Network Analysis / Reports Tab
The Reports tab is the second of the two main faces which Network Inventory Advisor present to the user. It provides access to the various different types of network asset reports which make the software so valuable for active network administration. When the tab is first selected, the network tree map in the left-hand viewing pane will be replaced with a report tree detailing the documents created thus far. The right-hand viewing pane will display a suggested hot list of commonly-requested report types which can be automatically generated. The icons across the top ribbon, however, provide the greatest control over the content and disposition of the reports eventually generated.
The detailed (custom) report icon allows the user to compile a report consisting of the fields desired from each asset class.
It displays a secondary menu which is common to almost every other icon on this tab’s ribbon menu. This secondary menu allows direct access to bulk delete actions, which can help free up resources when many assets are being tracked.
The second icon on the ribbon provides the capacity to generate reports in a tabular format.
This icon’s drop-down menu includes the option to run the report creating routine with a set template, if any are available.
The third icon provides access to software reports. These can be used to develop an understanding of the usage and usability of the various assets occupying nodes on the local network.
This drop-down menu offers various different software trends and patterns to report on. Network Inventory Advisor scans for a large number of different platforms and applications.
The fourth icon on the menu provides access to inventory reports.
These reports provide a simplified overview of the entire physical asset inventory.
The fifth icon offers access to the network inventory reports organized according to brand.
Reports showing branded usage distribution can provide a valuable tool when negotiating with vendors.
The sixth icon on the Reports tab’s ribbon enables the user locate under-equipped or over-resourced assets by reporting on equipped configurations.
These reports allow network administrators to be proactive, fairly managing roll-out of new technology as it becomes available for the user-base.
The seventh reporting function accessible via the ribbon provides information about hard-drive use network wide.
By keeping current with the rate at which users fill their available storage, proactive managers can anticipate needs before they become critical.
The eighth icon provides an emergency-response list of all systems currently facing drive space over-run.
Any manager mapping a new network for action should prioritize hardware upgrades or data mitigation activities for the nodes this report identifies.
The ninth icon generates reports listing the various network services active on different assets.
Bulk deletion is available in its sub-menu as well.
The tenth and eleventh icons produce reports identifying which assets have anti-virus software…
…and which nodes are currently unprotected by it.
The active users report provides detailed information about how the network is actually being used at any given moment.
Long-term, sequential monitoring of user activity is important in generating an understanding of the network’s regular usage patterns. Only when such reports are consulted regularly will the anomalies associated with intrusion and other network irregularities become apparent.
Other irregularities commonly linked to asset depletion can be analyzed using the hardware changes report.
Differences between reported hardware configurations and known previous setups can indicate all manner of user shenanigans.
There are three smaller buttons at the right-hand end of the second box on the Reports-tab ribbon. The first of these is a triangular “play” button. It automatically runs all report types at once, scanning the entire network for an updated snapshot.
The second small button on this ribbon allows for report customization with names, logos, images and other identifying characteristics.
The third small button offers access to a search feature which allows the user to query the current report for a particular string.
The final icon on the left-justified portion of the ribbon menu is the delete icon.
It allows both direct deletion of the currently selected report and bulk deletion of all reports.
At the far end of the Reports-tab ribbon there is an options pull down. This provides access to exporting and printing functions for the reports being viewed, as well as the access to the settings dialog browser.
As on the Inventory tab view, both of the lower view panes also exhibit context-sensitive menus when the right-click button is used.