notes from an admin for himself. you can read it if you want.

Entries Comments

Custom Search

Why I gave up on Spiceworks

7 February, 2008 (03:26) | Monitoring

Feb 7 2008:

Spiceworks has a few superduper flaws that I am not willing to spend (more) time resolving. I got to the point where I have a powershell script of an insane size to prepare a computer to actually be seen by spiceworks. I would be nice and post that info in their forums but they have wasted too much of my time to warrant my contribution. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. I will not use it until they wake up and realize they need a client application. Here is my list of reasons Spiceworks sucks.

spiceworks sucks

1. No client means you there isn’t a program to initiate contact with the server and send data or allow easy firewall control (click here to see all the people using group policy to DISABLE their firewall to fix problems. )

2. Too many remote services must be made available that shouldn’t ever need to be on. I want to close doors not open them.

3. Firewall rules require ports and pings shared with other windows services. A client would allow a custom port that does not need these ports open. I see this as a big security risk. Never open windows rpc ports without specific rules in place.
4. The server freaks out on its own too much. This screenshot above shows an example of it’s status this minute.

5. Even with my solid list of preparation steps, of 3 brand new out of the box Dell Vostros, 2 were seen by the server, 1 was not. Same process, step by step on each machine. Several double checks and a little packet sniffer work. I’m clueless. Shouldn’t be this hard.

6. Documentation for client preparation in the forums is pathetic. The target audience is small shops who aren’t going to have the experience or knowledge to do their nebulous WMI troubleshooting. Here are some pissed off users.

7. The server interface is SLOW and very bulky. For 39 devices my spiceworks processes are using 268MB.

8. Currently to monitor Vista machines you have to disable UAC!!! If you don’t have a problem with it, your users will freak every time they see windows warning them in the security center that it is turned off. This damages the credibility of an IT guy trying to maintain some sort of security in their shop. What? The company front door is unlocked? Who cares! Lets open them all!
9. As you can see, I have 6 workstations, 1 server and 26 unknowns. I could spend weeks getting the other devices working. (to be fair I could make 5 more macs show up but I already decided to drop it)

10. It will only work on one subnet! Hello spiceworks, build a client so I don’t build my own pseudoclient or tunnel on a vpn to make it work. I realize this is a shortcoming of windows and dcom etc. SO DONT USE IT!!! Use a tool that works. Spiceworks seems to be stuck on using a hammer to get the screw to go in just cause Microsoft or their CEO says so.

10.5 Spiceworks doesn’t support home clients. Which shouldn’t exist in a business but I’ve chatted with a bunch of people who have it anyways. Small shops don’t have money and sometimes do things wrong. I have to say that this helped me upgrade a few machines but it didn’t help monitor peoples computers on my network who brought machines from home.

I think if I was to continue I’d tunnel all the traffic through hamachi and maybe tool around with ipsec to get it all on a different port than windows file sharing ports. For now my solution is to use Hyperic. It is a great open source monitoring solution. I’ll post more as I get it running. I also still love Nagios even if it is a pain in the butt to configure. There are awesome virtual machines prebuilt for vmware that you can test out. Please use my google search bar above to search for them.

Mom says to speak of good things after bashing something. Spiceworks does a killer job on the helpdesk app, the inventory stuff is cool, the graphing is awesome manager bait. I could really use the application inventory but ONLY if it worked on all my machines. The reporting is pretty good and I really like the product review abilities in it. I see the ads as a good way to fund product development and don’t mind seeing items that are directly related to my field. Their support people are very nice. Oh and they have a lot of good educational documents you might want to check out even if you don’t end up using it.

EDIT 12-3-08 – I’m building an update to this. I went to Spiceworld 2008 and hammered out a few details as well as an agreement to test some new fun with the Spiceworks staff. I stand by my remarks from Febtober. Spiceworks as of then did not accomplish many things, they were humble and hopeful about addressing issues. Now after Spiceworld I am happy to see they are taking all of this criticism and building a sweet new product. If you drink the Koolaid and say Spiceworks is great, you aren’t helping them hone their skills.  After 3.5 and a few other long off tweaks I think this Spiceworks will rock. BTW, why all the comments all the sudden? Did i get linked to on the forums at spiceworks?

