Network Discovery

Network Discovery helps you keep track of the ever-increasing number, and type, of devices connected to an office network, and it provides you with online status for those connected devices.

Network Discovery, included from Windows Advanced Monitoring Agent 9.9.0 RC, scans the subnet of the selected network the Agent is attached to every 5 minutes, and it discovers details of the connected devices and with the Discovery Agent bundled in the Windows Monitoring Agent.

Network Discovery was previously known as Active Discovery.

Dashboard user access to, and usage of this feature, is dependent upon the permissions associated with their role.

Network Discovery helps you with the following common network challenges:

  • Multiple Networks - Monitor multiple networks directly from the Dashboard.
  • Unknown devices - Knowing the devices on the network make monitoring and management easier
  • Security - Newly connected devices are reported within five to ten minutes, along with the time the device was first and last seen, which is useful when tracking down unauthorized access to the network.
  • Connection issues - The device online status helps troubleshoot problems on the network. For example, when a switch is offline.
  • Hardware update/upgrade - When devices require a hardware update or upgrade, you can query the Connected Devices section to return all devices matching this criteria.
  • Export CSV - You can export a CSV for the Network and Connected Devices sections of the Dashboard.

How does it work?

When enabled the Discovery Agent is automatically deployed with 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). The information is uploaded to the Dashboard where the network may be selected for management in the Networks tab, Networks, Manage a new network.

After you select the required network and enter the Network Credentials, if required, the Discovery Agent scans the network subnet every five minutes to detect attached devices and reports back to the Networks tab of the Dashboard.

The Discovery Agent uses various 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 it scans the network and uploads the 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, and then laptop.

Push Install Windows or Mac Agent

Rather than install the Windows or Mac Agent on each device manually (or deploy via Group Policy for Windows), you can Push Install the Windows Monitoring Agent to the target device selection directly from the Dashboard. This is 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 uses 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 downloads the required package and begins the deployment process to the target devices on the network, applying any Monitoring Templates configured at the Site level (Windows).

Requirements

Operating System

Network Discovery is available for Windows devices running Windows Vista or later.

For supported Windows versions and the associated Monitoring Agent (where applicable), see Supported Operating Systems: Windows.

TCP Ports

Network Discovery scans the network over the following TCP ports.

22 SSH
80 HTTP
135

WMI

389

LDAP

443

HTTPS

464

Kerberos

3268

LDAP

3269

LDAP over SSL

62078 used by iOS

Dependency Framework

Network Discovery uses .NET components as part of its scan. The required .NET version is Microsoft .NET Framework 4.5, which works with Windows Vista SP2 and Windows Server 2008 and later.

For more information about .NET and its supported Operating Systems, see .NET Framework system requirements.

Where the required version of .NET is not installed on the device, it is automatically downloaded and deployed silently by the Agent.

Scan Information

The size of the network and its scope affects the duration of the scan. For example, the larger the network and more protocols used, the longer the scan takes to complete.

Please be aware that the Discovery Agent uses 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 scan the network and discover connected devices until after the network is placed under management on the Dashboard.

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.

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