BMC

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 01 Jun

Learn what’s new or changed for BMC Helix Discovery 22.2 (12.5), including new features, urgent issues, documentation updates, and fixes or patches. 

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Related topics

Known and corrected issues

Support information

BMC Helix CMDB Release notes

DateSummaryReference
April 20, 2022

The following enhancements are available in this release of BMC Helix Discovery:

22.2 (12.5) enhancements
February 9, 2022

The following enhancements are available in this release of BMC Helix Discovery:

  • Discover Google Compute Engine hosts running in Google Cloud Platform (GCP) by using Identity-Aware Proxy (IAP) and Identity and Access Management (IAM), without a direct SSH connection.
  • Enhanced mainframe discovery includes discovering and modeling of observed communication between mainframe and distributed components.
  • Intelligent discovery of cloud services by region.
  • BMC Helix Intelligent Integrations  enabled .
  • Miscellaneous enhancements, such as support for namespaces in HashiCorp Vault Enterprise, new TPL function to discover TLS certificate data, and so on.
22.1 (12.4) enhancements
October 13, 2021

This release of BMC Helix Discovery provides support for Kerberos authentication for discovery credentials. The Kerberos authentication protocol is available for target discovery using SSH credentials.

21.3 (12.3) enhancements
September 29, 2021

The following enhancements are available in this release of BMC Helix Discovery:

21.3 (12.3) enhancements
May 26, 2021

The following enhancements are available in this release of BMC Helix Discovery:

  • Discover Windows hosts using PowerShell. Use the new PowerShell credential in preference to using Windows credentials, such as WMI and RemQuery.
  • Discover container platforms like Kubernetes and OpenShift using API providers.
  • Improved SAAM (start anywhere application modeling) with a new ability to model Business Services and Business Services (Technical).
  • Model changes supporting the new service modeling capabilities
  • Support for new REST API endpoints for data import and general data manipulation.
  • Support for new TPL functions to handle JSON data and expose the node identity algorithm.
  • FIPS compliant and certified BMC Discovery Outpost.
21.05 (12.2) enhancements
March 20, 2021

This release of BMC Helix Discovery is provided for BMC Helix AIOps users only.

The version of BMC Helix Discovery provided for BMC Helix AIOps users provides the following enhancements:

  • Start anywhere application modeling has new service modeling capabilities 
  • Licensing limitations. The version of BMC Helix Discovery provided for BMC Helix AIOps users is not intended to be used for discovery. It is only intended for service modeling using data from BMC Helix AIOps. Consequently, you cannot download a BMC Discovery Outpost from the UI.
Service modeling enhancements for the 21.02 release of BMC Helix AIOps.
September 23, 2020

The following enhancements are available in this release of BMC Helix Discovery:

20.08 (12.1) enhancements
November 30, 2018

The following features are available in this initial release of BMC Helix Discovery:

  • BMC Helix Discovery service
  • BMC Helix Discovery Outpost
  • BMC Helix Discovery security
  • Out of the box discovery capabilities
Initial release of BMC Helix Discovery

BMC Helix Discovery is updated frequently with minor enhancements and bug fixes; these are detailed in Recent updates.



BMC Helix Discovery content reference

 

As a developer, explore the patterns repository and know the products and network devices that BMC Helix Discovery can discover. Know the schedule and roadmap for the monthly TKU updates.

Planning

 

As an administrator, understand the sizing and scalability considerations, system requirements, and licensing entitlement for your environment.

Start anywhere application modeling

 

As a regular user, get a quick and easy approach to application and service modeling, which enables you to choose any entry points into an application or service, and begin modeling from there.

This section is of particular relevance to BMC Helix AIOps users.


Security

 

As a security team member, explore 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.

Integrating

 

As an administrator, understand how BMC Helix Discoveryintegrates with other products.

Using

 

As a regular user, get acquainted with the standard pages and methods of navigating the BMC Helix Discovery UI.

Developing

 

As a developer, familiarize yourself with information about TPL and the node lifecycle.

Troubleshooting

 

Resolve issues in your environment, collect logs, and contact customer support.

Product trials

Product trials


Communities

Communities


Knowledge Base

Knowledge Base


Videos

Videos


Education

BMC Training and Certification


PDFs and videos

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

or register to view this page.


