A network asset management software is a specialized program for managing network devices and connection endpoints in a data center or a large network. When you have tens of routers, hundreds of PCs and servers and thousands of IP addresses and endpoints, it becomes impossible to monitor everything and understand who is connected to what in such scenarios manually.
Traditionally, people used to keep such information in an organized spreadsheet in order to be able to share it later with their co-workers. But as the number of entries grows and as the number of administrators who will need to access all of this information grows, using such solutions becomes impractical. That’s why special software exists to solve this problem.
And as usual in any software field, there are those $$$ proprietary software solutions that you can use, and open source ones. In today’s article, we’ll give you 4 possible open source network assets management solutions for managing a data center or a large network.
Open-AudIT development started back in 2002, and it is licensed under the AGPL license. The program is written in the PHP language and relays on the MySQL database system.
Open-AudIT supports both Windows and Linux powered infrastructures, so it can show you for example the logged devices, addresses, users and their permissions, security configuration for each device, routers, switches, ports… And much much more. You can create reports and export them later in PDF or HTML formats too.
Like in many open source solutions, there’s a “community” version which contains all the basic features you need, and other premium versions which come with support and other services. In the case of Open-AudIT, you can subscribe to their service to access a cloud system to manage your instance. There are other “Enterprise” and “Professional” subscriptions which come with extra features. If you don’t want any of that, then you can simply download the free open source version and install it yourself.
Another good solution you can use is RackTables. It is also written in PHP and uses MySQL database.
RackTables focuses more on the terminology of “racks” and for those who don’t know; A “rack” is a framework column that contains servers, routers, switches and other electronic devices connected all together in a data center, hence the name of the software “RackTables”. Typically, a data center would have many racks, and that’s how this program comes to rescue. It helps you to manage all the network devices that you have plugged in to a specific rack, and the relationship between multiple racks in your data center.
You can connect multiple objects to each other, manage users and permissions, link certain IP addresses to any endpoint, create and export reports, have various labels and tags on anything you want beside many other features. And thanks for it being a web app, you’ll be able to manage your large network or data center from anywhere in the world. RackTables, however, does not support Windows, so you’ll have to install it on a Linux machine.
The program is totally under GPL, and does not provide other subscriptions or services.
For more information about RackTables, visit its official website.
Kuwaiba is written in the Java language on the top of the NetBeans framework, making it a cross-platform application. It is probably the best software on this list due to the huge features and APIs it provides. The program supports complex viewing and management layouts for racks in your data center, and how their children (servers, ports, switches.. etc) and configured with each other. It doesn’t stop here, as it also provides a complete web service API that you can utilize to control every small detail of your large network. It has a built-in service manager, query designer, contract manager, IP addresses manager, reports & templates support and much much more.
This software is more good because there’s a good amount of documentation that your team would be use. They have a basic YouTube channel beside a full documentation set for their API on their website.
Kuwaiba is totally free and released under the GPL/EPL (dual license). If you want, you can also use their premium support and services from their parent company, which offers you a managed instance with support.
For more information about Kuwaiba, refer to their official website.
Our latest selection in this list is Ralph. Ralph is a lightweight asset management software for data centers. It isn’t full of options and functionalities like the previous solutions on this list, but its user interface is very lightweight, simple and clean. Ralph can be a good solution for those small data centers which do not require a lot of built-in support for everything. Still, it offers some interesting features:
- Fully documented REST API.
- A command line version of it called
- Good documentation for everything a user and a developer would need.
- Plugins system support.
- Beautiful user interface.
- Pre-built packages for most Linux distributions.
- A free online demo system to explore the admin panel.
Ralph is written in Python and the Django framework, and is licensed under the Apache 2.0 license.
Learn more about Ralph from is official website.
Our list ends here. You should now have a basic idea about the available open source solutions for managing network assets for a data center or a large network. Like I said in the introduction, there are many other closed-source/proprietary solutions out there, but you are not always in need to use them with the existence of such great open source software.
If you have any experiences with one of the above items or an addition, we would love to hear them in the comments below.