Open Source Solutions for IT Asset Management

Effectively documenting and maintaining IT inventory can be a daunting challenge for organizations of all sizes. Even large enterprises often resort to using spreadsheets as a makeshift solution, lacking a dedicated IT Asset Management or Configuration Management Database (CMDB) system.

However, relying on spreadsheets can lead to inefficiencies, inaccuracies, and difficulties in scaling as the organization grows. Thankfully, there are several open source IT Asset Management and inventory solutions available that are specifically designed to address these challenges and add value to organizations at a low financial cost. In this article, we will explore a selection of these open source solutions.

GLPI is a comprehensive open source IT asset management and service desk solution aligned to the ITIL framework. It offers extensive features such as inventory management, contract and financial management, license tracking, and problem and change management.

Detailed hardware and software inventory information of computers can be collected via an agent deployed to the device. The agent can also be configured to discover and inventory network devices using the SNMP protocol. Inventoried items can be linked to Users, Documents, Contracts, Suppliers or Service Desk tickets and can maintain a detailed history of a device throughout its service lifetime.

Snipe-IT is a sleek and modern open source asset management system. It provides features for tracking assets, managing licenses, and generating reports. Snipe-IT’s intuitive interface, customizable fields, and support for barcode scanning make it a user-friendly option. At this time, the developers have chosen not to develop an agent for automated inventory/discovery of assets but there is a RESTful API provided that could be used to integrate an existing agent. There is also the capability to import inventory information from csv files.

OCSInventory continues to be a widely used open source inventory and deployment tool. It offers automatic discovery of IT assets, software and hardware inventory, and remote deployment capabilities. OCSInventory’s lightweight agent and efficient network scanning make it suitable for large-scale deployments. It also supports integration with other management systems including GLPI, CMDBuild and iTop.

By design, OCSInventory focuses on automated inventory collection as well as the ability to deploy software to endpoints and it excels in this capacity, giving a very useful view of inventory at a point in time. However, it does not have as many features as some other systems for tracking the history of an asset over it’s lifetime. In this respect it is somewhat geared towards use cases where if collects inventory on behalf of another tool or where the current state of the inventory is more important than the changes over time.

Ralph is an open source asset management system focused on managing physical assets. It provides features for tracking hardware components, managing warranties, and visualizing asset relationships. Ralph’s clean interface, API support, and customizable workflows make it a preferred choice for organizations looking to manage their physical assets effectively.

Open-AudIT is an open source network inventory and asset management tool. It provides features for network discovery, hardware and software inventory, and license management. Open-AudIT’s web-based interface, scheduled audits, and powerful search capabilities make it an efficient solution for tracking IT assets in complex network environments.

RackTables is an open source asset management system designed for data centers and server rooms. It allows organizations to track hardware and network assets, manage IP addresses, and visualize rack layouts. RackTables’ flexible data model, graphical representation of racks, and support for custom fields make it a suitable choice for organizations with extensive physical infrastructure.

NetBox is an open source infrastructure resource modeling and asset management system. It provides features for tracking and managing network devices, IP addresses, racks, and virtual machines. NetBox’s intuitive interface, RESTful API, and IP address management capabilities make it suitable for organizations with complex network infrastructure requirements.

CMDBuild is an open source configuration management database (CMDB) solution. It enables organizations to track and manage the configuration items (CIs) within their IT infrastructure. CMDBuild offers features such as CI lifecycle management, relationship mapping, and change management. Its flexible data model and workflow engine make it a suitable choice for organizations aiming to establish an efficient CMDB.

In conclusion, the realm of open source IT asset management solutions offers organizations a wide range of options to effectively manage their IT inventory. Each solution presents its unique strengths and capabilities, catering to specific use cases and organizational requirements.

When selecting an open source IT asset management solution, carefully assess your organization’s specific needs, scalability requirements, ease of use, customization options, and community support. By making an informed choice, you can adopt a solution that aligns with your goals and optimizes your IT asset management processes, enhancing efficiency and minimizing costs.