Today I finally got around to installing spiceworks. The spiceworks.com web site claims the software is an IT manager’s dream – asset management and help desk, all from a simple Windows PC.
The installation took all of five minutes to complete. I think the most difficult part of the install was figuring out if my machine was already running a web server, or if spiceworks could use the default port 80.
Once the program initialized, I was prompted to answer a few questions, then the program started probing my network for devices. Several devices were unreachable (due to firewall or permissions issues) , and spiceworks prompted me to manually login to each unreachable machine and manually hit the web server on my spiceworks PC.
In order for the firewall to allow access to spiceworks, I was instructed to execute
netsh firewall set service REMOTEADMIN enable
After executing the above command I was able to successfully inventory my firewalled machines.
I was very impressed with both the ease of use and functionality of the software. Many of the discovery, monitoring, and alerting items I have only seen previously in commercial (and expensive!) software.
If you’re looking for a help desk/asset management solution, give spiceworks a try.