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The role of discovery in BMC Asset Management

Discovery applications discover CI data and store the data in an internal database, which can then be populated into the CMDB. These applications discover data on a regular basis as new hardware or software is installed or uninstalled and as updates happen in the company's environment. It is important that required filters are set up at the discovery level itself, so only necessary data is populated in the CMDB when data is discovered.

Transfer of data that is not required may impact the performance and manageability of the CMDB. Accurate and relevant information being populated in the CMDB in a consistent way is a crucial part of the software license management lifecycle.

There are a few products that customers can use for discovery. There are discovery products that specialize in either desktop or server discovery, or in both. BMC provides two discovery products that use different techniques to populate pertinent data into the CMDB for software license management (SWLM):

BMC provides two discovery products that use different techniques to populate pertinent data into the CMDB for software license management (SWLM):

  • For BMC Atrium Discovery and Dependency Mapping (BMC Atrium Discovery), the Discovery Engine uses multiple discovery techniques to obtain information about your organization's hardware and software. The Reasoning Engine (is this term correct?), which supports the Discovery Engine, intelligently infers the maximum amount of information about hosts and programs, stores the data in the discovery datastore, and populates the data model. For more information on the role BMC Atrium Discovery plays in your SWLM implementation strategy, see The role of BMC Atrium Discovery.
  • For BMC BladeLogic Client Automation, the Scanner Service discovers inventory data on the endpoints and sends desktop-type inventory data to the Inventory database. For more information on the role BMC BladeLogic Client Automation plays in your SWLM implementation strategy, see The role of BMC BladeLogic Client Automation.

Although multiple discovery applications might be deployed on the same estate, the way that the applications discover data is very different. For example, BMC Atrium Discovery automatically discovers configuration items (CIs) across disparate technology layers and provides the information in a single, automated view. BMC BladeLogic Client Automation provides agent-based, highly-detailed, hardware, software title, and OS patch attribute discovery of client devices.

The integration points for BMC Atrium Discovery and BMC BladeLogic Client Automation are at the CMDB level, rather than among the products themselves. Therefore, both discovery applications populate the CMDB from their own perspective. The products were not intended to coexist on the same computer; instead, they are packaged together to ensure that you are fully aware of and have the use of the offerings that best fit your unique discovery need.

In situations where an endpoint is discovered and reported on by both discovery providers, BMC Atrium Discovery does not modify its behavior in any way. Any preferred provider is as implemented in BMC Atrium CMDB to prevent the discovery of duplicate CIs.

Best Practice

Do not run BMC BladeLogic Client Automation and BMC Atrium Discovery together to scan common endpoints. If you intend to use BMC Atrium Discovery as the sole source of data to populate the CMDB, you should use version 8.3.00.
Microsoft's discovery tools System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM), is mainly used for desktop discovery. SCCM is agent based software, where agents are deployed on each desktop to discover software. Some things to consider when using SCCM:

  • SCCM usually discovers individual components of the suite. However, if the products were purchased as suites, the individual products should be rolled into suites and tracked accordingly in CMDB as licensing should be tracked based on suites. Normalization functionality enables you to perform a suite roll up. Filters should be setup to weed out software that does not need to be managed in CMDB to keep the CI's to a manageable level.
  • Atrium Integration Engine(AIE) can be used to map data from SCCM into CMDB
  • Pre-defined mapping to CMDB are provided by certain partners to map data into CMDB
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