JDisc keeps on moving forward with its network inventory and documentation software JDisc Discovery and releases build 2921 after a two month development cycle. Our development delivered a bunch of new features, improvements, and some bug fixes.
The changes affecct integrating common network troubleshooting tools, improvements within the network topology algorithm, support for new devices and custom attributes handling.
Let’s have a quick look at the new features first.
Users define custom attributes to maintain information, that can’t be scanned automatically or that are not collected by JDisc Discovery. Custom attributes can either be edited manually or populated by executing custom scripts. The new version adds an import feature to add custom attributes from comma separated files (CSV files). The import format is very easy. Each line within the CSV file contains a device identifier (either the hostname, IP address or Windows computer name) and the actual value for the attribute separated by a comma.
- New: Traceroute
A ping functionality is available from each device report. Build 2921 adds an additional network troubleshooting tool. Similar to ping, users can run a traceroute for a selected device. The new traceroute dialog displays the traceroute command output.
- New: Windows Hyper-V Server Discovery
Up to now, JDisc was able to detect Hyper-V instances by reading some Windows registry entries. The new release uses WMI queries instead and this leads to more accurate information.
Besides the new features, there are a lot of improvements for existing functionality. The following sections describe the enhancements in more details.
- Improvement: Improved Processor Detection
Detecting correct processor information is not an easy task. Especially older operating system versions do not expose the correct number of cores and threads. Therefore JDisc uses a lot of heuristics and lookup tables to provide accurate information. Getting correct hardware information is especially important for license management of enterprise software. In most cases, the license cost greatly depends on the hardware on which the software runs. Our engineers have put a lot of effort to improve the accuracy of the processor information on VMware, Linux, and AIX systems.
- Improvement: Model Detection on IBM Servers running Linux
Up to now, JDisc was not able to detect the model for IBM servers based on the PowerPC architecture when they were running Linux.
- Improvement: Root User Accounts other than “root”
In some environments users would like to configure administrative accounts on Unix or Linux servers that are not “root”. Users can, starting with this release, define for each user whether the user has administrative rights or not.
- Improvement: Network Layer 2 Topology Resolution improved
Detecting the layer 2 network topology is not an easy task. Therefore there are not many tools on the market, that do a good job on getting a proper topology. JDisc is learning more and more with each new customer. Therefore, we have been able to adjust our network topology detection by using spanning tree information and by making correct use of the CDP and LLDP information provided by switches and routers.
Unfortunately the nature of software is that a complex application is never 100% bug free. JDisc of course is not exception. But our development team is dedicated to quality and fixes issues as soon as possible.
- Bugfix: In some cases the IP address has been displayed instead of a device name
In some cases JDisc Discovery chose an IP address instead of a proper name as the device name.
- Bugfix: The User Interface Client failed to start under rare circumstances
The user interface client failed to start when the launching user’s did not have proper access rights on its TEMP directory.
- Bugfix: The discovery process was extremely slow on some Security Enhanced Linux (SELinux) systems
Because the “ls -l” and few other commands were hanging infinitely on SELinux systems the discovery process extremely slow due to command line communication timeouts. The troublesome commands have been replaced with alternate commands and modified command parameters.
- Bugfix: The Device History configuration tab was not displayed
The JDisc Discovery Device History configuration tab was not displayed underneath the Discovery Scope tabs. Due to this, it was not possible to schedule automatic device history jobs.
- Bugfix: Saving the map did not always save the whole image
Saving a network or dependency map as “jpg”did not save the whole map when the viewer was scrolled to the bottom of the map.
- Bugfix: File Collection on Cisco ASA Firewalls failed
JDisc failed in some cases to collect configuration files from Cisco ASA firewalls. This problem has been fixed.
As usual we will keep you posted on what is going on with JDisc Discovery…