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ServiceNow® Governance, Risk, and Compliance Illustration

Discovery

Get complete visibility into your on‑premise and cloud resources. Keep track of changes occurring within your on‑premise, cloud, and serverless infrastructure in the Configuration Management Database (CMDB). Set a strong foundation with accurate data and relationship views for ITSM change management, Software Asset Management, Customer Service Management, Security Operations, and more.

Benefits

Realize fast time to value when you rapidly configure and launch secure, agentless discovery of hardware, software, virtual and cloud resources, Kubernetes clusters, and their relationships

Enable service impact analysis with hybrid infrastructure inventory and relationship information for automated service maps

Extend discovery throughout IT resources with out of the box patterns or customize for multi-cloud environments, like AWS and Azure, or serverless infrastructure, like Dockers and Kubernetes

Application Highlights

CI Schedule Manager guides the Discovery administrator through configuration and management

CI Schedule Manager guides the Discovery administrator through configuration and management

CI Schedule Manager guides the Discovery administrator through configuration and management

Setup and manage Discovery jobs from one dashboard

Setup and manage Discovery jobs from one dashboard

Setup and manage Discovery jobs from one dashboard

See IT resource dependencies and relationships at a glance

See IT resource dependencies and relationships at a glance

See IT resource dependencies and relationships at a glance

Build and run queries to validate discovered IT resources

Build and run queries to validate discovered IT resources

Build and run queries to validate discovered IT resources

Feature Details

All
  • Secure, Agentless Architecture

    Agentless discovery avoids the management complexity of permanent software installed on discoverable devices. A lightweight Java application called Management, Instrumentation, and Discovery (MID) Server runs as a Windows service or Unix daemon on standard hardware—including virtual machines already in your environment.

    Multiple MID Servers, capable of handling thousands of devices each, can be deployed in different network segments to provide virtually unlimited scalability.

    The MID Server executes probes and patterns and returns the results to an associated ServiceNow instance; it does not retain any information.

    Discovery provides a quick‑start mechanism to populate IP subnets and ranges. Discovery uses that information to stagger jobs by location. This provides more flexibility and robustness to the IT discovery process.

    The MID Server starts all communications using HTTPS, which means communication is secure and all communications are initiated inside the enterprise’s firewall. No special firewall rules or VPNs are required. Credentials are stored using 3DES encryption or, optionally, can be provided by an external credential store.

  • Probes, Sensors, and Patterns

    The MID Server uses several techniques to probe computers and IP‑enabled devices without using agents. For example, it uses SSH to connect to a Unix or Linux computer and runs standard commands to gather information. Similarly, it uses SNMP to gather information from a network switch or a printer.

    WMI and PowerShell are used for Windows computers and there is support for WinRM as well. Storage components are discovered via SMI‑S and CIM. RESTful APIs are used to discover cloud and container environments.

    Discovered information is securely sent back to an associated ServiceNow instance for processing by the probe’s matching sensors. Patterns‑based content is handled by a generic pair of probe and sensor.

  • Dependency Views

    Discovery maps hierarchical dependencies and assigns the appropriate relationship type between CIs that it finds. 

    Application dependency mapping (ADM) creates upstream and downstream relationships between interdependent applications by identifying which devices are communicating with one another, which TCP ports they are communicating on, and which processes are running on these devices. 

    All this information is used to automatically keep the ServiceNow CMDB up to date. 

    Discovery uses identifiers to search the CMDB for CIs that match devices discovered in the network. These identifiers can be configured to instruct Discovery to take certain actions when device matches are made, or not made, to maintain data integrity.

    When IT uses VMware, AWS, or Microsoft Azure to make changes to their virtual or cloud environments, events from these environments trigger Discovery to detect those changes and then update the CIs and corresponding relationships. 

    This ensures up‑to‑date accuracy of the CMDB and real‑time visibility into virtual and cloud environments.

  • Customization and Integrations

    IT can use out‑of‑the‑box patterns or create your own to explore any discoverable resource. Using pattern designer, IT can expand discoverable elements using a codeless engine. IT can also customize data model fields, tables, and relationship descriptions in the CMDB to meet specific needs. 

    ServiceNow also integrates with many industry‑standard Privileged Access Management solutions (PAM), such as CyberArk®, BeyondTrust® and others available via the ServiceNow store. This allows security admins to provide least privilege access and rotate credentials updated per their policy with ease.

  • Quick and Easy Setup

    A guided setup provides a logical, friendly starting point to configure and launch Discovery. IT can follow simple steps to deploy a MID Server, add credentials, and automatically create schedules based on discovered subnets and user defined window, and then complete the process by launching Discovery.

  • Integrated Change Management

    The change requestor can initiate Discovery to validate CI changes. Automated and manual discovery is available when the change requestor views the CI record.

    This ensures the change record is validated with the real‑time information brought back from Discovery and the CMDB is updated, for efficiency and accuracy in the change management process.

    The ServiceNow Platform enables service and operations managers to always access and update CI data.

Resources

Discovery Is Part of…

Eliminate Service outages

IT Operations Management

Proactively eliminate service outages and manage hybrid clouds with service visibility, health, and optimization.

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