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IT Inventory and Resource Management with OCS Inventory NG 1.02

Book Description

Eliminate inventorying dilemmas by implementing a free and feasible IT Inventory solution

  • Understand and implement an IT Inventory and Resource Management solution and learn the necessary know-how in simple terms

  • Reduce unnecessary paper-work by centralizing the asset management

  • Audit installed software and track software licenses seamlessly just with a few clicks

  • Manage multiple office locations from a central place—get a bird's eye view

  • Follows a step-by-step approach visually aided with screenshots and diagrams

  • In Detail

    OCS Inventory NG is a cross-platform, open-source inventory and asset management solution. It brings more than plentiful features to the table to satisfy the business needs of small-to-large organizations with up to tens of thousands of computers. However, to put this inventory solution to optimum use requires a lot of skill.

    This book will lead you through the steps of implementing OCS-NG until you master working with it. This book aims at reducing efforts involved in resource management. The solution gives a robust foundation on top of which we can implement other third party applications, plugins, and much more.

    This book begins with the basics—it explains what IT inventorying needs are to be met in the real-world. Then, it covers a step-by-step approach to everything you need to know to set up and implement OCS-NG as a centralized inventory solution to meet all these requirements. It delves deeper into carrying out inventory tasks with every chapter.

    You will learn how to choose the best agent type and deployment method. We discuss the process of gathering inventory data and cover techniques for creating and deploying packages. You will also learn how to acquire added benefits with the use of plugins. We discuss best practices on inventorying and troubleshooting agent-related problems. The book presents real-world inventorying scenarios along with their solutions. You will basically learn how to use OCS-NG to get the most out of it.

    As a conclusion, if you want to learn about a free solution that fulfils inventorying necessities of the real-world, this is the book for you.

    A practical guide on how to set up, configure, and work with OCS Inventory NG- a cross-platform, open-source inventory solution

