In this blog post, we give a short summary of this week’s webinar about automated server documentation with SysKit Monitor.
Webinar hosts Frane Borozan and Silvio Rahle explain how to audit IT assets, generate detailed server documentation, and track system inventory changes with our server documentation tool.
Silvio, the SysKit Monitor product marketing manager, will guide you through an overview of SysKit Monitor and hold a demo presentation explaining SysKit Monitor’s Automated Server Documentation feature. For those of you who are new here, be sure to view the Features Overview part.
Table of contents:
The webinar was led by Silvio Rahle, product marketing manager, and questions were answered by Frane Borozan, SysKit Monitor product owner.
Server Asset Management
Without an automated server documentation tool, tasks like keeping up with server inventory can become a nightmare.
The main reason why a lot of sysadmins consider server documentation a hassle is because if done manually, it requires a lot of hours.
Things get slightly easier if you can write your own PowerShell scripts and retrieve the information you want. However, that also takes time and a certain amount of effort. With each new addition to system inventory, keeping track of IT assets and auditing their changes become harder and more time-consuming.
Audit Hardware and Software Inventory
Struggling with keeping up with your IT assets? Whether you have a Citrix, Windows or VMware environment, here’s what SysKit Monitor can do for you!
SysKit Monitor covers four large segments of server inventory, as follows:
- Hardware: Track hardware assets, such as CPUs, disks, network adapters, printers, etc.
- Software: Track software IT assets and security updates installed in your environment.
- Local Users and Groups: List all Local Admins on your server.
- PowerShell Reports: Use PowerShell scripts to generate more specific server documentation reports.
How to automate your server documentation with PowerShell
SysKit Monitor has numerous reports that are able to retrieve server documentation specifics, and those are only the ones we have built in.
You can download more scripts on our SysKit Monitor repository, or you can write your own PowerShell script and import it to SysKit Monitor.
Combine SysKit Monitor and PowerShell to get the most out of your server documentation!
How can you import a PowerShell script? Click the PowerShell tab and select Create; copy and paste your script and—voila!
Detect System Changes and Compare Server Inventory
Be aware of what’s going on in your environment: any changes made to the settings, your upgrades status, and if there are any Windows updates available.
So, here’s a familiar scene:
The servers on which you have been working for the last couple of days stopped working for no apparent reason. Oops . . .
How can you tell why it stopped working and what caused the malfunction? Someone changed something, and you have no clue what. Without server documentation, you’re going to have to grease up your elbows and get to work.
But. . . if you have SysKit Monitor, navigate to Compare Wizard and compare two different inventory snapshots or two different servers.
Compare two different inventory snapshots if you are interested in changes that might have occurred in your system over time. For example, check if hard drives changed in the time between the two snapshots. Were any updates installed that might have compromised the server? Or maybe some wise guy though it would be a good idea to disable the Windows Update service on all computers.
Compare two different servers to track whether different computers have the same configuration or not—that way you won’t go bananas trying to trace any differences. Instead, SysKit Monitor will highlight any differences between the SP1 and SP2; for instance, if SP2 is missing certain security updates.
Here’s what else SysKit Monitor can do for you:
- Track all system changes in your server environment.
- Compare configuration and documentation on different servers.
- Send alerts when potentially harmful and undocumented inventory changes occur.
In the Q&A section, Frane mentioned an interesting question regarding alerts on tasks you perform with PowerShell scripts.
In the next few weeks, with the next SysKit Monitor release, you’ll be able to create your own alerts about PowerShell scripts; for instance, if a PowerShell script fails to return data. Imagine you’re monitoring SharePoint sites with a custom written PowerShell script, and the sites are loading more than fifteen seconds, due to rendering and the network. In this case, SysKit Monitor will send you an alert.
Another example is the monitoring of the SharePoint search service. You can get a report if the crawl takes more than fifteen minutes. SysKit Monitor will send you an alert that the crawl is taking too long and that you should check it out.
That’s it for this week’s webinar!
If you have an eye on a specific feature, download SysKit Monitor and check it out during a 30-day trial. Also, if you wish for certain features to be explained in detail, leave a comment in the comment section or send us a suggestion, and we’ll make a special webinar to cover that topic.
Or, even better, we’ll arrange a personalized demo just for you, for free.
Since this is a complex topic, we’ve written a bunch of stuff on the matter of automated server documentation—check it out below!