BMC Helix Discovery

The goal of BMC Helix Discovery is to automate asset discovery and identify systems in the network and obtain relevant information from them as quickly as possible and with the lowest impact, using a variety of different tools and techniques to communicate.

Release notes and notices
updated 04 Dec
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Getting started


Provides introductory information for anyone who is starting to evaluate, use, or deploy BMC Helix Discovery.

Installing a BMC Discovery Outpost


Information for installing a BMC Discovery Outpost in your data center.

Start anywhere application modeling


A quick and easy approach to application modeling, which enables you to choose any entry points into an application, and begin modeling from there.



Provides security teams with the information required to verify the security of BMC Helix Discovery and enable network administrators to run the BMC Helix Discovery Outpost in your environment.



Provides information about the products that BMC Helix Discovery can discover and the level of information it can obtain.



Introduction to the standard pages and methods of navigating the BMC Helix Discovery UI.



Details of possible problems and how to solve them.



Information for developers describing the TPL and node lifecycle.



Integrations with other products.
PDFs and videos

This topic describes and links to the ready-made PDF of this space. If the ready-made PDF of this space do not satisfy your requirements, you can export a custom PDF.


The following table lists topics that contain videos that supplement the text-based documentation.

TopicDuration (in minutes)Description
BMC Helix Discovery video
End-to-end process for your first BMC Helix Discovery scan5:58

This video explains how to download and install a BMC Helix Discovery Outpost, register the Outpost with the service, and the service with the Outpost, add a credential, and scan and discover a host.


The following table lists topics that contain videos that supplement the text-based documentation.

TopicDuration (in minutes)Description
Version 11.2 videos
Launch presentation for BMC Discovery 11.212:15

This video gives an overview of discovering cloud services through BMC Discovery 11.2.

Discovering cloud services in BMC Discovery 11.205:07

This video explains how to discover cloud services and perform cloud discovery in BMC Discovery 11.2.

Query generation in BMC Discovery05:25

This video helps you to understand how query generation in BMC Discovery takes place. This feature of query generation is applicable to both versions of 11.1 and 11.0 of BMC Discovery.

Version 11.1 videos
Integrating with BMC Remedy Single Sign-On05:42

This video explains how to integrate with BMC Remedy Single Sign-On in version 11.1.

Removing nodes and creating rules in visualizations


This video explains how to remove nodes and create rules in visualizations in version 11.1.

Managing related, removed, and suppressed nodes in visualizations03:27

This video helps you to understand how to manage related, removed, and suppressed nodes in visualizations in version 11.1.

What’s new: Resyncing a CMDB connection04:15

This video explains what's new in resyncing a CMDB connection in BMC Discovery version 11.1.

BMC Discovery 11.1 What’s new: VMware vCenter Server polling


This video explains how to configure and use the vCenter Server polling feature of BMC Discovery version 11.1.

Version 11.0 videos
Navigating the new UI 04:01

This video explains how to navigate through the new UI in BMC Discovery 11.0.

Credentials enhancements04:20

This video helps you to understand what’s changed in the Credentials feature of BMC Discovery in version 11.0.

Introduction to start anywhere application modeling03:49

This video provides an introduction to Start anywhere application modeling, introduced in BMC Discovery in version 11.0.

FAQs and additional resources


This section provide answers to frequently asked questions about BMC Helix Discovery.

 What is the performance impact of running BMC Helix Discovery?

Running BMC Helix Discovery has a minimal impact on your environment. The discovery techniques used are non-intrusive, lightweight, and agent-free.

 What can BMC Helix Discovery discover in the network?

BMC Helix Discovery is IP-based and can discover any host system with an IP connection including servers, workstations, network nodes, printers, wireless access points, and so on. In actuality, though, we aim BMC Helix Discovery at datacenter discovery, and it is optimized to that purpose. For this reason, we do not explicitly support more client-side items, such as wireless access points, workstations and so on. Any support for those that does exist is a side effect of our support for server-side discovery, and we are unlikely to invest in improving it.

 What discovery techniques do you use?

