Agent Based Discovery – Why & How?

Agent based discovery is here!  Why did we do it, and how? Let’s start with why – three reasons:

  1. A variation on the traveling salesman problem – How do you keep inventory up to date for laptops that very infrequently, if ever connect to the LAN?

  2. Related to the above, what if those laptops aren’t members of a centralized directory like AD (active directory), so you don’t have credentials to inventory them, even if they do happen to connect to the LAN?
  3. Third but not least, Security, Security, Security! Reduce firewall port forwarding configuration, local firewall rules and exceptions, and therefore overall complexity by allowing the agent to initiate the connection to the server. An exception / rule on every machine is replaced by a single FW rule.

The how is even simpler;  Install or deploy the new agent on the machines you find an agent more suitable for, be it a subset or all of them. Maybe you’ll use agent-less for your servers, and deploy agents as part of your standard laptop build – the possibilities are endless. Schedule the frequency of the agent callback via a cron job or scheduled task, and that’s it! Every time it’s run, it updates its own inventory entry in Device42.

Currently the agent only supports “basic” inventory – this means hardware, software, and services. No application mapping yet, but it is coming. Take this into consideration when deciding where to use agents or which machines to continue inventorying agentless-ly, in the meantime. Service Dependencies with the agent officially released!

We’re excited about the new possibilities the addition of an Agent brings to the Device42 platform, and would love to hear how you are planning on using it. Questions, comments, and requests are always welcome, as well!


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