Videos

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

TopicDuration (in minutes)Description
BMC Helix Discovery videos
Resynchronizing a CMDB connection05:17

https://youtu.be/6Vjw9hXyGGg

This video explains the options available for resynchronizing a CMDB connection and how to resume an interrupted sync.

How to handle unsupported network devices04:00

 https://youtu.be/OHtqifx8rOI

This video explains how you can handle unsupported network devices.

Resolving missing attributes in a SoftwareInstance node04:17

https://youtu.be/u-_v3Ib1CAk

This video explains what you can do when an SI attribute is missing.

How to discover unsupported devices04:58

https://youtu.be/Jf5C4d5Kysw

This video explains how to find if a device is fully supported and how to use SNMP Recognition Rules to discover an unsupported device.

How to use BMC Discovery Outpost06:23

https://youtu.be/IALw77rTI-0

This video explains the usage of the BMC Discovery Outpost.

Webinar: Discovery Patterns—TPL for Beginners1:05:03

https://youtu.be/cU0oUdaKGYk

This webinar video explains TPL details for beginners.

How to monitor credential usage in BMC Helix Discovery

03:19

 https://youtu.be/7J2Welm_zS8

This video describes how to run a BMC Helix Discovery query to see which hosts or devices were scanned using a specific credential.

How to set up Extended Database discovery03:48

 https://youtu.be/UJPlzx97y2k

This video explains how you can set up Extended Database discovery.

How to troubleshoot missing attributes for Linux hosts in BMC Helix Discovery

06:26

 https://youtu.be/m6q0rNhms8U

This video explains how to scan a Linux host, view the discovered data, and find the missing attributes.

How to configure Storage Discovery02:39

https://youtu.be/wD3u0rfIDxg

This video explains how to configure Storage Discovery, which includes credential creation and discovery scan of the storage system.

How to integrate BMC Helix Discovery with CyberArk Vault using REST API

03:57

 https://youtu.be/SEpAakD-WmE

This video explains how you can integrate BMC Helix Discovery with CyberArk Vault using REST API.

How host aging works in BMC Helix Discovery

03:34

 https://youtu.be/qIO5G2AE714

This video explains how the device aging works, such as checking the age count of a device, how a device can be forced to age out, and so on.

How to improve scan results02:04

 https://youtu.be/YXxIMzgW2Co

This video helps you write custom graphs, reports, and channels and add them to the Discovery dashboard.

How to integrate BMC Helix Discovery with Thycotic Secret Server

04:57

 https://youtu.be/bpdEFy4sdAM

This video helps you understand how to integrate Thycotic Secret Server with BMC Helix Discovery.

Integrating with HashiCorp Vault04:19

https://youtu.be/ARWQ-oNKTeQ

This video helps you understand how to integrate HashiCorp Vault with BMC Helix Discovery.

How to integrate BMC Helix Discovery with Centrify Identity Platform

03:06

 https://youtu.be/elcibuDagjc

This video explains the procedure for integrating BMC Helix Discovery with the credential broker, Centrify Identity Platform.

How to use the DiscoveryAccess page to troubleshoot scan failures02:04

 https://youtu.be/-TldKOQD_Ls

This video explains how you can use the DiscoveryAccess page information to troubleshoot the scan failures for endpoints.

Discovering Windows hosts with PowerShell03:39

https://youtu.be/VmEZu1zdD2U

This video explains how to discover Windows hosts by using PowerShell.

End-to-end process for your first BMC Helix Discovery scan

5:58

https://youtu.be/fYA-gI6K4WE

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

Scanning your IT infrastructure in BMC Discovery and BMC Helix Discovery

07:19

https://youtu.be/taftkk5Xnqw

This video explains how you can scan your IT infrastructure for endpoints in BMC Helix Discovery and BMC Discovery 20.08. You can learn how to perform snapshot and scheduled scans for IP addresses and cloud resources.

Removing nodes and creating rules in visualizations

03:25

https://youtu.be/Y8ayBxJve30

This video explains how you can remove nodes and create rules in visualizations.

Managing related, removed, and suppressed nodes in visualizations

02:15

https://youtu.be/qZdQb3cd4nA

This video demonstrates how you can manage related, removed, and suppressed nodes in visualizations.

Brief introduction to Start Anywhere Application Modeling (SAAM)02:42

https://youtu.be/q9uuqr70S7M

This video provides a brief introduction to Start Anywhere Application Modeling (SAAM).

