Inventory software on Linux

Inventory

For hardware inventory in Windows systems, opsi uses Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI) and reads the client software from the registry. On Linux, the software data is read from the distribution's package manager. Hardware inventory relies on boot image methods.

Functions

Like i-doit, opsi is also based on the ITIL standard and offers further options that go far beyond the actual inventory process: They include automated operating system installation, patch management, software deployment, and – as an add-on – user profile management. A software inventory feature rounds off the package. Cofunded extensions are EUR2,200 (~$2,300) each, license management and an Nagios integrated agent can be added to the software. An image backup routine is also available as a cofunded option for about the same price.

The opsi interface provides all the necessary information in different tabs; groups, directories, and clients are visualized in a list view on the left in the program window. Context-sensitive information is available in the right panel of the window. A reporting function queries the acquired inventory data, sorted by category, and processes the data. A CSV converter is also in place (Figure 4).

Figure 4: Opsi neatly groups data in tabs.

Open-AudIT

From Australia's Opmantek [15], Open-AudIT is one of the less well known IT inventory solution packages in Europe. The program requires a LAMP environment on Linux – as do both the other packages discussed in this article – and is available as an installation script of 35MB, which you can download from the Internet.

Like the other inventory programs, Open-AudIT will not currently run on Ubuntu 16.04 LTS (Xenial Xerus), because it is designed for PHP 5.x. Moreover, Open-AudIT requires a 64-bit operating system. In our lab, I was able to install Open-AudIT on Ubuntu derivatives such as Zorin OS 9.0, however. To use the web interface, make sure that the browser supports HTML5.

In addition to the community version, which only has a basic feature set and does not include any support, there is also an Enterprise variant, which is designed for organizations of various sizes depending on the subscription model. Customers also have access to commercial support service in the Enterprise version.

The prices for the Enterprise versions vary, as a function of the number of node objects, between $250 per year (up to 100 nodes) and $800 per year for a maximum of 500 nodes (US$). For large companies with an even larger infrastructure, individual packages can be put together on request. Node means a complete device, such as a workstation, but not a single component, such as a hard disk or a processor.

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