This documentation refers to a previously released version of BMC Discovery (other versions).

This section describes the new features and enhancements that are available in BMC Discovery version 11.2. You can upgrade to BMC Discovery version 11.2 from versions 10.1, 10.2, 11.0 and 11.1. The upgrade procedure is described in upgrading BMC Discovery.

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

The following topics are covered in this section:


Cloud discovery

BMC Discovery provides cloud scanning capabilities creating a dynamic, holistic view of data center infrastructure, cloud services, and their relationships.  This gives visibility into how multi-cloud environments enable the digital business.

BMC Discovery can discover multi-cloud environments thanks to BMC’s partnership with both Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Services (AWS). BMC Discovery takes an agnostic approach to representing the multi-cloud assets and relationships. It can map assets and their dependencies to represent data center, public cloud, and private cloud environments. BMC performs this deep discovery in a cloud-friendly manner, leveraging APIs and agentless protocols. This allows for a holistic view of the entire IT environment, including hybrid application deployments.

Discovery combines data from the cloud API with host level discovery data to provide rich dependency mapping of your cloud services.

Cloud discovery – Amazon Web Services

You can discover the following services in AWS:

  • Elastic Cloud Compute (EC2)
  • Elastic Block Storage (EBS)
  • Relational Database Service (RDS) clusters
  • Elastic Load Balancer (ELB) including linkage from load balancer members to Hosts and Software Instances
  • Virtual Private Cloud (VPC)
  • CloudFormation

Detailed information on AWS discovery is provided in Discovering Amazon Web Services.

Cloud discovery – Microsoft Azure

  • Virtual Machines (VMs)
  • VM Scale sets
  • LoadBalancers including linkage from load balancer members to Hosts and Software Instances
  • Virtual Hard Discs including linkage from applications consuming the storage
  • Managed Disc storage
  • Azure SQL Server
  • Resource Groups
  • Virtual Network (VNET)

Detailed information on Microsoft Azure discovery is provided in Discovering Microsoft Azure.

Cloud discovery – general

Other aspects of Cloud discovery are described in the following sections:

Scan dialog modified

The Add a New Run dialog has been expanded to support snapshot and scheduled cloud discovery runs. For information on this, see Performing a discovery run.

Cloud access through HTTPS proxies is supported

As part of the BMC Discovery credential used to discover cloud infrastructure, you can now specify an HTTPS proxy. See Adding cloud credentials for more information.

CyberArk integration extended to allow cloud credentials

You can now specify a CyberArk search string in a cloud credential to extract the Access Key ID and Secret. See Discovering Amazon Web Services and Discovering Microsoft Azure for more information.

Execute cloud requests from TPL

You can now use TPL to execute cloud requests. The functions available depend on the cloud provider. Cloud providers are shown on the Administration > Discovery > Cloud Providers page, and the supported functions for each one are displayed under the Services heading. Click the + icon to the left of the heading to show the services and their associated functions.

The functions available to use in patterns are shown in Discovery cloud provider requests.

CMDB synchronization for cloud nodes

A new class, BMC_CloudInstance is added in BMC Atrium Core 9.1.03: Service Pack 3 to support cloud discovery. To synchronize cloud nodes to the CMDB, you must have this service pack installed. See CMDB synchronization and CDM Mapping for Cloud for more information.

License management

Cloud discovery is a separately licensed capability. You can enable or disable cloud discovery from the License management page. The License management page also enables you to view current and historical license usage and to download licensing data for your own analysis.

Cloud discovery model changes

Cloud services are modeled using the following node kinds:

Modeling and visualizations

Improved modeling and visualizations of shared software infrastructure

The system automatically identifies software nodes that are likely to be shared by multiple applications, for example shared database servers and message queues. Visualizations do not follow relationships out of these nodes, so the view is simpler and less cluttered.

When Discovery updates application models at scan time, it takes shared software nodes into account, so models do not balloon with unwanted nodes.

New background shading in visualizations

It is now possible to see nodes that are in the same Cloud Region or Location, by enabling the color shading feature. In application models, you can use shading to show which nodes were saved by the user, and which were added by BMC Discovery. 

Use the new Display sidebar to choose the kind of shading you want to see.

The following major changes have been made to the BMC Discovery model:

Database nodes

Logical databases are now stored in dedicated Database nodes rather than the DatabaseDetail nodes previously used. Dedicated Database nodes simplify the separation of databases from other database details. DatabaseDetail nodes are still used for other information about databases, for example schemas and tablespaces.

On upgrade, DatabaseDetail nodes that modeled logical databases are converted to Database nodes. The TKU included with the upgrade, once activated, contains patterns that model databases using Database nodes. You must activate the TKU supplied with the upgrade, otherwise the previously existing patterns will attempt and fail to continue to model databases using the previous model.

For CAM models, you must regenerate and activate the related pattern modules. The upgrade converts all DatabaseDetail nodes used in CAM models to Database nodes as this best reflects what is being modeled. However, for those nodes which you do require to be DatabaseDetail nodes, for example, where you intend to model a table, or schema using a DatabaseDetail, you must edit the model so that it uses DatabaseDetail.

You must regenerate the application mapping TPL whether or not you have edited the model.

To update the CAM model:

  1. From the CAM Application Mapping channel, run the Groups containing Functional Component Definitions report.
  2. Check to ensure that the models contain the nodes that you expect.
  3. Select all of the groups and select Generate Application Mapping TPL from the actions menu.

VirtualMachine nodes

BMC Discovery 11.2 changes the way that virtual machines are modeled. In previous releases VMs were modeled using a SoftwareInstance (SI) node with a vm_type attribute. They are now modeled using a Virtual Machine node which makes it easier to find and relate VMs to their containers and Hosts.

