We live in an increasingly interconnected world and as the number (and type) of devices attached to the office network grows, network administrators face an increased challenge in keeping track of precisely what is connected to the network and once connected, its online status.
Network Discovery, included from Windows Advanced Monitoring Agent 9.9.0 RC, scans the subnet of the selected network the Agent is attached to and discovers details all of the connected devices and with the Discovery Agent bundled in the Windows Monitoring Agent .
This network information helps to alleviate the following problems administrators confront:
- Multiple Networks - Monitor multiple networks directly from the Dashboard.
- Unknown devices - Knowing which devices are on the network make their monitoring and management easier
- Security - Any newly attached devices are reported on within five to ten minutes of their connection, along with time when the device was first and last seen. This can prove useful when tracking down unauthorized access to the network.
- Connection issues - The device online status may be used to troubleshoot problems on the network, for example where a switch is offline.
- Hardware update/upgrade - Where devices require a hardware update or upgrade the Connected Devices section can be queried to return all devices matching this criteria.
- Export CSV - The Dashboard information for both the Network and Connected Devices section is exportable as CSV.
How does it work?
When enabled the Discovery Agent is automatically deployed alongside the Advanced Monitoring Agent from 9.9.0RC onwards and reports back to the Dashboard every five minutes.
Once installed on the device the Discovery Agent retrieves basic information on the networks it is attached to (wired or wireless, Subnet, Netmask, Default Gateway, Wireless name). These details are uploaded to the Dashboard where the network may be selected for management in the Networks tab, Networks, Manage a new network.
After selecting the required network, and entering the Network Credentials if required, the Discovery Agent will then scan the network subnet to detect any attached devices and report this information back to the Networks tab of the Dashboard.
The Discovery Agent utilizes a variety of protocols to scan the network and to improve the scan accuracy the credentials in use on the network (including Windows Domain Admin Account, SNMP Community String, SSH Account, Telnet Account and HTTP/S Account) may be incorporated as part of the scan.
To ensure the network information is always up-to-date, Network Discovery employs a fall-over mechanism. If the Discovery Agent currently uploading the network information goes offline, another Discovery Agent on the network is designated the Primary Discoverer and will begin to scan the network then upload its results to the Dashboard. It may take up to two cycles (ten minutes) to assign a new Primary Discoverer with this selection prioritization based on device type: server, workstation then laptop.
Push Install Windows or Mac Agent
Rather than install the Windows or Mac Agent onto each device manually (or deploy via Group Policy for Windows), we have included the ability to Push Install the Windows Monitoring Agent to the target device selection directly from the Dashboard. This was supported for Windows devices from Dashboard 6.12.6 and from Dashboard 6.20 for Mac computers running 10.9 (Maverick) or later.
Push Install is available as part of Network Discovery and utilizes technology included in the Discovery Agent bundled with Windows Monitoring Agent 9.13.7 and later.
Once the Push Install selection is made the Discovery Agent will download the required package and begin the deployment process to the target devices on the network, applying any Monitoring Templates configured at the Site level (Windows).
Network Discovery is available for Windows devices running XP or later.
For supported Windows versions and the associated Monitoring Agent (where applicable), please refer to Supported Operating Systems: Windows.
Network Discovery uses .NET components as part of its scan and the required version of .NET depends on the computer's Operating System.
Windows XP SP3, Windows Server 2003 SP2
From: Windows Vista SP2 and Windows Server 2008
.NET information, including its supported Operating Systems, is available from the following Microsoft articles .NET Framework system requirements, Microsoft .NET Framework 4 (Web Installer) and Microsoft .NET Framework 4.5.
Where the required version of .NET is not installed on the device, it is automatically downloaded and deployed silently by the Agent.
The size of the network and its scope will affect the duration of the scan, for example the larger the network and more protocols used the longer the scan will take to complete.
Please be aware that the Discovery Agent utilizes the available system resources when running the network scan on the Primary Discoverer, as such this may potentially lead to an increase in CPU usage on this device during the scan.
Although the Discovery Agent retrieves basic information about the networks it is attached to, it does not attempt to scan the network and discover any connected devices until afterthe network is placed under management on the Dashboard.
Please note that the Network Discovery Agent is removed from the device when the Advanced Monitoring Agent is uninstalled.
If removed independently of the Advanced Monitoring Agent the Network Discovery Agent will automatically re-install.
Please be aware that Dashboard user access to, and usage of this feature is dependent upon the permissions associated with their role.
Network Discovery was previously known as Active Discovery.
What do you want to do?
- Enable Network Discovery
- Setup Network Management
- View Connected Devices
- Edit Device or Network details