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Jdisc Discovery FAQ

The FAQ section answers frequently asked questions about JDisc Discovery and its add-ons.

Installationi

I am getting installation error 2738. What can I do?
The installation went fine, but I cannot connect to the server!
Which operating systems can I install JDisc Discovery on?
As far as I know, JDisc Discovery is written in Java. Why can't I install JDisc Discovery on Linux/Unix?
Can I install JDisc Discovery within a virtual machine?

Do I need to install a database server to store discovered information?
Can I install the user interface on a remote computer?

The application does not start. What can I do?

Discovery

I am getting a poor discovery result. Am I doing something wrong?
What kind of devices does JDisc Discovery support?
I am having WMI and remote registry access problems. What can I do?
What kind of information can JDisc Discovery collect for devices?
Do I need to deploy agents on the target computers?
How many devices can JDisc Discovery identify in one hour?
Which protocols/ports does JDisc Discovery use to discover devices on the network?
Can I discover devices through a firewall?
JDisc Discovery does not get details for my computers. What can I do?
What is an "Unidentified Device"?
Why do my Linux/Unix computers appear as "Unidentified Device"?
Can I exclude IP address ranges or device types from discovery?
Can I schedule an automatic discovery?

Reporting

Can I group devices?
I have seen many built in reports. Can I create my own individual reports?
Can I export reports to CSV or Excel documents?

Licensing

I have installed the free version and would like to request a permanent license for more than 25 devices. How do I do that?
I bought a license for 5000 devices. Can I distribute the 5000 devices license over multiple discovery server installations?
I need a license for an IT project. Do I need to buy a permanent license?
What devices do I pay licenses for? Do I pay licenses for monitors or not correctly identified devices?

Topology

What are the requirements to successfully obtain a topology?

Integrations

I would like to integrate the product into my existing IT infrastructure. How can I access JDisc's database and how can I extract the information?

Update Process

How to I upgrade my current installation



Installation

I am getting installation error 2738. What can I do?

For some reason there are problems with an unregistered vbscript.dll on some Windows systems. This leads to installation error 2738 when the installation procedure tries to run VisualBasic scripts to configure the application. JDisc Discovery makes use of VisualBasic scripts to configure the software.

First, check that the vbscript.dll is not registered

Make sure that vbscript.dll is not registered in HKEY_CURRENT_USER (HKCU), by checking for the following registry key:
HKCU\SOFTWARE\Classes\CLSID\{ B54F3741-5B07-11CF-A4B0-00AA004A55E8}.

Remove this key if it exists in HKEY_CURRENT_USER.

Secondly, re-register the DLL.

1. Start a command prompt in Administrator mode (Start/All Programs/Accessories/ right click on Command prompt, select "Run As Administrator")

2. cd %systemroot%\system32

3. regsvr32 vbscript.dll (You should see a dialog stating that the registration succeeded).

4. Try reinstalling JDisc Discovery.

The installation went fine, but I cannot connect to the server!

In some cases, a personal firewall prevents the JDisc Discovery server from connecting to the embedded Postgres database.

If you have installed the software but you cannot connect to the server via the user interface for more than 5 minutes, then disable the firewall, uninstall the software, and reboot. Perform a reinstall with the personal firewall turned off.

In any case, we recommend to install the software on a server operating system (starting with Windows 2003 Server).

Which operating systems can I install JDisc Discovery on?

You can install JDisc Discovery on any Windows operating system, starting with Windows XP and above. We highly recommend installing JDisc Discovery on a server operating system since Microsoft has introduced a connection limit on their client operating systems starting with Windows XP SP2! This significantly impacts the discovery process and overall operation of JDisc Discovery.
Microsoft has removed this patch again starting with Windows Vista SP2 and Windows 7.


As far as I know, JDisc Discovery is written in Java. Why can't I install JDisc Discovery on Linux/Unix?

The main reason why you cannot install JDisc Discovery on a Linux/Unix operating system is that many protocols that are required to discover Windows computers (such as WMI) are not available on the Unix platform.
However this does not affect the capability of JDisc to properly discover Linux and Unix computers.


Can I install JDisc Discovery within a virtual machine?

Yes, you can install JDisc Discovery within a virtual machine.


Do I need to install a database server to store discovered information?

No. JDisc Discovery's installation procedure includes an embedded postgres database. There is no need to setup a separate database server!


Can I install the user interface on a remote computer?

Yes, you can install the JDisc Discovery user interface on a remote computer. Simply select the "User Interface Only" option during the installation process. The user interface communicates with the server via RMI (Remote Method Invocation) on a configurable port. Refer to the administration guide for more details on how to configure RMI ports.

The application does not start. What can I do?

