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Installation Topics

This area addresses all topics around the installation of JDisc Discovery.

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 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 DLL vbscript.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 re-installing 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 (Windows 2003 Server or above).


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.


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 prostgres database. There is no need to setup a separate database server!


Can I install the user interface on a remote computer?

Yes, you can. 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, 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 (Windows 2003 Server or above), since client operating sytems are limited regarding the number of network connections.


I would like to upgrade to the latest version. Of course without any data loss. How can I do that?

JDisc frequently updates its software. We distinguish between minor updates with smaller enhancements and bug fixes and major release 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 a support contract, then you'll get it at no cost by sending your license request file to support@remove-this.jdisc.com .

 

1. Installing minor Upgrades

In order to install minor upgrades (without a version change), you should perform the following steps:

  1. Archive your database:
    Select the Administration > Database > Archive 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.
  2. Archive your license file:
    The license file stays valid when upgrading between different build numbers of a single version. Copy the "license.txt" file from your installation directory to a safe place.
  3. Uninstall the software and all Add-Ons
    Uninstall the complete software by uninstalling the add-ons first and then uninstalling the core product.
  4. Reboot if needed
    Reboot your system if required.
  5. Install the new version
    Install the new version and the add-ons as required.
  6. Restore the license file
    Copy the saved license file from step 2 to the installation directory and overwrite the existing license.txt file.
  7. Restart our Discovery Services
    Restore the JDisc Discovery service in order to force a reload of the license file.
  8. Stop the application
    Open the User Interface und stop the application via Administration > Stop Application.
  9. Restore the database
    Use Administration > Database > Restore Database in order to restore the archived database.
  10. 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 instruction from 1, but skip step 2 and replace step 6 by requesting a new license file and installing it.


Discovery Topics

This  chapter explains how the discovery is working and which devices can be discovered.

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 address) for other SNMP based devices such as switches and routers.

Detailed network documentation information is available for:

  • Windows computers with Windows NT 4.0 and above
  • HP-UX workstations and servers
  • Oracle Solaris workstations and servers
  • IBM AIX workstations and servers
  • Linux computers
  • VMware ESX(i) servers
  • MAC OS X computers

Basis identification is available for:

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

In case a new device has been discovered, which JDisc Discovery doesn't recognize yet, please contact support@remove-this.jdisc.com . We are able to integrate most of the new devices very quickly into our tool.


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 und MAC OS X).

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! For this, the differences in models, versions of operating systems and configurations are too large.

Full Details:

Hardware
  • Model
  • Manufacturer
  • Device type
  • Serial number
  • Part number
  • Processors
  • Memory modules
  • Physical disks
  • Video controller and attached monitors
Software
  • Operating system version
  • Patch level (Service Pack)
  • System type (x64, x86, ia64, ...)
  • Install date
  • Uptime
  • Unique ID
  • Locale
  • List of installed applications
  • List of installed application instances (e.g. Oracle or MS SQL Server Instances)
  • List of installed patches
  • List of installed services
  • Firmware name
  • Firmware version
  • Firmware date
  • Unique Firmware ID
Configuration data
  • Network interfaces with MAC, IP address and host names
  • Configured disk partitions and logical drives
  • Currently logged on users, list of local users, history list of recently logged users
  • Virtual computers running on a physical host
  • Active Directory membership for Windows computers
  • Windows Domain membership for Windows computers

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). For some data, however, the temporary agent is required.

Read more in our Agentless vs. Agentbased Discovery Tools Whitepaper.


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

Firewalls can block the access to WMI or remote registry on Windows computers and prevent getting detailed discovery information. JDisc Discovery offers the possibility to tunnel WMI and remote registry requests via its agents. That means that WMI requests are not executed remotely but by a locally installed JDisc Discovery agent. Local WMI queries are always possible without account. The same applies for registry accesses.


How long does a discovery run?

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. 

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. Different devices support different protocols. For example, a Windows computer primarily uses the Windows registry and WMI. Linux computers are identified via telnet or SSH, whereas most switches are identified via SNMP.

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

Protocol Port
Domain Name System (DNS) 53 (TCP)
Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) 80 (TCP)
Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS) 443 (TCP)
Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP) 3268 (TCP)
Network Basic Input/Output System (NetBIOS) 137 (UDP)
138 (UDP)
139 (TCP)
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 Uses the SMB Protocol
Windows Remote Registry Uses the SMB Protocol
Windows Management Interface (WMI) 135 (TCP) and a random port,
that depends on the Windows version.

Can I discover devices through a firewall?

Blocking by firewalls can prevent JDisc Discovery from getting details from devices on the network. Either open the firewall for the discovery server and the required ports, or use separate installations on either side of the firewall.


JDisc Discovery does not get details for my computer. 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 and a quality meter. JDisc Discovery specializes in getting access problems identified and fixed as quickly as possible.

Refer to the "Discovery Scenarios" and "Troubleshooting" in our user manual.