2011-October – This post is super old but still has high page views. Our latest update for our INC500 company- we graduated from spiceworks to a more comprehensive solution – Dell Kbox. Sure it costs $3k a year, but saves us many FTE’s in salary. Spiceworks costs a lot in time. It also saves you a lot of time once you figure out the strengths. I would highly recommend using Spiceworks as a startup company but moving to Kbox or a similar product once profitable. . Maybe I’ll add to this more later. The Forum guys from Spiceworks will still find this and be offended, please just realize, Spiceworks helped us for a long time. I promoted it in my area and will continue to do so when appropriate. And if you are reading this post, well it is 2011 now. The post is more than 3 years old. Spiceworks has come a long long way in that time. Many gripes we had have been fixed. They are a really fun company full of great talented people.

2012-June – Spiceworks finally released a client. It isn’t secure but it is a step in the right direction for the company. I still can’t understand how many people made excuses for them all this time instead of asking for change. I do wish them the best as I like the people, but I can’t help feel bad for them because more expensive tools are so much better and make up for themselves in salary at your business. For a small business I’ll still say you can’t beat Spiceworks. They have probably the best support community on the internet and fill their niche well. At 47 employees in my company it is just a cute toy for amateurs who need help fast.

2013- Halloween – Spiceworld just finished up, cool news out of Austin. MDM support, hopefully better than the Dell K3000. Here in my world we are now a 3 time INC5000 company and using a mix of Dell K1000, K2000 and Microsoft System Center 2012 R2. I wouldn’t think about touching Spiceworks now even though we still only have 45 peeps. If these tools were military it would go something like this – Spiceworks=Iraqi military, still pals, get the job done better than you would think. Dell-underfunded 1st Marines. MS -101st Air Assault+a seal team when you need it. I think it all comes down to budget and training, if you can afford nothing, use Spiceworks and engage in the community every day. The spiceworks community is great if you are just getting started or your line of work just isn’t the type to grow revenue. If you have some money and you are a Dell/Mac shop, use a K1000, later get a K2000, don’t bother with MDM. Use the IT ninja community, they are great even for packaging and distribution on other platforms. And when you get to real revenue do it all in System Center. Buy premium support cases when you get in a bind.

One other beef I still have with Spiceworks – 4 million users?




Comment from tom
Time: November 28, 2008, 2:59 am

I think you might be a bit off the mark here.
1 – you don’t need a client. It uses snmp. And you don’t need to turn off the firewall, only open a couple of ports, which, potentially, you could choose. And to be honest, in a secure windows intranet, why do you need windows firewall on anyway?
2 – what services? SNMP? WMI? Damn.
3 – huh?
4 – I’ve used it for two years now, and had it crash, like, twice.
5 – it’s not hard. You just need to know what you’re doing. You do have group policy set up, right?
6 – Documentation is much better now. Anyway, it’s free. Do you want them to pop round to your place and fix it for you?
7 – 256mb? When? When it’s scanning, or just showing the web page. Sounds like your server’s screwy.
8 – in a workgroup! Seriously, if you’re trying so hard to manage a workgroup so much that you’re using spiceworks, get a server.
9 – so because you’re not doing a very good job, it’s rubbish, right?
10 – what? I’ve got it running on 6 subnets. And you appear to be saying that you want it to run unsecured on open networks.
10.5 – …

Comment from ThatPerson
Time: November 30, 2008, 7:55 am

Ive been using it for over a year, had no problems with it 🙂
Was easy to setup with group policy for firewall and wmi (i have even changed the wmi port to a fixed one so even less of a security whole)
There is a great community behind it in which help with all problems.
I have over 150 objects on one subnet and 50/60 on another no problems with two subnets nor with the ammount of memory used 🙂

Spiceworks is great!

Comment from ITExpert
Time: November 30, 2008, 10:53 pm

I really don’t know what you’re smoking but you don’t know what you’re talking about.

I’ve been using Spiceworks for a nationwide WAN (multiple subnets) with hundred’s of PCs (2000, XP, Vista, 2003 servers, print servers, VoIP system, Exchange, etc, etc) without any problems.

I have not seen Spiceworks use more than 300Mb (when its scanning) all those devices… but in reality, IE/Firefox and Chrome can all use that amount of memory as well. So there isn’t really a problem.

