7 Useful Network Discovery Features
Peter Drucker famously said that you cannot manage what you cannot measure. This applies to manage people, projects and even the assets in your organization. And in order to measure anything, you need to know what and how much you’re managing. Therefore, Network Discovery Tools can identify the assets on their network. Let’s review 7 useful network discovery features to help you manage your assets.
1. Hardware Inventory
There is no doubt that you need to know how many computers are on your network. A Network Discovery tool will not only accurately report the number of computers but also provide hundreds of extracts hundreds of pieces of information about each device. Hardware inventory provides a baseline of data for your ITAM and ITSM processes.
Key data points: Number of hardware units, number of hardware types, CPU of each device, the memory of the device, hard disk
2. Software Inventory
A software inventory scan provides detailed information regarding what software is installed on devices on your network. Software inventory scans retrieve so much information that you may need to normalize the data into comprehensive information for reporting. An IT Asset Management tool, like VIZOR, can take care of that.
Key data points: Number of software units, different types of software, versions, installed locations, license keys
3. Multiple Scans
Network Discovery tools use several scans to obtain information from every part of your network. Here are a few examples:
DMI: “ The Desktop Management Interface (DMI) generates a standard framework for managing and tracking components in a desktop, notebook or server computer, by abstracting these components from the software that manages them.”
WDI: “Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI) is the infrastructure for management data and operations on Windows-based operating systems. You can write WMI scripts or applications to automate administrative tasks on remote computers but WMI also supplies management data to other parts of the operating system and products.”
BIOS: “Basic Input Output System is software stored on a small memory chip on the motherboard. It’s BIOS that’s responsible for the POST and therefore makes it the very first software to run when a computer is started.”
Determining your inventory with agents has its benefits. Although you need to install an agent on every computer, it provides real-time inventory data. Thus, giving you the ability to extract accurate reporting at any time. Network discovery agents can also run at elevated privileges, this can often result in richer data collection such as by the second software usage data.
For some environments or computers, it is not possible to have a permanently installed agent. It is therefore beneficial to use a network discovery tool that provides agent and agentless inventory options.
6. SNMP Scan
Some network-connected devices such as printers, routers, and switches have a basic or no operating system. Network discovery tools can use an SNMP (Simple Network Management Protocol) scan to audit such devices.
7. HTTPS Data Transfer
Your inventory should be accurate no matter where your devices are. Look for a network discovery tool that utilizes secure HTTPS data transfer to support remote workers and workgroup devices.
So What Are The Benefits of Network Discovery?
- Obtaining data of the assets on your network automatically
- Enough data points to create any report management is looking for
- Multiple ways to extract data
- Secure methods of Retrieving information
There are multiple scans that can help you identify the devices and software on your network. In turn, your organization will be better equipped to manage them. If you have any questions about scanning your network, inquire here.