboxes... (2)

Archangel Michael (180766) | more than 5 years ago | (#28775953)

Your attitude does not fit in with the open source spirit that the readers of Slashdot enjoy being a part of.

Yes it does! NOW STFU RTFM N00b

Re:To the toolboxes... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28776025)

Hilarious. That's the open source spirit I recall so fondly. When we could be curmudgeons freely, without some young idealist wasting our time.

Re:To the toolboxes... (1)

mcrbids (148650) | more than 5 years ago | (#28775987)

It's easy to to tag "domyjobforme" because so many of the "Ask Slashdot" stories are just awful. There was one a day or so ago which was something like "I take my laptop places, and it might get stolen, how do I encrypt a disk with Windows XP" which could have been answered in .08 seconds a la Google. There was a clear winner that had high ratings, was open source, etc.

No, I'm not the tagging culprit that you speak of, but so often, you just think: WTF?

I'll agree with you on this point: sometimes there are so many options that it takes significant research to find something decent - the signal/noise ratio gets so low that it's just painful. This article is one of those, and even some of the comments don't provide all that much help, one of these could be summarized: "I made my own. It was easy because I'm l337. You can't have a copy".

Re:To the toolboxes... (2, Insightful)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 5 years ago | (#28776081)

I welcome these "obvious" Ask Slashdot articles. They are what enables me to convince my employer that slashdot is a work resource that needs to be whitelisted.

Not really... but in case I hear those dreaded words ("What is") come review time... I'll have some defensive ammunition.

Re:To the toolboxes... (5, Funny)

onkelonkel (560274) | more than 5 years ago | (#28776171)

There is a right way and a wrong way to ask for help in an open source forum.

Wrong way..

Q. How do I get my HP all-in-one printer to work in Red Hat?
A. STFU Noob. RTFM.....

Right Way..

Q. Red Hat Sucks. It won't even print to my HP all-in one printer. I'm going to install Windows XP. At least it works.
A. Oh my god, don't do that. All you need to do is edit foobar.print.cfg and change edrtflg$ = 0 ...PM me if you need any more help...

Re:To the toolboxes... (1)

Sir_Lewk (967686) | more than 5 years ago | (#28776211)

Your attitude does not fit in with the open source spirit

Wait, what does software licensing have to do with getting annoyed at gits who don't know their job?

Open-AudIT (3, Informative)

bman1978 (983407) | more than 5 years ago | (#28775649)

Open-AudIT is pretty good for cross platform but it doesn't cover all of your requirements. I'm yet to find anything that is an IP database plus complete system inventory. Open-AudIT is very good at the inventory side. I run it in Windows since I was trying to replace TrackIT. There's a Linux agent and it'd be pretty easy to customize it for other OSes. It does licensing as well. Want to know how many computers have Office and what version? Who has outdated Antivirus? It even gives you license keys used. Getting it up and running with XAMPP for Windows is quick for testing. I haven't used it as much on the server side. We use IBM Director for that.

Asset Tracker for RT a toolkit? (2, Informative)

falzbro (468756) | more than 5 years ago | (#28775657)

Your description of AT is completely off. I'm an active user of RT and Asset Tracker (AT). It's not a toolkit at all, it's a clean modification that adds an 'Assets' link in the nav bar where you hold assets. From there you create and manage custom fields and custom field values from within the standard locations of RT. At no point must you know a URL to do anything in RT or AT. There are simple or complex searches, linking assets to others (depends on, requires, etc) is simply typing a few letters into a box to search on, then choose the appropriate action from a dropdown box.

Unfortunately there have been no releases of AT in a while, but it still cleanly applies even to the latest version of RT. It does have a new home for its code on google code [] and is getting updates, just not a new release for a few years.

LanSweeper (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28775659)

Network stats plus metrics (OS, CPU, RAM) for every machine you run the client on.

I'd avoid Kbox (1)

Pvt_Ryan (1102363) | more than 5 years ago | (#28775685)

we use it and to say I am less than impressed would be an understatement. It is slow, goes offline for an hour each day and isn't overly cheap.

Sounds like you want LAN Desk (1)

vertinox (846076) | more than 5 years ago | (#28775689)

But expect to pay a pretty penny for it [] .

The application does more than remote control system, it can also do inventory scans of software and hardware.

Beyond that you got me...