    Table of Contents

    1. IT Inventory and Resource Management with OCS Inventory NG 1.02
      1. IT Inventory and Resource Management with OCS Inventory NG 1.02
      2. Credits
      3. About the Author
      4. Acknowledgement
      5. About the Reviewer
      6. Preface
        1. What this book covers
        2. What you need for this book
        3. Who this book is for
        4. Conventions
        5. Reader feedback
          1. Errata
          2. Piracy
          3. Questions
      7. 1. Introduction to IT Inventory and Resource Management
        1. Inventorying requirements in the real world
          1. A feasible solution to avoid inevitable havoc
          2. Streamlining software auditing and license management
          3. More uses of an integrated IT inventory solution
          4. Gathering relevant inventory information
          5. Overall inventory demands to enhance usability
        2. Centralization: Introducing the client-server model
          1. Example of the client-server model—an Internet forum
          2. The client-server model versus the peer-to-peer paradigm
            1. IT inventorying based on the client-server model
        3. How does OCS Inventory NG meet our needs?
          1. Brief overview on OCS Inventory NG's architecture
          2. Rough performance evaluation of OCS-NG
          3. Meeting our inventory demands
          4. Set of functions and what it brings to the table
            1. Taking a glance at the OCS-NG web interface
            2. An incentive on functionalities
        4. Summary
      8. 2. Setting up an OCS Inventory NG Management Server
        1. Getting ready for the OCS-NG installation
        2. Setting up prerequisite software on Linux flavors
          1. Demystifying package management
            1. The everlasting dilemma of solving dependency hell
          2. Getting familiar with your distribution's package manager
            1. Yum on RPM-based Linux distributions
            2. APT and Aptitude/Synaptic on Debian and its derivates
              1. Emerge and Portage, the heart of Gentoo Linux
        3. Installing Apache, MySQL, and PHP/Perl on Linux systems
          1. Installing the AMP stack with yum
          2. Installing AMP stack with apt
          3. Installing AMP stack with emerge on Gentoo
          4. Installing the AMP stack with an XAMPP precompiled package
        4. Setting up the necessary modules on Linux systems
        5. Setting up the OCS-NG management server on Linux operating systems
          1. Installing OCS-NG server via an RPM package
          2. Installing OCS-NG server via installation script
            1. Downloading and extracting the OCS-NG server package
            2. Running the installation script and checking prerequisites
            3. The real work behind the scenes of the script
        6. Setting up the OCS-NG management server on Windows operating systems
          1. XAMPP for Windows, the warm-up stage
            1. Warning: XAMPP 1.6.8-1.7.1—a known issue and solution
          2. Launching the OCS-NG integrated installation
        7. A pragmatic look at initial configuration
        8. Summary
      9. 3. The Zen of Agent Deployment
        1. Behind the scenes: How agents earn their living
        2. Choosing the best agent type
          1. Demystifying the LocalSystem account of Windows OS
        3. Choosing the best deployment method
        4. Deploying agents on Windows operating systems
          1. Getting familiar with command-line arguments
          2. Manual installation strategies
          3. Using OcsLogon.exe to deploy via GPO or login scripts
            1. Using the packager to create the deployable agent
            2. Getting the agent package on the OCS-NG server
            3. Deployment via Active Directory GPOs
            4. Initiating deployment with OcsLogon.exe via login script
          4. Unattended installation via the PsExec.exe tool
        5. Deploying agents on Linux operating systems
          1. Installing agents on Linux with user interaction
          2. Installing agents on Linux without user interaction
        6. Deploying agents on Mac OS X operating systems
        7. Deploying agents on mobile devices
        8. Summary
      10. 4. Finding your Way through OCS-NG Features
        1. Getting familiar with the OCS-NG web interface
          1. Logging in
          2. Looking around and examining the view
          3. Elaborating the overview section of statistics
          4. Getting to know the blue query toolbar
            1. Understanding the first two queries
            2. Demystifying TAG-based repartitioning
            3. Understanding the other three queries
          5. Getting to know the administrative toolbar
        2. Preliminary configuration tips and best practices
          1. Explaining configuration parameters
        3. Maintaining a clean inventory: Solving common pitfalls and eliminating redundancies
        4. Implementing the Registry query function
        5. Uploading inventory data of hosts that are not networked
        6. Working with the inventory
        7. Summary
      11. 5. Investigating the Process of Gathering Inventory Data
        1. Going beyond the retrieval mechanism
        2. Using the IP Query function
        3. Summary
      12. 6. Package Deployment through OCS-NG
        1. Getting to know the package deployment function
        2. Creating a package: Step-by-step approach
        3. Server requirements for effortless deployment
        4. Package activation and going beyond deployment
        5. Affecting packages: Getting the packages through
        6. Managing the rules of affectations
        7. Securing the process with SSL certificates
          1. Working with self-signed certificates
          2. Working with PKIs that have certificate authority
          3. Getting the certificates deployed on agents
        8. Summary
      13. 7. Integrating OCS-NG with GLPI
        1. Introducing GLPI: IT asset management on steroids
        2. Getting familiar with the web interface of GLPI
        3. Setting up GLPI on top of our OCS-NG server
        4. Configuring GLPI to integrate with the OCS-NG mode
        5. Extending GLPI with plugins
        6. Using GLPI to track and manage inventory assets
        7. Carrying out administrative tasks with GLPI
        8. Generating reports and statistics with GLPI
        9. License tracking and software auditing with GLPI
        10. Helpdesk and issue tracking functions of GLPI
        11. Summary
      14. 8. Best Practices on Inventorying with OCS-NG
        1. Backing up and restoring the OCS-NG database
          1. Dumping the database with mysqldump
          2. Dumping the database with phpMyAdmin
          3. Restoring SQL dump files via MySQL's CLI
          4. Automating and scheduling dumping backups via scripts
            1. Adding the scheduled job into crontab on Linux OS
            2. Writing the batch script and adding into Windows Scheduler
        2. Tweaking the OCS-NG server for performance
        3. Useful scripts that make our everyday life easier
          1. Implementing PHP notification-sender scripts
          2. Extending OCS-NG inventory via .vbs scripts
          3. Uninstalling the OCS agent via batch script
        4. Best practices on retrieving model-specific data of various computer hardware components
          1. Retrieving model-specific data of HDDs
          2. Retrieving model-specific data of RAM memory modules
        5. Updating OCS-NG agents on clients (when needed)
          1. Updating the Windows agent
          2. Updating the UNIX agent
        6. Updating OCS-NG central server (when needed)
        7. Summary
      15. 9. Troubleshoot Confidently—Find Solutions and Workarounds
        1. Keeping an eye on the behavior of agents
          1. A closer look at the agent's logfile
        2. Troubleshooting problems related to agents
          1. Forcing an agent to report inventory
        3. Solving administration console-based issues
          1. Solving MySQL limitations the right way
          2. Solving PHP limitations the right way
        4. Identifying and fixing issues on the server backend
          1. Communication server fails to write a logfile on Linux
        5. Diagnosing uncommon pitfalls—asking for help
        6. Summary
      16. A. Keeping Pace with Version Updates—Glancing over the changelog of the Latest Release
        1. Analyzing the changelog