Weekly quickTIP

Dude, Where's My Devices?

More free tools that Greggo loves, from our generous and sharing readers.

Yes, Greg loves free tools as should you because, heck, they’re free! Continuing on from our first round of free tools last time are two more of the very best sent in by you our readers. Thanks a bunch to everyone that sent in your ideas.

The Dude (...man)
Responsibility is a heavy responsibility, man ... especially when it comes to the responsibility of network administration. Reader Bruce Brown reports on his friend The Dude Network Monitor, “[Its] documentation is pretty basic but functionality is rich and easy to learn. We gave up our high-cost commercial network monitoring product and are now using The Dude!”

Right on, man. With The Dude, you can discover and map numerous device types like routers, switches, servers and workstations. It even recognized my printer! SNMP capabilities are available for notification and alerting when network elements go down. And, features like Syslog and probing that come with the more expensive packages are all available.

You can get your own Dude at http://www.mikrotik.com/thedude.php.

Extra Spicy Help
Easily one of the most fully-featured tools of any sent in, Spiceworks is a surprisingly rich multi-platform suite of help desk and management tools that comes in a small, 6 MB package. This advertising-driven tool can discover the devices on your network and provide back inventory on their hardware and software, installed patches and lots of other useful bits. The interface is elegant and laid out with a lot of common sense.

Tech Help—Just An
E-Mail Away

Got a Windows, Exchange or virtualization question or need troubleshooting help? Or maybe you want a better explanation than provided in the manuals? Describe your dilemma in an e-mail to the MCPmag.com editors at editor@mcpmag.com; the best questions get answered in this column and garner the questioner with a nifty Redmond T-shirt.

When you send your questions, please include your full first and last name, location, certifications (if any) with your message. (If you prefer to remain anonymous, specify this in your message, but submit the requested information for verification purposes.)

But that’s not all. SpiceWorks bakes in all that data with a ready-built help desk ticketing system, remote control tools, automated reports and even alerting capabilities. All this for free? Yup, if you don’t mind the advertisements that flash by as you look through the management interface. Thanks to Matthew Hall for turning me onto this fascinating free tool for our smaller environments. Wow!

Spice up your network environment at http://www.spiceworks.com/.

About the Author

Greg Shields is Author Evangelist with PluralSight, and is a globally-recognized expert on systems management, virtualization, and cloud technologies. A multiple-year recipient of the Microsoft MVP, VMware vExpert, and Citrix CTP awards, Greg is a contributing editor for Redmond Magazine and Virtualization Review Magazine, and is a frequent speaker at IT conferences worldwide. Reach him on Twitter at @concentratedgreg.

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