LANsurveyor 9 is a subtly different program from others tested here. At its heart is a graphical mapping capability that allows you to create "maps" of your network to various levels of detail. These maps might be used solely within the program, or be exported in a variety of formats, including Microsoft Visio, so you can edit them as appropriate to your organizational requirements.
This is an excellent idea, because the maps can be used in a variety of contexts, from network planning to disaster recovery and, of course, inventory management.
With large networks, these maps might get a little complicated, but LANsurveyor provides a number of display options, plus the ability to switch between levels of detail in order to exclude lower level network components.
The operating principles are familiar in that agents, known as Neon Responders, can be deployed on client machines for communication purposes, and these can be associated with passwords. Both Windows and Mac operating systems are supported. A continuous scan option is available in order to identify any unauthorized nodes, for which the administrator can choose appropriate actions.
Authenticating newly found nodes can be undertaken using the freely available Microsoft Baseline Security Analyzer. Making use of existing and proven functionality in this way makes sense and LANsurveyor provides integration with a number of third-party utilities.
Reports are well catered for via a range of standard reports to cover the primary requirements of inventory management and license compliance, plus a custom report facility. Reports can also be exported into Excel, and can be scheduled to run automatically.
LANsurveyor impresses as a workmanlike set of tools for the professional who knows what data they want and wants a logical way of extracting it.
It is well-conceived and can be up and running quickly without compromising the flexibility to customize later with more familiarity. It even comes with a proper, ring-bound manual.
Congratulations to Neon Software for understanding what people actually need.