Network Inventory Tools

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Network inventory tools are software applications designed to help organizations manage and maintain an inventory of their network assets. These tools provide a centralized database or repository where information about network devices, software applications, and configurations can be stored and accessed. They typically offer features such as automated discovery, inventory tracking, device monitoring, and reporting.

Here are a few popular network inventory tools:

  1. SolarWinds Network Configuration Manager
  2. ManageEngine OpManager
  3. Spiceworks Network Inventory
  4. Lansweeper
  5. Snipe-IT
  6. Device42
  7. NetBrain
  8. Zabbix
  9. Nmap (Network Mapper)
  10. Cisco Network Assistant

1. SolarWinds Network Configuration Manager:

SolarWinds offers a comprehensive suite of network management tools, including Network Configuration Manager. It provides features like automated network discovery, configuration backup and change management, compliance auditing, and real-time network monitoring.

Key features:

  • Automatic device discovery
  • Takes an image of device settings
  • Lets you set a standard configuration for each device make and model
  • Stops images
  • Automatically erases unauthorized configuration changes

2. ManageEngine OpManager:

OpManager by ManageEngine is a network monitoring and management tool that includes network inventory capabilities. It offers automated device discovery, inventory tracking, network mapping, performance monitoring, and alerting.

Key features:

  • Autodiscovery
  • Network inventory and topology mapping
  • Constant monitoring

3. Spiceworks Network Inventory:

Spiceworks offers a free network inventory tool that scans your network and provides detailed information about network devices, software applications, and hardware configurations. It also includes features like network monitoring, help desk ticketing, and community-based support.

Key features:

  • Automated Network Discovery: Spiceworks Network Inventory scans your network automatically to discover and identify devices connected to the network. It detects both physical and virtual devices, including computers, servers, switches, routers, printers, and more.
  • Inventory Tracking: The tool provides a centralized repository to track and manage inventory information. It gathers detailed data about each network device, such as hardware specifications, installed software, serial numbers, IP addresses, and warranty details.
  • Software Inventory: Spiceworks Network Inventory identifies and records information about the software applications installed on network devices. It helps in tracking software licenses, monitoring software versions, and identifying potential security vulnerabilities.

4. Lansweeper:

Lansweeper is a comprehensive network inventory and asset management tool. It scans your network to gather information about hardware, software, and users and provides detailed reports on inventory, licensing, and compliance. It also integrates with other IT management systems.

Key features:

  • Network Discovery and Inventory: Lansweeper scans your network to discover and inventory all connected devices, including computers, servers, network devices, printers, virtual machines, and more. It provides detailed information about each device, such as hardware specifications, installed software, and network configurations.
  • Software Inventory and License Management: The tool tracks installed software applications on network devices and provide insights into software usage and licensing compliance. It helps you manage software licenses, track software versions, and identify unauthorized or outdated software.
  • Hardware Inventory and Asset Management: Lansweeper gathers comprehensive hardware information for each device, including manufacturer details, model numbers, serial numbers, and warranty information. It helps in tracking and managing IT assets effectively.

5. Snipe-IT:

Snipe-IT is an open-source asset and inventory management system that can be used to manage network assets as well. It allows you to track network devices, assign ownership, record purchase details, and generate reports on inventory status.

Key features:

  • Asset Tracking: Snipe-IT allows you to track various types of assets, including network devices, computers, mobile devices, and other IT equipment. It enables you to record detailed information about each asset, such as serial numbers, purchase dates, warranty details, and assigned users or locations.
  • Customizable Asset Fields: The tool provides the flexibility to create custom fields and attributes for assets, allowing you to capture specific information that is relevant to your organization’s needs. You can define custom fields to track additional details, such as network configurations, device specifications, or maintenance history.
  • Check-in/Check-out: Snipe-IT facilitates the check-in and check-out process for assets. It allows you to assign assets to specific users or locations and track their movements over time. This feature is useful for managing asset availability, ensuring accountability, and tracking asset utilization.

