Inventory Management @ OCF

We have over $100,000 worth of inventory in the lab, server room, etc. The responsible thing to do would be to keep track of these objects, especially because many of these things are easy to swipe when nobody is looking, like a GPU in a desktop. We should look into open source tools that will assist with logging our active inventory so that we can regularly check the state of our inventory, which will allow for a more prompt response to theft and allow for a more compelling case if we need to work with third parties to solve these issues. This would also be helpful in the future when we need to place orders, perform upgrades, etc.

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carterturn in my family wrote some tools around this proposal that we should work on productionizing

Can you give a quick summary of what he worked on?

In general, if there exists ready-made open source tools to do this I’d probably prefer using those to rolling our own custom solution.

He worked on a set of scripts to collect hardware data from our hosts, like types/quantities of RAM, GPU, CPU, serial numbers, etc and write it to JSON files.

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@minos and I would like to revive this project.

Some things to consider in such a hefty project are where we’re going to keep this inventory list and how we will take inventory of so much without risking things getting moved around while we’re trying to take inventory.

@dkessler had mentioned a previous staffer had found open source software that was perfect for our use case of office inventory management. Since no one can remember the name of the software, we’ll have to see if we can find it or something similar. I’d rather do this and work with solid software over starting down the route of throwing everything into google sheets.

Second, minos had mentioned that maybe we could work on the inventory list over spring break to minimize the possibility of things getting moved around while taking inventory.

We should also think about how we will reliably keep inventory up to date.

@night did a lot of work on this at the beginning of last semester. I am not sure where that is documented.