I’m going to start this list of tools that really help me improving my daily work with two (not so little) programs that really save you hours if you are administrating more then 10 machines. OCS Inventory and GLPI. These are two web-based programs (based on PHP+Apache+Mysql, so really easy to deploy) that can do almost all the dirty work of inventoring, organizing and managing your IT infrastructure.
OCS Inventory, with its agents, it’s the heart of the system: you have to install an agent on every machine you want to inventor (and you can do it with automated scripting even on Windows!) and this agent will recollect every bit of hardwar/software information on that computer and store it in OCS Invetory database. Now, firing up the web based interface, you can review all the data collected directly in OCS Inventory, although it’s a bit rough and not very user friendly. But the most important task of OCS inventory is not displaying data, but to collect it. Ihave inventored Windows XP, Windows Vista, every flavour of Linux, FreeBSD, OSX etc. And when you need to manage all this data…
…enter GLPI. GLPI is really thinked towards sysadmins/helpdesk which have to know everything about the hardware park they are managing. It sports a relatively simple user interface, a very very rich feature set and can “suck” all the data from OCS Inventory, in an automated form. GLPI is really amazing, if you are thinking about a feature you would need in this kind of programs, GLPI got it. Searches based on hardware data like MAC address? Got it. Software management so you can keep track in every moment of where you have put that particular Photoshop license? Got it. Contracts/warranties management, with integrated reminders? Got it.
You should definitely check these softwares out, they will make your life easier, granted!