Network monitoring, Documentation and equipment Inventory

Hi everyone.

I've recently started at new place and inherited a bit of a mess. I'm in the process of cleaning up server and patch rooms.
Also i have no documentation, at least not the one i can use and no equipment inventory. I need to rebuild everything from scratch. I've already gathered some data cleaning one of the patch rooms. EI Port number corresponding ports on the switch or voice patch but i need to put it nicely together. So far i just have nice excel spreadsheet but i was thinking about doing it in MS visio . But i wanted to know what do you use or if you have any templates and what you use for network monitoring. I've installed zabbix on one of the VM's but just didn't have time to look into it and properly configure it.
Also we have plenty of workstations/screens/TVs/laptops/cameras/printers etc. need to put together a nice inventory. any suggestions what i can use for that ?






Are you a one person crew with no expectations of expanding?

How many endpoints do you have to manage?

Budget? Assuming as close to 0 as possible?

I am literally in almost the exact same situation at a new job I just started. I will be keeping an eye on this thread for any good advice or software solutions for inventory/network management. Thanks in advance everyone.

in the past I have used the following. all free and all decent.
ipplan and rackmonkey (sucked but worked and was free)
rack tables (decent inventory tracking and IPAM)

My new Fav free tool is "netbox"
It was released by a guy at digital ocean and is still being actively improved.
The only thing it lacks at current time for me is a simple way of doing VMs as containers to a cluster.

Have seen large company's use info blocks, but that's more DNS/IP tracking. (Expensive)

For monitoring I have used the following.
Cacti for network and system snmp.
nagios core, great for custom scripts.
Monitis for external connection monitoring.
smokeping for simple stuff.

So It's a 3 men team now. I'm the most recent addition. The problem is that there were few changes office moves and obviously cables were left tangled.
The manager of this place left couple years ago and it was ran by My current manager(wasn't in management positing) and another person that (few changed over past few years.)
Because it's quite busy with students around and they are constantly getting more and more students they only got time to deal with day to day stuff and not much time for and upgrades and cleaning up.
Documentation wasn't maintained byt the previous manager so until now they just got by.

As i mention they were getting more busy so now hired me. I'm dealing with mixture of day to day ID 10T errors and rebuilding everything.
At the moment there is not students so we all have time to get it going with upgrades and cleaning up.
We have replaced switches 2 months ago, 2 weeks ago I've thrown away entire skip worth of electronic shit, last week we got 2 new firewalls.
Now I'm working on cleaning up all patch rooms and doing documentation while my manager my other college deal with server and backup server upgrade.
By the end of next week i need to have inventory of all computers and laptops to follow at some point with everything else.

Seeing time and resouces are an issue.
The tool @willrun4fun linked looks good.

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Just to reiterate my suggestion that I posted on the other thread, if you're in a situation where you can start tracking assets (servers, laptops, monitors, etc...) do it before it gets out of hand! Snipe IT is your friend in this instance.

It's a bit of a headache to start using when you've got a bunch of inventory, but once you're up and running with it, you'll be happy you stuck with it.

As far a Documentation goes, I would use either Atlassian Confluence (if you've got the cash for it) or just run a mediawiki installation. They'll both achieve the same goal.

The problem I see with lansweeper is it really only auto-tracks things it can find. I like to take a manual inventory and as things are changed, I manually update it in the system because otherwise things slip through the tracks.


Thanks for all replies. Snipe It is very nice and I've got netbox running as well.
Can anyone also recommend good management tool? Something i can scan workstations, apply windows patches and install and updated 3rd party applications.

I've come across OCS Inventory but i had some difficulty installing and configuring it.

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Just to add to above. We have redhat server running LDAP and Samba acting as AD controller.
Workstations are Windows 7, Few Windows 10

For windows?

I'd recommend using WSUS and Windows Deployment Services. (if I remember it integrates with AD)

I'm not a Windows admin though, so maybe someone can verify that this is still a good option.

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Yes, that was my thought but the only windows server we use is the Win2k12r2 as our KMS server and if we would install WSUS we would have to but additional User access licences. Also WSUS does only windows updates not 3rd party applications ;/
However it turns out i don't need that kind of software anymore because we have already got a licence.
We are using ESET as antivirus but its also endpoint management so i can manage patches and updates and deploy software. I simply didn't know we have it because previous manager didn't get around to actually to install management console properly!
This place is a mess but I'm getting there! Soon everything will be running as it should.

Ah, I'm not really knowledgeable about how microsoft licensing bullshit works. That's why I use Linux. The license goes as follows: It's free.

Story of my life. I've been fighting against docker and VMWare for the last year or two at my company and we're slowly pushing the barbarians back.

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One day, I dream of a workplace free of regressive changes and licensing tyranny.

I dream of a day that employees will work in an environment where they can make API calls, not based on the size of their wallet, but by the content of their environment variables. I have a dream today.

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___Amen ___!