How do I manage the the configurations of 30 computers?

By jon ·
I have a small company with about 30 computers and 5 servers on our LAN. We are finding it impossible to keep up with which computer is where, what the configuration is for a particular PC, etc. We constantly "shift" the computers around to put the higher performing computers into the spots that demand the higher computing power. The result is that we don't know which computers have:

- licensed MS Office,
- dual headed video cards,
- had the virus protection upgraded,
- what the IP address is,
- at least 4gb RAM, etc,etc,etc.

Is there a utility that would allow me to sit at my desk (or even physically go to each PC) and get a complete hardware and software status of each computer? I'd like to build a database of pertinent detailed info. Any Suggestions?

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by Andrew Marr In reply to How do I manage the the c ...

How are these servers configured?

How have you named your workstations? This is the first key thing - name them consistantly. When they are named you can easily manage any given system. Manage those assets!

For 30 systems you may opt to create a db manually but there are plenty applications which you can load onto a server that can get most of these details, and much more.

Perhaps google network inventory - there are both commercial and free applications that can create such inventories for you and even detailed reports of applications, configuration, policy, performance and much more.

Sit at your desk and relax - as long as they are on your network and powered on you shouldn't have many issues as a domain administrator.

Not too sure if products get mentioned by name in such discussions here so I am initially avoiding any name dropping.

IP addresses - are they dynamic or static? You can easily idenitfy an IP at any time when you know the computer name (ping command e.g. ping computer_name)

Hope this helps to start out - post any further questions to help channel the response you need

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by Andrew Marr In reply to How do I manage the the c ...

Duplicated. Please ignore.

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All windows shop ?

by grassiap In reply to How do I manage the the c ...

I think there are quite a few inventory capabilities built in windows server (assuming you do have a domain controller).
If not I have successfully used munin (hosted on sourceforge) although I find the windows client installation a bit too involved. It also requires a linux server (can probably go away with a virtual machine on a non overwhelmed server)

I've not used it but open-audit ( seems quite ok with your scenario
Finally nagios is a great great solution but is probably overkill for your scenario.

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by mdrider In reply to How do I manage the the c ...

I've just started dabbling with it but I believe SpiceWorks will do much of what you're looking for. You may also want to consider the cost (your time and user interruption) involved in moving computers around and spend a few extra dollars when you purchase computers so there is less need to move them.

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Easily manage the configurations in your small network

by atsmar In reply to How do I manage the the c ...

First, I'd install UltraVNC. It's a remote support tool that's free and works on all Microsoft OS's. Next, I'd install Belarc. It's a free PC audit tool that interrogates and lists everything you'd want to know about any given PC. It will give you a complete rundown of all hardware and software (license keys included) on that computer and would provide you with the hard data to "true up" with Microsoft as far as licensing goes.

I agree with the above posts in that you should establish a naming convention and stick with it. Also, from your main Active Directory server you can find out all kinds of things about your network. From IP addresses to DNS hosts names to Forward and Reverse Lookup Zones etc.

If you want to get fancy with it you can purchase an inventory platform such as Dell|KACE's KBox, or Kaseya or SpiceWorks.

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just do it!

by CG IT In reply to How do I manage the the c ...

go around to each computer and get the data you need....

then start doing some reading on managing computers... I'd say try microsoft technet for microsoft products.

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