IT and Business Insights for SMB Solution Providers

Spiceworks Ports Inventory App into the Cloud

Previously an exclusively on-premises application, Spiceworks Inventory is now available in a hosted edition as well. By James E. Gaskin

Spiceworks has introduced a new cloud-based edition of its Spiceworks Inventory application.

Unveiled this week at the SpiceWorld 2018 user conference in Austin, Texas, the cloud-based revision of the on-premises solution integrates with the cloud editions of Spiceworks Help Desk and Remote Support.

Brad Call, IT consultant at Internet IT Ltd., of Alberta, Canada, looks forward to the update, even though there are features in the on-premises version that are not yet in the cloud-based version. “This will let us monitor our clients through the cloud console rather than having to VPN to each client’s network,” he says.

According to Spiceworks Executive Director of Product Management Francois Caron, not all features of the original Spiceworks Inventory will be ported online. “About 50 percent of the features in the on-prem version made sense 12 years ago when we first wrote it, but don’t fit now. Those will not be added to the cloud version,” he says. “Full support for SNMP and client agents to get details like the levels of printer ink will be added soon. But don’t expect exact parity, because we are adding some features to the cloud version that will never be in the on-prem application.”

Currently, the cloud version of Spiceworks Inventory returns a device’s IP address, MAC address, manufacturer, and name. Any device on the network with an IP address will be queried and added to the console. Over time, the system continuously updates that information with hardware-related details about CPU, disk, and network components plus software-related details such as installation date and version. Reports will identify all operating systems belonging to profiled devices, including their end-of-life date.

According to Spiceworks, the system’s client agent software offers deeper information than SNMP provides.

Integration with other cloud-based Spiceworks applications is designed to make life easier for administrators, who will have access to help desk tickets, for example, from inside inventory records. Non-technical users, like a CFO in need of a list of assets for audit or compliance purposes, can be given administrator rights to the system as well.

“We got Spiceworks Inventory because we needed something better to track assets than what we had,” says Call. “The first thing we do with a new client is to do an inventory for asset discovery. As a consultant and kind-of MSP for some clients, running this as a cloud application is much more enticing.”

Spiceworks is adding artificial intelligence to Inventory to help power better decisions, said Manish Dixit, senior vice president of products and engineering, during a presentation at SpiceWorld. This improvement “puts Spiceworks in a unique position to predict the technology challenges businesses are facing and help them become more strategic about addressing the obstacles to success.”

For example, Spiceworks Inventory will be able to monitor a laptop’s end-of-life and recommend that it be upgraded, then link to comparable laptops advertised in the Spiceworks marketplace. Reviews from the Spiceworks tech community can be presented alongside the results.

“We’ll always be attached to Spiceworks because of the user community and the inventory application,” says Call.

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