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Configure and deploy MID Servers

Configure and monitor your MID Servers properly for an effective discovery process.

  • Determine the size of your enterprise network. 
  • Place your MID Servers at the right locations with appropriate compute configurations.
  • Monitor performance of your MID Servers continuously.

An effective discovery process relies on a proper configuration of the MID Server. The MID Server acts as a proxy that interrogates your network assets and reports results back to the CMDB. Before you start using ServiceNow Discovery, make sure the MID Server is set up correctly by following the guidelines below. The ServiceNow product documentation includes additional configuration guidelines.

First size your Discovery deployment

Based on your environment, determine how many MID Servers and probes you need to run. This depends on:

  • Number of targets  How large is the network you plan to discover, and how often do you want to discover devices and applications?
  • Geographic split  How extensive is your geographical footprint? You should have MID Servers at the continent level with a global deployment.
  • Security  How many security zones and network firewalls will MID Servers have to traverse?

You can use this tool to calculate the number of MID Servers and probes needed for your environment.

ServiceNow Discovery customers are often concerned about impacts on network traffic and operational devices along with how long it takes to finish discovery. Here’s how you can address these concerns:

  • Place your MID Servers close to the targets that you plan to discover. By keeping your MID Servers close to targets, you get the most out of local resources.
  • When you’re using multiple MID Servers, keep them on their own dedicated virtual hosts within each environment. If you’re using Windows‑based discovery, make sure you use a supported version of Windows to host the MID Server.
  • Increase the number of threads in the MID Server if you need more patterns and probes. Our customers often increase OOTB threads in Discovery, which ships with 25 to 50—or even as many as 100—to enhance performance.
  • Increase the memory from 1024 MB to a level appropriate for your environment. This allows the MID Server to allocate itself more memory resources from the host. You can do this in conjunction with increasing the number of threads. Use these sizing guidelines.
  • Open the required firewall ports from the MID Server to the target devices.

You might be running multiple probes per device in a varied frequency. For instance, you might want to complete a discovery job within six hours. Table 3 shows how you can accomplish this.

MID Server

Each MID Server is a lightweight Java process that can run on a Linux, Unix, or Windows server. During discovery, the MID Server executes probes and patterns and returns the results back to the instance for processing. It doesn’t retain any information.

 

Old configuration

New configuration

Devices

2,500

2,500

Probes (7 probes per device)

17,500

17,500 

MID Server

1

1

Threads

25

50

Time to complete the job

11 hours

< 6 hours

Table 3: Changing the MID Server configuration to finish the job in under six hours

MID Server

Each MID Server is a lightweight Java process that can run on a Linux, Unix, or Windows server. During discovery, the MID Server executes probes and patterns and returns the results back to the instance for processing. It doesn’t retain any information.

 

Increasing the number of threads to 50 gets the job done in under six hours. If you have a very large network, create multiple overlapping schedules for different parts of the network. See Stage 4 for more detail on this. Some large customers scan their business‑critical network on a daily basis while performing weekly discovery on less critical devices and applications.

Monitoring the MID Server keeps you ahead of performance issues

In order to get most out of your MID Server, monitor its performance. The Now Platform™ provides performance metrics for both host and CPU utilization taken at 10‑minute intervals. As you run Discovery, you increase memory utilization. And as you run more probes, the MID Server will use more host resources. If you have a large network, monitor performance metrics regularly to ensure Discovery jobs run smoothly.

MID Server

Each MID Server is a lightweight Java process that can run on a Linux, Unix, or Windows server. During discovery, the MID Server executes probes and patterns and returns the results back to the instance for processing. It doesn’t retain any information.

 

Figure 2: How the ServiceNow IT team (Now on Now) maintains performance of the Discovery application

MID Server,MID Server

Each MID Server is a lightweight Java process that can run on a Linux, Unix, or Windows server. During discovery, the MID Server executes probes and patterns and returns the results back to the instance for processing. It doesn’t retain any information.

 

,

Each MID Server is a lightweight Java process that can run on a Linux, Unix, or Windows server. During discovery, the MID Server executes probes and patterns and returns the results back to the instance for processing. It doesn’t retain any information.

 

Expert Tip

EXPERT TIP

For optimal MID Server performance, keep host utilization at 80%. If you exceed 80% host utilization, your discovery schedules might not complete within your desired timeframe.

Explore additional phases

Plan

You want to be sure everything is in place for a smooth, successful deployment.

Deploy

You want to be sure you’re following best practices during implementation.

Optimize

You’re up and running and want to get the most from your investment.

Extend

You’re ready to extend ServiceNow into other areas of your enterprise.

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