Really, get over yourself… you obviously do not have enough skills to use an easy program like Spiceworks.

Comment from Concerned User
Time: December 1, 2008, 7:21 am

I have to agree with most of these comments, although they are being a bit harsh. It is always wise to make sure you know your facts before you speak. If something as simple as turning off the security center warning about disabling UAC escapes you then maybe IT isn’t your field.

Comment from hisname
Time: December 1, 2008, 10:54 am

I have been using Spiceworks for well over two years now, the support is outstand! the Product is without a doubt super, it seems that you are trying to passon ideas or tools that you would like to have in Spiceworks and the format that you used was improper. By the way, they have a forum for that as well. I use in in multiple locations, with everything from VOIP to network, to adding my own non-network capable inventory (yep, it’s great for that too!). So you need to take a step back and re-look at what your expectations are and what you get if you pay for a product like this. I can tell you from experience that you would be using multiple products to get the same information.

Comment from Gary
Time: December 1, 2008, 11:50 am

Sorry to see you had so many issues. SpiceWorks has been a life saver for me. I am running on three subnets and other than an occasional glitch because of authentication, it’s doing what I need it to do. I am a one man show in a shop with 16 servers and over 150 devices.

Comment from Jon
Time: December 1, 2008, 3:15 pm

Sounds like you need to reign in management in your environment before you can start monitoring. Making the best attempt at standardizing your operating system platform is definitely a good place to start, granted this can not always be accomplished. Regardless of that, the protocols Spiceworks uses for monitoring are pretty universal across all platforms. I see no reason you should have issues monitoring Windows hosts, especially if you have active directory with group policies appropriately deployed. Managing firewall exceptions are easy to do through group policy. Vista? I assume you are using Windows Server 2008 also? You can’t really take advantage of all of the security enhancements in Vista without having a Server 2008 with AD. The fact that you have Vista deployed at all seems to indicate to me that you don’t have many if any custom desktop apps or solutions in your environment, therefore I would try to stick to one MS operating system. Check out the licensing agreements, you can typically buy Vista licenses and be legal to run XP on those machines where you have Vista licensing. I concur with the others in these comments and suggest that you take a good look at your infrastructure and deployment strategy again. From the sound of this article, it looks like your environment is exactly the type that Spiceworks targets as its audience. If you can’t get Spiceworks to manage/monitor your small environment then what management/monitoring products do you use?

Comment from Dave-O
Time: December 2, 2008, 9:36 am

I agree..and disagree. I think SW is a great app. I’ve been using it off and on for about 2 years now. I am, unfortunately, running into a lot of the same errors as you are. I support a small amount of desktops, and a bunch of servers. I’m using it for inventory purposes mainly, but, get aggravated when some show, some don’t. I think it’s a great WIP though.

Comment from Nerd
Time: December 3, 2008, 4:36 pm

Responses – Wow, glad to see all the people defending Spiceworks. Keep in mind this post is from February. You are a little late.

Tom – 1. Spiceworks is meant to use WMI. It will gather some data with snmp. Their own staff has admitted there are major problems with this during Spiceworld 2008, view the video from there. They are working on it to be fair…
2. WMI shouldn’t need to be accessible from outside of a machine on standard ports. It should be repackaged and transmitted with some good old fashioned port obfuscation via a client. SNMP shouldn’t be on unless in a very controlled environment. I grew up in my IT days at a university where all traffic was allowed. People who are normally behind a firewall learn these lessons fast, and the hard way. In Feb, looking in the spiceworks forums, there were many other services that had to be on in order for discovery to work. While I see now that they weren’t needed, there wasn’t anyone authoritative telling us that. Bottom line is that any service that doesn’t need to be on for a business purpose shouldn’t be.
3. I gotta dig up the article in their forums that describes the ports they wanted open. It has tightened up a bit.
4. crashing? I rarely see a crash now.. on 2 vms in 2 different office locations. Not bad. Currently I show 7 weeks on my bigger box. Of the 19 people I asked at Spiceworld, less than half said they had problems with the server crashing. I think that is worked out pretty well. As I said in this post in Feb, it wasn’t ready for prime time then. And still has work left. But I’m buying things through their portal to help them out, I’m not exactly freeloading.
5. I disagree. Spiceworks does NOT work flawlessly out of the box. Their employees admit the shortcomings of the WMI clientless model. Not sure how far I can go into detail there but they are working on it. Of the 19 people I asked at Spiceworld, 17 have machines that don’t show up. 14 said they won’t waste any more time on it. You may be lucky. I’m not. My friends aren’t. The attendees at Spiceworld 2008 are not.
6. Yes, documentation is tons better. They are doing the best they can, and not growing too fast. They have a smart business model and some very smart leadership. I think they are doing the best they can. I do have the right to say in Feb that they weren’t ready for prime time or for running my show.
7. 256MB is normal. And that isn’t bad. My Hyperic box is a hog.
8. workgroup… test environment, didn’t have it in my domain yet but I do now. Its ok. Not as many no shows now. After spiceworld, I’m thinking my DNS helped a bit in the domain.
9. You think I’m stupid, fair enough. I think in Feb spiceworks isn’t quite a finished product. Their bug fixes since then seem to back me up but lets stay with i’m dumb because it lets me off the hook for just being a moron.
10. Yeah i have it running on multiple subnets, and while I may have “appeared” to want to run it on unsecured networks, I don’t.

