Software and hardware discovery

BigFix Inventory discovers hardware and software in your IT infrastructure.

With BigFix Inventory you can accomplish the following goals by using software and hardware discovery:
  • Manage software inventory
  • Monitor license consumption
  • Achieve basic license compliance
  • Create an inventory of hardware in the enterprise

Infrastructure analysis

The first step, before you start discovering software and hardware, is to obtain the baseline of computers that exists in your environment. Estimate the total number of computers and organize them into computer groups in the BigFix console to avoid overloading the infrastructure.

Discovery of software and hardware

Collect information about your software, license compliance and hardware inventory. It is commonly achieved by activating the capacity and software scans in the BigFix console. For more information, see: Setting up scans to discover software and hardware inventory.
Discovery Description
Software inventory Software inventory is analyzed by the scanner that searches for different types of information to determine whether the software is installed or to measure its usage. You should set up the appropriate software scans during the initial configuration of BigFix Inventory. For more information, see: Types of software scans.
Thanks to BigFix Inventory you can understand and manage your software inventory, especially through the following practices:
  • Discovering IBM and non-IBM software to view and classify your software inventory on the Software Classification panel.
  • Measuring utilization of license metrics that are used within your organization. You can view the details on the All Metrics report that shows utilization of the assigned license metric by all instances of a particular product. However, it is limited to a subset of license metrics. For more information, see:License metric utilization.
  • Estimating resource utilization of products that deliver .slmtags. The Resource Utilization report shows utilization of all license metrics that can be used by a particular product. However, the data is not aggregated and requires further processing. For more information, see: Raw utilization of license metrics.
  • Measuring current application usage by monitoring the information about packages and files that exist on the computers in your environment. You can view the usage statistics on the Inventory Exploration and Usage per Computer report.
  • Discovering software that is installed on Mac OS. To discover software that is installed on Mac OS, run the package data scan on Mac computers. Other types of software scans are not needed. On the reports, the publisher of these products is generic and called Unclassified Mac Software because the information about the publisher is not available directly. In this case, the publisher should be considered as unknown and no manual action is required to set it.
Hardware information and capacity data Thanks to BigFix Inventory you can collect information about the processors and the processor capacity that is assigned to each computer in your infrastructure.
Capacity scan
Capacity scan collects data about the physical processor, system type (physical or virtual), guest operating system, and logical partitions. It must be activated on every computer, virtualization host and virtual machine. For more information, see: Initiating the capacity scan on all computers.
Capacity scan on virtualization hosts
To collect capacity data on Xen and KVM hosts, you need to activate an additional fixlet: Run Capacity Scan on Virtualization Hosts. For more information, see: Collecting capacity data from virtualization hosts for Xen and KVM.
Capacity scan on virtual machines
To collect capacity data on VMware, Hyper-V, KVM RHV-M, and Citrix Hypervisor (formerly XenServer), you must add relevant VM managers in BigFix Inventory. For more information, see: Adding VM managers for VMware, Hyper-V, KVM with RHV-M, Citrix Hypervisor and Nutanix.
The hardware information and capacity data are displayed on the Hardware Inventory report.
9.2.12 Detailed Hardware Scan
To collect information about memory, operating systems, storage, processors, partitions, network adapters, SMBIOS data, IP addresses and logical processor capacity data, you need to activate the Collect Detailed Hardware Information fixlet. For more information, see: Detailed hardware scan.
Starting from application update 9.2.12, thanks to BigFix Inventory you can collect detailed information about hardware in your infrastructure. You can retrieve this data with REST API. For more information, see: REST API for retrieving detailed hardware information (v2).