This section provide 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 does 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actually reduce risk in your network by allowing you to weed out rogue elements that do not meet corporate policy, are out of date, or provide potential security holes.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 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.
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:
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
- 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.
- 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.