Companies these days need to deal with and manage vast inventories of network and IT assets.
Keeping track of these assets, tagging them, and knowing their status at all times is essential to the operations of any modern company.
As you’d expect, this is a big job but network inventory software makes it a lot easier.
Knowing exactly your IT and network assets plays an important role in various aspects of the enterprise including economic, technical, security, operational etc.
If you are a tiny SOHO office with a few servers, a couple of network switches and routers etc, its easy to know exactly what you have connected to your network.
However, if you are a medium or larger company with a few hundred users or more, the situation can get out of control pretty fast.
Below I have compiled a list of some of the best network inventory software and tools to help you keep track of your network’s assets such as host computers, servers, network devices etc.
As one of the many free tools offered by Spiceworks, this inventory tool is robust and powerful. The fact is that many IT departments and professionals rely on the Spiceworks Inventory Tool to get their job done and keep on top of their network assets.
The software includes targeted advertising (from asset vendors) but it’s also relevant to those in the IT industry. It also keeps this great software free to use for an unlimited number of users.
Through one scan of an IP range, you can generate a report on anything including the number of users logged in and where, how many active printers are on the network, serial numbers of computer hosts, installed software on machines, details of network device nodes and much more. This data enables any IT professional to stay on top of his or her network inventory.
If you are facing a network audit for software licenses used in your network, this tool is the ideal companion.
It’s not free but it does feature a familiar Windows interface that allows easy navigation of all of the main functions.
When you need to know what software is installed on your workstations and what its license status is, this tool will get the job done quickly. It will quickly aggregate a software list using a database of hundreds of popular software products from 500 software vendors around the world.
It’s also easy to scan for hardware configurations such as CPU, RAM, machine info etc remotely. This however requires to configure an administrator user and password on the tool so that it can login to machines remotely for collecting all necessary info.
- 100 nodes: $289
- 200 nodes: $389
- Unlimited nodes: $1699
- There are also other license options available here
Being an open-source project, Open-AudIT is also free. It is cross-platform, working on both Windows and Linux systems. However, it’s also necessary to have some knowledge of either Bash script or VB script in order to use it.
The asset database of the tool is populated and data is inserted using the above mentioned scripts. Then, this database can be queried from a web interface in order to retrieve the asset information you want.
By querying the network the software will very quickly provide information on hardware, software, licenses, and whether any changes have been made to any network assets.
It can collect information such as IP and MAC addresses, serial numbers of devices, even which network ports are open in the network, something that you need specialized tools to carry out.
For anyone comfortable with either Bash or VB script, this tool is very fast to operate and effective.
Updating software and hardware assets can be a nightmare without an effective network management tool. When you need to know detailed information about user workstations including CPU, GPU, RAM, software version, antivirus version, and so on, Alchemy Lab makes it easy.
Alchemy Lab is Windows-only software but it only needs to be installed on one computer using administrator rights. It can then scan an IP range and gather all of the relevant asset information into a single database.
Total Network Inventory will work from a single machine and scan any other system on the network including Windows, OS X, Linux, FreeBSD, and Unix systems. Via an attractive and familiar interface, it’s easy to see all information at a glance and even generate detailed reports of network assets and their status.
It also provides real-time asset use including logged-in users as well as any changes to software or hardware. This makes it easy to detect an unauthorized software installation anywhere in the network.
You don’t need to install an agent to remote machines for collecting the asset info. You need however to know the administrator password which is used by the tool to login remotely and collect the device details.
Free for 60 days.
There are also various license options available such as:
- 25 nodes: $90
- 100 nodes: $290
- 500 nodes: $790
- Unlimited bodes: $2490
- Other license options here
It might sound like a game called Minesweeper but Lansweeper has nothing in common with it. Instead, Lansweeper can be installed on a single machine and then scan any asset that is connected to your network.
One of the strengths of Lansweeper is that it comes installed with 400 tailored network report templates. This allows an IT administrator to get easy access to one of many reports that show assets in a detailed way. Many of them provide excellent visuals and graphs, which makes it easy to visualize and use.
The tool claims that it can discover any environment and asset using its Deepscan engine technology. Everything from software, hardware and users can be discovered and stored in its database.
The four areas that Lansweeper promises to help you include Increased Visibility in the network, Boosting of productivity, enhanced security, and lowering costs.
Free for up to 100 assets.
The Enterprise license is $1 per asset per year.
EMCO provides award-winning network inventory software with a familiar Windows interface. It can work remotely from a single workstation to scan all connected assets and then store their details in a central database.
The tool can create 3 general inventory types, namely PC, Software, and Hardware inventories.
The most powerful capability of this tool is that you can identify anything installed on each PC, its hardware specs etc.
Also, it will help a lot when doing license auditing to verify that actual licenses purchased are same or not with installed licenses.
The is a Professional Edition and Enterprise Edition with various different prices according to the number of nodes in the network as described here.
The Manage Engine System Inventory Tool may not be as attractive as some other software but it features a simple interface that eschews clutter in favor of a Window Metro flat style that’s appealing in a minimalist way.
It is one of the few free network inventory tools and quickly generates reports in CSV format that can be printed or opened in software such as Excel.
This tool is focused on Windows environments and cooperates with the domain AD in order to log in to the domain with your admin credentials and retrieve asset information as necessary.
Network Asset Tracker Pro is a no-fuss approach to network inventory management and auditing that has a strength in speed.
This Windows program can very quickly and efficiently scan and audit an entire network in agentless mode and will allow the generation of detailed reports. Moreover, agent-based method of information gathering is also supported.
It will even provide a remote screenshot of a connected user so that issues can be identified.
The tool can be installed and run only on Windows operating systems.
There are both annual or lifetime licenses based on number of nodes in the network as shown here.
The IT Asset Tool is completely free software that’s ideal for small or medium-sized businesses. It will work in a client/server configuration for Windows network workgroups if needed.
One interesting feature is the scheduling of network scans. The reports can then be auto-generated and emailed as soon as they are complete to any number of people. This makes it very easy to stay on top of a network asset inventory.
It can even monitor running processes, analyze security events of machines, check services running, logged in users etc.
There is both a free version (which is pretty good) and also an Enterprise version which is around $80 per year (details here).
In modern enterprise networks, it’s important to remain on top of the IT infrastructure. This is where network inventory software can come in handy.
By providing detailed reports of such information as OS version, service pack installation, software, hardware, and changes to software, it’s entirely possible to accurately and quickly track the state of the IT network.
Having this information allows for easy system upgrades as well as a complete tracking solution for all of the assets in a specific IT network.
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