BMC Helix Discovery uses a range of discovery techniques where appropriate. These include:

  • Network scanning (looking for services on well-known TCP and UDP ports on IP-reachable machines).
  • Remote command execution (looking at specific processes running on each node, querying package managers, and querying established inter-process communications mechanisms).
  • SNMP (MIBs provide a rich source of management information).
 Will any network security need to be disabled for the discovery process?

Obviously, the BMC Helix Discovery appliance must be able to reach the network in order to discover hosts. However, various methods of providing secure access are possible without disabling firewalls and access control policies, including using VPN tunnels and using Windows proxy for BMC Helix Discovery appliances. Some IDS systems might identify certain activities (such as port scans) as suspicious.

 What is the impact of my applications running on platforms that are not supported by BMC Helix Discovery?

The discovery process will identify endpoints on such computers if they are visible from other hosts. You will need to complete details of programs running on them manually, though it might also be possible to categorize some of the components of the applications running on the unsupported platform either by which port it, or its counterpart, is listening on.

 Can the product introduce any risk into my network or application infrastructure?

To provide a clear picture of your total IT infrastructure, BMC Helix Discovery will actually reduce risk in your network by allowing you to weed out rogue elements that do not meet corporate policy, are out of date, or provide potential security holes. 
The BMC Helix Discovery discovery process uses standard techniques that do not de-stabilize elements of the infrastructure. 
Since there are always risks with deploying new technology, BMC's implementation plan involves analyzing areas of potential risk and achieving the right balance of risk and reward. BMC's test plan is also aimed at minimizing risk, ideally including testing in the customer's test environment.

 Do I need to install any software on other computers?

The BMC Helix Discovery ethos is agent-free management. BMC does not believe the logistical challenges associated with having an agent on every node is justifiable, so no BMC Helix Discovery-specific software needs to be installed on other computers. The BMC Helix Discovery user interface is entirely web-based.

 Why is agent-free discovery so important?

Agent-based discovery relies upon a level of control of asset deployment that does not exist in most businesses. It also implies a significant cost overhead to maintain agents on each platform, including approving, testing and deploying the agents. Finally, agents might not be available for the range of target platforms that your organization uses. We use standard techniques that have individually been authorized and deployed.

 Does BMC Helix Discovery integrate with other products?

Yes, BMC Helix Discovery integrates with the following products:

  • BMC CMDB: BMC Helix Discovery can synchronize discovered data to BMC CMDB using CMDB synchronization.
  • Rest API: The REST API is intended to be used by a script or program that wants to interact with and control a BMC Helix Discovery appliance from a remote machine.
 How do I reset the BMC Helix Discovery user password?

If you forget your user interface (UI) password to log in to BMC Helix Discovery, you can reset the password at the command line.

 I'd like a PDF of just selected information. How can I get that?

The BMC Documentation portal gives you the ability to generate PDF and Microsoft Word documents of single pages, and to create PDF exports of multiple pages in a space.  

Creating PDF and Word exports

You can create a PDF of a page or a set of pages. (Non-English page exports are not supported.) You can also create a Word document of the current page.

To export to PDF or Word

  1. From the Tools menu in the upper-right, select a format:
    • Export to Word to export the current page to Word format.
    • Export to PDF to export the current page or a set of pages to PDF.

  2. If exporting to PDF, select what you want to export:
    • Only this page to export the current page.
    • This page and its children to export a set of pages.

For example, selecting This page and its children from the home page exports the entire space to PDF.

Depending on the number of topics included in the export, it might take several minutes to create the PDF. Once the export is complete, you can download the PDF.

If you have any other questions about BMC Helix Discovery, contact Customer Support.

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  1. Anuj Deswal

    Hi BMC,

    PDF file is not available. Only name and date is mentioned.

    Sep 18, 2019 03:02
    1. Vinay Bellare

      Hi Anuj,

      Thanks for pointing out the missing PDF for BMC Helix Discovery. The PDF is now available for download from the "PDFs and videos" page.

      Sep 26, 2019 12:57