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  • IT Inventory and Resource Management with OCS Inventory NG 1.02

    Eliminate inventorying dilemmas by implementing a free & feasible IT Inventory solution

    Barzan "Tony" Antal


  • IT Inventory and Resource Management with OCS Inventory NG 1.02

    Copyright 2010 Packt Publishing

    All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, without the prior written permission of the publisher, except in the case of brief quotations embedded in critical articles or reviews.

    Every effort has been made in the preparation of this book to ensure the accuracy of the information presented. However, the information contained in this book is sold without warranty, either express or implied. Neither the author nor Packt Publishing, and its dealers and distributors will be held liable for any damages caused or alleged to be caused directly or indirectly by this book.

    Packt Publishing has endeavored to provide trademark information about all of the companies and products mentioned in this book by the appropriate use of capitals. However, Packt Publishing cannot guarantee the accuracy of this information.

    First published: May 2010

    Production Reference: 1070510

    Published by Packt Publishing Ltd. 32 Lincoln Road Olton Birmingham, B27 6PA, UK.

    ISBN 978-1-849511-10-0

    Cover Image by Parag Kadam (

  • Credits

    AuthorBarzan "Tony" Antal

    ReviewerJeff Prater

    Acquisition EditorDilip Venkatesh

    Development EditorNeha Patwari

    Technical EditorsHyacintha D'Souza

    Smita Solanki

    Copy EditorLeonard D'Silva

    IndexerMonica Ajmera Mehta

    Editorial Team LeaderAanchal Kumar

    Project Team LeaderPriya Mukherji

    Project CoordinatorAshwin Shetty

    ProofreaderLesley Harrison

    GraphicsGeetanjali Sawant

    Production Coordinator Melwyn D'sa

    Cover WorkMelwyn D'sa

  • About the Author

    Barzan "Tony" Antal is a system administrator and network technician at a significant company that delivers industrial software, system integration, and IT solutions. He is also a professional technical writer with over 150 articles published across a large portfolio of prestigious websites covering topics of computer hardware, IT news, networking, security, software development, SEO/SEM, Web, and other technologies.

    The author has acquired a diverse experience in the fields of IT&C by passionately pursuing and attempting to apply everything as many times as possible in the real world. He is a strong believer in practicality, and his down-to-earth approach helps him out as a consultant providing assistance and finding customized feasible solutions. During his writing endeavors, this aching for viability always shines through.

  • Acknowledgement

    First and foremost, I'd like to thank the outrageous support from my parents and close friends. My girlfriend, Dea, for accepting my way of dealing with everything in life. Special thanks to Gabor Bernat, I'm grateful for those well-thought comments regarding the manuscript. My colleague, Ceclan Sandor, for keeping up with support over time. Alina D., Lehel M., and Szilard N. for their encouragements and believing in me.

    A huge thank you to my technical reviewerJeff Prater, you cannot imagine the impact your input has had on this book. You have definitely gone beyond the call of duty while reviewing and researching. Robert Dunham, for kick-starting me in my writing endeavors many years ago. If it wasn't for you, I wouldn't be a published author now.

    Moreover, I'd like to thank the professional and entirely author-centric team from Packt Publishing, especially Ashwin Shetty, Dilip Venkatesh, Duane Moraes, Hyacintha D'Souza, Neha Patwari, Priya Mukherji, Smita Solanki and everyone else. All of your hard work made this book possible. My sincere thanks for putting up with my hectic schedule.

    Lastly, I consider this book as a tribute to the developers of OCS Inventory NG, GLPI, and the Open Source community. I also appreciate the readers of this book and truly hope that my work helps a great deal in succeeding to fulfill their IT inventory demands.

    And finally, thanks James Payne for understanding my lack of activity from the Shed. Oh, and of course, everyone from the DevHardware ForumsYou guys are fantastic!

  • About the Reviewer

    Jeff Prater is the Director of Technology for the Houston County District Attorney's Office in Perry, Georgia. His expertise and knowledge of modern technologies gave him the opportunity to transform an inefficient government department into an efficient, modeled prosecutor's office through the introduction of a document and case management system. In 2007, the Houston County District Attorney's office became the first paperless prosecutor's office in the state of Georgia. Because of his success with government automation and efficiency technologies, he was given the opportunity to speak at the National District Attorneys Association 2007 Annual Conference at the National Advocacy Center, University of South Carolina. To compliment his career in technology, Jeff also writes technical articles for Ziff Davis Enterprise/Developer Shed aimed at individuals with limited technology experience. In his free time, Jeff enjoys spending time with his wife, Beth, and his newborn daughter, Leah.

