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TOPIC: Managing devices from different vendors

Managing devices from different vendors 8 years 7 months ago #34804

  • skylimit
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Hi All,

I was just wondering how people keep an inventory of devices from different vendors such as Dell, Cisco,etc.

At work I use a spreadsheet to hold various bits of information by noting them down for instance before they are installed.

Cisco routers, switches, etc - running IOS version, model, End of life/support, etc

Dell servers, SANs, etc - BIOS version, model, firmware version etc

Is there a way to sort of interrogate these devices on the network and retrieve this information, and store them somewhere other than a spreadsheet as they tend to grow pretty quickly? What tools (free or paid for) do people use?

Any contributions would be appreciated.

Much Thanks

PS. I believe SNMP can be used for Cisco devices and perhaps Dell ones as well, but then how do you store the info you get back
" are never too old to learn" anon

Re: Managing devices from different vendors 8 years 7 months ago #34808

  • Nevins
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There are no network tools that are good enough to possibly get all of the information required to manage IT equipment because some things simply don't feed the info you need via a networking protocol like SNMP.

Create a table in access so an entry form can store the following data as you buy parts:

(keep in mind this is just a basis form you can add/remove fields as you see fit.

Create a table for part data

(note: this can contain whatever information you deem in order to keep track of parts)

The next part requires some personal research based on your personal ideas but basically create a 1 form for entry of new products, 1 form for product details and a database management form. Now I realize this is absolute overkill but back when I was working I used a system I created much like this and next to the personal label printer that I had it was king shit for keeping track of parts.

One other thing you may want to add is a print setting for a bar code off the entry ID field so you can take a netbook attached to a usb $50 scanner and scan a part as you do upkeep or change a location or add a software.

I admit the entire process is more complicated that I made it out to be but explaining access is a pain in the ass.
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Re: Managing devices from different vendors 8 years 7 months ago #34813

There does exist inventory software that does all this for you, but I'm not familiar with any to give you deep insight.

Network monitoring systems naturally collect data about the systems that they monitor. Depending on the monitoring system, it may give you the ability to run reports on the data that it collects. We use Zenoss at work to monitor some of our systems and some of it's built-in reports will display the server names and hardware. Zenoss also collects IOS version and such and the reports functionality allows you to create new reports (in case you want the IOS captured), but I couldn't figure out how to do that.

The benefit here is that you get an NMS and somewhat OK reporting that isn't manual. Dedicated inventory software may just gather inventory, but probably more detailed inventory.
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