Thanks for the comments. The recent slew of comments on my quiet corner of the internet is fun and gives me some motivation to start posting things to help out some people. If we all did that, computers might be a little easier on normal people.

Comment from Nerd
Time: December 3, 2008, 4:40 pm

myname – glad to hear you have been at it for years, you probably exceed my super low version number in the forums. 🙂 which is rare. Glad to hear you haven’t had problems. Yup, I probably don’t deserve my paycheck. My users and boss may disagree with you. I can’t speak for the staff of Spiceworks, but I’m sure they don’t hate the fact that I flew down to Austin in order to help them out and make a better product for us. I’ll point out flaws when I can, and I know the Spiceworks team will try their hearts out to fix the problems. I think it is a good system.

Comment from Nerd
Time: December 3, 2008, 4:42 pm

ThatPerson – Glad to hear it works for you. I like the changing WMI port idea. I’ll get to that once I have it working. 🙂 Good call. I agree the community is great, it has been doing wonders for coming up in google results for any type of problem. The Spiceworks leadership is very keen on their forums. There is a cool story behind it, the forums were sort of an accident and have become the #1 asset to the company. Nice work on getting all your machines recognized.

Comment from Nerd
Time: December 3, 2008, 4:43 pm

ITExpert- heh. go get yourself a badge. 🙂

Comment from Nerd
Time: December 3, 2008, 4:45 pm

Concerned User – Yeah it was a little harsh. Part of my experiment of starting a web page to see if anyone will ever read it. But turned out to be a great way of helping SW out and generating interest and loyalty. Check your facts on UAC. Do you run a mac or a unix box? Heard of sudo? UAC has been missing from Windows for a long time. Turning it off is a really really big nono.

Comment from Nerd
Time: December 3, 2008, 4:48 pm

Hisname – Two years! You too must be below my cool number of userness in the SW forums. Nice work. Yeah I had problems in Feb, my company has grown, I reinstalled with 3.0 and its working pretty well but not perfect. I *DO* pay for Spiceworks just like (or more than) you do. I buy things through the helpdesk. I read whitepapers. I paid for Spiceworld 2008. I click on the ads. I pay for their salary. It is NOT free. I invest in their product and expect results. I also offer them ideas free of charge. 🙂 I may appear evil, I’m mostly just dumb as ITExpert pointed out.

Comment from Nerd
Time: December 3, 2008, 4:49 pm

Gary – glad to hear it. Sounds like they are building a tonne of loyalty and I love to hear it. Good little company, good people.

Comment from Nerd
Time: December 3, 2008, 4:52 pm

Jon – I’m working on the standards. That is the tough thing in my current 2 spaces. They are built over a long period of time before I showed up. Since Feb, I’ve made a lot of progress, thanks for the advice, you sound like you know whats up. As for other products? I’m a big fan of Hyperic, Nagios, Pingdom and a bunch of custom snmp work I’ve done in Openmanage. I wish everyone used openmanage and insight. Our lives would be so much easier if Dell and HP saw the usage numbers increase and dedicated more staff. 🙁

Comment from Nerd
Time: December 3, 2008, 4:53 pm

Dave-O – thanks for calling it like you see it. Spiceworks is still not quite there… The helpdesk alone validates the need for it in a small IT shop. Once inventory works well we will all be happy campers and they will really start to see growth.