Nagios? (4, Interesting)

Darth_brooks (180756) | more than 5 years ago | (#28775715)

Nagios? For asset tracking? "I was trying to check my e-mail using using apache, and it just wasn't living up to my expectations at all...." I guess when all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail. [] does a nice job of tracking on the windows side. Set up xampp, unzip the contents of the openaudit zip file into the htdocs directory, visit the side, move on with your life. Open Audit as a project is a little hackish and informal for my tastes, but it does pass the JFW (just fucking works) test. Tracks assets, installed software, license keys. It's just a PHP frontend for WMI results, so if WMI is acting funny, then open audit will be funny too. I also doubt it'll do much for network device inventory other than identifying approximately what the device is. (Printers show up ok, I doubt switches or routers will appear as anything other than "other".)

My suggestion for integrating Nagios would be to set an action URL for each of your hosts that in turn points to the Open Audit page for that particular host, unless you're already using the action URL for PNP (and if you're not, you should be for some of your hosts.)

Re:Nagios? (1)

Darth_brooks (180756) | more than 5 years ago | (#28775849)

forgot to mention, if you've got linux boxes, you can do inventory for those devices using the Hardware Abstraction Layer and an easily Cron'd script.

If you need the hardware actually inventoried... (1)

Associate (317603) | more than 5 years ago | (#28775745)

I need a job. Inventory is my background.

Why the hell would you prefer Perl and C over Java (1)

Dr_Barnowl (709838) | more than 5 years ago | (#28775789)

Java is a walk in the park compared to these two to maintain...

Re:Why the hell would you prefer Perl and C over J (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28776151)

so you never tried, right?

Perl (0, Offtopic)

Krneki (1192201) | more than 5 years ago | (#28775799)

I cannot comment on this specific issue, but I use Perl to do all the repetitive queries and sort them into a file.
The file is then read by IIS and can be seen by typing http://servername/ or just servername in the browser.
IIS is setup to display list.txt by default.

Few Suggestions / Comparison (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28775809)

Here is a comparison of a few products:,ultravnc,mikrotik-com

PHP + MySQL (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28775815)

For stuff like this where you want your own fields etc, really this is the best way. PHP and MySQL are extremely easy to pick up as you go along plus there isn't a lot of bloat involved and you can update it from where ever you may be at the time.

I tracked 300 PCs and all software (1)

mschuyler (197441) | more than 5 years ago | (#28775855)

using a simple Access database for many years. One table for hardware, one for software, tied together. Every time I'd get a group of licenses for software I'd bang them in there, then gradually assign the software to machines. The software table had fields to invoice numbers and dates, so I could always prove, in an instant, that any given copy was legit.

The commercial stuff, especially for your size, is really overkill. I tried some over the years and they were just too complex for what is a fairly simple task.

for Data Centre kit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28775907)

Try Racktables [] . It s a nice system that allows you to lay out your racks, specify server types, interconnects, etc, and it has automated SNMP discovery for certain types of hardware. It could be better, but it does the job nicely for server racks. You could put your workstations into it, but it's less suited for that.

Spiceworks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28775957)

We use spiceworks.

Re:Spiceworks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28776123)

+1 for Spiceworks, tracks anything with an IP. No client side install needed.

Back in my MS days.... (1)

gblfxt (931709) | more than 5 years ago | (#28775969)

We used MS Access and some scanners. I was in the TSG (Trade Show Group) division, and we had a lot of morons there. We processed hundreds of systems a day, and it seemed to work decent for that environment.

GLPI (1)

The Angry Mick (632931) | more than 5 years ago | (#28775983)

We've been using GLPI for several years now. It's web-based, customizable to a fair degree, and free.

Can be found here [] .

Re:GLPI (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28776839)

2nd the GLPI recommendation. It can be integrated with this product to do automated inventory reporting:

It collects all important data and syncs it to the GLPI system. We put together a JumpBox for GLPI with OCS pre-integrated. It's a special virtual machine that runs on every major type of virtualization and allows you to get started with it quickly. That can be found here:

Kwok and Open-AudIT (2, Informative)

Snowhare (263311) | more than 5 years ago | (#28775985)

I have found Open-AudIT [] to be a good tool for tracking the 'soft' side of the house with minimal pain while
Kwok Information Server [] was a better tool for tracking 'hard' assets. Both are open source.

What about Brage? (1)

ghstridr (974069) | more than 5 years ago | (#28775997)

Anybody been using it?

HP tooling. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28776035)

We use HP products here, not cheap though..

HP DDMi (Discovery and Dependency Mapping - Inventory), and HP uCMDB (DDMA) as the UCMDB.. The former just creates an inventory of all the network devices along with software (+ fingerprinting detection), the later gives you a topographical view of the network and shows you how the configuration items are related (for example, you can tell that this particular oracle server is used by X appservers, and by these N apps).

