Are there advantages to using Snipe-IT and Spiceworks for Inventory/Assest Management?



  • I have been seeing some posts on here regarding Snipe-IT. I am interested in it but currently (and for the past 5+ years) actively/passively use SpiceWorks for inventory. I am the only IT person for an SMB of 85 employees and all sorts of servers, desktops, laptops, mobile devices, printers and all the stuff that goes along with it.

    I am only using SpiceWorks for network connected devices that it can scan. Everything that can't automatically be scanned isn't really "tracked" other than a PO with an invoice in a crude FileMaker database with a person's name next to it. Honestly, I haven't even tried to manually enter in assets to SpiceWorks.

    Would there be a benefit to use both? Or move from SpiceWorks to Snipe-IT? Or Do everything in SpiceWorks? I do like the automated scanning aspect and the remote agent for laptops in SpiceWorks. BTW, I also use Meraki MDM for mobile devices asset tracking.

    What do you think?


  • Service Provider

    They are really conceptually rather different. Spiceworks is a network management and monitoring system, not an asset system. Snipe is only an asset system. All it does is track assets and not in a scanning way but in a way that finance departments need (static.)


  • Service Provider

    I set up Snipe-IT only because @Bundy-Associates is a small company with individual employees in home offices. There is no easy way to scan or track anything in that scenario.

    Snipe-IT is a great tool for the purpose.

    At clients I have Spiceworks running in various levels of usefulness.



  • @wrx7m said:

    Everything that can't automatically be scanned isn't really "tracked" other than a PO with an invoice in a crude FileMaker database with a person's name next to it.

    What's the purpose of inventory management? Why bother? It's one of the jobs I gave up when I was struggling with workload, and I haven't yet come across a situation where I regret my decision, so I'd be interested to know.

    It's helped that the low cost of PCs and workgroup printers has meant we treat them as expenses rather than assets. Expensive printers are leased, and we don't have many servers.

    I also use Meraki for laptops, as well as phones, and I'd consider using it for PCs as well - so that would be a relatively crude asset register.


  • Service Provider

    @Carnival-Boy said:

    What's the purpose of inventory management? Why bother? It's one of the jobs I gave up when I was struggling with workload, and I haven't yet come across a situation where I regret my decision, so I'd be interested to know.

    Well for knowing what assets are out there. If you want a list of all available printers or monitors, for example, and you can't just remember them all or where they are or what they are. If you need to communicate that data to other people, it is good too.

    In a team of one with a single physical location and nothing fancy, they probably are not very useful unless the accounting department needs it. At least in the US, accounting always needs this because it is a huge amount of tax management based around the aging of assets.

    For MSPs or larger firms, having an asset management system is the only reasonable way to know what even exists out there.



  • I know what asset management software is for :)
    I'm being specific about it's needs in a small business (85 employees)

    Our accounting department run their own asset management software. This makes sense as a single database of all the company's assets, not just IT assets. I don't feel any need to duplicate their work. But as I said, most of my IT expenditure is now treated as an expense, not an asset. This may be different in the US, I don't know.

    I do have databases containing inventory details - specifically AD, LogMeIn, Meraki, Print Server. I just don't currently feel the need for an additional database, as I can normally use these tools to get any information I might need. But I'm interested to know how others are handling this.


  • Service Provider

    @Carnival-Boy said:

    Our accounting department run their own asset management software. This makes sense as a single database of all the company's assets, not just IT assets. I don't feel any need to duplicate their work. But as I said, most of my IT expenditure is now treated as an expense, not an asset. This may be different in the US, I don't know.

    We can do that too, not sure how often we do do it, though.


  • Service Provider

    Well for us as an ITSP it is more complex because the asset management system is what communicates the asset information to new people. Like if I go to work on a client's systems that I have never worked on before, an asset management system is super valuable for getting a feel for what assets are even there. We use them extensively but it is not 85 users, it is more than 85 companies. And it is not a one person shop using the data, it is lots of people. So the needs are very different.

