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Getting an IT Helpdesk running on the cheap..


IT is a costly business for any company SAN’s, Blades, Servers, OS Licences the list goes on so having a few core IT Helpdesk management tools which make your life more organised and are free can only be a good thing.

Teampass –

Teampass is a great browser based password management system, keeping those paswords in a centrally backed up loacation rather than as individual local files. It can be hosted on any LAMPP server and uses some great SALT tech to ensure the passwords are well protected.
You can setup users and groups and assign who can see what in the password containers allowing different staff and depts access to their own Password vaults.


Simple quick and easy Asset management, something which can cost a fortune is free with this project and does a good job of keeping not just a database of assets but tracking who has those assets. Can take a while to sort out and data input if you have a huge number of assets but is worth it each end of year.

RackTables –

Just as asset management is a pain so can IP Address and network management especially as networks grow and get more complex with VLAN’s and IPv6
Again setting this up properly can give you patch scheduling, IP to device, location in racks all kinds of useful data.. However at the very least it provides you with a way of managing those static IP Addresses


This is the big stuff, network management, you want to know when problems are happening before they happen then you need his, Icinga is a fork of Nagios the Open source go to guy for may years. This fork provides a better interface however uses the same config file back end.
Just as a side note, with a little back scripting and MYSQL knowhow it is possible to get the data out of Racktables and into ICINGA and if you do it as a cron job you can update IP’s and add and remove devices with only one interface making the process easy
ICINGA just like nagios takes a while to setup, running SNMP on your devices is a must for data feedback and setting alarms is a bit tedious, however once setup you get a better idea of what is going on. It also does a good job of ESX management.

osTicket –

An IT ticketing system needs to do a few things. It needs to be simple have a web portal for users to up date thier own tickets, it needs to link into your AD network, it needs to have a mail in system so users can mail tickets to you. It needs to be able to update users by mail. Most importantly i needs to be able to output stats. Management like figures..
Osticket does all of this in a simple interface….

Openfire –

Openfire server UI

Lync maybe all the rage in the world of Microsoft, however its not the only kid on the block, Openfire is a fully XMPP chat server which provides that MSN/Yahoo Chat/ AOL experience within your company. Utilising either Ignite’s Spark Client or any number of cross platform XMPP compatible platforms this opens up new avenues for communication for your staff on Desktops, Mobiles on the go.. Getting in touch with people in realtime is important..

Pfsense –



PFsense is a BSD based catch all distro, it provides just about all server based functions you’d need on a live or test network. I have used this as a router, DNS and DHCP server, however it has much more functionality. The support is good and i’ve not had to once installed worry about the underlying BSD. If you do use it it might be worth buying the pfSense Cookbook as the proceeds fund the project.


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