On upgrade, SIs that modeled VMs are converted to Virtual Machine nodes. The TKU included with the upgrade, once activated, contains patterns that model VMs using Virtual Machine nodes. You must activate the TKU supplied with the upgrade, otherwise the previously existing patterns will attempt and fail to continue to model VMs using the previous model.

VirtualSystemEnabler CI changes

As part of the changes to the way virtual machines are modeled, changes have also been made to their representation in the CMDB. Previous releases of BMC Discovery, before version 11.2 created a single BMC_VirtualSystemEnabler CI to represent all virtual machines hosted by a physical machine. Upon first synchronization after upgrade to version 11.2, these singleton CIs will be marked as deleted, and new separate CIs will be created corresponding to the separate virtual machines.

The model changes in BMC Discovery 11.2 are fully detailed in Model changes.

Credentials

Improved UI and options for credentials

In addition to the credentials used to support cloud discovery, the following new credential types have been added for use when accessing REST APIs from TPL:

  • RESTful Web API with basic authentication
  • RESTful Web API with digest authentication
  • RESTful Web API with OAuth2 authentication

The Credential UI has been improved. You can now:

  • Group existing credential types in categories replacing the increasing number of checkboxes on the page:
    • Host credentials
    • Device credentials
    • Cloud credentials
  • Search for the type of credential you want to add or amend.
  • Add IP matching exceptions to credentials. This makes it easier to match a wide range of addresses but exclude individual addresses or subnets.

To support environments where access to external Cloud APIs must go via an HTTPS proxy, you can now set the proxy details on the credential. See Adding cloud credentials for more information.

CentOS 6 replaces Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 in BMC Discovery 11.2

The upgrade to BMC Discovery 11.2 replaces Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 with CentOS 6. CentOS is an enterprise-class Linux platform which is derived from, and aims to be functionally compatible with its upstream source, Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL).

As CentOS is derived from, and aims to be functionally compatible with its upstream source, Red Hat Enterprise Linux, BMC performs the same testing against the Red Hat 6 STIGs.

When applying OS upgrades to BMC Discovery 11.2, ensure that you download and apply the Latest CentOS 6 operating system upgrade.

Knowledge management extended to include product content updates

Knowledge management has been improved to enable the upload of product content, primarily to support cloud discovery. This improvement enables us to add the capability to discover new cloud providers, or update existing providers with monthly Technology Knowledge Update (TKU) releases. Product content updates can also be used to make minor UI and taxonomy updates.

Product content installation requires appliance restart

When product content is added, the appliance is restarted as part of the update. You are given the opportunity to prevent the restart, though if you do so, none of the knowledge content will be installed.

Product content is supplied in an RPM, which is contained in the TKU zip, in much the same way as Device RPMs (DRPMs). For more information on product content, see Adding cloud providers.

See Uploading knowledge for more information.

Other enhancements

The following other enhancements are included in BMC Discovery 11.2:

CMDB Synchronization using BMC Atrium Core REST API

BMC Discovery can now synchronize to CMDB using the BMC Atrium Core REST API as an alternative access mechanism in addition to the CMDB API used in previous versions. You choose the synchronization mechanism when you create the CMDB Sync connection, and can choose the , or the new REST API. The comprehensive CMDB REST API required for BMC Discovery was introduced in BMC Atrium Core 9.1.03: Service Pack 3.

New version of BMC Discovery REST API

BMC Discovery 11.2 provides a new version of the REST API, version 1.1. BMC Discovery 11.2 supports versions 1.1 of the REST API and earlier. Higher versions are always backwards compatible with earlier versions.

New TPL functions

BMC Discovery 11.2 updates TPL to version 1.14.

Access REST APIs from patterns using new TPL functions 

The following new TPL functions have been added to enable you to interact with REST APIs. This allows you to discover information from the increasing number of devices that provide REST APIs.

  • discovery.restfulGet – performs a GET request on the target using the RESTful protocol specified and returns a node containing information on the discovered system. An enhancement to the discovery.restfulGet function introduced in TPL 1.11/BMC Discovery 11.0.
  • discovery.restfulPost – performs a POST request on the target using the RESTful system and returns a node containing information on the discovered system. An enhancement to the discovery.restfulPost function introduced in TPL 1.11/BMC Discovery 11.0.
  • discovery.restfulDelete– performs a delete request on the target using the RESTful protocol specified and returns a node containing information on the discovered system
  • discovery.restfulPatch – performs a patch request on the target using the RESTful protocol specified and returns a node containing information on the discovered system.
  • discovery.restfulPut – performs a put request on the target using the RESTful protocol specified and returns a node containing information on the discovered system.

New TPL discovery utility functions

  • discovery.lookupAddresses – performs a DNS lookup on the supplied DNS resolvable name and returns a list of IP addresses.
  • discovery.startTime – returns the start time of the of the scan which discovered a given DDD node.

Cloud API access using TPL

You can use a set of discovery functions which query the cloud provider API for information on the target, see Discovery cloud provider requests for more information.

New search capabilities

New search syntax allows you to name key expression traversals and to filter the related nodes. For example, this makes it simple to show only the active hosts for software instances in fail-over clusters.

Share and tag favorite queries

You can now share saved queries them with other users and have a list of favorites.

Appliance backup performance improvement

The appliance backup is now significantly quicker than previous versions. A parallel implementation of gzip (pigz) is now used that spreads the compression load across CPUs.

Charts no longer use Flash

BMC Discovery 11.2 no longer uses Adobe Flash in charts. Adobe have announced plans to end-of-life Flash, and browser support for Flash is reducing.



 

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