In this article I want to show you a way how to create a hardware inventory with the Microsoft Assessment and Planning Toolkit (MAP)! Boah, boring! No, absolutely not. Here is the situation I encountered: A new customer needed to inventory all their systems (all members of an Active Directory). Sure, there are many great products that can do this (some are not free though). But would you have thought that the Microsoft Assessment and Planning Toolkit could do this as well? And the tool is free of charge! Rock n' Roll!
The MAP tool uses WMI for Windows investigation and SSH for Linux. Since there were only Windows systems at the customer, I focus on WMI (I think you can adapt this to SSH very easily). Fortunately, Windows Server (2012 and later) already has WinRM turned on. This is not the case with the Windows client systems, so we first create a GPO before we start with the MAP tool. Navigate to a domain controller and please launch the Active Directory Users and Computers tool. Locate the organizational unit with the client systems.
(Unfortunately I can only show you german screenshots here, Sorry)
So we know where to link the group policy object. Then start the group policy management. Create a new GPO with the name for example "WinRM Settings". In this GPO I have made the following settings (in the open GPO navigate to the computerconfiguration => Windows-Components).
Let's move to the next settings:
If your systems are in a workgroup you can use the following in PowerShell (with admin privileges): Set-WSManQuickConfig -Force
Now you just need to link the GPO to the correct organizational unit.
In order for the GPO to be processed by all systems, I recommend that you wait a day or two. This way there is a chance that all systems have processed the GPO. If your environment is not that big you can use gpupdate /force in a CMD (with admin rights).
Now it's time to install the MAP Toolkit (I used a Windows client system which is a member of the domain). You can find the tool via the following link:
Navigate to the folder where you downloaded the tool. Double click on the .exe file and simply click through. When you start MAP for the first time, you must specify a name for the database that will be created.
Now navigate to "Environment" on the left side and click on "collect inventory data".
It starts the wizard and in the following screeshots I show you what I configured. Of course you can adjust all settings for your needs. Very important are the credentials you can specify in the wizard. Make sure that you have enough rights so that the tool can actually collect the information. My point in this example is to give you an idea.
Choose what's best for you
Now the assessment starts and afterwards we receive our report. Click "Inventory Result" when the scan is complete.
Navigate to the right side and click on "Generate...." and an Excel file will be created. Open this file and you will have a great inventory to work with.
Here is a compact (not complete) excerpt from my inventory, which is available as an Excel file.
Hope you are as happy with the result as I was? Thank you for taking the time to read this article.
I hope this article was useful. Best regards, Tom Wechsler