Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Ipmonitor, spiceworks, and vendor maintenance

I'm happy that solarwinds has released a major upgrade to ipmonitor. Too bad they didn't notify me my maintenance expired about a month ago. I'm renewing it now, and looking forward to v10. This product is excellent, cheap, and does a great job with agentless monitoring. You can also tweak it to monitor pretty much anything as needed. Such a good deal for a great all around product.

Speaking of maintenance, I also just investigated and found out that our F5 Big-IP maintenance expired in April. Glad we have a HA pair in case of issues in the next little while, but I don't understand why vendors and resellers don't keep on top of customers. It's essentially free money they aren't going to get if they don't chase folks about it.

Vendors who do a good job with maintenance:

  • IBM
  • Oracle
  • Sybase
  • HP Software
  • Cisco

Vendors who are horrible with maintenance in my experience:

  • HP hardware
  • Dell
  • F5

What cisco does that's really cool is they integrate maintenance into other tools so when you have inventory such as HP Network Automation System (Formerly opsware nas) as well as Cisco's own Ciscoworks.

Another thing we do because we are cheap and love good free software is we leverage this awesome product called Spiceworks. I can't believe what you can do with the product, we've been using it for over a year now, and it's completely free:

  1. System inventory
  2. Hardware details and changes
  3. Software installs and changes
  4. Up/down monitoring
  5. Event log monitoring
  6. Disk monitoring (only used as a blanket monitor, non production)
  7. Exchange monitoring
  8. Antivirus definitions monitoring
  9. Active Directory integration
  10. Interface graphing (firewalls, routers, switches)
  11. Network mapping (relationships of devices and switches)

Its very easy to find a users system based on the login, its very easy to see changes in software and hardware, its also easy using this script:

http://community.spiceworks.com/how_to/show/197

This awesome script populates the inventory with the warranty expiration on dell devices. (including servers, printers, switches, desktops, and laptops)

Right now we have 5 collectors feeding one instance, so I can do global scanning and aggregate the results in a single repository.

5 comments:

Angela Bull Radoff said...

It would be awesome if there was a centralized service I could sign-up for that monitored all software and hardware licenses and maintenance stuff from vendor companies then just notified me. I too have had minor crises when something wasn't renewed. I hate having to keep track of zillions of vendors and licenses. Why hasn't some smart company started to handle this. They could probably make good income just picking up a share of that "free money" the hardware and software companies are leaving on the table.

jkowall said...

Normally a good reseller would handle such notifications since they get a cut on the commissions. The problem I have is that none of mine have ever done a good job with that up until this point. Part of the problem is also that companies store the individuals name who made the purchase, and when they leave the company the data doesn't get delivered. I keep trying to get them to use my group email address, some vendors do this, while others do not. Pretty annoying to handle when I have this many vendors.

Zeid said...

I hope they let you renew your maintenance.

I think having maintenance integrated into the products is a good idea.

I'll having to bring this up at our next meeting. :)

jkowall said...

Yeah they all handled it, but it would be a good feature to have in the product. The helpdesk system we use JIRA does that well.

akp982 said...

If you can make it or know someone who can, Spiceworld London ( http://www.spiceworld2009.com/london/ ) will be a great event to learn more about Spiceworks and meet up with some people.

It will also be the first place to get 4.5 training.

It will hopefully also been streamed so you maybe able to watch it where ever you are in the world.

There will be memebers of the Spiceworks team as well as lots of members of the community.

It will be a great day followed by hopefully a great afterparty.