  • Table of ContentsPreface 1Chapter 1: Introduction to IT Inventory and Resource Management 7

    Inventorying requirements in the real world 8A feasible solution to avoid inevitable havoc 8Streamlining software auditing and license management 9More uses of an integrated IT inventory solution 10Gathering relevant inventory information 11Overall inventory demands to enhance usability 11

    Centralization: Introducing the client-server model 13Example of the client-server modelan Internet forum 13The client-server model versus the peer-to-peer paradigm 14

    IT inventorying based on the client-server model 15How does OCS Inventory NG meet our needs? 15

    Brief overview on OCS Inventory NG's architecture 16Rough performance evaluation of OCS-NG 17Meeting our inventory demands 17Set of functions and what it brings to the table 19

    Taking a glance at the OCS-NG web interface 20An incentive on functionalities 21

    Summary 24Chapter 2: Setting up an OCS Inventory NG Management Server 25

    Getting ready for the OCS-NG installation 26Setting up prerequisite software on Linux flavors 27

    Demystifying package management 28The everlasting dilemma of solving dependency hell 28

    Getting familiar with your distribution's package manager 29Yum on RPM-based Linux distributions 30APT and Aptitude/Synaptic on Debian and its derivates 31

  • Table of Contents

    [ ii ]

    Installing Apache, MySQL, and PHP/Perl on Linux systems 33Installing the AMP stack with yum 33Installing AMP stack with apt 35Installing AMP stack with emerge on Gentoo 35Installing the AMP stack with an XAMPP precompiled package 36

    Setting up the necessary modules on Linux systems 37Setting up the OCS-NG management server on Linux operating systems 38

    Installing OCS-NG server via an RPM package 39Installing OCS-NG server via installation script 41

    Downloading and extracting the OCS-NG server package 42Running the installation script and checking prerequisites 44The real work behind the scenes of the script 50

    Setting up the OCS-NG management server on Windows operating systems 55

    XAMPP for Windows, the warm-up stage 55Warning: XAMPP 1.6.8-1.7.1a known issue and solution 58

    Launching the OCS-NG integrated installation 59A pragmatic look at initial configuration 60Summary 62

    Chapter 3: The Zen of Agent Deployment 63Behind the scenes: How agents earn their living 64Choosing the best agent type 65

    Demystifying the LocalSystem account of Windows OS 66Choosing the best deployment method 68Deploying agents on Windows operating systems 69

    Getting familiar with command-line arguments 70Manual installation strategies 72Using OcsLogon.exe to deploy via GPO or login scripts 76

    Using the packager to create the deployable agent 77Getting the agent package on the OCS-NG server 78Deployment via Active Directory GPOs 79Initiating deployment with OcsLogon.exe via login script 82

    Unattended installation via the PsExec.exe tool 84Deploying agents on Linux operating systems 85

    Installing agents on Linux with user interaction 86Installing agents on Linux without user interaction 88

    Deploying agents on Mac OS X operating systems 89Deploying agents on mobile devices 91Summary 92

  • Table of Contents

    [ iii ]

    Chapter 4: Finding your Way through OCS-NG Features 95Getting familiar with the OCS-NG web interface 96

    Logging in 96Looking around and examining the view 97Elaborating the overview section of statistics 98Getting to know the blue query toolbar 102

    Understanding the first two queries 102Demystifying TAG-based repartitioning 103Understanding the other three queries 104

    Getting to know the administrative toolbar 106Preliminary configuration tips and best practices 112

    Explaining configuration parameters 113Maintaining a clean inventory: Solving common pitfalls and eliminating redundancies 115Implementing the Registry query function 117Uploading inventory data of hosts that are not networked 118Working with the inventory 120Summary 122

    Chapter 5: Investigating the Process of Gathering Inventory Data 123Going beyond the retrieval mechanism 124Using the IP Query function 133Summary 135

    Chapter 6: Package Deployment through OCS-NG 137Getting to know the package deployment function 138Creating a package


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