Finding Treasure: Using SCCM & xAssets for Successful ITAM
In the 1981 epic movie Raiders of the Lost Ark, Indiana Jones and his friend Sallah are dismayed to discover the Germans digging for the Ark of the Covenant. However, they soon realize their adversary’s error:
Indiana: Belloq's medallion only had writing on one side? You sure about that?
Indiana: Belloq's staff is too long.
Together: They're digging in the wrong place!
We live in the Age of Information: by 2020 the digital universe will contain as many bits of information as the number of stars in the physical one. The amount of data is doubling in size every two years and will reach 44 zetabytes (44 trillion billion bytes) in five years. This data exists in servers, applications, hardware and software.
Why is this a big deal, and why should IT managers care?
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security answered the question, saying that “systems which do not receive regular security updates are at far greater risk of
compromise, both through malicious attacks and data exfiltration.” The agency, through the U.S. Computer Emergency Readiness Team, warned that IT departments may encounter compatibility problems with both hardware and software, as vendors discontinue support for outdated products.
Tools of the Trade
Finding software, hardware, applications and data on your network can be as daunting as locating the Ark in the Sahara. What you need is a guide. System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM) can not only map the locations, but ensure each element is current and secure.
Using outdated systems is like digging for the Ark using Belloq’s staff. SCCM ensures the right information reaches the right people at the right time and gives you a site picture of where your assets are.
SCCM surveys and discovers networked devices, including servers, client PCs and smartphones, connected to your system through Active Directory. It installs client software on each node and compiles an inventory database with records on each asset, the software installed on each device, plus the details about the hardware configurations. It uses this data to target application deployments to groups of devices or users.
Friends in the Desert
SCCM may lead you to the desert; however, you’ll need additional tools to find what you’re looking for.
xAssets provides ITAM and SCCM professionals with a wide range of functionalities, integrations and configurations to create a final solution to meet each customer’s specific goals. xAssets takes a holistic view of the requirements to suggest a solution, via configuration changes, to add value to your IT system.
The xAssets IT Asset Management/SCCM Connector™ product provides high value full life cycle capabilities, simple and customizable reports, and quick, simple deployments. An optional agentless discovery tool is also available that discovers and analyzes information not available through SCCM. The xAssets ITAM tool creates a more holistic total view of everything on the network.
The xAssets Network Discovery - Agentless Tool can also be run on devices which are not captured in the SCCM database, such as any routers, switches, SNMP devices, firewalls, UPSs and IP phones. It can also be run on any PCs that are not accessed by SCCM, such as home-based and remote devices.
These tools perform like Marion and Sallah: friends with complementary strengths in maneuvering through the myriad of complex connections to recognize elements
SCCM may miss—to help you discover your data treasures in the desert. The xAssets suite contains many of the integrations typically needed by IT professionals, and can be customized for an organization’s specific needs.
"Give Me the Whip!"
xAssets augments your SCCM capabilities to whip your system’s capabilities into shape. The software is scalable and can manage and maintain IT systems of any size.
While relics hold value for archaeologists, they are poisonous snakes to IT professionals. xAssets can help keep your system relevant and accurate.
If you are ready to make SCCM really work for your business, xAssets can help. You can start by visiting our website and getting a free trial of our software asset management solution. Or, feel free to contact me with any questions at firstname.lastname@example.org or 800-691-9120 ext. 304.