Free IT management software not just for the small shops anymore

Spiceworks releases version 4.5 of its software, which is now designed to take on larger networks.

Spiceworks this week will make available the latest revision of its free IT management software -- now enable to manage customer environments with up to 1,000 computers and/or devices.

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The software, launched more than three years ago as a free download supported by Google AdSense, now can address larger environments with real-time SQL Server monitoring, SSL support and help desk routing and queuing features. For instance, the SQL Server monitoring feature will give IT managers insight into SQL Server performance metrics, including transaction load, I/O throughput and disk space consumption.

The help desk routing and queuing feature helps IT managers prioritize help desk tickets based on the content of the ticket. For instance, multiple tickets marked with 'printer' would be grouped together. IT managers can create rules that can be based on "any data attribute in the system, including title, summary, source, severity, employee and user-defined" metrics, according to Spiceworks.

Another new feature, dubbed dynamic scan control, is said to give users more flexibility and control over how their networks are scanned, which the vendor says also provides better support for remote locations. Customizable network maps in this release will help IT managers create multiple network maps, edit existing and new network elements. This release also includes international support, with translations for more than 10 languages.

"Our user base continues to grow not only in number, but also in the size and complexity of the networks our software helps manage," said Scott Abel, co-founder and CEO of Spiceworks, said in a statement. The Austin-based vendor also reported that more than 830,000 business users tap the free software, managing 45 million computers and devices. "These larger organizations have asked us for more sophisticated IT management capabilities typically found only in products that cost thousands of dollars and take days or weeks to implement," Abel added.

Spiceworks IT Desktop 4.5 is expected to be available for download here before week's end.

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