What is Software Network Inventory?
Software network inventory is a process of identifying and documenting all of the software applications that are installed and running on a network. This includes both commercial and custom software, as well as operating systems, databases, and middleware.
Why is Software Network Inventory Important?
Software network inventory is important for a number of reasons, including:
- Security: Having a complete and accurate inventory of all software on a network can help organizations to identify and mitigate security risks. For example, if an organization knows that it has a certain application installed on its network, it can more easily patch that application if a vulnerability is discovered.
- Compliance: Many organizations are required to comply with industry regulations or government standards that require them to have an inventory of all software on their networks. For example, the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) requires organizations to have an inventory of all software that is installed on systems that process credit card data.
- Asset management: Software network inventory can help organizations to track and manage their software assets. This can help organizations to ensure that they are using the latest versions of software and that they are not paying for software that they are not using.
- Troubleshooting: Software network inventory can help organizations to troubleshoot network problems. For example, if an organization is experiencing performance problems with a particular application, it can check its software inventory to see if the application is installed on multiple servers. If it is, the organization may be able to resolve the problem by load balancing the application traffic across multiple servers.
How to Perform a Software Network Inventory
There are a number of different ways to perform a software network inventory. One common approach is to use a network management tool. Network management tools typically provide a variety of features for managing networks, including software inventory.
Another approach to performing a software network inventory is to use a manual process. This involves manually checking each system on the network to identify the installed software. This can be a time-consuming process, but it may be necessary for organizations that do not have a network management tool.
What to Include in a Software Network Inventory
A software network inventory should include the following information for each software application:
- Application name: The name of the software application.
- Version: The version of the software application.
- Publisher: The publisher of the software application.
- Install date: The date on which the software application was installed.
- System: The system on which the software application is installed.
In addition to this basic information, organizations may also want to include additional information in their software network inventory, such as:
- License information: The license information for the software application, such as the number of licenses that the organization owns and the expiration date of the licenses.
- Support information: The support information for the software application, such as the contact information for the vendor or the support website.
- Notes: Any additional notes about the software application, such as whether it is critical to the organization’s business or whether it has any known security vulnerabilities.
Best Practices for Software Network Inventory
There are a number of best practices that organizations can follow when performing software network inventory, including:
- Use a consistent naming convention: Organizations should use a consistent naming convention for all of their software applications. This will make it easier to track and manage the software inventory.
- Update the inventory regularly: Organizations should update their software inventory regularly to ensure that it is accurate. This is especially important for organizations that install new software frequently.
- Store the inventory in a secure location: Organizations should store their software inventory in a secure location. This will help to protect the inventory from unauthorized access or modification.
Network inventory open source
There are several open source network inventory software options available. Here are some of the most popular ones:
- Kuwaiba: This is an open source, enterprise-grade network inventory and CMDB for telecommunications and IT infrastructure.
- Open-AudIT: This is an application that tells you exactly what is on your network, how it is configured, and when it changes. Open-AudIT will run on Windows and Linux systems. Essentially, Open-AudIT is a database of information that can be queried via a web interface. Data about the network is inserted via a Bash Script (Linux) or VBScript (Windows). The entire application is written in PHP, Bash, and VBScript. These are all ‘scripting’ languages – no compiling and human-readable source code. Making changes and customizations is both quick and easy.
- NetBox: This is an open source web application designed to help manage and document computer networks. Initially conceived by the network engineering team at DigitalOcean, NetBox was developed specifically to address the needs of network and infrastructure engineers.
- Ralph: This is a simple yet full-featured asset management, DCIM, and CMDB system for data centers and back offices. It is an open source project that is actively maintained and developed.
- OCS Inventory NG: This is an open source computer and network inventory and IT asset management system that collects and reports hardware and software information from all networked devices.
- GLPI: This is a free and open source IT asset management, issue tracking system, and service desk solution. It is designed to help you manage your IT infrastructure and assets.
- Snipe-IT: This is a free, open source IT asset management system that helps you manage assets, software licenses, accessories, components, and consumables within your organization.
- LibreNMS: This is a free and open source auto-discovering network monitoring system that can monitor a wide range of devices and services.
- RackTables: This is a free and open source data center asset management system that helps document hardware assets, network addresses, space in racks, and networks configuration.
These open source network inventory software options can help you manage and document your IT infrastructure and assets without the need for expensive proprietary software.
Software network inventory is an important process for organizations of all sizes. By having a complete and accurate inventory of all software on their networks, organizations can improve their security, compliance, asset management, and troubleshooting capabilities.
SEO Tips for Software Network Inventory
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