This section describes the new features and enhancements that have been introduced in the version 9.0 release of BMC Atrium Discovery. This release of BMC Atrium Discovery was released October 2012.

If you are new to BMC Atrium Discovery, BMC recommends that you refer to Getting started as an introduction to using the product.

IPv6

This release introduces support for discovery using IPv6. This means that the BMC Atrium Discovery system can run in an IPv6-only or in a dual-stack (IPv4/v6) environment, do discovery over IPv6, and retrieve IPv6 information from discovery targets.

  • The BMC Atrium Discovery system runs in an IPv6-only or in a dual-stack (IPv4/v6) environment.
  • Network interface information: The display of network information in the user interface has been improved to support IPv6 and complex configurations such as bonded interfaces. See the Host page for more information.
  • Pill user interface: A new pill UI has been introduced, which converts text input into discrete objects representing endpoints that you can then manipulate and edit in place using in-line controls. The pill UI has been incorporated into many of the areas where IP addresses or ranges are entered, including the Add New Run dialog.
  • Note that various access methods and discovery platforms do not support IPv6. These include:
    • Mainframe discovery: The MainView infrastructure on which discovery relies does not support IPv6.
    • VMware discovery over the vSphere API
    • Windows Server 2003 and older discovery. Note that to discover via IPv6, the proxy must be running on Windows Server 2008 or newer.
    • UnixWare discovery
    • Extended database discovery using the jTDS JDBC driver
    • Any discovery via JMX

Discovery

This release improves host and device discovery significantly. You can now discover a much wider range of SNMP devices and even create rules to recognize previously unrecognized devices.

  • SNMP recognition rules: A new SNMP recognition rule UI enables you to create recognition rules for unrecognized sysObjectIDs. Recognition rules lead to inferred nodes being created when you subsequently scan such devices. This allows you to quickly populate your CMDB, for example, with devices not yet officially supported through TKU. Not all devices can be comprehensively discovered in this way; in such cases, proper support requires a device definition to be created as part of the usual TKU monthly updates.
  • Enable and disable credentials: You can now enable or disable individual credentials. When you view matching credentials, disabled credentials are ignored. You can no longer specify IP ranges for credentials using regular expressions. Where credentials which use regular expressions are brought over from previous versions, either as an upgrade or a migration they are converted where possible, or disabled.
  • Solaris 11 support: The system now supports discovery of Solaris 11.
  • Network device coverage greatly increased: The number and type of supported network devices has been increased by over 1500. Some non-network infrastructure was previously identified as network devices, such as printers and UPS devices, are now identified as Printers, and SNMP managed devices.
  • Exclude desktop hosts: Desktop hosts are no longer discovered by default. You can now set a discovery option to continue creating desktop hosts in the inferred model.
  • Proxy improvements: New proxies created using the proxy manager prompt you to register with the appliance the proxy manager was downloaded from.
  • Pool data no longer written by default: Creating pool data imposes considerable overhead on the system and is rarely needed. It is no longer written by default, though is still created when running the appliance in record mode. Pool data can be enabled for normal discovery if required and the performance penalty is acceptable. Contact BMC Customer Support for information on enabling pool data. Note however that some pool data must still be written for Windows discovery; getInfo and getInfo.meta are created for each Windows discovery target.
  • Package vendor information: Package node attributes have been enhanced by adding package epoch as an attribute. The following attributes have been added to these additional platforms:
    • Linux: vendor, description, and epoch
    • Solaris: vendor
    • HPUX: vendor

Model

The model has been changed significantly to cater for IPv6, complex network configurations, and SNMP managed devices. The model has also been made more consistent, harmonizing the approach taken across root nodes.
  • Network model changes: The network model has been changed to cater for IPv6 and complex configurations such as bonded interfaces. In previous versions of BMC Atrium Discovery, a NetworkInterface node was created for each interface/IP address pair. Consequently where an interface had more than one IP address, multiple NetworkInterface nodes were created. In IPv6 where each interface has three IP addresses by default (IPv4, IPv6 global, and IPv6 link local) the older approach is inefficient. Similarly, to model bonded interfaces, multiple NetworkInterface nodes with the same IP address are required. The new model introduced with BMC Atrium Discovery version 9.0 removed IP address information from the NetworkInterface node and introduces a separate IPAddress node. To model an interface using IPv6, a single NetworkInterface node is used, with relationships to three IPAddress nodes, one each for the IPv4 address, the IPv6 global address, and the IPv6 link local address. To model a bonded interface, multiple NetworkInterface nodes are used, each with a relationship to the single shared IPAddress node.
    • The IPAddress node has been added.
    • Subnet nodes are now linked to IPAddress nodes rather than NetworkInterface nodes
    • The PortInterface node has been removed. Attributes previously held on the PortInterface node such as speed, duplex, negotiation, MAC address, and so forth are now part of the NetworkInterface node.
  • SNMP managed devices. A new node type called SNMPManagedDevice represents a device that BMC Atrium Discovery does not have sufficient knowledge of to fully discover, or it may be inappropriate to discover (for example a UPS). It may be a switch, router, or SNMP enabled coffee machine for which we have not yet implemented support.
  • Attribute changes: In previous versions of BMC Atrium Discovery, the type attribute on root nodes (Host, NetworkDevice, Printer, and MFPart) were inconsistent. As part of the model changes introduced in BMC Atrium Discovery 9.0 these have been harmonized, including the addition of a new root node type, SNMPManagedDevice. For each root node kind, the table below shows the previous type attribute, whether it is retained, the new harmonized type attribute, and what happens to them at upgrade, or migration.