    In an 85:1 shop (that should be an industry standard way to write that I think) I can easily see where it would not be useful and if the accounting department is keeping their own then that's completely different. This would be used, I assume, for the accounting people to access as well.



  • @Carnival-Boy said:

    I know what asset management software is for :)
    I'm being specific about it's needs in a small business (85 employees)

    Our accounting department run their own asset management software. This makes sense as a single database of all the company's assets, not just IT assets. I don't feel any need to duplicate their work. But as I said, most of my IT expenditure is now treated as an expense, not an asset.

    I think you hit the nail on the head, for your situation. Your accounting department does this for you. Our accounting department does not do this for our company - i.e. no one does. Sure, she has the invoice, but what has amazed me is that she's never managed a list of actual assets. She simply gives the POs to the accounting firm who does our taxes, they lump it all together into a few line items, and old things never manage to actually get off the book - they just value out, but remain on the books with a zero value. My boss has asked that I help get this under some kind of real control - understandable state.

    I'm going to be looking into Snipe-IT for this.


  • Service Provider

    Yes, I think that @Carnival-Boy underlines a point that asset tracking is often done by IT but at the end of the day is not exactly an IT task. It's really an accounting task that could easily be done by individual departments. In his case, accounting does it all. In many of our cases, IT does it or some of it.

    We like to blend the asset tracking with asset management, which is different. A true asset system wouldn't care about an IP address assignment, for example, but we want to track that stuff. So our [NTG] needs are a little different from most.


  • Service Provider

    I think what you might want to think about is whether you want to do asset management or asset monitoring.

    With asset monitoring, your scanner checks for HDD space, newly installed programs, updates, event log messages, anything you might want to watch out for, you can also get a report if device X has not been seen on the Lan for X number of days.

    So although we often call it asset management, actually most IT guys would want to use asset monitoring more than management if they could.



  • @Breffni-Potter said:

    I think what you might want to think about is whether you want to do asset management or asset monitoring.

    With asset monitoring, your scanner checks for HDD space, newly installed programs, updates, event log messages, anything you might want to watch out for, you can also get a report if device X has not been seen on the Lan for X number of days.

    So although we often call it asset management, actually most IT guys would want to use asset monitoring more than management if they could.

    Sure, but you can't monitor a monitor, keyboard, mouse, etc.


  • Service Provider

    @Dashrender said:

    @Breffni-Potter said:

    I think what you might want to think about is whether you want to do asset management or asset monitoring.

    With asset monitoring, your scanner checks for HDD space, newly installed programs, updates, event log messages, anything you might want to watch out for, you can also get a report if device X has not been seen on the Lan for X number of days.

    So although we often call it asset management, actually most IT guys would want to use asset monitoring more than management if they could.

    Sure, but you can't monitor a monitor, keyboard, mouse, etc.

    Who needs to track those as assets? They are consumable items like printer paper and paper clips.

    Edit: Well maybe not the monitor..


  • Service Provider

    @JaredBusch said:

    @Dashrender said:

    @Breffni-Potter said:

    I think what you might want to think about is whether you want to do asset management or asset monitoring.

    With asset monitoring, your scanner checks for HDD space, newly installed programs, updates, event log messages, anything you might want to watch out for, you can also get a report if device X has not been seen on the Lan for X number of days.

    So although we often call it asset management, actually most IT guys would want to use asset monitoring more than management if they could.

    Sure, but you can't monitor a monitor, keyboard, mouse, etc.

    Who needs to track those as assets? They are consumable items like printer paper and paper clips.

    Edit: Well maybe not the monitor..

    We don't track any of that stuff either



  • @Dashrender said:

    @Breffni-Potter said:

    I think what you might want to think about is whether you want to do asset management or asset monitoring.

    With asset monitoring, your scanner checks for HDD space, newly installed programs, updates, event log messages, anything you might want to watch out for, you can also get a report if device X has not been seen on the Lan for X number of days.

