Matrix42 License Management uses data providers and the data gateway service to perform the agentless discovery and inventory. The agentless discovery and inventory entails collecting data about all virtual and physical devices of a certain network as well as getting hardware and software specifics of these devices.
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 for agentless discovery and inventory are described individually for each data provider.
The agentless discovery and inventory process can be divided into three basic 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. There are several viable discovery methods, one of which is importing records from Active Directory.
- Inventory. Collection of detailed information about hardware specification and a list of all applications that are locally installed on discovered computers.
- Analysis. Creation of license requirements that are in conformity with license models of the corresponding software products, including licensing terms of server virtualization.
There are several ways to create a pool of devices that should be inventoried in Matrix42 License Management.
Depending on the specifics of the organization's environment, you can either use one of the procedures below or add objects manually.
Importing from the Active Directory
The Active Directory data provider imports the list of computers, user accounts, and groups from one or several Active Directory domains. This is applicable if the data center is managed by using the Active Directory. With regard to computers, the following information is retrieved for each device:
- Computer name
- Asset status
To import information from a specific domain, you should provide credentials for accessing the domain and define other conditions for data import.
Using data providers for virtual infrastructure
You can configure three specific data providers in Matrix42 License Management to access the data center infrastructures that are based on VMware vCenter, Microsoft Hyper-V or Citrix XenServer solutions. These data providers allow the computers and relationships between them in the network to be discovered and imported to Matrix42 Software Asset & 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. Both for hosts and for virtual machines, the following attributes are identified:
- Computer name
- IP address
- Power status (Powered On, Powered Off, Suspended, Unknown)
- Host computer (for virtual machines)
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 Software Asset & 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.ч
Compiling software and hardware inventory
In this step Matrix42 License Management uses the 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
Analyzing the inventory results
After all information about the computers of the network has been collected, Matrix42 License Management background processing analyzes it to create license requirements for the used software products. Automatically created license requirements are based on license models that have been specified for each software product.