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Level 13

NCM and Inventory - Sooooooo Close

I have posted about this before but it came up today for me so I am posting again as I have not heard anything on the subject.

NCM at this point is an awesome config management tool.  But also it is currently a half decent inventory tool considering the wealth of information it pulls back.

However, that side of the house could use some attention.  But I think with just a little bit of Dev lovin it could be a great inventory tool.  All it really needs are some inventory specific interface tweaks and a search.  All the info is already there you just need to be able to find it.

For example, I used it today this way.  Every now and then we are asked to pinpoint the location of certain inventory items just as a check on things.  Usually all they have to give us to find items are serial numbers.  Well I had the serials of about 10 routers I needed to find.  We are international and have 200+ sites, only NCM and the good lord knows where those routers are just knowing serial numbers.

But I had a report already made that brings back Cisco serials and other good info like SNMP location and name and such.  I had to run the entire report but I was able to do that, export it to a csv, open it in excel and then search for the serials.

Now how much faster would that be if I could have simply searched by serial on the main interface?

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6 Replies
Level 15

Good input Donald, tks.

Agree Inventory is a very interesting use that we could be covering better. We are actively thinking about this.

Talking about that, how much do you use (or would like to use) NCM's Inventory to help you during your yearly Cisco Smartnet "fun"?

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That is the biggest reason I use it in that way  There are others but that is the largest.

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ok, I suppose you are aware of this report, or have an equivalent, but just in case:

Since your requirement seems to be mostly about the searchability, I can see the following improvements

- Productize this report pointed above, so it's OOTB in NCM

- Add a Location column

- Make sure it's editable in NCM (this one is not, only Notepad update)

- Make sure it works in the Web interface of NCM (integration), so the user can leverage the search capability, or just do CTRL + F

- Export to Excel / CSV possible

Would this improve the usability of NCM, as far as the Smartnet process?

Another question: do you need S/N per node or at a lower level of granularity: blade for chassis?

FYI, a snapshot of what this Content Exchange report looks like in the Win32 app.

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Actually I need both.  A report for just chassis's and then one for  just blades/parts.  Both would be used for Smartnet but also general inventory.  So when asset management comes downstairs to us and says hey where is this part and I all have is the serial, I will know right where it's at and what it is.

The report you display is not adequate for my needs.  I will email you with a sample of my report to show you.

The updates you mention do sound good but I do not think they go wuite far enough.  Granted its a start but I would like to see things like that all over NCM.  Meaning it becomes as easy to use as an inventory tool as it is for config management.  Right now you can do inventory but it is painful and klunky.

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Tks Donald. Can't wait to see your report.

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Definitely a good idea to improve inventory functions in NCM. We don't want to spend any money to other inventory tools.

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