Troubleshooting Windows scan failures

12:00

https://youtu.be/vOoghM2GzSU

This video explains how you can troubleshoot Windows WMI discovery failures.

Frequently asked questions

 


This section provides answers to frequently asked questions about 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.

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 do exist is a side effect of our support for server-side discovery, and we are unlikely to invest in improving it.

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).

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.

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.

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 destabilize 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.

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.

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.

Yes, BMC Helix Discovery integrates with the following products:

  • BMC Helix CMDB: BMC Helix Discovery can synchronize discovered data to BMC Helix 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.

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

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.


BMC Discovery Outpost FAQs 

This section provides answers to frequently asked questions about BMC Discovery Outpost.

BMC Discovery Outpost planning and architecture

This depends on your IT environment. In general, you need one BMC Discovery Outpost per isolated network segment. No specific performance tests have been done in this regard. 

The system can balance the load across multiple BMC Discovery Outposts in a limited or static way. The system initially balances the load, and eventually remembers which endpoints went to which Outpost and tries to send that work to the same Outpost. Because the system does not adjust the balancing, the load will not be processed if an Outpost goes down. Also, a new Outpost will not receive any existing endpoints as work, but only new ones.

To work around this, re-register the Outposts, which resets the balancing. Alternatively, use Outpost or IP range restrictions to control where the workload goes.

The number of hosts and devices that you can scan depends on many variables, including the size of the scanned hosts or devices. Also, a single BMC Discovery Outpost may be sufficient for a small Discovery cluster, but not a large one.

BMC Discovery Outpost usage and configuration

Yes, you can use the BMC Discovery Outpost to scan cloud resources provided the appropriate credentials are configured, and the resources to be scanned are available or visible from the Outpost.

If you specify an Outpost to be used for a particular scan range, BMC Helix Discovery uses only that Outpost. If a scan is directed to a specific Outpost, and that Outpost has IP address restrictions, then the scan of those restricted IPs will fail.

If you specify only IP address restrictions, BMC Helix Discovery directs the scan to an Outpost that does not have those restrictions.

If you are using scopes, specify a particular Outpost. Otherwise, use IP address restrictions where necessary and allow the system to select the Outpost.

Communication is always from the BMC Discovery Outpost to the BMC Helix Discovery appliance or instance. Communication is never initiated by the BMC Helix Discovery appliance or instance. 

Communication between the BMC Discovery Outpost and the BMC Helix Discovery appliance or instance is always sent over HTTPS, so port 443 must be open on the appliance or instance. All TCP connections are bi-directional because packets flow in both directions.

For a Discovery cluster, the communication must be enabled for each cluster member. If there is a requirement for direct access to the Outpost UI, port 443 must be open on the Outpost.For more information, see Network ports used for discovery communications.

The BMC Discovery Outpost uses the same ports as a BMC Helix Discovery appliance or instance to scan targets. The BMC Discovery Outpost initiates the connection. All TCP connections are bi-directional because packets flow in both directions.
Like a scanner, the BMC Discovery Outpost, by default, checks port 135 to determine if a target is a Windows server. For more information, see Network ports used for discovery communications.

There would be duplicates only if there has been an identity change.

The BMC Discovery Outpost is the same for BMC Helix Discovery (SaaS version) and BMC Discovery (on-premises version). There is no difference in the UI or the features.

BMC Discovery Outpost administration

BMC Helix Discovery does not provide the facility for backing up the BMC Discovery Outpost. You could backup by using the normal methods that are used for backing up a Windows server, such as a VMWare snapshot. It is strongly recommended to separately export your credential vault on a regular basis.  

You can simply restore the Windows server backup that you had taken earlier. It is also possible to import a backup of the credential vault if that is all that you require.

Currently, BMC Helix Discovery does not support high availability for the BMC Discovery Outpost, but it will be considered for a future release.

Currently, an Outpost API is not available, but it will be considered for a future release.

BMC Discovery Outpost performance

Scans will run longer and may eventually show timeouts. Also, check Windows to see if the BMC Discovery Outpost is paging. Note that the BMC Discovery Outpost is currently limited to 500 concurrent BMC Helix Discovery requests.

The data transfer usage between the BMC Discovery Outpost and its targets will be the same as the usage between a scanning appliance or instance and its targets. The requests passed from the appliance or instance to the Outpost should be relatively small. The results sent from the Outpost to the appliance or instance will vary in size depending on the nature of the discovery.


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


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Comments

  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