BigFix Inventory infrastructure

A complete deployment of BigFix Inventory consists of the BigFix Inventory server and its database, the BigFix server and its database, and a BigFix console. Additionally, a BigFix client must be installed on every computer from which you want to collect software inventory data. Depending on the environment size, you can install all components on a single computer, or distribute them among multiple computers.

Figure 1. BigFix Inventory infrastructure
BigFix Inventory infrastructure
BigFix Inventory server
The BigFix Inventory server provides a reporting interface for the inventory data that is collected from the computers managed by BigFix. To process the data in real time and to ensure reporting accuracy, the BigFix Inventory server should run all the time. Users access the application server through a web user interface.

BigFix server
The BigFix server forms the heart of the BigFix infrastructure. It coordinates the flow of data to and from individual computers. The server stores the results of capacity scans for up to five days, and thus should not be stopped for a longer period. It also stores the results of the last successful software scan from each computer. If new software scans are run more than once during server maintenance, not all of them are processed after the restart.

BigFix console
The BigFix console provides a system-wide view of all computers in the infrastructure and their configuration. It is used to target computers with specific actions such as installing the scanner or scheduling software and capacity scans.

Web Reports
Web Reports is a high-level web application that allows for visualizing data collected from the BigFix infrastructure. It is required by BigFix Inventory to connect with the VM Manager Tool that collects data from the VM managers in your infrastructure.

BigFix clients
BigFix client is common for all products that are based on the BigFix platform and should be installed on every computer, including backup and recovery machines, to ensure audit readiness. It provides information about computer properties, and is used to perform tasks such as installing the scanner on the computers. The BigFix client runs on all operating systems supported by BigFix Inventory, except for IBM i that uses disconnected scans instead of the client.

Apart from the BigFix client, a scanner should also be installed on every monitored computer. The scanner is an independent component that is used by BigFix Inventory to collect information about the hardware, as well as the software that is installed on the computers in your infrastructure.

BigFix server and BigFix Inventory server require their separate database instances. Depending on the size of your environment, these can be two database instances running on a single database engine, or two separate database engines. The data is extracted from the BigFix server database and imported to the BigFix Inventory database during the Extract, Transform, and Load (ETL) import process.