Integration with Open Source Inventory Management Systems

]project-open[ can be integrated with various "Inventory Management" or "Asset Management" systems. These systems provide ]project-open[ with information about the hardware (PCs, servers, network equipment, ...) in the corporate network together with the software running on them. This information is important when managing incidents and [licenses].

The information about the software components running on a system frequently already includes the resolution of a problem and increases the first call incident resolution rate. It will in any way save time to the support team. Inventory and asset management systems frequently include mechanisms to "push" new software versions to the target computers and other mechanisms that can be used to fix the issue remotely.

Open Source Asset and Inventory Management Tools

The ]po[ staff has evaluated a number of open-source inventory management tools as candidates for an integration with ]po[:


Name
Support by Company
License
Inventory
Patch
Mgmt
]po[
Integration
GLPI and Fusion Inventory -
GPL V2
x
x
 
Mandriva Pulse
Mandriva S.A, Paris, France
GPL V2
x
x
 
OCS Inventory NG
FactorFX, Paris, France
GPL V2
x
x

Open-AudIT Opmantek, Queensland, Australia
Open source
x
   
Opsi UIB GmbH, Mainz, Germany
 AGPLv3
x
x
 

 

General Architecture

 The general architecture for an inventory management system consist of:

  • A Client (also called "Agent" or "Sensor"):
    A piece of software running on every PC or device to be inventorized and

  • A server:
    A central server typically backed by a database that collects the information from multiple clients and provides a Web GUI.

OCS Inventory NG

This is the oldest of the evaluated systems and is around since about 2001. It is the base of both Fusion Inventory agent and Mandriva Pulse. A ]project-open[ interface is available since 2009.

Support for OCS Inventory NG is available from FactorFX in French and English language. Most Web pages are translated to English, but some are only in French.

Installing OCS Inventory NG, we experienced a number of quirks and issues despite the age of the product.

GLPI and Fusion Inventory

Fusion Inventory only consists of an client ("agent") for collecting information. GLPI is a server component that can accept data from Fusion Inventory, so the two systems only make sense together.

The Fusion Inventory Agent is a fork of the OCS Inventory client, but has broken compatibility and can not be used with OCS Inventory NG anymore. 

Mandriva Pulse

Based on Fusion Inventory Agents, Mandriva has created a separate server back-end for collecting client data. The new server looks a lot better compared to OCS Inventory or GLPI, but does not yet support all functionality.

Opsi

Opsi calls itself a "client management system" as opposed to "inventory management system", stressing the software distribution and patch management functionality of the product.

Opsi comes in the base version with a plain file based storage back-end which scales to about 200 clients. After that, the company recommends an upgrade to a MySQL database server, which is not open-source.

UBI, the company behind Opsi offers a solid support package consisting.

All Web pages are available in both English and German.

Open-AudIT

Open-AudIT focuses more on the auditing and discovery part of networks, than to the distribution of software and patches to clients.



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