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An Automated, Operating System-independent and Centralized Hardware Inventory: Keeping track of client computers in the NSA lab environment at the University of Skövde
University of Skövde, School of Informatics.
2015 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Every day system administrators perform many tasks that share one common requirement: information about the system.This information has to be up-to-date and reliable.To collect this information on demand and manually is time consuming and labour intensive.In the Network and Systems Administration (NSA) lab environment at the University of Skövde, there are many computers which need to be administrated.Today this is done by using a shared spreadsheet, a costly method with drawbacks.This project will search for answers to the question ``How can an automated client inventory improve the work of administrators at the NSA lab?''.To answer this question, a prototype will be created and its performance compared with the manual collection of information.In order to create a realistic and useful prototype, a list of requirements for inventories has to be assembled.The prototype has additionally to take the peculiarities of the NSA lab environment into account.The information has to be gathered without any permanent installation of a client, as there are no internal hard drives available.This detail makes it impossible for already existing applications to be deployed.The NSA administrators will then compare the performance of the prototype with the manual collection of data. They will conduct a trial during which they will be observed and afterwards answer some questions about the process.

The results of the analysis of this data yielded a number of hypotheses.Common concepts like the time saving by automation get supported by this projects findings, but also less obvious observations are made. With the help of an automated network inventory administrators can become proactive and fix potential issues before they become problems.The extraction of information from a network inventory requires less knowledge about system administration, as the information is presented in an user interface.The user does not need to gather data as this is done by the network inventory.Only the extraction of the right information from the user interface is required.Information useful to the continued development of the prototype was collected as well. Improvements to the user interface as well as more automation should be added to the prototype in order to further improve the efficiency compared to the manual collection of information.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. , 55 p.
Keyword [en]
Asset tracking, Network inventory, System administration, Automation, Diskless systems, Prototype
National Category
Computer Science
URN: urn:nbn:se:his:diva-11435OAI: diva2:849048
Subject / course
Computer Science
Educational program
Network and Systems Administration
Available from: 2015-08-28 Created: 2015-08-27 Last updated: 2015-08-28Bibliographically approved

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