The Five Facts You Need to Know About Network Hardware Inventory

Published: 20th February 2012
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Every computer have a dozen of components including a CPU, memory, motherboard, hard drives, graphic card and connected devices such as a monitor, keyboard, mouse, etc. All these components have their own model names, vendor info, serial numbers and specifications depending on a device type. If you try to put detailed information about a computer on paper, you need at least one page for every PC. For large organizations hardware audit reports can consist of thousands of pages, that's why IT professionals are looking for effective ways to manage hardware inventory information.

The fact #1: Hardware audit is important for a company of any size

If you think that hardware audit is only important for a large business, you are wrong. Just imagine situation when one of your PCs in a small office is crashed with a hardware problem and you need to detect which component caused the problem and should be replaced. You know that you should have a similar hardware configuration on other PCs and need to find the identical hardware component to try and replace the broken one. It will be an easy task if you have a hardware asset management database that can report PCs where a required hardware component is installed.

The fact #2: Hardware inventory info is useful only when it's updated regularly

In very common case IT staff uses hardware inventory information that was created when computers were ordered. It seems to be a good idea to create a hardware asset management database step-by-step, i.e. add information about a PC and all it's components when it's ordered. But is it right that this database is updated every time when changes are performed? Using the previous example when a hardware part is damaged, it should be replaced. Hardware vendors update their product lines few times per year, so in a typical case hardware components are replaced by new models with new characteristics. If all these updates aren't properly handled, after some time a hardware inventory database becomes out-of-date. In large organizations that have many computers and many people in IT staff it's really hard to organize regular updates of hardware inventory information. Only automatic inventory solutions can handle it effectively.

The fact #3: You have to use a hardware inventory solution in order to collect and store audit info

There are a lot of benefits of using a hardware inventory software. First of all, it can perform hardware audits automatically. Hardware inventory software can collect detailed information about all hardware components from all computers connected to a local network. Even in large networks an automatic audit can take few hours instead of weeks required for manual audit. Also inventory software can collect much more information then it's available for a manual audit. It includes detailed specification for every component, serial numbers and other information reported by operation systems through specialized interfaces. Also it's possible to connect a dynamic data, such as a used and free memory capacity, that can be used for analyzing problems and planning upgrades. Finally, all information is stored in a centralized database, so you can find required data quickly and you always have an access to up-to-date information.

The fact #4: Hardware inventory tools are easier to manage than you may think

Hardware inventory tools become much easier now then they were before. You don't need to have a deal with writing a running scripts to collect inventory information. Instead you can run a program that perform all tasks for you and represent collected information on a screen and generate inventory reports for you. You only have to ensure that you have an administrative access to collect information from remote PC and set administrative credentials in the inventory tool. In most cases that's all configuration steps you need to perform.

The fact #5: Hardware asset management solution will pay for itself within a year or less

When you start using a hardware inventory software, you will quickly realize that it becomes one of your favorite administrative tools that is used every day. Using it you can always know a configuration of every PC and can prepare hardware inventory reports in just few minutes. You can provide users with a better support, because you know configuration of their computers. Automatic inventory solution can help you to control a situation and prevent particular problem, for example identify PCs with a lack of memory or a free space on HDD. Finally you can make more effective hardware upgrades because you have information about all hardware used in scope of entire organization. You can save a lot of efforts and money for your company, so good inventory solution can pay for itself really quickly.

Learn more about the topic discussed in this article on the specialized website about hardware inventory. There you can find articles are advices about hardware inventory best practices and using hardware audit tools.



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