Network Inventory and Software Audits with NEWT Professional

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  • November 3, 2009

As many IT professionals know, when a business expands, so does the need to keep track of the growing number of computers within that network. With the increase in computer systems comes an equally increased difficulty in managing them. Once upon a time, conducting software and hardware inventory involved physically visiting each machine to record configuration data by hand. Even though this is thankfully no longer required due to improvements in operating systems and third party software, IT professionals can still use the help of better software to assist in PC auditing and network inventory. NEWT Professional has been in development since 2003, with continuous improvements to speed and ease-of-use, and is now capable of scanning 100 computers in less than 5 minutes. The time and effort savings offered by the speed along with its numerous scannable items is valuable to organizations of many sizes. That value has even increased with the recent addition of the first 25 nodes for free.

There are two basic methods used within network management products. First is using an agent to collect data from each machine, second is the agent-less method. The agent method usually requires software to be installed on each system within a network, and must be updated manually. On the other hand, agent-less products often still require visiting individual machines to correct security issues. They may also take hours or days to inventory the entire network. However, NEWT Professional’s advanced network inventory techniques have reduced problems often encountered using agent-less technology, reducing audit time from hours or days to just minutes.

NEWT Professional works with both 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP, Windows 2000, and even Windows NT 4. Read/write access to the ADMIN$ share (administrator or "admin dollar" share) is usually the only requirement for successful audits. Improvements in the inventory engine has greatly reduced network bandwidth usage so that even slower Internet-based connections such as a WANs (Wide Area Networks) can be audited with little impact.

Because NEWT Professional is so useful for providing total network inventory on a wide variety of networks, many consultants and Managed Service Providers (MSP) have found the software useful for gathering information about customer networks. In addition to the usual software and hardware inventory data, such as CPU info, Windows and Office product keys and system serial numbers, NEWT Professional also offers unique low-level information such as USB type (1.x or 2.0), accurate hard drive types (IDE, SATA or SATA-II), true hard drive serial numbers, monitor type (LCD vs. CRT) and even CPU & hard drive temperature.

Once data is collected, it may be viewed in NEWT’s easy-to-read spreadsheet views, saved to NEWT’s proprietary format, exported to text, HTML or Excel, or a fully relational MS Access (MDB) database.

In short, NEWT professional is a useful tool for network professionals, allowing them to perform network audits quickly and affordably.

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