If nothing helps, simply generate a Device Support ZIP file (refer to support video) and sent it to our support.


What is an "Unidentified Device"?

JDisc Discovery classifies a device as an "Unidentified Device", if the IP address replies, but none of the protocols succeed in obtaining further information. In this case, we know that a device with a specific IP address exists, 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. 

However you can activate remote login ("active" is the default value in the standard configuration) and define valid accounts and passwords. JDisc Discovery uses them to connect to the computers via SSH and to discover information details via system commands. Refer to "Discovery Scenarios" in our User Manual.


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

Furthermore, you can define any number of IP address exclusion ranges. These are IP4 address ranges that are excluded from discovery.

JDisc Discovery can also ignore specific device types.



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 time zones.

JDisc Discovery offers the following types of schedules:

  • Run once at a particular time
  • Run recurring (e.g. every 2 hours)
  • Run daily at a particular time
  • Run weekly on a particular weekday / time
  • Run monthly on a particular weekday / time

Furthermore you can define periods of inactive discovery (e.g. in times when backups are scheduled).


What are the pre-requisites for a successful discovery?


There are several pre-requisites required for a successful discovery:

  1. Switches and routers need to be "managed". That means, they must support SNMP.
  2. Switches and routers need to support either CDP (Cisco Discovery Protocol) or LLDP (Link Layer Discovery Protocoll). Otherwise, the switch topology cannot be discovered. Routers and switches need to provide this information with the respective MIBs.
  3. To connect end devices with the switches, the switches need to support Bridge-MIB. Bridge-Mib contains a forwarding table listing all MAC addresses that can be connected on a port. Without  Bridge-Mib, there is no possibility to assign the end devices to the switch ports.
  4. The assignment of devices is based on MAC addresses of the devices within a network. Therefore, it is essential to identify the MAC addresses of all devices.

Reporting Topics

This section addresses all questions around the reporting functionality in JDisc Discovery.

Can I group devices?

JDisc Discovery has a powerful grouping concept. Groups can be defined in a hierarchical manner, plus conditions for groups can be defined. 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 types matches

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

JDisc Discovery offers a powerful report generator. You can use it to generate your own individual reports by:

  1. defining the relevant attributes
  2. defining possible restrictions on attributes
  3. defining the appearance / sequence of the columns in your individual report.

You can use nearly all device properties (such as model, manufacturer, applications, etc.) 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 1 GHz. Limiting the device type to "Laptop" excludes all devices which are not classified as laptop. Limiting the processor speed to "<1 GHz" excludes all modern laptops.

Custom reports can be saved for later re-use.


How can I export reports?

All reports can be exported either to CSV (comma separated values) or Microsoft Excel documents. Use the icons in the toolbar of the report window.


How can I provide reports to my colleagues automatically?

You can schedule automatic export of nearly all reports. For this, you schedule the time and the target directory for your reports. JDisc Discovery executes those reports automatically and stores them under  the defined target directory.


Licensing

All about the topic licensing.

I have installed the free version and would like to test the software with more than 25 devices. What can I do?

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

We are pleased to generate a demo license for more than 25 devices for a fixed period for free! This allows you to test our software intensely in your network.

First, generate a license request file by opening the licensing dialog from the Help > License Info menu. Click on the "Request License" button and save the license request file on your hard drive. After having ordered the software, send this file to our Support.

Please let us know in this email how many devices per operating system you do have in your network. This does not need to be a concrete number. A rough estimation is absolutely sufficient:

  1. Number of Unix systems (HP-UX, AIX, Solaris)
  2. Number of computers with Linux, VMWare, MAC OS X
  3. Number of switches and routers and of computers with a Windows operating system
  4. Number of any other devices (such as network printers, scanners, ...)

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 purchased a perpetual license. Can I distribute it 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 the total number of devices purchased.


What kind of licenses does JDisc Discovery offer?

We offer different license models serving your purpose best:

  1. Perpetual license
    A perpetual license can be purchased once and has no time limit. Our optional support contract allows you to keep the software up-to-date. This license model is useful for IT organizations that plan to use our software on an ongoing basis.
  2. Project license
    A project license is useful for IT service providers or IT organizations, if the software is used only for the duration of a single project. Project licenses can be purchased on a weekly basis and are a cost-effective alternative to the perpetual license.
  3. Annual subscription
    In case the purchasing costs exceed your budget or you prefer a yearly fee, our annual subscription might be right choice for you!

What kind of devices do I pay licenses for?

Rules for the licenses:

  • Every device with an IP address (including virtual machines) counts as one device
  • Devices with multiple IP addresses (e.g. routers) count as one device
  • Management boards for servers count as separate devices

However, there are some exceptions to those rules:

  • Devices that are not identified do not count for the license (Unidentified devices, unknown SNMP devices)
  • Devices without an IP address (local printers, monitors, etc.)

JDisc Discovery's device type filter can already exclude those devices that are not relevant for the licensing at the start. This saves you license cost, discovery time and network bandwidth!