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ester.memoli

Agents v.6 User Guides

Posted by ester.memoli Employee Jul 19, 2019

As our R&D department always keeps Snow software up to date, our Technical Writers team works to always keep the related documentation up to date too, to reflect the most recent changes.
That's why I suggest to bookmark the KB articles to be sure to get the most recent version of a User Guide, rather than just downloading the version 1.0. Also, in each KB Article page, you can click on the "Subscribe" button (on the top right), to get a notification every time the User Guide is updated.

We've released the User Guides for our Snow Agents version 6.
You can find the permalinks below:

 

User Guide: Configuration for Snow Inventory Agents version 6

This guide describes the configuration of the Snow Inventory Agents for Windows, Linux, macOS, and Unix.

 

User Guide: Snow Inventory Agent 6 for Linux

User guides for versions 6.x of the Snow Inventory Agent for Linux.

 

User Guide: Snow Inventory Agent 6 for macOS

User guides for versions 6.x of the Snow Inventory Agent for macOS.

 

User Guide: Snow Inventory Agent for Unix 6.0.0

This document describes how to install and run the Snow Inventory Agent for Unix.

 

Technical Reference: Configuration document for all Inventory agents

Detailed configuration description for all Inventory agents. Additional document to the Configuration Guide for all agents.

This blog post describes how to update Snow Inventory Agents. It contains useful information and a clear how-to guide.

 

Why should I update?

Updates contain both security fixes and new functionalities. Please consider, if you would like to update, by reading through the Release Notes. If you would like to update one of your agent, follow the steps described below.

 

Preparation

Open Snow Management and Configuration Center (SMACC). Login to your Snow Inventory. On the 'Overview' page, you are seeing how many of your agents are on the latest version. The figure should look like this:

We can see, that not all windows agents are on the latest version (5.3.0) and we would like to update.

 

 

How can I update?

There are two ways, how a new agent finds its way to the machines in your estate.

1. Request a new agent package via Snow Support

  • Snow Support will build a new installation package for you, which you can then rollout via your software distribution tool.
  • Open a ticket and include the following information:
    • Target Operating System (Windows, Linux, MacOS, Unix)
    • Architecture (64/32 bit or both?)
    • Attach a valid configuration. Please read below, how to extract the most recent configuration from your estate.
  • Please stick to this Support Guide.

 

2. Perform an agent update package via Snow Management and Configuration Center

  • Go to Snow Management and Configuration Center (SMACC) and select 'Agent update' from the side menu.
  • Click on 'Create new' in the top menu.
  • Work through the wizard. Give a name for this update, for example 'Update Windows to 5.3.0'.
  • Select a target (Win32 in this example)
  • Make sure to select 'Install agent'.
  • Select a target group. In my example the site 'Test'.

    You can also select a subset, for example a certain configuration. This makes sense, if you only want to update a certain number of agents.
  • Select an update time. By default, this will be the current date with 00:00 UTC. Make changes, if desired.
  • Complete the wizard. Your created update will be visible in the table under 'Agent updates'. You can view the status of the update there.

The agents will update by themselves, after they have reported their scan results. After some time, the overview panel should show progress.

Congratulations! You have successfully updated your Snow Inventory Agents using the builtin update function.

 

Additional Information: See your current Configurations

Go to Snow Management and Configuration Center (SMACC). Select the tab 'Configurations' from the side menu. You are seeing all configurations, that are currently reporting in. Select one, then click 'Edit' to view/edit or 'Export' to export and attach the configuration to your agent creation request.

 

If you have further questions, feel free to comment on this blog post.

/marcel

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); (Recommended Blog Post)

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

For troubleshooting purposes it can be useful to perform a manual agent scan.

 

  1. Open an administrator command line
  2. Type 'cd C:\Program Files (x86)\Snow Software\Inventory\Agent'
  3. Type 'snowagent.exe scan'
  4. Copy the latest *.snowpack file from 'C:\Program Files (x86)\Snow Software\Inventory\Agent\data'

You can use this snowpack file for troubleshooting purposes with Snow Support or e.g. inside your own environment for transfer troubleshooting between Service Gateways and Snow Inventory Master Server.

