Centennial lets firms track IT assets

The world didn’t come to an end seconds after the clock struck midnight 2000, but companies spent millions making sure they were ready for the worst; now they’re stuck with Y2K software products taking up space on their bookshelves. With this in mind, Centennial UK Ltd. has released their network-based inventory-tracking tool, Centennial Discovery.

Based on their Centennial 2000 product, the Discovery software details a company’s IT assets, where they are physically located, how they are configured, and when changes are made to them.

“It actually is a follow-on to our Year 2000 product, Centennial 2000. There’s really a need out there for an easy-to-use inventory product that has even more capabilities, so what we did is take out the Y2K part of the product and rearchitected the database,” said Suzanne Sliter, general manager, Centennial Software LLC, Centennial UK’s North American subsidiary. “We’re now using the SQL-based database and we’ve added a lot more features into the product to make it a really strong inventory product, [but] it’s more than just inventory, it’s an inventory tracking tool.”

Touting a number of significant features, most importantly the patent-pending Centennial LANProbe that helps determine the physical location of network PCs, printers, routers, and other devices, Discovery is geared towards easing the work required by network managers when auditing a company’s IT assets.

“The initial look at this software was very good, it is a clear and concise piece of software that’s well-constructed and is laid out and presented to the user in a logical, well-structured fashion,” said Phil Gregg of the University of Lincolnshire and Humberside, Computing and Network Services. “I’ve looked at between 15 and 20 products and you would be surprised to find that only a handful have actually met even that criteria in today’s standards in application design.”

With approximately 2,500 networked PCs, numerous laptops and hundreds of peripheral devices to track on separate campuses, Gregg added, “They had a feature that no other asset company was offering, the LANProbe, which enabled you to track by location, which is something the University hasn’t considered because of the complexities involved.”

The software is focused on enabling companies to gain control of their IT inventory, reduce total cost of ownership, achieve and maintain legal software licence compliance and obtain greater security of company assets, said Sliter.

With a strong push towards medium to large businesses with a large number of PCs, Sliter added, “the more PCs you have the harder it is to control them. When you have multiple buildings, multiple locations it’s hard to control them. The LANProbe is actually tracking all changes, the physical locations and identifying where they’re connected and when something changes with them.”

Discovery maintains an ongoing audit history of all the changes made to any PC in the network chain, automatically alerting the network manager if something is added or removed. And the software’s Control Center provides the IT manager with access to the asset repository, where data can be viewed by criteria.

The software installs on a Novell NetWare or Windows NT network, with the client agent being deployed via login scripts, remotely using Windows NT services or through e-mail, said Sliter. Its inventory schedule can automatically run the audit collecting asset information and the product recognition database identifies a slew of hardware as well as software applications, while allowing for customization in order to meet an organization’s inventory requirements.

“It is actually easy to install and it is easy to manage. It does work exactly the way it says it’s going to work,” said Gregg. “Some applications come close in the software recognition side and have a better software recognition cycle, but not many have a better hardware recognition. It’s very good.”

For client PCs, platforms supported are DOS, Windows 3.x, Windows 95/98/NT and Windows 2000, but the LANProbe requires at least one Windows 95/98/NT or Windows 2000 machine on each network segment. For networks the software supports Windows NT 3.51 and higher, Novell NetWare versions 3.11 or higher and IntraNetWare, with the LANProbe requiring the IP protocol on an Ethernet-based network.

For pricing and more information, visit Centennial Software at