Join Sean Colins for an in-depth discussion in this video Creating inventory reports, part of Up and Running with Apple Remote Desktop.
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At CoreQuick, whenever we're working on customer systems, we always gather a hardware report to import into our FileMaker Pro database, which I custom built so that it would map one to one between the fields that are available in the Apple Remote Desktop Report, and the fields that I've put into the FileMaker database. Now I'm not going to walk you through that whole process because that's our internal thing, but you may find this extremely valuable even if you just export this data out as a tab delimited file, or into something you could read in Microsoft Excel.
So, first thing, let's talk about inventory. You know, as a small organization or as a large organization, either way you've got to keep track of the stuff that you are responsible for. So if we were to go over here, I'm going to go into our group of course computers, this is all of the computers that we have, but this could be hundreds at the same time and we could do this exact same thing, and I'm going to go up and click on this Reports button right here. The result is the default System Overview Report as it says right up here. And unlike in the Unix area we don't really have any preset templates. We could always create them ourselves but there's really nothing there for us. That being said, there are lots of other types of reports available, but we'll get into those at another time in another movie. To start, I just want to show you that if you were to uncheck the All Fields area, and just gather the computer information, and I'll flip down this so that you can see what that is. That's just the processors, the memory, the CPU information and some other basic hardware information but a lot of very, very useful information to be sure, and then I just click Get Report. So as you can see, what we get out of this is a very detailed report on what is in the hardware configuration for each of these computers, again, based on what was in the check boxes. This can be extremely useful information, anything from available memory to CPU speed can be used to help us plan our upgrade path for systems going forward. A very, very, quick and easy thing to look at is Available User Memory. If I sort backwards on that I can see that the core duo Macbook has only 352 megabytes available. That's not a lot, right? I can also see CPU speed here. I can track serial numbers. This is extremely useful. Now you can see here I've got a deployment server that doesn't have a serial number. This would indicate that the serial number has not been burned into the hardware that I've got, or there was an error collecting the data, but it's very likely that it's not available through software. That's okay. It doesn't mean there's anything wrong with the system, but it does mean that you'll have to collect that serial number information by going manually to the system and looking at it. So that being said, if we get out of this, we can run other types of reports. We can run a report on all of the software on the computer or on its storage. We can just run a report on printing if we want to, or if we want we can gather all of the information, rebuild the data for the report so that it's up to date as possible and then click Get Report. When you click Update on the Fly or that little check box that I just checked there, what it does is it goes out and it requests new information from the systems as you're doing the report. And here you can see that the reason why the serial number wasn't there before was because the system hadn't automatically uploaded information about its serial number to the version of Apple Remote Desktop overnight on its regular schedule like it was supposed to. So clicking that check box can sometimes resolve those problems as well. Now that I've got all of my information, you can see I've got many, many more tabs to flip through, with specific information about each of these different things, and we can easily use these for our tracking of operating systems, for example, here, we can see that I've got three systems on 10.9.3, but I've got one system all the way back here on 10.5.8. Maybe, again, that's a good system to plan to change out at the next time we're going to spend money on new hardware. So right here, from within this report, I can do all kinds of on-the-fly, quick planning. So that gives you a little taste of what you can do here with reporting and report collection in Apple Remote Desktop. In the next movie I'm going to talk to you about software reports.
- What is remote administration?
- Adding and grouping computers
- Monitoring, controlling, and locking computers remotely
- Sending UNIX commands
- Creating inventory and software reports
- Finding items on one or many computers
- Working with a task server
- Using Remote Desktop in the classroom
- Deploying with ARD