 

/marcel

Released on July 17, 2019

Release information

Product:                  Snow Inventory Server
New version:          6.0.7
Release date:         July 17, 2019
Distribution:           SUS package
Current status:      Released

Enhancements in Snow Inventory Server 6.0.7

  • The default configuration for the garbage collector module has been adjusted to more effectively handle larger installations.
  • Support to configure Snow Inventory Agent to enable Public Key Pinning.
  • Support to configure Snow Inventory Agent with the recently introduced SystemSettings

 

Corrections in Snow Inventory Server 6.0.7

 

  • Data from Active Directory User Discovery is now removed according to the configuration of the DiscoveryCleanupModule (PRB0042312).
  • Virtual application packages that were reported multiple times are now handled correctly and will not cause errors in the execution of the Data Update Job (PRB0042376).
  • Virtual machines (VMs) running on Red Hat Linux environments or on oVirt environments are now correctly recognized as such (PRB0042225).
  • The names for virtual machines reported by their host is now stored as reported, and not truncated at the first period '.' (PRB0042145).
  • The "Error encountered" message no longer displays when configuring additional options in Snow Inventory Server Configuration Manager (PRB0042399).

Released June 26

Release information

Product:                  Snow Inventory Agent for macOS
New version:          6.2.0
Release date:         June 26, 2019
Distribution:           SUS and package builder
Build No:                1783
Current status:      Released

  Features

  • Browser extension for Safari 
    Cloud-application metering for Safari is now supported. When cloud-application metering is enabled in Snow Inventory Admin Console, the MacOS agent monitors SaaS applications accessed through Safari via a browser extension installed on the target machine. The agent gathers metering data for SaaS applications running in Safari, as well as the name of the browser. This data is packaged together with the normal inventory scan of the target machine and sent to Snow Inventory Server for storage and processing.

Corrections

  • The agent will no longer report a new login event for a user when xMetering is enabled and a new process is executed within the user context (PRB0041592).
  • The agent will no longer generate a file with extension .met_invalid when processing invalid metering data. (PRB0042371).
  • Significantly reduced the memory used by the xMetering process when recording a large amount of information in the log files (PRB0042292). 

Released June 27

Release information

Product:                  Snow Inventory Agent for Linux
New version:          6.1.1
Release date:         June 27, 2019
Distribution:           SUS and Package Builder
Current status:      released
 

Enhancements 

  • Support for TLS 1.3 
    The Snow Inventory Agent for Linux now supports the TLS 1.3 protocol when communicating with the configured endpoints. This capability is not supported in Inventory Server yet.

Corrections

  • When retrieving the login events on some Linux distribution, the agent incorrectly appended the login date to the username, resulting in incorrect entries for the user list. The logic of this functionality has been corrected, and users are now reported with the correct name (PRB0042373).
  • The agent will now report the system enclosure type as unknown (value of 2) when the relevant data can’t be read.

Released June 27

Release information

Product:                  Snow Inventory Agent for Windows
New version:          6.2.1
Release date:         June 27, 2019
Distribution:           SUS and Package Builder
Current status:      released

Corrections in Snow Inventory Agent for Windows 6.2.1

  • When configured to use a custom encryption key for the PowerShell scripts, the Windows agent will no longer try to execute unencrypted scripts.
  • The executable file cloudmeteringhost.exe, used in Cloud application metering, is now signed as part of the building process. This will prevent alerts from security software.
  • When retrieving printer information, the printer share is now included in the result file.

Released June 19

Release information

Product:                  Snow Inventory Server
New version:          6.0.6
Release date:         June 19, 2019
Distribution:           SUS package
Current status:      Released

Enhancements in Snow Inventory Server 6.0.6:

 

  • Changes regarding GDPR Policy 
    Due to GDPR regulation in EU, Snow Inventory Server will no longer store "Home Phone Number" or "Mobile Phone Number" of Active Directory users. Existing collected information will be deleted when this update is applied.
  • New Monitor Properties 
    Enhanced Snow Inventory Agent for Windows 6.1.0 to correctly report on multiple monitors and properties manufacturer, serial number and product code and store and display in Snow Inventory Server. Monitors along with these new properties can be seen in the Inventory Snow Management and Configuration Center plugin.
  • Ability to remove Servers and Gateways 
    The Inventory Snow Management and Configuration Center plugin allows user to delete unwanted or old "Inventory Server" entries, along with, for example, its discovery data. If the same server reports back again, a new entry will be created.

