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Computer Inventory Software for automatic data gathering

Dmitriy Stepanov

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Sooner or later, every organization faces with necessity of creating computer inventory reports on hardware and software installed. Creating dozens of reports manually is very time consuming and requires a lot of patience. Imagine a network with hundreds of computers and other network devices. The manual computer inventory procedure would take a few weeks or even longer.

In this case, the dedicated network computer inventory software for automatic data gathering and creating reports has a lot of advantages over the standard manual inventory process. Let’s review them in details:

1. The actual inventory information is obtained remotely from network computers. Thanks to the computer inventory programs available on the market, all the inventory information on installed hardware and software is gathered in a few seconds or minutes (depending on the number of machines to be polled on your network) without necessity to visit each workstation or server and review what is installed on it. All you need is administrator rights on the network computers.

2. Easy and handy access to the hardware configurations of computers allows planning hardware upgrades, finding computers with insufficient amount of memory, etc. The collected statistic information allows you to predict the cost of upgrading and maintaining all the computers on the network with high accuracy.

3. Some computer inventory software can record a history log for each PC being inventoried. This log is based on repeated computer scanning and comparing the scans. So, an automatic inventory program can track and log changes in hardware and software on computers displaying a full list of changed items. The most advanced programs can even notify an IT admin about the changes via email and send daily reports. This allows preventing the equipment theft by users or replacing hardware parts. In addition, the history log helps to track the movement of office equipment.

4. Good inventory software will update the inventory data repeatedly on a scheduled basis absolutely automatically. So, the data will always be fresh and updated.

5. All computer inventory programse are packed with dozens of ready-to-use report templates. IT administrator will not have to spend much time and efforts on creating hardware and software reports.
The remote computer inventory scanning is often based on the client-server technology with the mandatory installation of specialized software on target machines. It is loaded into the memory every time a PC starts, and collects the required data when it receives a command from the inventory database server or when it is started using its own internal cycles.

Some inventory programs are able to poll data without installing anything on remote machines. In such cases, the inventory information is gathered via the WMI technology.
Usually, the inventory software is not very demanding for resources, but they can have a significant impact on the CPU load. On low-end and old slow machines, it is recommended to run the inventory procedures using a scheduled start-up on idle time.

Employing an automatic computer inventory system gives a quite noticeable economic benefit. It saves a lot of IT administrator’s time allowing him to solve more important issues related to the network operation, such as, optimizing and upgrading the system. In addition, IT managers can always generate the latest reports on computers’ state and configuration, watch for the inventory changes, plan upgrades and annual budget expenses. Therefore, as any automation process, the computer inventory software will significantly increase the efficiency of the entire organization.


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