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ProTech Support
08-07-2010, 06:15 AM
Sorry if I jump around a bit on this post, its late and I have been working on this all day. Try to bare with me here :o

I have basically decided to re-build the entire technical support department at my job. I run the department and originally set it up 4 years ago when I was contracting for the company. Now that I am the in-house technician, I see a huge need to re-build the internal workings of the department.

Currently I am using Polar Help Desk 4 (http://www.polarsoftware.com/polar-help-desk4/overview/) for our help desk software. It worked for us for the past 4 years, but it is time to go. The end-users find it confusing, and I find myself "training" new employees on using the help desk, which I think is silly. It is also out-dated and bulky.

On my search for a new help desk software, I got sidetracked. I started looking around for a software to manage our 4 servers. I would really like the ability to access the servers process, temperature, online status, and what not, remotely. Then I figured I might as well find a solution that monitors and access's all of the offices technology (such as workstations and routers). I know there is a name for this kind of software (remote management software?).

Anyway, I ran across Spiceworks, which I have seen in the past. What caught my eye is that the tools I was looking for AND the help desk were all in one. I installed it on one of my servers to try it out, but have some concerns/issues with it.

#1 - I like that it is open source, but don't like that it is ad driven. It really makes me feel as if privacy is fishy using this software. I am a bit concerned about this as our servers do store sensitive information.

#2 - It runs slow. Used it for about 3 hours, and it really runs slow. It is on a server with a quad core xeon and 8 gigs of RAM, so I don't think the server is the issue.

#3 - The network discovery. On the server it is installed on, I have 2 NICS. When I did the scan of my network, it only picked up computers on network 1. I saw no way of scanning the other network. This is a big deal killer for me, as this tool was one of the most important.

Basically, I am wondering if anyone knows of a software that can achieve what I am looking for here, and if you have used Spiceworks successfully? If you have any input, that would be great! It does not have to be free, but it also cannot costs thousands. The only requirement I have is that it can run on a Windows 2003 Server.

DarDar
08-07-2010, 04:51 PM
One that i have come across that is like spice works is "the dude".
http://www.mikrotik.com/thedude.php
I have run it once or twice and it is pretty nice and does well at picking up machines across different vlans.

One that we use at work is solarwinds from Orion but that is a little pricey.

Harold
08-07-2010, 10:03 PM
You can choose to pay a small fee to have the ads disabled in Spiceworks.

Moving up from open source to commercial RMM tools puts you in the "thousands of dollars" category, however some of the tools now have SaaS models that allow you to start small and only buy a few seats so you don't have shelfware of unused licenses. Kaseya is the big boy on the block and they charge big boy prices. The standalone software is out of your budget, however they do have a SaaS version that runs about 3-5 dollars per seat depending on volume.

Other contenders to look at are Labtech, N-Able, and Zenith Infotech.

ProTech Support
08-11-2010, 07:06 AM
You can choose to pay a small fee to have the ads disabled in Spiceworks.

Moving up from open source to commercial RMM tools puts you in the "thousands of dollars" category, however some of the tools now have SaaS models that allow you to start small and only buy a few seats so you don't have shelfware of unused licenses. Kaseya is the big boy on the block and they charge big boy prices. The standalone software is out of your budget, however they do have a SaaS version that runs about 3-5 dollars per seat depending on volume.

Other contenders to look at are Labtech, N-Able, and Zenith Infotech.

Thanks for the info. I have no problem obtaining software that cost money. The problem is that we are in the mortgage business (so imagine the hit we have been taking). Requesting a $5000 software right now would not be the best of ideas :rolleyes:

MrUnknown
08-11-2010, 08:00 AM
If you go with Kaseya and a company like Cloud Services Depot or Virtual Administrator, you are looking at $100/yr plus $6/mo or so for each device monitored.

ATSCF
08-12-2010, 03:06 PM
I am a longtime spiceworks user (Since 1.0) and have seen it grow. Yes it is ad supported but I have never seen an ad do any damage. You can pay to have them disabled and I don't think it is that much. Web filters can block the ads as I have done with websense before. Join the forum, you will get answers in a matter of minutes usually. You can add other networks but I don't know your setup and posting on their forum will get you further faster. New verion coming out is supposed to be faster although I never thought it was that slow. Scanning can slow it down especially the first one.

The network map is not there yet and would use "the dude" like the other person said


For helpdesk I would try out spiceworks or open source http://osticket.com/

dbdawn
09-02-2010, 07:11 PM
We use Numara TrackIt! (http://www.numarasoftware.dk/track-it/help_desk_software.aspx) as the helpdesk software, it is pretty good. I have not looked at spiceworks that much to give any feedback.

CPU
09-11-2010, 07:58 PM
Sorry if I jump around a bit on this post, its late and I have been working on this all day. Try to bare with me here :o

I have basically decided to re-build the entire technical support department at my job. I run the department and originally set it up 4 years ago when I was contracting for the company. Now that I am the in-house technician, I see a huge need to re-build the internal workings of the department.

Currently I am using Polar Help Desk 4 (http://www.polarsoftware.com/polar-help-desk4/overview/) for our help desk software. It worked for us for the past 4 years, but it is time to go. The end-users find it confusing, and I find myself "training" new employees on using the help desk, which I think is silly. It is also out-dated and bulky.

On my search for a new help desk software, I got sidetracked. I started looking around for a software to manage our 4 servers. I would really like the ability to access the servers process, temperature, online status, and what not, remotely. Then I figured I might as well find a solution that monitors and access's all of the offices technology (such as workstations and routers). I know there is a name for this kind of software (remote management software?).

Anyway, I ran across Spiceworks, which I have seen in the past. What caught my eye is that the tools I was looking for AND the help desk were all in one. I installed it on one of my servers to try it out, but have some concerns/issues with it.

#1 - I like that it is open source, but don't like that it is ad driven. It really makes me feel as if privacy is fishy using this software. I am a bit concerned about this as our servers do store sensitive information.

#2 - It runs slow. Used it for about 3 hours, and it really runs slow. It is on a server with a quad core xeon and 8 gigs of RAM, so I don't think the server is the issue.

#3 - The network discovery. On the server it is installed on, I have 2 NICS. When I did the scan of my network, it only picked up computers on network 1. I saw no way of scanning the other network. This is a big deal killer for me, as this tool was one of the most important.

Basically, I am wondering if anyone knows of a software that can achieve what I am looking for here, and if you have used Spiceworks successfully? If you have any input, that would be great! It does not have to be free, but it also cannot costs thousands. The only requirement I have is that it can run on a Windows 2003 Server.

Used spiceworks a long time and love it for the price (free). We run it on a junk desktop or laptop with xp most of the time because we dont want to run it on one of the systems we willl be scanning. On the discovery issue just make sure the ranges are correct in the settings and you should be good to go.