Browse Prior Art Database

Strategy for Collecting Software Inventory Information Across a Local Area Network

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000114361D
Original Publication Date: 1994-Dec-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Mar-28
Document File: 2 page(s) / 99K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Garrison, M: AUTHOR [+2]

Abstract

Disclosed is a strategy to collect software inventory information from the managed systems across a Local Area Network (LAN). The job of a network administrator has been rapidly growing both in volume and in complexity. Among other tasks, LAN administrators need to be able to balance the workload across the managed systems in a LAN and be able to detect when problems occur. Network administrators also need to keep track of the software on all the managed systems across a LAN. The technique presented in this disclosure for collecting software inventory information can be used with any network management program.

This text was extracted from an ASCII text file.
This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 52% of the total text.

Strategy for Collecting Software Inventory Information Across a Local
Area Network

      Disclosed is a strategy to collect software inventory
information from the managed systems across a Local Area Network
(LAN).  The job of a network administrator has been rapidly growing
both in volume and in complexity.  Among other tasks, LAN
administrators need to be able to balance the workload across the
managed systems in a LAN and be able to detect when problems occur.
Network administrators also need to keep track of the software on all
the managed systems across a LAN.  The technique presented in this
disclosure for collecting software inventory information can be used
with any network management program.

      An important aspect of managing a LAN includes understanding
what software is installed on the managed systems that are attached
to the LAN.  This is not limited to LAN software itself, but includes
applications and system software.  In addition to knowing what
software is present, it is equally important to know what version and
level of each software package is installed on each workstation.

      In many environments, the software that is installed on LAN
systems is not rigorously controlled.  This makes it more difficult
to maintain an up-to-date inventory of software on the LAN.  It also
makes it more important to maintain an up-to-date software inventory,
since the introduction of new software on the LAN (or upgrading
existing software) often is dependent on the mix of software and
versions that are already present.

      If software is being rigorously controlled, either for license
control, or simply to keep the LAN manageable, knowing what is
installed is obviously a requirement.
  The objectives for any software inventory strategy include:
  o  Simple and non-intrusive, in terms of system resources,
  o  Portable across various platforms (OS/2*, DOS, Windows**),
  o  Generic, in the sense that the objects being monitored can be
any
      file objects, not just executables, and
  o  Suitable for use from a centralized location.

      This software inventory strategy uses an agent program at each
of the managed systems on the LAN.  This agent is designed to operate
in conjunction with a software inventory application that resides at
a centralized managing system.  The centralized LAN manager maintains
a software inventory database, which can be used to store an
inventory of software "objects" that reside at systems on the LAN.
The information used to maintain the software inventory database is
supplied by the software inventory agent.

      The software inventory agent would be designed to provide a
complete list of all desired software objects that reside at a system
(optional...