Best Practices

Asset Inventory

 An up-to-date inventory of hardware and software assets is vital for decisions on upgrades and purchases, tracking warranty status, troubleshooting and security. 

Network assets can range from high-end routers, switches, servers, hosts and firewalls to the applications, services, operating systems and other software assets deployed in your network. An up-to-date inventory of hardware and software assets is vital for decisions on upgrades and purchases, tracking warranty status, troubleshooting and security. Additionally, comprehensive inventories are required for complying with regulations, including FISMA, SOX, PCI DSS and HIPAA. Given the size of modern networks, it is best practice that the asset inventory process be automated to save time and ensure accuracy.

Automating Asset Inventory

Some network management software solutions can discover, map network assets and create inventories that automatically update to reflect changes in device configuration and status, and present the information to the administrator through well-organized views and comprehensive reports. 

What's important is that the tools work across a variety of technologies and protocols—ARP, SNMP, SSH, Virtual Infrastructure Management, IP addressing, ICMP, LLDP, WMI and Telnet—to automatically discover, locate and collect comprehensive device information across routers, printers, switches, servers and firewalls. The asset information that needs to be collected includes:

  • manufacturer/model
  • ID
  • serial number
  • hardware/software and firmware versions
  • chassis ID
  • module inventory
  • information about device hardware such as power supplies and fans

 

Ipswitch WhatsUp Gold automates this process and can categorize devices from a wide variety of vendors including Cisco, Foundry, HP, Nortel, 3COM, Extreme, Dell, Net gear, DLINK and VMware among others, making it an ideal tool to discover and draw up the network inventory for heterogeneous networks.

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