Comment from Craig M
Time: December 8, 2008, 7:38 am

Thought you would be interested in the conversation in the Spiceworks Community that was started regarding this post.

Comment from GreNME
Time: December 10, 2008, 9:33 am

Nerd– I’ve only been using Spiceworks for a few weeks, having been turned on to it from a friend who was helping me to find some alternatives to software that was very expensive and out of the range for my small company to buy. In just the few weeks I’ve had it here, I’ve seen both the wonderful aspects and the frustrating aspects of the software that you allude to. I agree with at least part of your assessment, if not most of your assessment. I don’t know what condition the software was in back in February, but I do also get the feeling at this point that the software doesn’t quite have that ‘finished’ feel that some of its competitors tend to have. I’ll freely admit to having to supplement some of the management duties by using Dameware, which does utilize a client service and gives me the things I need that Spiceworks can’t, whether because it would risk security or it would be too manually intensive to be reasonable.

I will say that I think the responses to you have been a little over-the-top and harsh. On the other hand, I’ll also chime in and say that some of the things I’ve found about Spiceworks that are wonderful are things you pointed out yourself: the inventory and reporting tools are splendid, and the graphing is very neat from a management perspective. I haven’t tried the helpdesk app (because we have a sharepoint site using the helpdesk module), but I found the product reviews to be a nice touch. So far, on my domain computers, access hasn’t been much of a problem (and where it has been I’m not going to be poking too many holes in my firewalls), but because this is an environment with at least five Vista machines in production– partly for testing purposes, but mostly to take advantage of better memory bandwidth and 64-bit support– the plain-jane methods SW uses for remote controls and remote commands/management are just slightly too clunky when I have a ‘sure thing’ (dameware) to handle those aspects of the IT support.

Then again, maybe I’m just stupid or a moron as well. 🙂

Comment from Brent
Time: December 15, 2008, 2:12 pm

Hey Nerd,
Just wanted to say that I found this thread through the Spiceworks dashboard IT news. For me, the new version has been great and the fact that it is clientless has made getting it set up so much easier. There are other more full featured programs out there that have client and server applications but that was too difficult to use with my limited amount of time. Sure there are things that could be better such as having more control over the helpdesk and categories and having multiple email addresses, but Spiceworks has been the best combination of network monitoring and helpdesk I have found.

Probably not very interesting but here is what I said about it:

Comment from Migraine
Time: December 17, 2008, 10:47 am

I joined the SpiceWorks fanbase in the Feb-March 2008 time period, and I have to say, given that THAT is when this article was written, most of its remarks are spot-on. And the sad thing is, there’s still a lot not right with SpiceWorks. Lots of awesome sounding features on the horizon, but plenty of room for improvement as well. I guess that’s true of any package you go with. I tried out OpenManage’s AssetExplorer, before finding SpiceWorks, and I wasn’t impressed. I’m sure there are others who sing its praises but for me, I had a horrible time with it and wasted a lot of money.

And as Nerd pointed out, SpiceWorks isn’t really free. Sure the overhead of licensing doesn’t exist, good for getting it approved by the numbers-man, but without its users clicking ads, and providing support in the other methods Nerd talked about, SpiceWorks would die, or at least development would grind to a painfully slow pace.

Standardization is the key, but at the same time, not the big hurdle you might think. My previous bosses had no understanding of what standardization was, and so I’m left with a mess, SpiceWorks has actually done a great job of bringing MOST of my assets together, despite being in such a jumbled environment.

Comment from Nerd
Time: January 8, 2009, 12:25 pm

Holy moly. I sure am glad that Tabrez set up the forums at Spiceworks. Yeah there are problems and there are a ton of useful tools. I think now my #1 value in spiceworks comes from the forums. #2 is the helpdesk. The community has become pretty strong. If you guys are in an area with a local Spicecorps, I would highly recommend joining. I think it is one of the best ways to make some contacts in the same job to share ideas with.

