Spiceworks Agent: Free, customizable software for IT management and inventory tracking.
What is Spiceworks Agent?
Spiceworks is a free IT management platform that monetizes by connecting IT professionals with tech brands. Its features include inventory and contract management, IT service desk, and network monitoring.
After completing the agent installation, enter the central server FQDN, port number, and authorization key in the Settings – Inventory – Remote Sites & Agents – Manage Your Devices with Agents screen. You can also specify a tray icon and a Tray Click URL for end-users.
It is a software application
The agent application runs on each device, collecting hardware and software inventory. The application then reports this information to the central Spiceworks server. It also collects network status and visualizes the network’s health. Admins can use the tool to track devices, purchase history, and service contracts. It also provides tools for asset management and configuration management.
When installing the Spiceworks agent, you’ll need to configure a few settings. These include the Spiceworks server FQDN or IP address and HTTPS port, as well as the authorization code. You can also set up a custom tray icon for end users and the URL that the agent will connect to.
Another important setting is the connectivity check interval. This determines how often the agent checks to see if it can connect to the Spiceworks server. If the agent can’t connect, it will report this to the Spiceworks server. You can change this value in the Spiceworks administration console.
It is free
Unlike other IT help desk tools, Spiceworks does not require an annual subscription fee. Instead, it monetizes its IT management tools by connecting IT professionals with tech brands through advertising. This approach allows the company to offer its free IT help desk software and services to more companies.
To deploy the agent, simply drag the installer from your central installation to a remote device, install it, and configure it to call home. The agent will then upload its information directly to your Inventory. To do this, it needs to know the hostname or IP address of your Spiceworks Desktop host server. You can set this one time in Settings > Remote Sites & Agents, under Remote Agent Settings.
Another popular Spiceworks alternative is ManageEngine, which offers an IT service desk tool with multiple robust features. It includes a mobile app, parallel chat sessions for support teams, and the ability to create comprehensive reports on SLA breaches and ITIL processes.
It is easy to use
The Spiceworks agent offers a clean and professional looking ticketing interface. It is easy to use and has a lot of functionality for IT teams. However, it does lack some advanced functionality. Compared to ManageEngine, which costs over a grand for its suite of IT management tools, Spiceworks is much more affordable.
Spiceworks has a built-in agentless scanner that can scan your remote computers and devices. You can also add IP ranges that you want to exclude from scanning. It is also possible to add accounts that Spiceworks will use to connect to devices on your network. This includes SNMP, SSH, and vPro accounts.
To install the agent remotely on Windows computers, create a network share with read-only access and copy the installer. You can then use a tool like Orca to generate an MSI for the agent. You can also deploy the agent using local Group Policy logon scripts to automatically install it on domain devices at user login.
It is customizable
The agent is customizable in several ways, including its settings, config options, and tray icon. For example, you can change the default icon to your company’s logo. The tray icon also displays what version of the agent is running. You can configure the agent to call home, which is especially important for MSPs that manage many devices. The agent uses the hostname or IP address (if static) of your central server, as well as an authorization code. This code is set in the Spiceworks inventory under Settings > Remote Sites & Agents.
Spiceworks has a solid feature set that includes IT management tools such as device and software inventory, contracts, and remote support. However, it lacks some features found in other IT ticketing systems. If you want a more comprehensive tool, consider ManageEngine’s suite of IT tools, which is geared towards IT teams. This suite has a help desk and network monitoring capabilities. However, it may be too complex for smaller IT teams.