JDisc Discovery 2.8 – Build 2813 – New Features and some Bugfixes

Network Inventory Solution

Network Inventory SolutionNo one likes to wait for new features or bugfixes. Therefore, JDisc frequently releases minor updates every four to six weeks.

This time, the new build includes some bugfixes within the network topology resultion, some  enhancements, that help when dealing with license management projects and the detection of locally attached printers, scanners and card readers.

  1. A feature that has been requested already for quite a while is the discovery of locally attached devices such as USB printers, USB scanners, and others. The reason, why it took so long is not that we didn’t want to implement this feature. We were just thinking about how to do it technically. While one might think, that WMI provides this information at your fingertips, this is not the case. WMI provides only very basic information about the PnP entities attached to the computer. That includes the PnP device id and the PnP product id. Both are 16 bit hes values. However, they do not expose the information about a cleartext vendor or model description. Getting the type is also not easily possible.
    Therefore, we implemented a mapping table that maps device id and product id to readable models, manufactures and device types.
    Read more details on my previous blog about discovering locally attached devices.
  2. A feature that came up while discussing with software vendors offering license management tools is the collection of executable information for all .exe files on the local harddrives. While it is technically possible to retrieve this information via WMI and without installing agents, it is practically not feasible. It simply takes too long to query that information via WMI. Therefore, we extended our remote login capabilityfor Windows. Making use of our temporarily installed agent, we can scan the harddrives locally on the computer. Of course, getting the list of executables requires a full scan of the harddrive which might take a while (up to 10 minutes) on slower PCs or laptops with only little memory. But it is much faster than using WMI.JDisc detects the list of all executables on a system.
  3. When deleting devices from the database, a new option allows to add the IP addresses of the deleted devices to the exclusion filter. This avoids devices to appear again when a new scan has been started. Read the full blog entry about this useful feature.
  4. A bugfix assures that devices are always attached to their corresponding AD organizational unit. In the past, this connection could get lost when scanning devices through their blade enclosure or management device.
  5. The network topology was not as good as it could have been, because some switches do not the frequently used MAC forwarding SNMP tables. They use a second table to store this information. Up to now, this information was invisible to JDisc Discovery. This has been fixed with the current release.
  6. Cisco uses a feature called index based SNMP communities for the switches and routers. Although this feature has been added a while ago, a bug prevented JDisc from getting complete information about the MAC forwarding entries. This has been fixed with this build.

About The Author

Thomas Trenz
I own and manage JDisc and its network inventory and discovery products. Before I started JDisc, I worked quite a long time for Hewlett-Packard developing software for network assessments and inventory projects. Feel free to contact me on Linked-In or Xing.

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