IT and Business Insights for SMB Solution Providers

Spiceworks Unveils New Networking Applications and Long-Term Vision

The five cloud-based applications introduced today are an early step in a broader campaign to simplify IT administration by more deeply integrating Spiceworks’ tools and community resources. By Rich Freeman

Spiceworks Inc. has rolled out five new cloud-based networking applications, as well as a long-term vision for its management solutions and other offerings. The announcements were made at the IT community and tools vendor’s annual SpiceWorld event, which is currently underway in Austin, Texas.

The new solutions, which are in various stages of development, beta testing, and general availability and will ultimately be free downloads for Spiceworks members, are designed to assist network technicians with five important tasks:

  • The IP Scanner solution collects identifying information about every device connected to an organization’s network. Administrators can use that data to build a network map, locate missing devices, or spot devices that shouldn’t be on the network.
  • The Internet Outage Heatmap system draws on crowdsourced information from Spiceworks members to identify ISP service interruptions and slowdowns. Color coding helps users quickly assess the severity and scale of those issues.
  • The Traceroute solution displays the connectivity path between a networked device and a server, application, cloud provider, or ISP. Administrators can use that information to troubleshoot performance issues or locate slow or broken connections. According to Spiceworks, the system uses an advanced protocol to avoid being blocked by firewalls like many other traceroute applications.
  • The Website Down Checker shows if an unavailable website is down for everyone or just on the end user’s network. In the latter case, it also helps identify potential causes for the problem.
  • The SSL Checker scans secured websites to ensure they’re following best practices and using up-to-date certificates.

All five offerings are stand-alone products at present, but Spiceworks plans to enhance their capabilities later by integrating them with one another.

“Our mission is simple—we want to make the lives of IT professionals easier by giving them the tools, resources, and information that radically simplify their day and helps them get their jobs done,” said Tabrez Syed, vice president of products at Spiceworks, in a press statement. “Our new networking applications will enable IT professionals to spend less time searching for the IT tools they need and more time focusing on strategic projects that help their organizations grow.”

Spiceworks described its five new tools as a kind of down payment on a vision for the future that it also unveiled today. The company plans to create a single, unified experience for members and deliver more relevant information to them faster by deepening the links between its expanding family of management systems and its IT professional community resources. The Spiceworks Network Monitor solution, for example, will someday point users trying to troubleshoot problems to related content in community member forums.

Over time, Spiceworks says, both its applications and community will automatically grow more effective at directing members to tools and information they’ll find valuable based on their past usage patterns.

“We’re in a unique position to tap into the collective knowledge and experiences of IT professionals to drive change in the industry,” said Jay Hallberg, co-founder and CEO of Spiceworks, in a separate press release. “We’ve helped millions of IT professionals get their jobs done, and in turn, they’re helping us build the network that will connect the industry in new, exciting ways. Over time, IT professionals should expect Spiceworks technologies to become more personalized, intelligent, and helpful as we simplify how they get their jobs done.”

This year’s SpiceWorld conference concludes tomorrow.

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