JDisc Discovery comes with an embedded database. When installing the software on a client computer, then a personal firewall might block the traffic between the discovery and its embedded database. We always recommend to install the software on a server operating system (starting with Windows 2003 server), since client operating systems are limited with their network connections.



Discovery

I am getting poor network inventory results. Am I doing something wrong?

Getting unsatisfactory network documetation results is usually caused by firewalls. Make sure, that the firewall on the discovery computer is switched off and that there are no firewalls blocking the traffic between the discovery server and the inventoried devices.

The second most common reason is missing access credentials. Without access credentials, JDisc Discovery only gets basic device information. Refer to the user manual or the video section on how to configure Discovery properly.

What kind of devices does JDisc Discovery support?

JDisc Discovery is not limited to a specific manufacturer or to a particular device type. Our goal is to support virtually any device that is connected to the network. However different devices divulge different sets of information. Therefore, it is not possible to get the full set of information for all devices. JDisc Discovery gets very detailed information for computers running with the most common operating systems. However it gets only basic information (model, brand, serial number, IP addresses) for other SNMP based devices such as switches, routers.

Detailed network documentation information is available for

Windows computers with Windows NT 4.0 and above
HP-UX workstations and servers
Sun Solaris workstations and servers
IBM AIX workstations and servers
Linux computers
MAC OS X computers

Basic identification is available for

SNMP based devices (such as routers, switches, network printers, and IP phones)

I am encountering WMI and remote registry access problems. What can I do?

JDisc Discovery requires access to WMI and the registry in order to get detailed information from Windows computers. In some cases, remote WMI or registry access is not possible due to firewall configurations. JDisc Discovery tunnels WMI and remote registry requests through the firewall with its discovery agent if filesharing is enabled on the target computers. Enable remote login for the JDisc Discovery protocols and make sure that tunneling of WMI and registry requests is enabled.

Note that tunneling of WMI and remote registry access is often much faster than native access, especially with slow network connections.

What kind of information can JDisc Discovery collect for devices?

JDisc Discovery gets different detail levels for different devices. Full device details are supported for computers with the most common operating systems (Windows NT 4.0 and above, IBM AIX, Sun Solaris, Linux, HP-UX, and MAC OS X). Basic identification is supported for all other devices.

Although we try our best to get as much information from the devices as possible, we cannot guarantee that we can discover all information listed below for every device!

Full Details:

Hardware

Model, brand, device type, serial number, part number
Processors, memory modules, physical disks, video controller, attached monitors

Software

Operating system, version, patch level, system type (x86 or x64), install date, uptime, unique id, locale
Installed applications
Installed application instances (Oracle and Postgres databases)
Installed patches
Installed services
Firmware name, version, release date, unique id

Configuration

Network interfaces with MAC and IP addresses, hostnames
Configured disk partitions and logical drives
Currently logged on users, list of local users, list of recently logged on users
Virtual computers running on a physical host
Active Directory membership for Windows computers
Windows Domain membership for Windows computers

Basic identification:

Hardware

Model, brand, device type, serial number, part number

Software

Operating system, version, patch level, uptime

Configuration

Network interfaces with MAC and IP addresses, hostnames


Do I need to deploy agents on the target computers?

No, there is no need to install proprietary agents on the target computers. JDisc Discovery uses standard protocols to identify devices.
However JDisc Discovery can, if configured accordingly, deploy a temporary agent on Windows computers. This improves data quality in some cases (e.g. with Windows NT 4.0).


How many devices can JDisc Discovery identify in one hour?

For performance reasons, JDisc Discovery discovers devices in parallel. The number of devices to be discovered in parallel may be configured in the Discovery configuration. Refer to the user manual for more details.

Depending on device load, network speed and performance of the discovery server, JDisc Discovery can discover up to 1500 devices per hour.


Which protocols/ports does JDisc Discovery use to discover devices on the network?

The list of protocols depends on the device type. For instance, Windows discovery requires different protocols compared to discovering Linux computers.

The table below lists all ports and protocols used by JDisc Discovery.

Protocol

Ports

Domain Name System (DNS)

53 (TCP)

Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP)

80 (TCP)

Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP)
(Global Catalog)

3268 (TCP)

Network Basic Input/Output System (NetBIOS)

137 (UDP)
138 (UDP)
139 (TCP)

Packet Internet Grouper (PING)

n/a

Secure Shell (SSH)

22 (TCP)

Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP)

161 (UDP)

Server Message Block (SMB)

445 (TCP)

Telnet

23 (TCP)

VMware API (VIM SDK) for VMware Server

8333 (TCP)

VMware API (VIM SDK) for VMware ESX Server

443 (TCP)

Web Based Enterprise Management (WBEM)

5989 (TCP))

Windows Remote Login

Relies on SMB

Windows Remote Registry

Relies on SMB

Windows Management Interface (WMI)

135 (TCP) and
a negotiated port between 1024 and 65535 (TCP)



Can I discover devices through a firewall?

