marcel.hirsch

How to perform an Inventory Concept

Blog Post created by marcel.hirsch Employee on Oct 19, 2018

This Blog Post describes all required steps to ensure that all components of your estate are scanned properly. After reading this Blog Post you should be able to tell, which system requires which inventory method to deliver data.

 

This blog post will focus on the latest versions as of August 2018. Later versions will be added in the beginning of 2019.

 

Prerequisites

Understanding of the Snow ArchitectureLow Level Design and Details Overview.

 

Abbreviations

  • SLM - Snow License Manager
  • true/false - A setting is set to active/inactive

 

Preparation

Knowing your estate is key. The more details you can provide, the better the scanning can take place. At the beginning of your Snow journey you should make detailed plans, how to cover every corner of your estate.

Which platforms do you know of?

Begin by listing all server and client operating system types, that you know of. Every server and client needs to be scanned by a Snow Inventory Agent. It doesn't matter, whether it is a server or a client operating system, as long as it meets the System Requirements.

Please note: Windows XP and Windows Server 2003 are supported by Snow Inventory Agent for Windows v5.2.4 only! Compatibility with later Snow Inventory Servers is given.

 

Getting to know Snow Inventory Agent

Every agent needs a configuration. This configuration contains an endpoint ("Where do I need to send my scan files to?"), a scan trigger (daily, weekly, monthly, at startup, at logon, ...) and identification fields (SiteName, ConfigName), just to name a few. If you have questions on how to get yourself a configuration, please stick to this User Guide: Configuration Guide for all Snow Inventory Agents. If you would like to dive deeper, our Technical Reference: Configuration document for all Inventory agents will help you.

If you would like to know more about our Snow Inventory Agents, have a look at the User Guides.

User Guide: Snow Inventory Agent for Windows - Update revision 5.3

User Guide: Snow Inventory Agent for macOS - Update revision 5.1

User Guide: Snow Inventory Agent for Linux - Update revision 5.2

User Guide: Snow Inventory Agent for Unix - Update revision 5.0.4

 

AD Discovery & Network Discovery

Snow Inventory Server contains two discovery modules that help you to identify all devices in your estate.

Please check the following post for more details: Getting the Most Out of Snow Inventory Discovery

 

Configuration of Snow Inventory Agent

Snow Inventory Agent offers different modules and functionalities, that can be distributed either globally or dedicated to certain entities of your estate.

  • SiteName (mandatory) The specified item was not found.
  • ConfigName (mandatory) (comfort feature to distinguish multiple configurations - is being transferred to SLM)
  • Endpoint (mandatory) (the server, where the inventory agent sends its data to)
  • Schedule (mandatory) (the time or event, when a scan is performed
  • Drop Location (alternative to Endpoint - if http(s) transport is not available, you can transfer files via UNC)
  • Metering (measures executed applications and established user connections to servers)
  • Web Application Metering (description of Web Application Metering capabilities)

Once you have your configuration(s) ready, you can request your Snow Inventory Agent via Snow Support. You will receive installation packages, which you can deploy manually or through your desired software deployment solution.

 

Configuration of Snow Integration Manager

After you have covered your operating systems, continue by listing your Virtualization Centers (vmWare, Hyper-V). Virtualization Centers can be connected by a Snow Integration Connector. You will need information about the management servers and you will need a read-only service account. Details are described in the user guides.

User Guide: Microsoft Hyper-V Connector

User Guide: VMware vSphere Connector

Do you have any of the systems, that are listed in our Technical Description: Snow Integration Manager - Update revision 5.9? If so, please refer to the respective user guide and connect all external data sources.

 

Special Server Types

Not every use case can be covered by a standard scan configuration. Two common cases that our customers struggle with are Terminal Servers and VDI environments.

  • Terminal Servers need to be equipped with an agent that has metering enabled. This is important to detect application usage from connected clients.
  • VDI environments are described in this blog post. Please make sure to set your Snow Inventory Agent to the right parameters for VDI detection. Snow Support will help you with that.

If you need further information, please refer to this Technical Description: Virtual environments.

 

Basic Troubleshooting

If you are experiencing difficulties and can't help yourself, the following steps are suggested:

  1. Watch your logs. They often tell you exactly, where a certain process is struggling. This enables you to take first actions by yourself. Please check: How To Find Log Files
  2. Search Snow Globe. For many cases, there have been previous questions from other customers and partners.
  3. Post on Snow Globe. If you are still stuck, please reach out to us via this forum.
  4. Ask Snow Support. Please note, that Snow Support is a technical product support only. If you are experiencing any issue with an application or its configuration, you are very welcome to reach out to us. If your question is not technically related, please stick to this forum.

This is no guideline, but a best practice suggestion. You may of course contact support directly if desired.

 

Questions?

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask. I will try to keep this post up to date, once new features are being released.

 

/marcel

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