Network Inventory Software – Key Component of IT Management Toolkit

A corporate computer infrastructure consists of many components working together to provide business with various IT tools and services. It includes servers, desktops and laptops hardware, operation systems, business applications and networking infrastructure, which allows combining all the components into one corporate network. An IT infrastructure is a critical part of almost every company, thus its health should be monitored in the 24/7 mode to prevent problems and standstills whose cost can be too high for a business. Using network inventory software enables IT departments to get detailed information about every component of the computer infrastructure in order to detect and resolve problems quickly and eliminate possible risks for the future.

Advantages of automatic network inventory
Information about software and hardware environment for every computer in the network is often referred to as the network inventory database. Network administrators can create it by auditing every PC manually, but if there are more than five computers in the network, it makes sense to use inventory software to save time and effort. Network audit software allows collecting detailed information about each and every PC into a centralized database within only a few minutes. Depending on the application used, the network audit can be performed in an automatic or semi-automatic mode. Best inventory software offers agent-less audit – it means that no manual agent installation on every PC is required to collect inventory information. It significantly simplifies the process, because in order to collect inventory information from remote PCs, administrators only have to have an administrative access to them though a local network.

What are the benefits of having a centralized database with inventory information? Depending on the tool used for the audit, you may collect very detailed information about every software and hardware asset. For instance, you can get information about the CPU, memory, motherboard, graphic card and other hardware devices. This information is important for hardware upgrades, because it lets you know, for example, which PCs have an old-generation graphic card, or how many free memory slots are available on the server to install additional memory. All low-level information is available too, so you can check the serial numbers of the hardware assets and their specifications if you need it.

An inventory database is incomplete without software inventory information, thus, it should also be extracted from remote PCs in the scope of network audit scanning. The information collected includes a list of applications installed on every PC. This list isn’t something extraordinary if it’s generated for a single PCs, but an aggregated report for the entire network gives you important information on how many times every application is installed across the network. You can compare this information with your licensing records to see how many free licenses for every application you have. Additionally, you may scan the hard drives of the network computers for not licensed or not authorized content, for example, to detect movie or music files.

Network inventory software stores hundreds of entries for every computer, so having an effective reporting system is important to organize all that data. The reporting tool allows tracking asset changes, generating summary reports based on high-level information and creating customized inventory reports. Such reports may help you to quickly detect and resolve problems with remote PCs. For example, you can quickly find all the PCs running low on their hard drive space or the PCs where the latest OS patches have not been installed.