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Inventory Discovery Overview

Inventory Discovery helps your organization drive standardization and compliance initiatives, manage risk, perform IT asset audits, and implement chargeback policies.

Inventory Discovery, which also includes Infrastructure discovery, determines which devices are in your network and gathers information about each of them. It also serves as the foundation for the other modules of discovery. For example, Universal Discovery can gather information about what software is used and how often it is used. Universal Discovery can also build relationships between licensing and licensed applications that are installed. These relationships are useful when reconciling your organization's license obligations.

Inventory discovery is typically managed and run based on Management Zones using wizard-driven activities. These activities automate management of discovery jobs, and component deployment and upgrades. Additionally, these activities can be configured with specialized settings for each Management Zone. For example, UNIX servers in the Data Center may have different requirements for discovery than laptops in the Finance group. Alternatively, inventory discovery can be deployed and run manually using any third-party software packages.

Inventory Discovery begins by deploying software components to discovered devices in the Management Zone - Universal Discovery Agents and Scanners. Deployment methods can be automatic using activities. Alternatively, these components can be deployed manually using third-party tools.

The Universal Discovery Agent (UD Agent) provides secure communication between the device and the Data Flow Probe, and manages and runs the Scanner. The Scanner searches the device for detailed hardware, configuration, and software license information, and then stores the raw discovery data in a scan file. When the UD Agent is not installed, Scanners are managed using activities or, alternatively, managed manually using standard shell protocols.

Next, the discovery data is enriched with content from the Software Library. This enrichment process helps Universal Discovery recognize applications and identify hardware. Finally, enriched data is reconciled and normalized to reduce redundancies and errors, and then stored in UCMDB CIs.

The conceptual diagram below illustrates a basic inventory discovery system:

Inventory Discovery Conceptual Overview Diagram

For details about deployment methods, see Inventory Discovery Deployment Overview.

For details about the Universal Discovery Agent, see (Suite Only) Universal Discovery Agent Overview.

For details about setting up the Inventory Discovery activity, see the Discovery Activities section of the Content Help.

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