Get started with Discovery

Discovery uses conventional techniques and technology to extract information from computers and other devices. It uses a wide variety of probes (simple commands or queries) to gather information, and matching sensors (small, simple programs, usually in JavaScript that you can modify) to analyze that information and load it into the CMDB.

Discovery uses these probes and sensors to explore any given computer or device, starting first with basic probes and then using more specific probes as it learns more.

Discovery finds out about the existence of any device connected to the network by using the Shazzam probe to determine what TCP ports are open, and whether the device responds to SNMP queries. From this information, Discovery infers what kind of device is at that IP address – a UNIX server, a Windows computer, network switch, and so on.

For each type of device, Discovery uses different kinds of probes to extract more information about the computer or device, and the software that is running on it:
Table 1. Discovery Probe Types
Device Probe Type
Windows computers and servers Remote WMI queries, shell commands
UNIX and Linux servers Shell command (via SSH protocol, version 2). Discovery supports any Bourne-compatible shell. For configuration instructions, see SSH Discovery parameters.
Storage CIM/WBEM queries
Printers SNMP queries
Network gear (switches, routers, etc.) SNMP queries
Web servers HTTP header examination
Uninterruptible Power Supplies (UPS) SNMP queries