I-Doit (1)

Noctris (591045) | more than 5 years ago | (#28776055)

We use I-Doit. It's is intended as an itil library but they you can easily just use the asset management part. All the objects you name can be entered and interconnected (for example: interface eth0 on workstation A is connected through cable B with switch C on interface D of that switch.. And since it integrates with nagios (have not used that functionlity but many have) AND is standalone, i think it can fit your needs []

It's a nice tool

Might be overkill but... (1)

AdamWeeden (678591) | more than 5 years ago | (#28776065)

To do the same thing (and much more) in my position I use Symantec's Altiris [] product.

Re:Might be overkill but... (2, Interesting)

Bigjeff5 (1143585) | more than 5 years ago | (#28776435)

Oh god, not Altiris!

My company, a huge multinational company, recently switched to Altiris for inventory tracking, license management, and software delivery.

From what I can tell, on a global network with somewhere in the neighborhood of 500,000 machines, it's ok for inventory, great for controling licenses, and terrible at software delivery.

Using Altiris it takes upwards of ten times longer to install applications that reside on the same servers that our old in-house scripting team used. Servers didn't move, same applications, 10 times longer to install. Setting up an old user with a new machine can now take hours instead of a few minutes (I'm talking after the build up and profile transfer).

The problem may have been with the implimentation for our particular situation, the concept and feature list I think are brillient. That doesn't change the fact that the word Altiris makes me shudder involuntarily now.

Lucky for me, I moved to a different group and get to manage my own, separate internal network of about 400 machines.

shameless self-promotion (1)

jakepaulus (1506151) | more than 5 years ago | (#28776129)

We have had/do have similar issues and have not found a single solution. For windows host inventory, we're utilizing Microsoft Systems Center Configuration Manager [] (previously we were using System Management Server [] ) For network device inventory (managed routers and switches) we take a two-fold approach: Rancid [] for configuration (and therefor inventory) and NeDi for network discovery and inventory. For IP address Management we tried a few apps (phpIP [] and IPPlan [] ) but I found issues with i wrote my own and we use it now: Collate:Network [] . I had written something similar to Collate:Network for hardware/software/user-assignment management called Collate:Inventory [] but it never caught on so it mostly sits idle now waiting for someone to ask me to get off my butt and start adding new features. To a certain extend I think this mish-mash of tools works well for us. Each tool is good at what it does (at least the ones I work with are...i don't really use the Microsoft tools personally) and so we usually get what we want out of them. The problem we run into is that there are so many tools to manage that they sometimes don't get the attention they need to stay up-to-date on our environment...though i don't know if a single monolithic tool is the answer either.

This FP 7or GNAA (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28776191)


Simplest solution (0, Offtopic)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | more than 5 years ago | (#28776225)


I might get stoned for this. How About Novell ZAM (1)

calcutta001 (907416) | more than 5 years ago | (#28776239) []


Complete View of IT Assets
software license compliance
Elimination of manual tracking and inventory gathering
Change notification
custom reporting
Integrated Management
Automated discovery
Detailed software and hardware inventory
Software usage tracking
Contract management

Re:I might get stoned for this. How About Novell Z (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28776345)

Our School just installed the new Zenworks. It's done the job well so far.

Sometimes no good FOSS solution available. (1)

uslurper (459546) | more than 5 years ago | (#28776255)

Thanks for asking.. i am in a very similar situation. So far i have not found any free / open-source product that works as well as LogInventory, but for some reason the purchase on the credit card was not working. That was dissapointing. I'm OK with puchasing software that just fucking works rather than tinkering around with a free solution that doesnt.
The whole 'install on a web server' thing bugs me for things that should be desktop apps.
Some apps claimed to be free but then wanted you to sign up for services (WAAAY EXPENSIVE SERVICES)
That pissed me off.

I will have to check out GLPI or open-Audit and Kwok as suggested.. I will respond back after.

CMDB, i-doit (1)

omar_armas (633987) | more than 5 years ago | (#28776339)

Check [] , it works very well for me and is CMDB compatible. Omar

I rolled my own (1)

gestalt_n_pepper (991155) | more than 5 years ago | (#28776369)

It's a command line utility written in .net that cranks out system information into a comma delimited file on a shared directory on each machine. Have a batch file that copies the output to a single directory on my machine and merges the lot. I suppose I could tweak it to update an sql database and put together a nice front-end for others, but for my teeny 100 system kingdom, it's sufficient. Free too, since I wrote the thing.

Write your own (1)

HomelessInLaJolla (1026842) | more than 5 years ago | (#28776397)

If your employer does not allow you to spend the time learning how to design your own system, if the management is so incompetent that they do not have faith in the down the road benefits of such an important long term commitment, then you do not want to work for them. Period. No excuses. You should walk out the door this very moment.

