As a small business grows, computers and software get added to a network and before you realise it you’ve got a whole collection of equipment that you can’t keep track of. If you’re the type who’s always systematic and beautifully organised, you may have kept a log of all purchases and installations, but even the most OCD of us eventually reach a point where it becomes incredibly difficult to keep track of everything. It’s time to inventory your network.
Which is where a network inventory tool comes in handy.
I did a bit of research and found that NEWT Professional (by Komodolabs) was a great match for our needs. It’s free for up to 25 computers, and mind numbingly quick and easy to use. Within minutes, I had a complete database of all the hardware and software on our network, which could then be exported in a myriad of formats to suit your requirements. I personally loved being able to export to a Microsoft Access database, but equally helpful is Excel and CSV formats.
There are a range of other similar audit/inventory tools, such as Spiceworks’ Free Software Inventory Management & Audit Tool, or Lansweeper, but I found NEWT to be so fast, easy, and thorough. By the end of a quick scan, I had a list of motherboards, CPUs, RAM, video adapters, hard disk drives, Windows version including all the service packs and updates that had been installed on each computer, and all the software (including version numbers) that was installed on each system.
Now I know exactly how many copies of software we’ve installed on our network, and the system configurations of each of our computers.
We’d be interested to hear how you inventory your network – please leave your comments!Tags: audit, inspect, network inventory, NEWT, software