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12/2/2009 8:22 AM
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Current Status: 0.1.0.5 is released - see download link
Cost:
$0 at present. This may change later in the project.
License: Free to use this binary as you wish. Don't decompile.
Operating System: Windows 2000 and above. Sorry, no *nix or Apple at this time.
Language: c# .NET (dependent on 2.0 or above framework)
Discussion group: https://systim.fogbugz.com/default.asp?systim-general
Bugs/Feature Requests: email cases@systim.fogbugz.com 
Notice:
Tester needed!

Systim stands for System Information Manager, and its starting aim is to become a simple tool for managing Windows system configurations. The Systim tool will perform periodic inventories of various system configuration items, store them to a textfile repository, and alert designated people when those configurations are changed in some way.

Systim is mainly intended for system administrators who administer Windows servers. It is not a traditional system-monitoring solution which will tell you about outages or overloaded servers; for this I recommend solutions like Zenoss, System Center, Nagios, or Servers Alive (there are many other good ones as well). Systim is more like Tripwire, but not quite so file-dependent as Tripwire appears to be.

Here's a simple example of Systim in use: imagine you walk up to a server you have not touched in some time. While performing administration tasks, you discover that someone has changed the DHCP client service startup type to disabled. The change may have seemed reasonable to a junior admin, since the system has a static IP address - but as a more experienced admin, you know that this means the server will no longer register itself in Dynamic DNS, which could therefore create many problems. You really wish you had been notified when this change occurred, so that you could educate that junior admin about the potential pitfalls of his seemingly reasonable action. Systim would have told you about the change!

Systim will, of course, monitor many other configuration items. It can tell you when someone changes the local Administrator password, or adds local Administrators, or changes any service configuration, or adds/removes hardware or software, or changes the IP configuration or hosts file ... all of these are just a start on what Systim will eventually be capable of doing for you. It runs completely agentless, and takes less than 60 seconds per server per day to compile the information it needs. It doesn't need a dedicated server, since it is small and uses few resources when it runs.

Here's a video of SystIM in action (6 minutes, 22 seconds).

As of November 30, SystIM has a new developer working on it: John Goodwin. He keeps his website here, and he's been teaching me a lot of sorely-needed good coding practice. He will definitely improve the project's quality and velocity, if I don't wear him out with stupid questions!

Systim is in current development but we're not promising any release dates. The more feedback we get about it, the more motivated w will be to develop it. We look forward to your questions, comments, and feature suggestions, which you can submit via the discussion area, by ticket, or by email.

 You can suggest or vote on features for SystIM here!

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Credit for the SystIM logo goes to adam3k

I'd also like to thank Joel Spolsky and his team at Fog Creek Software for the use of FogBugz, which is really an amazing peice of software (you're looking at part of it). I'd been reading stuff by and about Joel for a couple years. When I finally decided to pay to use his company's software, I learned that they walk the walk. It's just an incredibly elegant peice of work - mostly it just gets out of the way and lets you get on with what you want to do. And, I learned that little guys like me can run the hosted OnDemand version for free. As long as you have 2 or less users, they just don't charge anything. Heckuvadeal! Thanks again, Fog Creek.

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