GASP Enterprise Suite
Very detailed information gathered from client machines, great reporting.
A lot of thought, time and effort is required to set up the application.
A great tool in the right hands, but not for the timorous.
GASP is probably most famous for being the auditing software of choice for the Business Software Alliance. A free download of a version of this software is available on its web site. However, it can only audit up to 100 PCs and is time-limited. The version we reviewed is very much angled at the enterprise managing thousands of systems.
New to version 6.5 is the ability to list MP3 files found on audited systems, as well as improved software suite recognition and license tracking.
The suite has a number of different components, including GASP SQL Tools, GASP eAudit, GASP Report, GASP Net and GASP Audit - all of which work together to provide the necessary information on what is installed where.
To get the main Enterprise application going requires connecting to an existing MS SQL Server 2000 or 7.0. The OS also has to be Service Pack 3 or greater. Hardware requirements vary, so the bigger the enterprise the bigger the server required to keep track of the database, as you might expect.
Going through the installation guide, we soon realized that this tool is not for the novice, as database creation can be tricky. Once the database is set up and the GASP SQL tools installed, then comes the installation of the auditing and report tools.
There are three flavors of auditing to cope with both networked, remote networked and standalone machines. The handiest tool must be eAudit, which can gather information about client workstations remotely using TCP/IP connections. It still needs someone to go to the client workstation to install the client application though. It would have been cleverer to have this pushed out to the workstation automatically, and out of the box. The vendor says this can be done if the administrator knows how to use SMS or write custom log in scripts.
Once installed, the clients can be set to run audits on demand or at pre-set intervals. It took a while to search through the machine but it came up with a lot of detailed information - all of which can be displayed in reports and manipulated through queries in SQL.
The product is very thorough and can give detailed information about what hardware and software is contained in the enterprise.
However, getting started is not for the faint-hearted and requires a lot of effort. The vendor says the new release will also incorporate significantly enhanced features.