Matrix42 Enterprise Service Management uses data providers to import devices and inventory. Data providers allow collecting data about all virtual and physical devices of a certain network as well as getting hardware and software specifics of these devices. Data providers use the data gateway service to collect all necessary data.
The advantage of using data gateways lies in the fact that there is no need to install a data gateway on each endpoint device. To operate successfully, it should be installed on one device that has access to the entire network.
Specifics of configuring data providers differ for each data provider.
Collecting inventory about devices and infrastructure can be divided into two steps:
- Discovery. Identification of the potential range of devices that should be scanned. Identifying virtual machines that are hosted in a virtualization platform is also possible.
- Inventory. Collection of detailed information about hardware specification and a list of all applications that are locally installed on discovered computers.
There are three ways to create a pool of devices that should be inventoried:
- by using out-of-the-box data providers,
- by using add-ons installed from Extension Gallery,
- by running a custom script.
Importing devices by using out-of-the-box data providers
Matrix42 Enterprise Service Management provides several data providers that allow immediate integration with various systems. The following data providers are available out of the box:
- Active Directory
- Azure Active Directory / Office 365
- Enterprise Manager Inventory
- SCCM Inventory
- MWM AirWatch
- MWM Silverback
There are also data providers that allow importing the virtual infrastructure for the three main virtualization technologies:
- Inventory of Citrix XenServer
- Inventory of Microsoft Hyper-V
- Inventory of VMware vCenter
These data providers allow the computers and relationships between them in the network to be discovered and imported to Matrix42 Enterprise Service Management. As such relationships are normally dynamic, frequent scans of virtual infrastructure are recommended to keep up with the changing relationships between objects in the network.
You can run a custom script to scan a network for devices by using the specified network range. For example, it can be Invoke-TSPingSweep.psi1. Using this script for network scanning returns two attributes for computer objects:
- Computer name
- IP address
The obtained information should be imported in Matrix42 Enterprise Service Management by using an import definition (GDIE).
If you run custom scripts to scan for existing devices, security systems that operate in your network can misinterpret them as a network attack.
Using add-ons to import devices
Based on your needs, you can install add-ons from Matrix42 Extension Gallery. The add-ons extend the discovery and inventory features by including, among other things, the possibility to track usage of cloud-based software tools.
The Extension Gallery provides the following add-ons:
Compiling software and hardware inventory
Devices discovered by data providers
Each data provider imports a different set of data. Most of them import all information required for the management of assets.
However, if you also need to perform license management for used applications, it is recommended that you run Windows Inventory and Unix Inventory data providers to collect information about the software and hardware of computers that have been earlier discovered in the network. Both these data providers retrieve the following data:
- Installed applications - information about the installed applications
- Hardware - information about hardware, such as CPU, memory, storage, etc.
The Windows Inventory data provider also collects the specific data related to:
- SQL Server - information about deployed Microsoft SQL Server instances, including Edition
- Exchange - information about deployed Microsoft Exchange Servers, including Edition
- SharePoint - information about deployed Microsoft SharePoint Servers, including Edition
Infrastructure discovered by add-ons
Add-ons do not necessarily import devices, but rather infrastructure data that is specific to each add-on. This includes the software inventory. Add-ons are designed to be self-sufficient in order to provide asset management for imported data. To know the specifics of each add-on, please refer to the corresponding help section.
Analyzing the inventory results
Matrix42 Enterprise Service Management uses software and hardware inventory collected by data providers and Extension Gallery add-ons to create license requirements and, in some cases, licenses. This is important for maintaining the license compliance.
In addition, some data providers enable the distribution of services to imported devices via the Self Service Portal actions.