6. Device42:

Device42 is an all-in-one IT infrastructure management solution that includes network inventory capabilities. It offers automatic network discovery, dependency mapping, asset tracking, IP address management, and integration with other IT systems.

Key features:

  • Network Discovery and Mapping: Device42 provides automated network discovery, allowing you to scan and map your entire network infrastructure. It discovers network devices, servers, switches, routers, and other connected assets, providing a comprehensive view of your network topology.
  • IP Address Management (IPAM): The tool includes IPAM capabilities, allowing you to efficiently manage IP address assignments and allocations. It helps track IP address usage, identify conflicts, and streamline IP address management processes.
  • Asset Inventory and Tracking: Device42 enables you to maintain a centralized repository of your IT assets. You can record detailed information about devices, including hardware specifications, software versions, warranty details, and relationships between assets. It helps in tracking asset lifecycles, optimizing asset utilization, and planning for hardware upgrades.

7. NetBrain:

NetBrain is a network automation and management platform that provides a range of features to simplify and enhance network operations.

Key features:

  • Network Mapping and Visualization: NetBrain automatically maps and visualizes your network infrastructure, providing a comprehensive view of your network topology, including devices, links, and dependencies. It helps in understanding the network layout, identifying potential issues, and visualizing complex network architectures.
  • Automated Network Documentation: The tool automatically generates up-to-date network documentation, including detailed device configurations, diagrams, and network policies. It eliminates the need for manual documentation efforts, ensuring accurate and readily available network documentation.
  • Network Troubleshooting and Diagnostics: NetBrain provides advanced network troubleshooting capabilities. It allows you to visualize the path between devices, analyze routing and switching protocols, and identify performance bottlenecks. The tool provides deep insights into network behavior, enabling quick and effective troubleshooting.

8. Zabbix:

A powerful network monitoring and management tool that includes network inventory capabilities, along with monitoring, alerting, and reporting features.

Key features:

  • Real-time Monitoring: Zabbix provides real-time monitoring capabilities to track the status and performance of network devices, servers, applications, and other IT infrastructure components. It collects data on metrics such as CPU usage, network traffic, memory utilization, and response times.
  • Flexible Data Collection: Zabbix supports various methods for data collection, including agent-based monitoring, SNMP (Simple Network Management Protocol), JMX (Java Management Extensions), IPMI (Intelligent Platform Management Interface), and custom scripts. It allows for monitoring diverse types of devices and applications.
  • Alerting and Notifications: Zabbix offers robust alerting and notification features. It allows you to set up thresholds and triggers based on specific conditions and send notifications via email, SMS, or other methods when an issue or anomaly is detected. This enables timely response to critical events.

9. Nmap (Network Mapper):

A popular open-source network scanning tool that can be used for network inventory purposes by scanning and identifying network devices and services.

Key features:

  • Automated network discovery: It automatically scans the network environment to detect connected components.
  • Visual topology maps: It creates rich visual maps to investigate topology layouts and correlations.
  • Support for diverse network components: It has detected hundreds of thousands of machines till date, underscoring its wide compatibility.
  • Graphical user interface: It has a GUI interface called Zenmap, that runs on Linux, Windows, Mac OS X, Berkeley Software Distribution (BSD), and other operating systems.
  • Inventory reports: It assembles detailed network inventories for report and analysis.

10. Cisco Network Assistant:

Specifically designed for Cisco network devices, this tool provides network inventory management, configuration backup, and monitoring capabilities.

Key features:

  • Automated network discovery: It conducts auto-discovery to surface and display network information in a topology map.
  • Visual topology maps: It generates simple network visualizations, with drag-and-drop features and front panel views of devices, clusters, and stacks.
  • Support for diverse network components: It supports all switches, routers, wireless controllers, and access points in the Cisco portfolio.
  • Graphical user interface: It has an intuitive GUI and a task-based menu that is easy to use for small to mid-sized businesses.
  • Inventory reports: It provides daily inventory reports and health monitoring updates, with optional integration for Cisco Active Advisor.
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