SA company develops auditing tool, earns MS approval

Durban software development house, Gencentric, has announced that its NetWhyz program, which audits and monitors hardware, software, and environment information on servers and PCs, has received Microsoft Corp. accreditation.

The product is one of a handful of locally developed programs to be accredited by Veritest -- a Microsoft testing laboratory -- certifying it to be a high quality and stable program for Microsoft's 2003 Server and XP operating systems.

Graham Misselhorn, managing partner at Gencentric, says that while there are many applications on the market that "profess to offer auditing as part of an overall solution", NetWhyz was designed purely as an auditing tool.

"I believe that our product is the only one of its kind to focus purely on the auditing aspect -- meaning that this functionality is greatly enhanced over competitive systems in terms of speed and reporting, with zero vendor dependency.

"NetWhyz has the ability to integrate seamlessly to third party programs, such as help desk and asset management software, should users require a full-blown solution," says Misselhorn.

He maintains that, with the Business Software Alliance clamping down on illegal software, as well as theft of components such as memory, an auditing tool has become an essential element in the data center.

NetWhyz deploys a small agent to each computer on the network, and, each time a machine is booted, the agent runs NetWhyz Interrogator locally, scanning for hardware, software, and environment data.

The scan is rapid and silent, and requires no user intervention. Data files for each scanned computer are returned to a server, and are automatically imported into a NetWhyz database. Information on the PCs and servers is then accessed via the NetWhyz Admin Console.

When an immediate update is needed of a networked PC or server, a remote scan can be done across the LAN or WAN from the NetWhyz Admin Console. This feature allows administrators to access up-to-date information when users have not logged on for a lengthy period of time. The product is designed for TCP/IP networks including Windows NT/2000, Novell and Unix, and for client workstations running Windows 95B, 98, NT, ME, 2000 or XP. NetWhyz runs across both LANs and WANs with minimal effect on network traffic.

Any hardware, software or environment changes to any computer are logged and presented under "alerts", which allows the network administrator to keep track of authorized or unauthorized changes, including illegally loaded software and theft of hardware components. The system offers a powerful, highly flexible report writer, which outputs the report directly into Microsoft Excel with no importing, or exporting of text files. This allows users to format and graph data for reports and presentations.

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