Centennial Discovery 4.51 is a comprehensive, but easy to use, auditing tool which might be used with a variety of client operating systems. It requires Microsoft SQL Server 7.0 or later, a run-time version of which is supplied on the installation CD.
The principles are simple. A control centre sits at a central administration point, from which agents are deployed on both the local and remote computers for auditing purposes. In a Microsoft Windows NT/2000/XP environment, these agents can be quickly and easily deployed as a Windows service.
Alternatively, they might be deployed to target machines via scripts, email packages or even manually via diskettes. We used the Windows Service approach, which worked well, both for installing the agents and then removing them.
Having deployed the agents, audits can be run against target machines, either manually or according to pre-defined schedules.
The first time an audit is run, the information is stored in the central repository, which is easily accessed via the control centre. Subsequent audits against the same computers can find if anything has changed and update the central records.
In addition to the presence of hardware and software, usage tracking can also be monitored.
The tool is not so good at displaying the data gathered, but there are two very useful functions to help you. First, its query facility enables you to run queries against the repository. This is further elaborated with a choice between pre-defined simple queries or the use of a query wizard with which to define your requirements. Queries are saved and can be re-run as desired.
You can also export data from the repository in a simple CSV format for analysis via an external application, such as a spreadsheet.
In conclusion, we found Centennial Discovery 4.51 to be a capable product that worked well and which will fit the bill for those looking for a network auditing tool.