    So although we often call it asset management, actually most IT guys would want to use asset monitoring more than management if they could.

    Sure, but you can't monitor a monitor, keyboard, mouse, etc.

    Why would you monitor those?



  • The monitor was the main thing I was thinking.. the rest where there as examples of things you can't monitor, you can only inventory.


  • Service Provider

    @Dashrender said:

    The monitor was the main thing I was thinking.. the rest where there as examples of things you can't monitor, you can only inventory.

    I certainly do not inventory them. In fact the are in the office supply closet along with cheap USB speakers and the pens and paper.



  • @JaredBusch said:

    @Dashrender said:

    The monitor was the main thing I was thinking.. the rest where there as examples of things you can't monitor, you can only inventory.

    I certainly do not inventory them. In fact the are in the office supply closet along with cheap USB speakers and the pens and paper.

    Monitors are? lucky you - we're so tight there is a lock on the paperclip cabinet (OK not really, but you get my point).


  • Service Provider

    @Dashrender said:

    @JaredBusch said:

    @Dashrender said:

    The monitor was the main thing I was thinking.. the rest where there as examples of things you can't monitor, you can only inventory.

    I certainly do not inventory them. In fact the are in the office supply closet along with cheap USB speakers and the pens and paper.

    Monitors are? lucky you - we're so tight there is a lock on the paperclip cabinet (OK not really, but you get my point).

    Well honestly, no, the monitors are in the server room, but only because they don't fit in the office supply closet. There are 2 just sitting there for whenever they are needed.



  • Thanks to everyone for the replies. I looked at the snipe-it website before posting and liked the idea of the check in and check out setup for items that are issued to people like laptops and smart devices. I was thinking that if it were something I should be doing, I would also track things like monitors and my shoretel phones.



  • I figured that our accounting department must be doing something based on POs in terms of when things were purchased and which person/department was using them.

    In terms of spiceworks, it does have sections for price paid, purchase date, warranty scanning for some devices, etc. So it has a little of asset management built into it.



  • If those things probably aren't something I, as an IT guy, should worry about, I will just put a pin in it in case it comes up in the future.


  • Service Provider

    @wrx7m said:

    In terms of spiceworks, it does have sections for price paid, purchase date, warranty scanning for some devices, etc. So it has a little of asset management built into it.

    Yup, works great for currently used assets. For historic tracking, though, it requires database sprawl in the monitoring system which is generally not ideal.



  • @scottalanmiller said:

    @wrx7m said:

    In terms of spiceworks, it does have sections for price paid, purchase date, warranty scanning for some devices, etc. So it has a little of asset management built into it.

    Yup, works great for currently used assets. For historic tracking, though, it requires database sprawl in the monitoring system which is generally not ideal.

    Yeah, that is definitely true. "Retiring" assets is cumbersome and not at all intuitive.


  • Service Provider

    @wrx7m said:

    @scottalanmiller said:

    @wrx7m said:

    In terms of spiceworks, it does have sections for price paid, purchase date, warranty scanning for some devices, etc. So it has a little of asset management built into it.

    Yup, works great for currently used assets. For historic tracking, though, it requires database sprawl in the monitoring system which is generally not ideal.

    Yeah, that is definitely true. "Retiring" assets is cumbersome and not at all intuitive.

    SW just added the whole retirement thing. so it likely sucks. I only know it has to be installed as an app. Haven't done it yet.



  • @JaredBusch Did not know that. I was referring to any previous version, then. I will have to check it out.

    -Installed as an app on a mobile device or the server, or _____ ?


  • Service Provider

    @wrx7m said:

    @JaredBusch Did not know that. I was referring to any previous version, then. I will have to check it out.

    -Installed as an app on a mobile device or the server, or _____ ?

    SW added an entire app add on thing in 2014.

    It is part of that and the 7.5 release I think.



  • @JaredBusch D'oh! I always forget about that part!


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