I have to say I’m still surprised at the power of the intarweb to bring in some peer review and criticism of what I say. It is a good reminder to document and show some screenshots. Test and repeat. Fun exciting times. Thanks for all the input yall!

Comment from Yanick Gosselin
Time: June 18, 2010, 1:09 pm

I don’t know what you are talking about. I am installing SpiceWorks at all my customer’s office and never had any problem.. only one crash.

Comment from Nerd
Time: June 24, 2010, 8:58 pm

Yanick you are a little late to the party. 2 years and 4 months, also just a few versions of spiceworks have gone by. BTW, scanning a network still sucks, and you have to open your network to all kinds of nasty bits to get it to work right. Google the scripts people have running to unsecure their machines so that spiceworks can scan. Hideous. But i still love the helpdesk and the community.

Comment from Accipitor
Time: March 30, 2011, 12:26 pm

After comming back to spiceworks after 2yr break, they have managed and stopped most crashes, granted this is a 2yr post, but thought I’d share. back then I completely agree with everything…

The reason for me posting is to ask if there is a spiceworks client yet? or a simple “script” to run from the client to talk to the server and enable/disable only what it needs?

Thought I’d ask… thanks

Comment from Nerd
Time: April 2, 2011, 10:51 am

Hey Accipitor. We actually just shut off our Spiceworks box in favor of a Dell Kbox. Spiceworks is fine when you are a startup company with no budget. Spiceworks has no place in an established business. There is still no client. It still will not function in an environment locked down to meet FIPS 140-2 standards, SOX, HITECH, FDCC, USGCB etc. Spiceworks is a good helpdesk for free, but a really shitty inventory/management tool. We never got it to see more than about %40 of our computers.

You can get a Dell Kbox on a 3 year lease for less than $350 a month. It does everything spiceworks does better. It also does a lot more than spiceworks. Surprise surpise, it has a client agent. It communicates all its data over SSL. I’ll do a review on it after I get everything working. But right now it is saving us about an FTE worth of salary. We are currently running automated application patches, dell drivers, firmware, bios, vulnerability scans, helpdesk, license metering, asset tracking, and have all the details from our Mac and Windows computers that we could ever want. A lot more than what just WMI gathers.

I tried to tell the CEO of Spiceworks about how important the client was at the first Spiceworld and stopped by a year later to tell them again. I had a lot of conference calls with upper management there, I have a very large collection of tshirts, stickers, posters etc because of my attempts to influence them early on. No dice. We put our money where our mouth is and moved. If you have Dells I recommend Kace. Otherwise, keep Spiceworks for a good helpdesk, use something else for talking to your computers to gather inventory. Save up for a box like Kbox, costs less than a decent printer/copier on lease.

Comment from Bruce Michaels
Time: August 23, 2011, 1:30 pm

I have used SpiceWorks for over a year now and never had those issues you speak of. Anyway, I feel it’s a really good product and the forums are great *IF* you know how to search and what you’re searching for.

Comment from Martin Ekelmans
Time: September 14, 2011, 1:23 am

get alive… Spiceworks is the best.
Please remove your shit and get alive!

You freaking suckhead!

Comment from Rich
Time: October 26, 2011, 5:38 pm

I would agree with author,
1. A responsible IT administrator should never turn off UAC. That should not be a prerequisite. I hve workstations – windows XP, vista and 7 which are starring me in the face and saying HA Ha HA, YOU CAN’T CONNECT TO ME! i’ve opened ports, checked and rechecked WMI and turned off firewalls. Tha’ts not acceptable.
2 I don’t think it would be that hard to make a client app that would do the trick. It would be a really really great product if they would do that. It could even be optional. But they don’t say why they are opposed to doing that.

Comment from Jake V.
Time: December 6, 2011, 12:18 pm

Once again trolls folks, trolls.

This guys is not a moron and frankly I think he hit the mark. Spiceworks has some issues whether you spice-heads like it or not.

Their biggest issue is their users (ahhh hummmm) doing crap like this. Some of the people in their forums don’t care about anything but points and popularity.

A real IT person wants to fix his network, not run his mouth about how cool he is and how bad ass he is while having nothing to show for it but Spiceworks posts.

All of you so called professionals who posted anything derogatory on here need to get your act together and mature a bit eh? Your attitude displays your clear lack of professionalism and ignorance.