Blocking by firewalls can prevent JDisc Discovery from getting details from devices on the network. Open either the firewall for the discovery server and the required ports or use separate installations on either side of the firewall. However, with JDisc's remote login capability, it is possible to discover Windows computers through port 445 (SMB) only. For most Unix computers, SSH (port 22) is sufficient.


JDisc Discovery does not get details for my computers. What can I do?

There are many things that can prevent JDisc Discovery from getting proper device details. Misconfigured user accounts or passwords, firewalls, or disabled protocols can for instance impact discovery results.
Therefore JDisc Discovery features many built in troubleshooting technologies,  starting from simple reports and leading up to a rule based analysis of possible problems. JDisc Discovery specializes in getting access problems identified and fixed as quickly as possible.
Refer to the discovery scenarios in the user manual in order to learn how to properly configure JDisc Discovery for your needs. Refer to the troubleshooting section for more details on how to identify discovery problems.


What is an "Unidentified Device"?

JDisc Discovery classifies a device as an "Unidentified Device" if the IP address replies to a ping request, but none of the protocols succeed in obtaining further information. In this case, we know that there exists a device with a specific IP address, but we don't have any further information about the device.


Why are my Linux/Unix computers listed as "Unidentified Device"?

Linux computers are secured by default. In many cases, SSH is the only protocol available to access a Linux computer. Unfortunately, SSH does not provide any device information. Therefore it is impossible to identify a device with SSH as sole access protocol if there is no possibility of logging in with valid access credentials.
Enable remote login for "Unknown Devices" and for "Linux" in order to successfully discover Linux computers. Refer to the discovery scenarios described in the user manual for a more detailed description.


Can I exclude IP address ranges or device types from discovery?

You can define any number of IP address exclusion ranges. JDisc Discovery ignores IP addresses within those ranges when pinging IP addresses and when discovering devices.
JDisc Discovery can also ignore specific device types (e.g. printers) when they are not important to you.


Can I schedule an automatic discovery?

Yes, you may even schedule discoveries independently for different areas of your network. This is especially useful if your corporation has sites in different timezones.

JDisc Discovery offers the following types of schedules:

- Run once at a particular time
- Run recurring
- Run daily at a particular time
- Run weekly on a particular weekday
- Run monthly on a particular day of the month



Reporting

Can I group devices?

JDisc Discovery has a powerful grouping concept. You can define groups in an hierarchical manner as well as define group conditions. Whenever a device is discovered it is matched against the group conditions. On success, it will be automatically assigned to the group. There is no manual interaction involved apart from defining the conditions.

The group conditions include:

- Matches for network membership
- Matches for membership in an IP address range
- Matches for a Windows domain membership
- Matches for membership within organizational units of a Microsoft Active Directory
- Hostname matches
- Manufacturer matches
- Device model matches
- Device type matches


I have seen there are many built in reports. Can I create my own individual reports?

JDisc Discovery has a report generator. The report generator serves two purposes:

1. Define the properties that appear in a report
2. Define restrictions on properties

You can use nearly all device properties (such as model, manufacturer, applications, processors...) in our custom reports.
Consider, for instance, that you would like to replace your slow old PCs with new ones. Therefore, you are looking for all laptops with a processor speed less than 1GHz. Limiting the device type to "Laptop" excludes all devices which are not classified as a laptop. Limiting the processor speed to "< 1 GHz" excludes all modern laptops.

Custom reports can be saved for later reuse.


Can I export reports to CSV or Excel documents?

Yes, all reports can be exported to CSV (comma separated values) or Microsoft Excel documents.





Licensing

I have installed the free version and would like to obtain a permanent license for more than 25 devices. How do I do that?

Install the product and open the licensing dialog from the Help > License Info menu. Click on the "Request License" button and save the license request file on your harddrive. After having ordered the software, send this file to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . We will sign the license and return it to you. Save the license.txt file in the installation directory overwriting the existing file. Restart the JDisc Discovery Windows service in order to reload the license. Finally, check the license status from Help > License Info.

I bought a license for 5000 devices. Can I distribute the 5000 devices licenses over multiple discovery server installations?

Yes, you can install as many discovery servers as you want as long as the total number of devices does not exceed 5000 devices.


I need a license for one of my IT projects. Do I need to buy a permanent license?

