chapter  35

Inventory — Cornerstone Technology for Managing the Network

WithRoy Rezac

Inventory is the cornerstone of any effective network management solution. Without an accurate inventory of network systems and components there is no way to manage a network efficiently, regardless of the size. Downsizing trends and headcount capping procedures have forced many administrators to support more end users than ever before. The core of many network management problems is the lack of detailed knowledge about the network and how it changes over time. Understanding hardware, software, and configuration details of every PC in project managers network lets they plan for inevitable product upgrades, and obsolescence, ensures corporate standards are maintained, and simplifies system maintenance. An inventory program should collect information about every networked system regardless of platform or specific server configuration to include both hardware and software data collection and store this data in an easy-to-use, centrally located database. Purchasing an inventory program from a supplier who will keep the product updated to support new hardware and software platforms is essential.