Feeds

Sysadmins: Your favourite tool's now ready for, er, fondling

The spice(works) must (re)flow

Remote control for virtualized desktops

Spiceworks, the system-administrator's toolkit which thinks its a social network, now comes in a fondleslab-optimised flavour for BOFHs who like to oversee their empires from the pub.

Spiceworks already comes in a handset version, for iOS and Android, but it loses some functionality in squeezing the layout. There's a web-interface, but that suffers from the limitations of being imprisoned within a browser. So now there's a tablet-friendly version written using HTML5 and embedded in a native wrapper. That application is now in the appropriate stores (iTunes and Google Play respectively), providing the full power of Spiceworks to the beleaguered administrator no matter where they are.

The tablet clients, just like the server, are entirely free; Spiceworks makes money by selling advertising and, which is more interesting, charging device manufacturers for integration with its toolset. Once installed, the Spiceworks server scans one's network, identifying devices and tracking their status, but if those devices are from Dell then it will also check out the warranty date, and if they're from EMC then a storage advisor kicks in, while Microsoft servers will provide upgrade advice. All three companies pay Spiceworks for the privilege of making their kit easier to manage.

And Spiceworks certainly does that - our resident BOFH Trevor Pott's enthusiasm for the software is unbounded, declaring that Spiceworks "is truly one of the hidden gems of the industry", and that his job would be impossible without it (his real job, as opposed to scribing for El Reg on occasion).

Installing Spiceworks back in 2010, Trevor pointed out that it was the only social network with which he felt inclined to get involved. Spiceworks users are all, by definition, maintaining networks and that commonality of experience makes for a very active and participatory community. The Spiceworks APIs are open, so the community busies itself creating custom tools and scripts to the benefit of other users – and the delight of advertisers who know their message will reach only the right people.

There are around two million active users, according to Spiceworks, with a million-and-a-half installations of the Spiceworks server supporting them. The strength of that community has enabled Spiceworks to double revenue annually, and while figures aren't public the 160-person company tells us that it is now in profit.

Which bodes well for the future – reaching all those users will make companies keen to integrate the management of their hardware, which will in turn make Spiceworks even more useful. Being free there's little chance of a cheaper alternative emerging, and Spiceworks apparently has big plans for mobile administration – hopefully meaning that system administrators around the world can all spend more time nursing a pint. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
PEAK APPLE: iOS 8 is least popular Cupertino mobile OS in all of HUMAN HISTORY
'Nerd release' finally staggers past 50 per cent adoption
Microsoft to bake Skype into IE, without plugins
Redmond thinks the Object Real-Time Communications API for WebRTC is ready to roll
Microsoft promises Windows 10 will mean two-factor auth for all
Sneak peek at security features Redmond's baking into new OS
Mozilla: Spidermonkey ATE Apple's JavaScriptCore, THRASHED Google V8
Moz man claims the win on rivals' own benchmarks
Yes, Virginia, there IS a W3C HTML5 standard – as of now, that is
You asked for it! You begged for it! Then you gave up! And now it's HERE!
FTDI yanks chip-bricking driver from Windows Update, vows to fight on
Next driver to battle fake chips with 'non-invasive' methods
DEATH by PowerPoint: Microsoft warns of 0-day attack hidden in slides
Might put out patch in update, might chuck it out sooner
Ubuntu 14.10 tries pulling a Steve Ballmer on cloudy offerings
Oi, Windows, centOS and openSUSE – behave, we're all friends here
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Simplify SSL certificate management across the enterprise
Simple steps to take control of SSL across the enterprise, and recommendations for a management platform for full visibility and single-point of control for these Certificates.