Corrections in Snow Inventory Server 6.0.6:

 

  • Duplicate ObjectGUIDs in the estate Active Directory caused some other discovery data to not be processed. This has been corrected ensuring that the duplicate entries do not stop the processing of other entries. Duplicate ObjectGUID consisting entries will be processed as well (PRB0040164).
  • A correction has been made in Inventory Snow Management and Configuration Center plugin preventing adding the group "Discovery metadata" (from "Available columns" to "Selected columns") while creating a new discovery view from causing an error message (PRB0040863).
  • Deleting large number of devices in bulk using the Inventory Snow Management and Configuration Center plugin could lead to timeouts. This has been corrected, and during the run time of operations a dialog box will be shown. This dialog box block user interactions until all operations have completed or the user aborted the interaction by clicking on a button on this dialog. Aborting the interaction will not roll back any data. Any devices that have been deleted will remain deleted (PRB0041420).
  • Every web application record must have a valid and non-empty name. A correction in Snow Inventory Server has been made to prevent an incorrectly set empty web application name to cause a Data Update Job fail (PRB0041992).
  • Previously, when exporting an agent configuration using the Inventory Snow Management and Configuration Center plugin, some mandatory tags were omitted; such as "Action" and "Oracle". This is no longer the case.

Released on June 4, 2019

Release information

Product:                Snow Inventory Agent for Windows
New version:        6.2.0
Release date:       June 4, 2019
Distribution:          SUS package
Current status:      Released

Features

  • Public key pinning.

Enhancements

  • Support for PowerShell scripts
  • Automatic generation of URLs for IDX endpoints
  • Support for new chassis types
  • Operating-system name in the manifest
  • Updated cpuidsdk.dll library

Corrections

  • While scanning the virtual registry of an App-V application, non-standard data was preventing the agent from extracting some information, such as uninstall flags. Additional logic has been added to the agent to ensure that all requested data is extracted from the virtual registry (PRB0042081 and PRB0042113). 
  • Additional logic has been implemented to prevent computers from incorrectly reporting as Amazon Elastic Cloud (PRB0042033).
  • When the agent encounters multiple copies of the same file – same name and metadata – in different locations, it now reports all instances ensuring correct software recognition (PRB0042212).
  • It is now possible to use environment variables in the agent configuration file to exclude locations of the local file system locations from an agent scan (PRB0041588).
  • Logical errors preventing some PowerShell scripts from running successfully are resolved so that the agent can run custom and Snow scripts successfully (PRB0042252).

Released on June 4, 2019

Release information

Product:                  Snow Inventory Server
New version:          5.4.3
Release date:         June 4, 2019
Distribution:           SUS package
Current status:      Released

Corrections in Snow Inventory Server 5.4.3

  • Additional error-handling has been added to the processing of Active Directory discovery data, preventing database errors from occurring (PRB0040164).
  • Virtual machines (VMs) running in oVirt environments are now correctly recognized as such (PRB0042224). 
  • Virtual machine names including a period (.) are no longer truncated at this character. Full names are now extracted (PRB0042144).
  • Selecting columns to create a new view of discovery data in Admin Console, no longer causes the error message The column 'DiscoveryAssignedId' was specified multiple times for... to show (PRB0040863).
  • The Error encountered message no longer displays when configuring additional options in Snow Inventory Server Configuration Manager (PRB0041855). 
  • Additional handling has been added to ensure the identities for gateway/master servers installed on a Google cloud service or Amazon AWS are correctly resolved, ensuring correct discovery configuration (PRB0042189).
  • Simultaneous processing of ȴOHs sent by the same device has been limited to resolve missing data issues (PRB0042187 and PRB004188).
  • Hostname-only mode on IsVirtualized was deprecated in Snow Inventory Server 5.4.2. Additional error-handling has been added to ensure that Snow Inventory Server interprets any configuration data related to this mode correctly (PRB0042297).

Snow Inventory Agents for Linux, Unix and macOS 6.1 were released on May 16

Snow Inventory agent for Linux, Version 6.1.0

Release information

Product:                 Snow Inventory Agent for Linux
New version:          6.1.0
Release date:         May 16, 2019
Distribution:            Snow Update Service
Revision Number:   584
 

Updated technical documentation 

 Updated technical documents in this release is: 

 

Features 

Public key pinning

Additional technology has been added to verify the authenticity of Snow Inventory Server endpoints that the agent communicates with. During the initial process of establishing communication with an endpoint, the Inventory Agent now compares the public key provided by the endpoint with the value it expects (stored in a hash). If the keys do not match, the connection is closed. Public key pinning is a best practice handshaking mechanism to protect systems against man-in-the-middle attacks that target agent-server communication by using a forged certificate.

NOTE

 For public key-pinning to function correctly, the encoded key needs to be included in the agent configuration file (snowagent.config).  The key needs to be encoded using a SHA base 64 algorithm. Multiple keys should be separated with a semicolon.