    Node

    Previous type attributes

    9.0 Type Attributes

    Upgrade/migration behavior

    Note

    Host

    host_type

    host_type
    (deprecated)

    None

    Both attributes are populated.

    Host

     

    type

    Copy from host_type

     

    NetworkDevice

    device_type

    device_type
    (deprecated)

    None

    Always set to "Network Infrastructure", this is used on device_summary.

    NetworkDevice

    type

    type

    None

     

    Printer

    device_type

    type

    Rename

    The device_type attribute was not previously in the taxonomy.

    SNMPManagedDevice

     

    type

    Not applicable

    New node at this release.

    MFPart

    part_type

    part_type
    (deprecated)

    None

    Both attributes are populated.

    MFPart

     

    type

    Copy from part_type

     

  • Attribute changes: A new utility tw_tax_deprecated is provided to detect attributes deprecated in the changes described in the table above. This runs as part of the upgrade but can also be run as a standalone utility.
  • DDD aging logic improved: The logic determining how DDD is aged has been changed. In the user interface, the list of DiscoveryAccesses on inferred entities now displays a trash can icon next to DiscoveryAccesses that are about to be deleted. The corresponding DiscoveryAccess page now shows a banner stating that the node is to be removed shortly as part of DDD aging. The inferred entities are:

DDD aging is faster than in previous releases, and has a lower impact on scanning performance. You may consider reviewing existing DDD removal blackout windows when upgrading or migrating to this version.

Datastore

The datastore has been updated considerably for this release, including work in the following major areas:

  • Datastore refactoring: The datastore has been substantially refactored to prepare for larger scale deployments which may be supported in future releases.
    • Upgrades take some time as the datastore re-indexes the contents. During the re-indexing, progress messages are written to tw_svc_model.log, enabling you to track progress. The upgrade also provides an estimate for the length of time it will take.
    • The datastore now supports phrase searches: in the quick-search box, enter a phrase in quotes (such as "apache webserver") to find nodes containing that specific phrase.
  • New offline compaction tool: We've built a completely new offline compaction tool that takes care of all steps required to compact the datastore. Previously, it was necessary to perform a series of steps before and after the actual compaction, and data loss could occur if these steps weren't followed exactly.
  • DDD aging improvements: DDD aging has been re-engineered as part of the datastore refactor and the model changes to further reduce the impact of removing eligible DDD nodes.
  • Improved housekeeping: You can specify that history and destroyed nodes are purged automatically. By default, history is not purged and destroyed nodes are purged after one year.

TPL

  • TPL validation: TPL now validates traversals (that is, TRAVERSE, STEP IN, STEP OUT) in searches, key expressions in searches and TPL, and the traverse expression in sync mappings, against the taxonomy. As the taxonomy does not include all possible relationships only individual parts of the traversal are checked. Where parts of the traversal in the taxonomy are not present an error is reported. This may flag errors in existing patterns.

Appliance

The change in underlying operating system means that installation, migration, and upgrade path requires more consideration than before, though the individual procedures are simpler. You must read the Installation, migration, and upgrade overview and the individual procedures before attempting to perform any installation, migration, or upgrade.

  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6: New installations of BMC Atrium Discovery now run on Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 6.
  • Upgrades: You can upgrade a BMC Atrium Discovery 8.3.x appliance to a BMC Atrium Discovery 9.0 running on RHEL 5, which does not support discovery over IPv6 (it supports discovery of IPv6 data over IPv4).
  • Migration: You can migrate a BMC Atrium Discovery 8.3.x appliance to a BMC Atrium Discovery 9.0 running on RHEL 6.
  • Appliance backup: A new appliance backup utility has been introduced. It enables you to create a backup of the appliance locally or on a remote server over ssh, or to a Windows share. The utility shuts down the services prior to taking the backup and restarts them afterwards. It replaces the snapshot feature available in previous releases of BMC Atrium Discovery, and improves on it by allowing you to take a backup even if you have minimal disk space available.
  • Disk management: A disk management UI has been added which enables you to use new disks which have been added to your BMC Atrium Discovery installation. You can move data and add swap space to the new disks.
  • Usage data collection: You can now configure on your appliance. To help BMC better understand the ways in which BMC Atrium Discovery is used in customer environments, the Usage Data Collection feature enables submission of anonymous usage data to us. By default this is not enabled.

No longer supplied or supported

The following items are no longer supplied, have been removed from BMC Atrium Discovery 9.0, or are no longer supported:

  • 32 bit builds no longer supplied. BMC will no longer be providing 32 bit virtual appliances or kickstarts of BMC Atrium Discovery. All future versions will be 64 bit only, and will require 64 bit physical or virtual servers to run. See Migrating from version 8.3.x to 9.0 for migration instructions.
  • IE 7 is no longer supported. Consistent with many products across the BMC portfolio, BMC Atrium Discovery no longer supports Microsoft Internet Explorer 7 and earlier. Although you can log in using this browser, various parts of the UI might not work properly. Moving away from this browser enables BMC to take advantage of the capabilities of modern browsers and help build a better user interface in the future.
  • Appliance snapshot removed: The appliance snapshot feature has been removed and replaced with the appliance backup utility.
  • Export Adapter for BMC Atrium CMDB has been removed: The adapter was superseded by the CMDB synchronization feature introduced in BMC Atrium Discovery version 8.2 and was deprecated in version 8.3. Other export adapters continue to be supported.
  • Windows discovery using telnet and ssh: Support for Windows discovery using telnet and ssh has been removed.
  • Older versions of VMware products: See Supported virtualization platforms for more information on the supported VMware products and versions.
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