Hardware Inventory is the list of devices in an environment along with detailed information about hardware specifications. To get this information, the user/admin has to login to device and should execute "Show Inventory" command. In response to the show inventory command, TELNET/putty displays the hardware information of the device. This process has to be executed to each device in your environment manually, which can prove to be a tedious task.
Let's consider a scenario where finding the hardware details of the devices in your network becomes crucial:
When a vendor releases the latest OS version for certain device models, you will have to upgrade the existing OS version to the latest one to avoid vulnerablility. To do so, first you need to manually identify the vulnerable devices by logging in to each device and identify its version, series number, model etc., Once the vulnerable devices are identified, their OS can be upgraded in NCM.
Having a list of devices along with the hardware details mentioned in it would make it easier and faster to pick out the vulnerable devices. The Hardware Inventory in Network Configuration Manager helps to identify the devices quickly as it provides additional device details. In-addition to this, you can also apply filters to identify vulnerable devices using various details like the firmware version number, model number etc. The details are updated each time the configuration files are backed up.
Once the vulnerable devices are identified, the user will be able to easily upgrade the OS version of devices in bulk using configlets.
Note: The extensive hardware details are available only for Cisco devices as of now. We'll soon bring in the same for all vendors.
Not just that but hardware inventory also comes in handy when you want to get the:
Applying filters makes it easy to find out the exact device one is looking for, since devices can be easily identified using unique hardware detail such as the serial number. These filters are available in devices of all vendors.