Beware of slideware and test thouroughly before you purchase!


FakeSoftwareDear JDisc friends,

today I’d like to talk about how to select a network discovery tool and how JDisc approaches prospects and I guess that is what makes the difference!

Selecting a network discovery tool is a time consuming and not trivial task. Once you start contacting vendor, they start to start the selling machine and you’ll be overwhelmed with case studies, features lists and slidesets that prove that the are the right tool. JDisc will also contact you when you are interested in our software, but our approach is a bit different.

At JDisc, we don’t believe slidesets. We only believe in what the actual software is capable to accomplish. And we also believe that customers who are interested in network discovery software should do the same. Slidesets, Excel comparison sheets and feature sheets might provide a first insight in the capabilities, but the only possibility to check whether the software works in your environment or not is to run it in your whole environment. There is no other way.

Of course, you will not start to run a discovery product within your production environment. Usually, you might start to test the product within a controled test environment. That’ll give you a first impression on how to product operates and what kind of information it collects. Once, you get confidence to the product, you might test it in some non-critical part of your production environment. If the product passes this milestone, then you might start a larger test within your production environment. But finally, you can only be sure that it works for your IT environment if you run it in your complete network. There is no way around that.

JDisc supports this approach and encourages every prospect to test the software within the complete IT environment. And we know, that the evaluation in large environments takes time and cannot be completed within a month. Therefore, we often work togehter with prospects to implement missing features or missing device support during the evaluation phase. Even if it takes several months. JDisc offers a free extended evaluation license that covers your complete IT environment for your evaluation period!

We encourage people to follow the evaluation process:

  • Browse the web and select possible vendors
  • Check their documentation and feature sheets
  • Download a trial version and test it in a limited test environment
  • Extend the scope of the test environment (e.g. scan more devices, networks, …)
  • Scan a non-critical part of the network
  • Extend the production network discovery (maybe in multiple phases)
  • Finally scan your whole environment

If vendors do not allow to test their software within your complete environment ask yourself:

  • Does the product scale to handle my environment?
  • Is it supporting all devices that I need?

You only know that a product can scan your environment if you scan your whole environment!

Therefore, go to our download page and check out the software…

See ya
Thomas

P.S.: Don’t believe in slides, believe in software!

JDisc’s improved VMware vCenter Discovery


Improved VMware Discovery through vCenterDear JDisc Friends,

virtualization is a commodity today and VMware is definitely one of the big players in this arena.

JDisc has been able to scan VMware ESX(i) servers since its beginnings and we are able to get detailed hardware and software information as well as the list of virtual machines running on the physical server. Over time, we added the capability to discover VMware clusters via the managing vCenter installation. So far so good as long as you have root accounts for the ESX(i) servers and a read-only account for the vCenter installation.

However, we experienced several times in that last couple of months the situation where IT asset manages do not get the required root accounts for the ESX(i) servers or where remote access is completely disabled. In thise case, the vCenter installation is the only source of information. Luckily, the vCenter installation provides all information about the ESX(i) server hardware and installed virtual machines. Therefore, direct access to the VMware ESX(i) servers themselves is not required anymore.

So what are the actual changes in the software?

Separation of Linux and VMware/Citrix XenServer Default Accounts

Up to now, JDisc Discovered handled default accounts for Linux, VMware, and Citrix XenServers in one single list. Actually, this is not very effective, because we might try Linux accounts on VMware servers and vica versa. Therefore, we added a new tab for the VMware/vCenter accounts and a new tab for the Citrix XenServers.

Maintain the list of default accounts for VMware Installations

New Relation between the vCenter installation and the managed ESX servers

A new relation indicates the relation between the server running the vCenter installation and the ESX servers that are managed by the vCenter installation. As usual, the relation works in both directions. So the ESX server has a link to its managing vCenter installation and the vCenter installation has a list of managed ESX servers.

The list of managed VMware ServerAnd of course, we show the relation from the ESX server to its managing vCenter installation:

Managing vCenter Installation

New Relation between the vCenter installation and the managed virtual machines

Indirectly via the managed ESX servers, JDisc Discovery can show the list of managed VMs for each vCenter installation.