A permanent license often exceeds the budget limit for IT projects. Therefore, we also offer time limited project licenses which are valid only for the duration of your project. The price is calculated by license duration (number of weeks) and the device count.
Contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it for more information.


What do I pay licenses for? Do I pay licenses for monitors or devices which have not been correctly identified?

No, of course not. Unidentified devices will not be counted for your license! THe same applies to devices without an IP address!



Topology

What are the requirements for successfully obtaining a network topology?

There are several requirements for a successful topology disovery:

1. Switches and routers must be managed. This means, that they must support the SNMP protocol.
2. To obtain a proper switch topology, the switches must support CDP (Cisco Discovery Protocol) or LLDP (Link Layer Discovery Protocol) and expose this information via the corresponding SNMP Mibs. Alternatively, the MAC forwarding table from the Bridge MIB helps to get the network topology.
3. Switches must support the Bridge MIB and the included forwarding table in order to read the list of mac addresses that are visible on a switch port. Without the Bridge MIB, devices cannot be assigned to switch ports.
4.

The topology detection of JDisc Discovery assigns devices to switch ports using the mac addresses in the forwarding tables. In order to work properly, JDisc Discovery needs full access to devices within the network. Otherwise, we cannot guarantee, that the mac addresses will be correctly read.


Integrations


I would like to integrate the product into my existing IT infrastructure. How can I access JDisc's database and how can I extract the information?

JDisc offers already an out-of-the box integration with several CMDB solutions. If you have a product that is not yet supported by JDisc, then you might yourself extract the data from our database. JDisc Discovery uses Postgres as database engine. The database runs by default on port 25321 and uses postgresro as readonly user and postgres as read/write user. The passwords get defined during the installation process and can later be changed from the user interface (refer to our administration guide that comes with the download).

You might contact our support ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ) in order to get support for the database model.

 


 

Update Process

I would like to upgrade my current installation, but not loose all my data!

JDisc's frequently updates its software. We distinguish between minor updates with smaller enhancements and bugfixes and major releases updates. Our smaller upgrades do not get a new version number, but a new build number. Major upgrades do get a new version number (e.g. 2.9). Our license files are still valid when upgrading to new builds within the same version. However, when you upgrade to a new version (e.g. from version 2.8 to 2.9), then you need a new license file. If you have support contract, then you'll get it at no cost by sending your license request file to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Our upgrade process requires a complete uninstall of your current installation and a reinstall of the new version. That is usually a matter of only a few minutes.

1. Upgrading minor Upgrades

When updating between minor upgrades (without a version change), then you should execute the following steps:

a) Archive your database:

Select the Administration > Database > Arhive Database menu item and archive your database. Make sure to enable the option "Include passwords within the archive". Otherwise, you will need to re-enter them after restoring the database.
Remember the encryption password. You will need it again when restoring the database.

b) Archive your license file

The license file stays valid when upgrading between different build number of a single version. Copy the "license.txt" file from your installation directory (usually Program Files\JDisc\JDisc Discovery) to a safe place.

c) Uninstall the software

Uninstall the complete software by uninstalling the add-ons first and then uninstalling the core product.

d) Reboot if needed

Reboot your system if required.

e) Install the new version

Install the new version and the add-ons as required.

f) Restore the license file

Copy the saved license file from step b) to the installation directory and overwrite the existing license.txt file.

g) Restart the JDisc Discovery Service

Restore the JDisc Discovery service in order to force a reload of the license file.

h) Stop the application

Use Administration > Stop Application in order to stop the application before the database restore.

i) Restore the databade

Use Administration > Database > Restore Database in order to restore the archived database.

j) Start the application

Start the application again with Administration > Start Application.

2. Upgrading to a new version

An upgrade to a new version requires a new license file. Use the instructions from 1., but skip step b) and replace step f) by requesting a new license file and installing the new license file.


Protocol

Ports

Domain Name System (DNS)

53 (TCP)

Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP)

80 (TCP)

Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP)
(Global Catalog)

3268 (TCP)

Network Basic Input/Output System (NetBIOS)

137 (UDP)
138 (UDP)
139 (TCP)

Packet Internet Grouper (PING)

n/a

Secure Shell (SSH)

22 (TCP)

Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP)

161 (UDP)

Server Message Block (SMB)

445 (TCP)

Telnet

23 (TCP)

VMware API (VIM SDK) for VMware Server

8333 (TCP)

VMware API (VIM SDK) for VMware ESX Server

443 (TCP)

Web Based Enterprise Management (WBEM)

5989 (TCP))

Windows Remote Login

Relies on SMB

Windows Remote Registry

Relies on SMB

Windows Management Interface (WMI)

135 (TCP) and
a negotiated port between 1024 and 65535 (TCP)