Sometimes I do wonder why we are not using our own stuff. Want an example? Here we go:
When we started to show what was called Longhorn that time (what is now called Windows Vista) customers tend to ask about hardware requirements. Well, we had some typical answers for that and as long as you know all the machines in your network the answer is easy.
But as I learned when I did that job myself you do not know what you have in your network as long as you are not installing something like System Management. Then the answer like "Is my network capable of this?" is getting harder.
Now, I found a little tool helping out here. It is called Windows Vista Hardware Assessment. This in itself wouldn't be worth mentioning beside two interesting points:
- It solves the problem most customers told us about when we did that Vista roadshows. So, hey, Microsoft listened and WE ARE USING OUR OWN STUFF READY TO BE USED OUT THERE. Huh, I love it...
- The tool is capable to crawl through networks with up 5,000 machines without installing something locally. Wuh, how comes? Well, the magic is called WMI or Windows Management Instrumentation.
WMI allows you to connect via network to the machine and read/write nearly everything you ever want to know (and more). For my German friends (and those you are devs but who is not these days?) I would like to advertise the article of Dirk Primbs on WMI (see here).
Now, do the following: Get that Vista Tool and get an impression what WMI can do. After being psychotic on the strengths of WMI read Dirk's article to understand the magic and then do it yourself. In my former life as an admin I used it a lot (when WMI was still in its infancy) and I can tell you: It helps you lift up your mind to new higher level being in an univers of information...