Managed VMware virtual machines

Stay tuned, there is a lot more to come…

Cheers,
Thomas

New Feature: New Comment Field for default Accounts


Comment

Hi JDisc friends,

my name is Pedram Khoshdani. I´m a new member of JDisc and happy to be onboard.

In your daily digital life, you definitely have come across situations where you tell yourself how great it could be if a software had some small functionality to make your life whole lot easier. This functionality could be as small as a simple button performing a simple task. Well, today due to large requests from our customers, JDisc takes a step further towards customer satisfaction and integrates new features quickly.

Today I am happy to announce the new feature that has been recently added to our discovery product which enables the user to distinguish between different user accounts by simply leaving a comment for every account. A change button has also been added to modify the comments for existing passwords.

You can find these changes under Configurations –> Scope –>  Accounts –> Clients & Servers.

PasswordComments

As shown above, now by clicking on Add button opens the following dialog and you have the possibility not only to enter your account name, password and type, but also a comment which gives the account a sense of purpose.

NewLinuxAccount
Don’t forget to register our blog and our JDisc newsletter to stay up-to-date with our new features and developments…

See ya
Pedram

Network Discovery Changes under the Hood


Network Discovery Changes under the hoodDear JDisc friends,

apart from the major changes and shiny new features, we are constantly adding new smaller enhancements and features to our product. Of couse, all of them appear within the release notes. But honestly, who’s reading release notes? I don’t :-). Most of the time, they are pretty boring to read and unfortunately, ours is no expcetion to this regards :-(. If you have ideas how to create a more appealing format for them just let us know!

Therefore, I use our blog from time to time in order to highlight some of the changes that might not be obvious at the first sight. So this blog is about all the little nice new features that you don’t recognize at first sight.

1. New SNMP Device
Did you know that added support for more than 40 new SNMP based network devices within the last couple of months? Most of the information came from our customers and that is a good example how we collaborate with customers in order to satisfy their requirements and on the other side improve our product. That’s what I call a win-win situation (Bingo :-) )

2. Custom Report Improvements
Customers like our custom reports, because they can extract the information in exactly the format they need. Therefore, we are constantly adding new selectable fields and new comparison operators. For instance, recently, we added the feature to check fields within custom reports that

  • do not match a regular expression
  • do not contain a string
  • do not contain a string (case insensitive comparison)
  • do not match wildpatterns (? and *)

So far the negation of contains and matches was not possible.

3. VMware Storage Location
One of our customers was stating that it is essential for him to know which file systems on VMware servers resides locally or remotely. If a file system resides remotely, then he needed the information which NAS hosts the storage. It turned out, that this feature was pretty trivial to implement and we simply added a new “Location” field for the logical disks.

4. Database Port Discovery
We implemented another important improvement for the database discovery. First, we added the capability to scan MySQL database servers. Additionally, we enhanced our database discovery for MySQL and Oracle to identify the port on which a database instance is running on.

5. Device Deletion Log and Aging-Out
One of our recent updates included our new aging-out mechanism. Devices that could not be scanned for a configurable amount of time get deleted automatically from the database. This helps to get rid of devices that are no longer part of the IT environment.

Additionally, JDisc Discovery keeps track of deleted devices. A new report lists all deleted devices together with an optional comment about the reason for the deletion process.

6. And of course bugfixes…
As any software, also JDisc has bugs. Our philosophy dealing with bugs is to resolve them as soon as possible and then release them as quickly as possible. Our agile release strategy helps us to quickly upload new releases with important bugfixes to our web page.

So keep posted. There are more nice little features to come! And one exciting new major feature!

Cheers,
Thomas

Database Discovery…


databasesDear JDisc friends,

today, I am going to talk a little bit on how we improve our database discovery. So far, JDisc Discovery  scans so called application instances. Application instances can be instances of databases, web servers or application servers.

One our our recent prospects requested to scan the port for each database instance. Furthermore he needed scanning MySQL databases which we did not implement so far. Together with our client, we implemented the MySQL server discovery for Unix and Windows. Additionally, we also determine the port that is used for each database instance.