For example:

For more information on how to retrieve a base-64 encoded key, see the User Guide: Configuration for Snow Inventory Agents version 6.

 

Enhancements 

Support for new chassis types

Support for handling of new chassis types introduced in 2018 is now provided in Snow Inventory Server and supported in versions 5.4.2 and higher and 6.0.5 and higher. This feature ensures that certain tablets and computers with detachable keyboards and rotating screens are correctly recognized as portable.

To support this feature, the Linux agent now retrieves chassis type data and includes it in the scan results.

 

Operating-system name in the manifest

For Snow Inventory Server to implement hostname-only mode, it needs to match the scan data sent by a computer with the handshake information sent from the same machine. To do this when hostname-only mode is configured on operating-system, manifest needs to include the name of the operating system.

In this release of the Snow Inventory Agent for Linux, the handshake manifest now includes the name of the operating system of the local machine.

NOTE

Correct matching logic for hostname-only mode configured on operating system will be implemented in an upcoming release of Snow Inventory Server.

Deprecated Linux commands

According to best practices, ifconfig, used to retrieve network adapter configuration, has been deprecated in favor of the ip command.

 

Corrections 

  • The agent parses SMBIOS information retrieved from the local machine so that BIOS version numbers of more than two levels, such as n.n.n, are now extracted correctly and the correct hardware/vendor information is displayed in Snow License Manager.
  • Additional logic has been added to ensure that additional command-line parameters passed to the agent are also picked up by the Snow Inventory Oracle Scanner (PRB0041871).
  • The Snow Linux Agent can once again be conȴJured using a relative path for the custom encryption key.
  • The query used by the Linux Agent to extract information about rpm installed packages was logging an error when running a scan for the ȴrst time. This issue has been resolved so that the error is no longer logged and the agent collects information about installed packages (PRB0041915).
  • In previous versions, the Linux Agent was querying the local machine for rpm installed packages multiple times. Additional intelligence has been added to reduce the number of times the agent performs this query, reducing the amount of time it takes to complete a scan (PRB0041914).
  • Additional logic has been implemented to prevent computers incorrectly reporting as Amazon Elastic Cloud (PRB0041917).

Snow Inventory agent for Unix, version 6.1.0

Release information

Product:                  Snow Inventory Agent for Unix
New version:          6.1.0
Release date:         May 16, 2019
Distribution:           Snow Update Service
 

Updated technical documentation 

 Updated technical documents in this release is: 

 

Features

Exclude autofs mount points from the file scan

Through a system setting, it is now possible to control whether the agent scans parts of the ȴles\stem that are automatically mounted through the autofs command, a service that automatically mounts locations when a user accesses it and unmounts it after a period of inactivity. Excluding such locations from the scan, results in less data collected by the agent and consequently shorter scan times, and reduced processing in Snow Inventory Server. This feature is controlled by the software.scan.ignore_autofs_mounts system setting in the snowagent.config file. By default, this setting is false, mimicking the way the agent currently works. To prevent scanning of automatically mounted points, set the value to true.

 

Enhancements

Operating-system name in the manifest

For Snow Inventory Server to implement hostname-only mode, it needs to match the scan data sent by a computer with the handshake information sent from the same machine. To do this when hostname-only mode is conȴJured on operating-system, manifest needs to include the name of the operating system. In this release of the Snow Inventory Agent for Unix, the handshake manifest now includes the name of the operating system of the local machine.

NOTE Correct matching logic for hostname-only mode conȴJured on operating system will be implemented in an upcoming       release of Snow Inventory Server

Snow Inventory agent for macOS, version 6.1.0

Release information

Product:                 Snow Inventory Agent for macOS
New version:          6.1.0
Release date:         May 16, 2019
Distribution:           Snow Update Service
Revision Number: 1627

Updated technical documentation 

 Updated technical documents in this release is: 

 

Features

Public key pinning

Additional technology has been added to verify the authenticity of Snow Inventory Server endpoints that the agent communicates with. During the initial process of establishing communication with an endpoint, the Inventory Agent now compares the public key provided by the endpoint with the value it expects (stored in a hash). If the keys do not match, the connection is closed. Public key pinning is a best practice handshaking mechanism to protect systems against man-in-the-middle attacks that target agent-server communication by using a forged certificate.

NOTE

For public key-pinning to function correctly, the encoded key needs to be included in the agent configuration file (snowagent.config). The key needs to be encoded using a SHA base 64 algorithm. Multiple keys should be separated with a semicolon.

