IT Inventory and Resource Management with OCS Inventory NG 1.02

IT Inventory and Resource Management with OCS Inventory NG 1.02
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Table of Contents
Sample Chapters
  • Understand and implement an IT Inventory and Resource Management solution and learn the necessary know-how in simple terms
  • Reduce unnecessary paper-work by centralizing the asset management
  • Audit installed software and track software licenses seamlessly just with a few clicks
  • Manage multiple office locations from a central place—get a bird's eye view
  • Follows a step-by-step approach visually aided with screenshots and diagrams


Book Details

Language : English
Paperback : 260 pages [ 235mm x 191mm ]
Release Date : May 2010
ISBN : 1849511101
ISBN 13 : 9781849511100
Author(s) : Barzan "Tony" Antal
Topics and Technologies : All Books, Other, Open Source, PHP

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Introduction to IT Inventory and Resource Management
Chapter 2: Setting up an OCS Inventory NG Management Server
Chapter 3: The Zen of Agent Deployment
Chapter 4: Finding your Way through OCS-NG Features
Chapter 5: Investigating the Process of Gathering Inventory Data
Chapter 6: Package Deployment through OCS-NG
Chapter 7: Integrating OCS-NG with GLPI
Chapter 8: Best Practices on Inventorying with OCS-NG
Chapter 9: Troubleshoot Confidently—Find Solutions and Workarounds
Appendix: Keeping Pace with Version Updates—Glancing over the changelog of the Latest Release
  • Chapter 1: Introduction to IT Inventory and Resource Management
    • Inventorying requirements in the real world
      • A feasible solution to avoid inevitable havoc
      • Streamlining software auditing and license management
      • More uses of an integrated IT inventory solution
      • Gathering relevant inventory information
      • Overall inventory demands to enhance usability
    • Centralization: Introducing the client-server model
      • Example of the client-server model—an Internet forum
      • The client-server model versus the peer-to-peer paradigm
        • IT inventorying based on the client-server model
    • How does OCS Inventory NG meet our needs?
      • Brief overview on OCS Inventory NG's architecture
      • Rough performance evaluation of OCS-NG
      • Meeting our inventory demands
      • Set of functions and what it brings to the table
        • Taking a glance at the OCS-NG web interface
        • An incentive on functionalities
    • Summary
  • Chapter 2: Setting up an OCS Inventory NG Management Server
    • Getting ready for the OCS-NG installation
    • Setting up prerequisite software on Linux flavors
      • Demystifying package management
        • The everlasting dilemma of solving dependency hell
      • Getting familiar with your distribution's package manager
        • Yum on RPM-based Linux distributions
        • APT and Aptitude/Synaptic on Debian and its derivates
    • Installing Apache, MySQL, and PHP/Perl on Linux systems
      • Installing the AMP stack with yum
      • Installing AMP stack with apt
      • Installing AMP stack with emerge on Gentoo
      • Installing the AMP stack with an XAMPP precompiled package
    • Setting up the necessary modules on Linux systems
    • Setting up the OCS-NG management server on Linux operating systems
      • Installing OCS-NG server via an RPM package
      • Installing OCS-NG server via installation script
        • Downloading and extracting the OCS-NG server package
        • Running the installation script and checking prerequisites
        • The real work behind the scenes of the script
    • Setting up the OCS-NG management server on Windows operating systems
      • XAMPP for Windows, the warm-up stage
        • Warning: XAMPP 1.6.8-1.7.1—a known issue and solution
      • Launching the OCS-NG integrated installation
    • A pragmatic look at initial configuration
    • Summary
  • Chapter 3: The Zen of Agent Deployment
    • Behind the scenes: How agents earn their living
    • Choosing the best agent type
      • Demystifying the LocalSystem account of Windows OS
    • Choosing the best deployment method
    • Deploying agents on Windows operating systems
      • Getting familiar with command-line arguments
      • Manual installation strategies
      • Using OcsLogon.exe to deploy via GPO or login scripts
        • Using the packager to create the deployable agent
        • Getting the agent package on the OCS-NG server
        • Deployment via Active Directory GPOs
        • Initiating deployment with OcsLogon.exe via login script
      • Unattended installation via the PsExec.exe tool
    • Deploying agents on Linux operating systems
      • Installing agents on Linux with user interaction
      • Installing agents on Linux without user interaction
    • Deploying agents on Mac OS X operating systems
    • Deploying agents on mobile devices
    • Summary
  • Chapter 4: Finding your Way through OCS-NG Features
    • Getting familiar with the OCS-NG web interface
      • Logging in
      • Looking around and examining the view
      • Elaborating the overview section of statistics
      • Getting to know the blue query toolbar
        • Understanding the first two queries
        • Demystifying TAG-based repartitioning
        • Understanding the other three queries
      • Getting to know the administrative toolbar
    • Preliminary configuration tips and best practices
      • Explaining configuration parameters
    • Maintaining a clean inventory: Solving common pitfalls and eliminating redundancies
    • Implementing the Registry query function
    • Uploading inventory data of hosts that are not networked
    • Working with the inventory
    • Summary
  • Chapter 6: Package Deployment through OCS-NG
    • Getting to know the package deployment function
    • Creating a package: Step-by-step approach
    • Server requirements for effortless deployment
    • Package activation and going beyond deployment
    • Affecting packages: Getting the packages through
    • Managing the rules of affectations
    • Securing the process with SSL certificates
      • Working with self-signed certificates
      • Working with PKIs that have certificate authority
      • Getting the certificates deployed on agents
    • Summary
  • Chapter 7: Integrating OCS-NG with GLPI
    • Introducing GLPI: IT asset management on steroids
    • Getting familiar with the web interface of GLPI
    • Setting up GLPI on top of our OCS-NG server
    • Configuring GLPI to integrate with the OCS-NG mode
    • Extending GLPI with plugins
    • Using GLPI to track and manage inventory assets
    • Carrying out administrative tasks with GLPI
    • Generating reports and statistics with GLPI
    • License tracking and software auditing with GLPI
    • Helpdesk and issue tracking functions of GLPI
    • Summary
  • Chapter 8: Best Practices on Inventorying with OCS-NG
    • Backing up and restoring the OCS-NG database
      • Dumping the database with mysqldump
      • Dumping the database with phpMyAdmin
      • Restoring SQL dump files via MySQL's CLI
      • Automating and scheduling dumping backups via scripts
        • Adding the scheduled job into crontab on Linux OS
        • Writing the batch script and adding into Windows Scheduler
    • Tweaking the OCS-NG server for performance
    • Useful scripts that make our everyday life easier
      • Implementing PHP notification-sender scripts
      • Extending OCS-NG inventory via .vbs scripts
      • Uninstalling the OCS agent via batch script
    • Best practices on retrieving model-specific data of various computer hardware components
      • Retrieving model-specific data of HDDs
      • Retrieving model-specific data of RAM memory modules
    • Updating OCS-NG agents on clients (when needed)
      • Updating the Windows agent
      • Updating the UNIX agent
    • Updating OCS-NG central server (when needed)
    • Summary
  • Chapter 9: Troubleshoot Confidently—Find Solutions and Workarounds
    • Keeping an eye on the behavior of agents
      • A closer look at the agent's logfile
    • Troubleshooting problems related to agents
      • Forcing an agent to report inventory
    • Solving administration console-based issues
      • Solving MySQL limitations the right way
      • Solving PHP limitations the right way
    • Identifying and fixing issues on the server backend
      • Communication server fails to write a logfile on Linux
    • Diagnosing uncommon pitfalls—asking for help
    • Summary