Discovering MySQL databases with their portsThe database port discovery started with MySQL, but we will add Oracle, MS SQL Server and others within the coming weeks.

As usual, you can download our network discovery product directly from our homepage at no cost.

See ya
Thomas

What happens if devices get decommissioned?


Dear JDisc Friends,

some time passed by since I wrote my last blog entry.

This time, I would like to present a new feature that cares about devices that have been removed from the network. Devices are aging as we do and they get removed from the network after their lifetime.

JDisc Discovery currently does a great job in identifying devices on the network. But devices do not get removed automatically once a device is stored within our database. Only the device age indicates the age for the device data.

For a new prospect, we implemented an aging-out mechanism. With the coming build, you will be able to define an aging-out period. By configuring the maximal age before a device gets deleted, JDisc can automatically remove devices from the database when the age exceeds a configurable number of days.

Furthermore, JDisc Discovery keeps a log of deleted devices. JDisc Discovery writes a log entry whenever the discovery deletes devices or users delete devices manually.

Device Deletion LogUsers who delete devices manually can provide a comment which helps to understand why a device has been removed from the database.

Hope you like this new feature.

Stay tuned. There are more exciting features to come…

Cheers
Thomas

JDisc@CeBIT 2015, the Pen Business and the Transparent Text Marker


Hello cebitJDisc friends,

back from the CeBIT 2015, I would like to share my experiences. This was the first time that we presenting our products at the CeBIT and it was a great success for us. Together with our partners Synetics (CMDB i-doit), G-Media (providing services for our solutions) it-novum (ITSM solutions) and procilon (security solutions), we offered a full ITSM product and consulting portfolio that was well received by our visitors. Starting with gathering information about the network environment with JDisc Discovery, we could prove that getting IT information in heterogeneous environments is possible without heavy investments in products and services. This information can then be easily imported into our CMDB partner solutions. At our ITSM booth, we could demonstrate how to import the information seamlessly into i-doit.

For visitors that required consulting on how to configure their CMDB solution and how to setup the complete ITSM solution stack, G-Media and it-novum presented their consulting and implementation skills.

We did already arrange with prospects some appointments before the CeBIT, but we got a lot of positive feedback from visitors that just popped up at our booth. Especially people liked that we are are collecting detailed hardware and software information for devices on the network. However, more important was for them, that we also determine dependencies between devices on the network. For instance, we are getting the physical host to virtual machine relationship for more than nine virtualization technologies, we scan the several cluster techonologies and determine what server belongs to which cluster. Most impressing was the physical network topology detection and dependency mapping module which finds out how devices communicate on the network.

ITSM and the Pen Business

What I also found out is that we seem to have a pen shortage in Germany and in Europe in general. I could see many of those people running from booth to booth in order to get one of their pens. I was thinking about creating a new business unit within JDisc. Currently JDisc is creating affordable software solutions within the ITSM area. Maybe we should start producing affordable pens as well. Then those people do not have to invest a lot of Euros into CeBIT tickets in order to collect pens. I was most impressed by Finn Sorensen, the president of the danish pen collector organization. He told me, that he already has 400.000 pens. Now, he has 400.003 :-). And now, it also completely obvious why we have a pen shortage in Germany. They all go to Denmark :-).

The Transparent Text Marker

We did also experience that talking to people can open your eyes for new product ideas and innovations. Our partner did offer a desinfection spray for your hands. But in fact one of our visitors had a brilliant idea. He was asking whether this is a transparent text marker!

TransparentTextMarkeri-doit’s Transparent Text Marker Prototype

What a great business idea and innovation! To me, it was absolutely clear that this invention can change the world has been waiting for transparent text markers since its beginning! So I was talking immediately with our partner Synetics and we agreed, that the transparent text marker would be a unique innovation and have a virtually unlimited growth potential. Furthermore, we were wondering why nobody else had this idea before although it is so obvious!

As a result, we agreed to join forces and become a leader in the affordable pen business and in the transparent text marker business. I am pretty sure that we can show some more sophisticated prototypes at the CeBIT 2016.

So keep posted, register for our newsletter in order to receive news about JDisc Discovery and the pen business.

See ya next year at the CeBIT!
Thomas

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