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  1. #1
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    Machines management

    HI,

    My QA department has as many as 150 machines, Unix and Windows based platforms, divided into several QA teams.
    Each team uses it's own machines and when needed, lend machines for other teams to use.
    Currently each team uses its own method for tracking its machines usage (who uses the machine, start/end dates of use, etc.).
    Some keep the info in Word, some in Excel.
    I'm looking for one centralized tool that can do the job of tracking the machines usage.
    I would like also that there will be an option to find out if a machine was idle for a period of time, waste of resources, etc.

    Do any of you know of such a tool, or even a tool that can satisfy some of my needs?

    How do you keep track of the machines usage in your organization?

    Thanks,

    Nivo

  2. #2
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    Re: Machines management

    We use stickynotes placed on the monitor [img]images/icons/smile.gif[/img]

    Does everyone use Outlook? If so, perhaps you could use the calendar to track system usage? Of course this will probably look ugly if you need to track 150 machines individually.

    An Access database would probably work, but that would require some design work up front.

  3. #3
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    Re: Machines management

    150 machines for testing purposes? do you know how lucky you are? I have one machine, dual boot with 2 OS, and 3 browser versions. And I had to fight to get that!
    The important thing is not to stop questioning.
    -Albert Einstein

  4. #4
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    Re: Machines management

    150 Machines? How large is you're office?

    Check out VMware

    We have been using this tool for sometime and won't ever look back...what should be about 80 machines we fit on 4 Host PCs. Each host can run a couple of VM's (Virtual Machines) at a time...

    Of course, this restricts how many people cna use the machone at once, but have look into it anyway.

  5. #5
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    Re: Machines management

    HI,

    My organization is big, about 40 QA people in my division.
    I know VMware, but this is good for Windows only and not for Unix. Also, implementing VMware coast a lot since we support all Windows based OS for our products, and since a VMware host will be required to run several emulations at once, it requires strong machines which means more money to spend.
    As I written, we also have many Unix machines and we need more machines for performance (VMware is good for functionality tests mainly).
    We once had a tool, developed in the organization, which used a small agent installed on each machine (Unix and Windows) that reported to a server the state of the machine, QA person could order an account for dates and it was easy to track the machines usage: how much disk space left, account existing on the machines, when will the machine be available, and so on.
    The problem was that it requires many developing hours, fixes, maintenances, configuration management and so on, so we stopped using it.
    I'm looking for a ready made tool that I can buy that would save me the trouble of developing and maintaining a tool by myself.

  6. #6
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    Re: Machines management

    Hey Nivo, as soon as I read your post, I knew you'd be getting all sorts of "I walk 5 miles uphills both ways in the driving snow just to get my one test machine" type answers.

    I too have dealt with problems of keeping test machinery inventories up to date. Never went as far as tracking whether the machines were actually in use. What a great idea! I just did a search on operations tracking inventory (don't ask me how I came up with that search string and this is the first site I found: http://www.industrialnewsroom.com/fullstory/25222. Have only scanned the document - maybe this software will work or it will kickstart your search for the proper software you need.

    Gail
    Gabba Gabba Hey

  7. #7
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    Re: Machines management

    Gail brings up a good point, as inventory tracking software is an option.

    I wonder if you can get something similar to stuff used in public libraries (though not as complex)?

 

 

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