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Network and Classroom Management Thread, Spiceworks - the good, the bad, and the ugly in Technical; Okay, so how are you guys setting up the helpdesk, have you got it linked through Active Directory, or is ...
  1. #16
    Tesla's Avatar
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    Okay, so how are you guys setting up the helpdesk, have you got it linked through Active Directory, or is that a bit overkill?

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    localzuk's Avatar
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    Yup. Got it hooked up to AD here - everyone already has their email address entered in AD, so when they email the helpdesk email address it knows who they are and assigns the ticket to them accordingly.

    From that, we have an email address people can email which goes direct to the helpdesk. I have a rule on that account which strips out all "all users" emails so the helpdesk doesn't get spammed.

  3. Thanks to localzuk from:

    Tesla (28th January 2014)

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    Tesla's Avatar
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    Ok, i have set that up, waiting for the Sync, hopefully will get this all running no problem.

    Bit of a noob when it comes to these things =[

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    I have found Spiceworks ticketing side to be pretty good really, the auditing side leaves a little bit to be desired but I have just turned it off.

    Shut my 1000th ticket yesterday, congratulation Jaffa Cakes were consumed.

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    Have any of you guys opened up the portal to end users? If so, how do they seem to be getting on with it? We're currently looking at using Spiceworks as a helpdesk, but the portal side of things doesn't look too great, particularly for staff to view the status of their tickets.

    Have made some attempts to customise the portal but not sure how much mileage there is going to be in that (I can see future Spiceworks updates breaking everything..): User Portal - Custom Open Tickets/View Ticket Widget - Spiceworks

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    I've just started using it thanks to @Ephelyon despite have a few hiccups because of the way our system is setup, I like the inventory layout etc

  8. Thanks to Bradlys from:

    Ephelyon (22nd February 2014)

  9. #22

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    Noticed some of you aren't too keen on the asset management/auditing side of Spiceworks. Can I inquire what you don't like about it? I'm reasonably impressed with it myself so far, although this is just running in a small virtual environment so it's only picking a few VMs..

  10. #23
    speckytecky's Avatar
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    I was looking at using it but when it came to reading the 'terms and conditions' I decided against. Free at present but the way I read it they have the option to start charging - including retrospectively at any time they want to.

  11. #24

    localzuk's Avatar
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    Retrospective charging is illegal in the UK - without a statement outlining costs at the beginning of a contract, the terms wouldn't hold up in court - and schools don't just roll over when threatened with such things. So, that wouldn't work in the UK.

    All free software has the issue of potential future costs, it's a risk you take by choosing it.

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    I have to say its been getting better with each versions , been running it since version 2 which was good back in 2008. I do find now our network is getting to 2k+ devices the scans take a long time but still works well. If you like Spiceworks and want to learn more you should come to Spiceworld in London which is sometime in May , best 2 days of IT you can have in the UK and you will see the real power of Spiceworks.

  13. #26

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    We use it for inventory/asset management, helpdesk with the user portal linked to AD.
    Its running on a vm with 2cpus and 4 gb of ram, we have about 1000 devices in it. The scans can be a bit resource intensive but you can customise them to not interfere too much.
    We have devices that are able to report their status by email set to email the helpdesk, so tickets are made automaticaly for things like paper jams and printers running out if toner, access points going offline etc.

    The inventory can be customised so you can add your own fields for each device, eg we have a date field for when projector bulbs were last changed, filters were last cleaned.

    All in all its takes a bit of setting up but is worth it

  14. #27
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    Mind if I ask a simple question, what does it need linking to AD for and does it have to if I want to put it on a server that does not run the AD?

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    If you link to active directory it lets users have single sign on for reporting issues on help desk with their username and if you link your email server it will email users with help desk updates

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    Yes, suppose that explains why, logical when you think about it! Next question, to log a call, do users need a specific name, email address etc, reason being I work in a Primary and only part of the week so this would be good to log calls when I'm not there and it emails me. At moment I dont have a problem logging system (not that we have many) apart from my memory and a dry wipe board. The reason for requiring few logon details to log a call apart from say name is the teachers would just not cope!

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    Screen Shot 2014-02-23 at 19.16.45.pngBeen using Spiceworks since the early days when it was really slow. The main problem with it is they keep bolting this and that to it ( its free so they need to make money some how ) and every time they add something else it causes problems. Their support is really really poor. The bog standard reply is update to the next version - which then causes more problems. The memory usage is shocking, as soon as the main process hits 2 gig it either just dies, or just hangs - check out the production log and you will see a Fatal Memory problem. I've asked countless times what certain parts of the production log mean whilst trying to troubleshoot and they never give a proper reply. Ver 6 was good, Ver 7 is terrible - the new GUI stinks and you can't display as much info ( tickets ) on one page as you could in the old layout + you have to click more just to view ticket details. How they state that this is an improvement is laughable. Luckily you can revert back to the old gui. If you want it stable and quick then just turn off all the bells and whistles and concentrate on the helpdesk. There are some excellent plugins, and you can use auto ticket allocation, auto response, tickets anywhere ( control tickets via E-mail commands ) and there is a app for both Apple and Android. These are the good elements. The scanning side is good but to get it to work without interruptions we are now installing versions on all our remote servers ( 24 subnets too look after where I work ) and I will either try and merge the collected data into a DB or leave them as is - having a central point and the agents running even once a day on each subnet causes problems for us. And I suggest you have it ignoring any scanning of firewalls, they don't like it.
    So there are good sides ( helpdesk ) and there are bad sides ( badly written, terrible support - buy hey its free ) - I'm not an expert but I've nursed our setup over the last few years now - I've moved it to new servers, I've linked servers, I know how to knock it over very easily - something which I highlighted to them but they have said 'Ooooo, that shouldn't happen' and that was it !! It's an interesting business model the company runs, but I don't like the forced updates and the constant add ons which just generate more issues.
    I could talk for quite a while on Spiceworks but will only bore the pants of everyone......

    Who said 1000 tickets ? << cough :-) >> See attached screen shot.
    Last edited by mattx; 23rd February 2014 at 07:20 PM.

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