Documentation forSolarWinds Service Desk

Discovery & assets

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This setup document explains how the SWSD Discovery & Assets module lets administrators discover assets across your network.


Setup > Discovery & Assets.

About Discovery

SolarWinds Discovery provides several methods for extracting detailed information from every component in your IT infrastructure. Using the combination of agent and agentless technologies, you can collect detailed information about your hardware and software assets.

Fully integrated into your SWSD instance, Discovery aligns your asset management, configuration management, and service management processes. This alignment helps you maximize the value of your assets, providing the insights you need to maintain the assets that support your organization.

Using Discovery, you can track your asset landscape to capture data insights and drive your business and financial decisions. This helps you reduce your IT spending, mitigate potential technology risks, maintain compliance with software licensing, and receive real-time visibility into all assets across your organization. Additionally, Discovery automatically updates your technology asset inventory with the latest information about your IT and business environment.

Software data, such as title, version, and vendor can be pulled via the agent, an SCCM connection, and Intune.

Discovery tools

Discovery includes the Discovery Agent and the Discovery Scanner. To obtain maximum insight into your network, SolarWinds recommends using both tools at the same time.

  • The Discovery Agent collects detailed hardware and software information about the computing devices that host the agent. The host devices can include computers, servers, and mobile devices. This tool also provides the following features:

    • Support for Windows and Apple computers and servers.

    • Collection of over 200 data points from each hosting device, including hardware, BIOS, and installed software titles.

    • A mobile agent for Apple and Android mobile devices.

    • Automatic updates when a new version is available. No device restart is required.

    • Superior security using the latest Transport Layer Security (TLS) standard. All data is encrypted and requires a private key.

    • Enhanced scalability on your deployment requirements.

    The agent uses very little bandwidth. All collected information is compressed. The size of the agent inventory file is less than 200KB. The agents run at random intervals, once a day, so that bandwidth usage is spread across the day to minimize network traffic.

    For the agent to report, the device it is installed on can be anywhere (coffee shop, home, or hotel, etc.) as long as it is connected to the internet.
  • The Discovery Scanner uses agentless discovery technology to scan your entire network. Using a pluggable architecture that continuously scans for changes, the scanner collects information about all of your IP-connected devices. Additionally, the scanner imports assets from multiple data sources via out-of-the-box integrations with multiple asset repositories and configuration management systems.

    This tool also provides the following features:

    • An extensible architecture that uses multiple protocols to collect additional data on your assets, including SSH and SNMP v1-v3.

    • Routine scanning cycles that reflect all changes to your infrastructure.

    • Automatic update when a new version is available.

    For the scanner to report, the device it is installed on must be connected to the network. The scanner cannot pull information regarding software; only the agent can do that.

Best practices

SolarWinds recommends that you:

  • Follow the proper order for setup.

    1. Install the scanner.
    2. Set up your credentials.
    3. Set up your connection.
    4. Apply your credentials.
  • Initially deploy the Discovery Agent on your endpoint device. After you complete the deployment and setup processes, install the agent on host devices throughout your organization.

  • Deploy the Discovery Scanner on one or more subnets in your network. During the deployment, use the following guidelines:

    • Ensure that the Discovery Scanner can access all subnets that include the targeted asset data you want to collect in your network.

    • Create an organized deployment method. The key to efficient asset management is to access all targeted subnets. If you have multiple subnets, consider adding a router integration to pull information from multiple subnets. If the subnets cannot communicate with each other, each subnet will require a separate scanner.

    • Consider the subnet load. Calculating the number of devices connected to each subnet is not sufficient. You need to consider the load of processes to determine whether to deploy a scanner on each subnet or whether one deployment for multiple connected subnets is sufficient.

Related topics

Discovery Agent installation

Discovery Scanner

Chrome OS devices

Discovery for Chrome OS