Knowing accurately what hardware and software you have installed across your IT estate is vital in being able to manage things properly. That is why good IT asset discovery is essential for software asset management (SAM). Although this is a statement of the obvious, you would be surprised at how many organizations are operating with an inaccurate and incomplete inventory of all their IT assets.
When they then buy a software asset management (SAM) solution that utilizes this inaccurate and incomplete inventory (and views it as the single source of the truth) it is no wonder problems occur. Typically, Microsoft Active Directory (AD) is used as the basis for these SAM tools’ work and an agent will then be deployed to the listed devices for inventory purposes.
While this may provide accurate SAM information for a smaller organization who is able to keep their AD current, this can prove a challenge for larger ones where their AD may not be up-to-date. Everything from not picking up new devices to failing to remove dead ones is going to cause you problems with your SAM going forward.
Outside of this, AD does not find things like Linux/UNIX boxes, DMZ, Apple Macs and anything in a workgroup or other domain. So, not only is the AD information likely to be incorrect, it is also incomplete as a view of all your IT assets.
Building SAM on solid foundations
So, rather than depend on such uncertain data to base their SAM activities on, why do organizations not seek to verify their IT asset data independently? The answer is simple – it is difficult and time consuming without the right tool.
We recognized this when we first developed the AssetStudio SAM suite products. And so, unlike nearly every other SAM solution, we have invested (and continue to invest) significantly in their powerful and independent IT asset discovery capabilities. This ensures that it will provide you with the most complete and accurate inventory of all your IT assets.
And by assets, I do not just means PCs and servers. The AssetStudio SAM suite products will accurately discover everything attached to your network (including printers, switches and IoT devices) and provide rich and insightful information (down to printer ink levels and CPU types). It will even allow you to cater for those computers you may have that are not normally connected to a network.
With this information, you can be sure that all your SAM work is built on solid foundations.
You need the right connections
So, what makes the the AssetStudio SAM suite discovery capabilities unique and so comprehensive? The answer lies in our unique 3 stage approach that will obtain data from multiple sources using various non-intrusive, low business impact techniques that will provide a normalized view of all your connected (and even disconnected) devices.
Critically, all this information is stored in a single database, giving you a central store of all IT asset information that can be interrogated and business information retrieved easily and quickly. This means you will have a comprehensive database of all the devices you will need to manage.
Now you have a comprehensive inventory of everything with a presence on your network. This will contain information from AD as well as discovered data allowing AssetStudio to automatically cross check and normalize the data.
AssetStudio will remove any potential duplicates and will also highlight those items that may reside within AD, but were not discovered by any other method, and so no longer actually exist on the network.
Once the list has been automatically normalized by AssetStudio, you will now be at the point where most other SAM tools come in, i.e. deploy the agent to get detailed software and hardware information. The difference with our approach though is you can be sure that you are applying the agents to everything you have, rather than a best guess.
So, if you really want to find out what is out there and verify that it exists, then you need to take a close look at the AssetStudio SAM suite products now.