Telling someone they don’t belong in a profession because you don’t agree with their opinions displays your lack of empathy and ability to think (at all) outside of the box.

Spice works does quite a few things HALF ASSED, regardless of what you folks think. Its really value, if you can stand the pompous asses who reside within, are the forums. Quite a few folks on their are not the D-bags i just called out.

Comment from Vinnie
Time: February 4, 2012, 11:43 am

Use LANSweeper for active network monitoring. Free version will do what you need. For another $300 you can get some really cool functionality in a Windows environment.

I used to run Altiris but it is really pricey and some of those guys are jerks. We paid a consultant $10000 a week to come and make it work, and still had chronic issues. Spiceworks is a good product for the price, and has a lot of things that LANsweeper does not have, but LANsweeper is the bomb for active network monitoring.

Comment from ErikV
Time: April 26, 2012, 11:33 am

I am a bit surprised to hear about UAC and Vista from people having business environments… the first thing I did when 7 got out is get rid of my few computers I had made the mistake of installing Vista on, to test. That OS have no reason to be installed on business computers.

SpiceWorks get better every day. For a free product, it is quite impressive. If I compare it to a few paid products I’ve seen,there is not much more difference and yes a client “agent” to gather more info than Spiceworks actually do would be nice (clients reporting over the internet, too, for all mobile users.) That would be SO great, as I have about 30 remote and on the road users (they connect through VPN but when they don’t, I want to see them anyway).

Yes, in 2008 Spiceworks really sucked. there was TONS of bugs and flaws and features not working. Today, it’s quite stable. If you take into consideration the price, then I say it is totally amazing and do a great job for smaller businesses!

Comment from Chris Watson
Time: May 9, 2012, 5:45 am

There is now an agent. Version 6 fully supports home agents and remote site agents reporting back. They now can show visuals of switches and even tell you which port a workstation or server is plugged into on a switch. I realize there can be a lot involved in getting it secured, but in the end, its well worth it. We currently use Kaseya VSA and its garbage ONLY because there is a HUGE lack of support. Level Platforms was a pretty good solution. I agree with what your point is on cost effectiveness at a certain point, but Spiceworks is FAR from a bad product. Standard business concept – Time IS money.

Comment from Writer56
Time: June 14, 2012, 1:25 pm

You are a total Noob

Comment from SteveR
Time: September 29, 2013, 10:18 am

Well, in search for afordable network management/monitoring, we actually used some of the mentioned tools. End ended up using CloudView NMS . It costs $295 for ANY network size and they claim it is scalable to tens of thousands IP nodes (100s of thousands switch ports). We have ~ 750 ip nodes so far. Based on standards, can monitor/manage practically anythig (SNMP, TL1, services, web access, servers…). They commit to answer any support e-mail in 24 hours and we did not have a problem thus far. Secure SSL web based clients… They use agentless, but they also provide optional agents (also SSL) for behind firewalls devices (without VPN!). Unlike others they do not charge as your network grows – from my point of view very important feature 🙂

Comment from Rob
Time: May 21, 2015, 8:06 am

I agree with everything you said here. I’ve used labtech, level platforms and even a bit of nagios. The place I work now doesn’t have a budget for these other tools and for its flaws spiceworks does make my life easier.

Comment from AngoraCat
Time: May 23, 2016, 9:06 pm

Came across this article while trying to search for information for spiceworks. I can say I agree with the original post on issues faced and encountered. I installed spiceworks in a small company that has a mixed OS systems, getting spiceworks to work fully had certainly cost a lot of time and effort.

At the start, I had many devices detected and unable to profile. Since not all the workstations are in the domain, a lot of time is wasted troubleshooting firewall, UAC, Antivirus with firewall, registries, etc.
Example, some XP PCs required some registry edit before it works even though the firewall ports are opened, to new Windows 10 PCs with McAfee AV installed and the firewall seems to block Spiceworks no matter how I configure the firewall.

Spiceworks is great for a “free” product and have many useful and awesome features. But I feel there is still a long way to be easy to use in a mixed environment. A proper client to set up on all the PCs instead of fiddling with the firewalls will be a great help. The current agent is limited and lacks functionality.

Write a comment