For example:

For more information on how to retrieve a base-64 encoded key, see the User Guide: Configuration for Snow Inventory Agents version 6.

 

Enhancements

Operating-system name in the manifest

For Snow Inventory Server to implement hostname-only mode, it needs to match the scan data sent by a computer with the handshake information sent from the same machine. To do this when hostname-only mode is configured on operating-system, manifest needs to include the name of the operating system.

In this release of the Snow Inventory Agent for macOS, the handshake manifest now includes the name of the operating system of the local machine.

 NOTE

Correct matching logic for hostname-only mode configured on operating system will be implemented in an upcoming release of Snow Inventory Server.

 

Corrections

  • When the agent tries to retrieve information about AFPS volumes on machines running macOS Sierra (10.2) or earlier, it hangs indefinitely as the disk utility is only supported on higher versions of the operating system. The agent now runs AFPS-related commands on machines running macOS High Sierra 10.3 or later.
  • The Snow macOS Agent can once again be conȴJuUed using a relative path for the custom encryption key.
  • In some cases, it is not possible for the agent to extract the install date for an application from the local machine. Previously, the agent entered the scan date into this field. It now leaves the install date field empty so that incorrect data is not presented to the user in Snow License Manager (PRB0041783).

Released April 25, 2019

Release information

Product:Snow Inventory Script Repository
Version:2.3
Distribution:SUS
Current statusReleased
Release date:2019-04-25

ABOUT THE INVENTORY SCRIPT REPOSITORY

The Snow Inventory Script Repository provides a set of PowerShell scripts that Snow Inventory agent for Windows uses to gather additional data from the local machine where the agent is installed.

The data gathered by Snow PowerShell scripts is included in the ordinary scan data snowpack delivered by the agent to Snow Inventory Server, and is used to, for example, enrich license compliance calculations and provide more granular information in Snow License Manager.

All the PowerShell scripts contained in the script repository are digitally signed by Snow to prevent malicious modification or execution.

In addition to the four default scripts outlined below, Snow Inventory Script Repository, includes additional scripts to support customers managing industry-specific niche applications.

The default scripts are:

  • MSInfo – gathers data for Office 2019, Office365, and MSDN installed applications. New version is 1.2. 
  • Autodesk – gathers details from the registry about installed Autodesk products. New version is 3.0. 
  • SWIDTAG – gathers SWIDTAG files (*.swidtag and *.swtag) on the local machine and data about Adobe products. New version is 1.2. .
  • Toad – gathers information about Toad products. New version is 1.6. 

 

ENHANCEMENTS

The following enhancements have been implemented in Snow Inventory Repository version 2.3:

Manifest file for all scripts

All default scripts have been updated to include a manifest file, which generates a software row about the script itself. In this way, the script will appear as an application in Snow License Manager.

Autodesk

The Autodesk script now gathers licensing type information for Autodesk applications. This data will improve recognition accuracy for Autodesk products released after 2016, and enables Snow License Manager to distinguish between applications running on a network or standalone user license.

SWIDTAG

The SWIDTAG script now scans additional locations in the local filesystem for SWIDTAG files (*.swidtag and *.swtag) and can now detect trial editions of Adobe products.

 

DISTRIBUTION AND TROUBLESHOOTING

Distribution

As of this release, Snow Inventory Script Repository will be distributed through Snow Update Service for all customers on Snow Inventory Server version 5.0 or higher.

All default PowerShell scripts are included when requesting Snow Inventory client/agent for Windows MSI packages from Snow Support.

Troubleshooting

Please reach out to Snow Support if you encounter any issues with our scripts.

Snow for ServiceNow Release Communication

Released on March 14, 2019.

 

Snow for ServiceNow 3.3 is a certified platform integration between Snow License Manager and the ServiceNow NOW platform. Building on features and capabilities introduced in earlier versions, this latest release of Snow for ServiceNow further enhances the integration between the world’s leading Software Asset Management and ITSM platform, providing customers with a combined value through standardized and certified integration.

Release information

Product:                Snow for ServiceNow
New version:         3.3
Release date:        March 14, 2019
Distribution:          ServiceNow  store
Current status:      Released

FEATURES

Software usage for ServiceNow Software usage data – which includes, for example, information about when an application was installed, when it was first used, most recent usage, number of times used (runs), the average length of each run, and a user count – provides insight into how an application is being consumed by users. Usage data is now extracted from Snow License Manager for use in ServiceNow. Stored in standard software instance tables and linked directly to each computer CI, usage data is now available to all applications, processes, and workflows across the ServiceNow platform.

