Scanning MACs with Spiceworks

Here at Savannah Christian Church, we use Spiceworks (www.spiceworks.com) for our IT Inventory and Help Desk database.  We’ve been using it for about a year now, and it works great.  Spiceworks has the ability to scan Windows via Windows Accounts and/or Domain Accounts; MAC/Unix/Lunix via SSH; and Network hardware via SNMP.  Until recently, we just used Spiceworks to scan for our PCs and network gear.   We have finally got around to looking at what it takes to scan our MACs, and found that it was really straight forward.  If you are using Spiceworks (or thinking of using Spiceworks), here are the steps we took for scanning our MACs.  Your MAC will need to be atleast OS X.

Configuring Spiceworks:

  • Open Spiceworks and go to Settings
  • Click Network Scan
  • Scroll down to Manage Network Accounts.
  • Click Add and add an SSH account. (Note: You will need to add this username and password to all of your MACs.)
  • Scroll back up and edit your Device/Range that you use to scan your network.
  • Where it says SSH, use the drop down to select the Account that you just created.

Configuring the MAC:

  • Click the Apple icon and go to System Preferences
  • Click Sharing under Internet and Network
  • Check Remote Login
  • At the top of that page, make sure that your “Computer Name” is alpha-numeric and does not have any special characters or spaces (not even hyphens or underscores).
  • Go back to System Preferences and click Network.
  • Be sure that both your AirPort (if applicable) and Ethernet have the WINS (under Advanced) NetBios name show the same as the computer name.
  • Apply your settings.
  • If you don’t already have an account that is the same on all the MACs (it doesn’t have to be what they use to log in, but something like a local admin account), then go to Accounts and create one for each MAC (be sure to use the same user name and password).  This will be the same account name and password Spiceworks will use to scan the MACs via SSH.

Once you’ve completed these steps you can run your Spiceworks Network Scan and it will pick up your MACs, and populate all the data as it does for PC.  Very cool!

Spiceworks 3.1 Update Now Available

Spiceworks 3.1 update is now available and it has fixed the duplicate records that I blogged about not long ago.

In April, we implemented Spiceworks for Network Inventory and Monitoring.  We have it scan twice per day, so we are able to see the most current data.  With the release of Spiceworks 3.0, we implemented Help Desk and use it to track all Help Desk Tickets.  I have setup Spiceworks on it’s own Virtual Server, and have created multiple Admin Accounts for myself and IT Staff.

For Help Desk, we have two options for our users to send in a help desk ticket.  First, they can send an email to our Help Desk email account.  Spiceworks checks this account every 1 minute and will pull any new tickets into the help desk dashboard.  Once we receive the ticket, we can assign it to one of our IT staff.  Within the dashboard, we can continue a conversation with the employee (which emails them our comments) and keep the work flow in place.  As long as the employee doesn’t change the subject, it will keep the work flow going.  The second option we have put in place is the Intranet Web Portal.  Our users can log into spiceworks through the web portal that is located on our Intranet and they can create a new ticket, and see opened and closed tickets as well.  One great feature is that you can associate the ticket with the computer name, and can see a list of all tickets that have been requested against that particular machine to see reoccurring issues and such.

These are just a few of the many things we use Spiceworks for.  I highly recommend Spiceworks as your Network Inventory, Monitoring, and Help Desk solution.  You can’t beat the price either, free!  Thanks Spiceworks!

Spiceworks 3.0 Duplicates

We’ve been using Spiceworks since the first of April and really like it.  If you haven’t heard of Spiceworks, ITChurch.com has great review.

Has anyone performed an upgrade to Spiceworks 3.0 from 2.0 and are now experiencing duplicates?  Before the upgrade, our Inventory was accurate with about 160 workstations.  It now shows over 230 workstation.  When I look at the workstations, some duplicates have the same name,  but different SN’s (one will be correct, the other will show the computer name for the SN).  Then, other duplicates will show ws01 for one computer name, and then ws01.domain.com for the name on the other.  I’ve posted in the Spiceworks Support, but haven’t gotten anything back yet.  When I delete the duplicates, it picks them right back up in the next scan.

We are using the Help Desk feature, and have manually input a lot of info and notes, so starting from scratch is something we are trying to stay away from.

How is your Spiceworks upgrade going?

UPDATE: Duplicates have been fixed with the release of Spiceworks 3.1!  Yeah!

SpiceWorks 3.0 is here!

The latest version of SpiceWorks, 3.0, is here! There are many improvements and I’m looking forward to upgrading our SpiceWorks Virtual Server soon. We have been using it for a few months now and really like it! I’ll do a blog on our SpiceWorks experience and setup soon.

http://spiceworks.com/