OpenNMS (1)

scarolan (644274) | more than 5 years ago | (#28776421)

OpenNMS has fields for serial number, location, asset number, etc. etc.

Or if your hardware is all HP-branded you can use their free HP SIM software. We managed to get HP SIM to work with dell machines too, by loading up a custom SNMP MIB.

TrackIt! (1)

twistah (194990) | more than 5 years ago | (#28776433)

TrackIt! seems to be very popular with my clients, but it is a commercial tool and may be overkill for your needs. Still, it may be worth a look.

Anonymous Coward (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28776441)

works for us...

OCS Inventory (1)

ghodder (1602915) | more than 5 years ago | (#28776493)

I've been running OCS Inventory for about 4yrs now to track serial numbers of monitors, desktops and servers as well as hardware specs, installed software, Windows CD key, IP, username, etc.

Best part imo is you just install a small agent on each PC or server and it automates the data collection at configurable intervals. The back end is written in perl but uses PHP for management and MySQL for storage. It includes some general reports and a search function but I wrote a basic PHP script to allow me to search the database for a username and return the associated PC name so I can quickly VNC into users PCs when they call for help.

It can also integrate with GLPI to allow fine-grained tracking of printers, support tickets, repair history, consumables stock-on-hand, estimates of TCO, etc. []

Spiceworks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28776511) ...nuff said.

OpenNetAdmin IPAM + plugins (1)

hornet136 (1421335) | more than 5 years ago | (#28776529)

I'd suggest [] It is primarily an IPAM solution but also has plugins that allow you to track many asset related items. Things like Rack location, puppet "facts", and custom attributes all allow you to track and configure your environment. It features a nice AJAX enabled web front end as well as a full CLI interface as well for scripting/batch etc. More integrations to various tools like nagios, cacti, nmap, nessus, puppet, etc are in the works. Hope that helps.

Mod me down! Sharepoint! (2, Informative)

citylivin (1250770) | more than 5 years ago | (#28776539)

Surely i will be modded down for suggesting a microsoft solution, but your problem is pretty simple to solve with a sharepoint server. Its free (there is a pay version as well), and if you have office and don't mind using IE, it integrates nicely. Plays OK with firefox, just cant do some advanced editing (spreadsheet view, some imports). Sharepoint is a bitch sometimes as its a microsoft product and thus designed badly, but there is certainly alot of support out there in the form of plugins and templates. It has a wide install base.

With sharepoint, you are basically creating lists of things, and linking them together. I think it works pretty well for basic record keeping, athough it does involve alot of data entry. One bonus is if you have all your data in excel, the import process is very simple. I would imagine that is the case with all solutions you would be looking at though...

Another bonus is that if you are using active directory, it is very easy to roll a helpdesk system, intranet site, and wiki at the same time, all in the same framework. Users can submit tickets themselves with their active directoy logins, so no need to manage multiple credential stores.

It may not be the best, but if you need to do it cheap and want integration with windows domains, you cant really go wrong with sharepoint. (cue replies telling me how wrong their sharepoint install went :))

100 workstations and 40 servers? Spreadsheet (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28776603)

100 workstations and 40 servers? Spreadsheet.

Don't over complicate this until you need to.

When you have 200 workstations and have completed your virtualization consolidation project and are down to 8 servers, then you'll have time to worry about all this again.

Ask again in 3 years.

Network inventory management is network managemen (1)

BitZtream (692029) | more than 5 years ago | (#28776641)

This isn't a different subject than the regular once a month ask slashdot question, its just an indication that you aren't doing a very good job of network management in general and now you're trying to consider part of standard network management procedures to be something other than that.

HP NA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28776755)

Hewlett Packard Network Automation. Formerly Opsware NA. Also sold as Cisco NCM (Network Compliance Manager) is a full featured network management tool that should be able to do what you are looking for.

SpiceWorks is quite nice (1) (717341) | more than 5 years ago | (#28776859)

I recently got to know SpiceWorks and I am pretty impressed. I wonder why I haven't heard of it before, as it seems to be pretty mature (already on version 4). (I am in no way affiliated - just a happy user)

snmp and ldap (1)

pthreadunixman (1370403) | more than 5 years ago | (#28776947)

1. Install/Enable an snmp agent on all your devices. 2. Write a script to walk the network and poll the devices via snmp. 3. Write the information out to ieee802Device records using macAddress as the rdn. Extend the schema as necessary. You now have a low-maintenance and scalable inventory management system.
Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?