Support for Snow License Manager custom fields

Custom fields defined in Snow License Manager can now be added to the list of fields maintained by Snow for ServiceNow. Once transferred to ServiceNow, customfield data is stored in dedicated staging tables and linked to dedicated transform maps. This feature enables custom fields created in Snow License Manager to be correlated with the desired destination in ServiceNow and provides a standardized method for aggregating customfield data from Snow to ServiceNow.

Additional filtering options

To further refine the data Snow for ServiceNow needs to maintain, additional filterLnJ options Include Servers and Include Non-Servers are now part of the connector configuration for ServiceNow CMDB. These options increase the flexibility of Snow for ServiceNow, by supporting aggregations that target specific computer environments such as, just the server estate, or the workstation/ laptop/mobile/cloud estate.

A full version of the release notes can be found here

Download from ServiceNow Store

Product and Service Catalog Update:

https://store.servicenow.com/sn_appstore_store.do#!/store/application/a4c988b60f936a0029698c9ce1050e10/3.3.6

 

CMDB Integration:

https://store.servicenow.com/sn_appstore_store.do#!/store/application/04a81ff90fbde200bb508fbce1050e2e/3.3.28

 

Released on March 14, 2019

Release information

Product:                 Snow Inventory Agent for Windows
New version:          6.1.0
Release date:         March 14, 2019
Distribution:           SUS package
Current status:      Released
 

Updated technical documentation 

Updated technical documents in this release is: 

 

Features 

Browser extension for Microsoft Edge

Web-application metering for Microsoft Edge is now supported. When cloud-application metering is enabled in Snow Inventory Admin Console, the Windows agent monitors SaaS applications accessed through Microsoft Edge via a browser extension installed on the target machine. The agent gathers metering data for SaaS applications running in Microsoft Edge, as well as the name of the browser. This data is packed together with the normal inventory scan of the target machine and sent to Snow Inventory Server for storage and processing.

 

Enhancements 

Security hardening through compilation options

The agent has been security hardened through the application of Windows compilation flags that enable additional protection against buffer overflow and memory corruption

 

Reduced memory usage for web metering rules

Cloud metering rules created by Snow’s Data Intelligence Service enable web traffic data (URLs) gathered by a browser extension to be recognized as use of a SaaS application. Snow constantly creates new rules to expand the intelligence of the data extracted by the browser extension. The agent regularly downloads updates and stores them in a web-metering-rules file on the target machine. However, as the number of rules increases, the agent's memory requirements to process this information rises in a linear fashion. To limit agent memory usage, additional intelligence has been added to the way the agent stores and processes cloud metering rules. For example, only recentlyused rules are stored, faster lookup based on domains has replaced regular-expression matching, and the loading of web-metering files happens later in the process to prevent service timeouts when the agent starts.

 

Enhanced script-tampering protection

PowerShell scripts run by the agent are encrypted by default. To provide an additional layer of protection, the Windows agent can now run PowerShell scripts that are encrypted locally with a custom key.

 

Diagnostics enabler for cloud application metering

To provide cloud-application discovery-and-metering, Snow agents rely on browser extensions installed on the target machine. These extensions extract usage data for SaaS applications and information about the source web browser. Snow currently provides browser extensions for Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Microsoft Internet Explorer 11, and now with this version of the Windows agent, Microsoft Edge. The source web browser name is used by Snow Inventory Server for diagnostic purposes. To, for example, assess whether extensions and software recognition rules for the different browsers are functioning correctly.

 

Hardening of dll search path.

Automated checks have been added to prevent the agent from sideloading dll files stored in shared file locations. The agent is now hardened against executing potentially harmful code in dll files that may arise if shared folders are not sifficiently protected by system-level access control.

 

Corrections 

  • When no value is set for encryption path in snowagent.config the default value now points to the correct folder.
  • Issues related to invalid metering data collected from computers that are locked at midnight or locked when the agent runs the scheduled scan have been resolved, ensuring that all data collected by the agent is processed. 
  • Logging of registry entry errors arising due to the 32-bit version of the agent looking in the 64-bit registry for install/uninstall data have been corrected. The agent now searches the correct registry based on its architecture.
  • Product keys for Windows 8 and higher are now correctly extracted from the target machine.
  • The number of monitors connected to a machine and their resolution is now correctly reported in inventory scans.