INSCOM unifies Unix, Windows inventories

The Army Intelligence and Security Command has bought server management software from Altiris Inc. to integrate an inventory of computers running Unix into one documenting the computers running Microsoft Windows.

"By measuring [inventories] with an electronic system, I can much more adequately and accurately predict the costs of renovating the infrastructure," said Robert Fecteau, CIO of the command.

INSCOM already used electronic asset discovery software from Microsoft Corp., called Systems Management Server, to inventory machines that run Windows. Fecteau said the reporting capabilities of that software are adequate. But the program's discovery capabilities were restricted to machines that run Windows. So he looked for a product that could inventory machines that run Unix and fold that information into the SMS database.

"I wanted a capability that would integrate into my SMS data topology," Fecteau said.

Live inventories of computers are vital to gauging readiness levels, Fecteau said. SMS lets him see the number of working computers directly from a desktop application.

The command's computers are spread out over 180 locations worldwide. It has approximately 700 Windows servers, about 100 servers running Sun Solaris and approximately 2,000 Unix workstations.

Altiris' Inventory Solution will capture each machine's serial number, hardware configuration, operating system configuration and installed software. The inventory is formatted for an SQL database.

The Altiris purchase was announced this month, and the inventories are expected to be finished by February or March, Fecteau said.

Altiris' Inventory Solution costs $60 per node, with volume discounts available, according to a spokesman for the Salt Lake City company.

Joab Jackson writes for Government Computer News magazine

About the Author

Joab Jackson is the senior technology editor for Government Computer News.

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