Barzan "Tony" Antal

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.

Tony has acquired a really diversified experience in the fields of C&IT 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.

You can find his Article Index at and his RSS Feed at

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Sample chapters

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What you will learn from this book

  • Easily set up and configure an OCS-NG management server
  • Integrate help-desk and ticketing system as part of the centralized inventory solution suite
  • Gather inventory data effectively by choosing the best agent type and deployment method
  • Solve common pitfalls, eliminate redundancies, and maintain a clean inventory by smart use of the toolbar
  • Tweak the process of gathering data to have a cleaner and more organized inventory
  • Perform remote execution of commands to support your centralized server and multiple agents by learning techniques for creating and deploying packages
  • Utilize extended features by integrating OCS-NG with GLPI and additional plugins
  • Grab statistics and generate impressive reports and graphs quickly
  • Discover vital tips and best practices on inventorying with OCS-NG
  • Find flaws and fix them quickly with robust troubleshooting techniques
  • Peek into the most frequently occurring problems along with their solutions

In Detail

OCS Inventory NG is a cross-platform, open-source inventory and asset management solution. It brings more than plentiful features to the table to satisfy the business needs of small-to-large organizations with up to tens of thousands of computers. However, to put this inventory solution to optimum use requires a lot of skill.

This book will lead you through the steps of implementing OCS-NG until you master working with it. This book aims at reducing efforts involved in resource management. The solution gives a robust foundation on top of which we can implement other third party applications, plugins, and much more.

This book begins with the basics—it explains what IT inventorying needs are to be met in the real-world. Then, it covers a step-by-step approach to everything you need to know to set up and implement OCS-NG as a centralized inventory solution to meet all these requirements. It delves deeper into carrying out inventory tasks with every chapter.

You will learn how to choose the best agent type and deployment method. We discuss the process of gathering inventory data and cover techniques for creating and deploying packages. You will also learn how to acquire added benefits with the use of plugins. We discuss best practices on inventorying and troubleshooting agent-related problems. The book presents real-world inventorying scenarios along with their solutions. You will basically learn how to use OCS-NG to get the most out of it.

As a conclusion, if you want to learn about a free solution that fulfils inventorying necessities of the real-world, this is the book for you.

A practical guide on how to set up, configure, and work with OCS Inventory NG- a cross-platform, open-source inventory solution


This book closely follows the style of a practical, hands-on "how to" guide on working with OCS Inventory NG. The step-by-step approach, coupled with the use of visual aids, clear instructions, and real-world examples, makes it a fast-paced book. Upon the completion of this book, you will have the necessary skill set, know-how, and confidence to implement OCS Inventory NG to meet the demanding asset management needs of any organization. Then you can carry on using the book as reference material.

Who this book is for

This book targets an audience of system administrators and IT professionals who are required to implement, configure, customize, and work with IT Inventory and Asset Management solutions. The book does not presume any prior knowledge of inventory management, just a solid grasp of the server/client model and familiarity with the chosen operating system along with the necessary web server and database server terminologies. Anyone with an interest in inventorying IT assets and solving real-world resource management dilemmas will enjoy this book.

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