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Populate and maintain your CMDB with ServiceNow Discovery

What's in this Success Playbook

This Success Playbook will show you how to set up ServiceNow® Discovery in a way that keeps your CMDB current and reliable. You’ll learn:

  • How to create comprehensive goals and get agreement from stakeholders for your implementation of Discovery
  • How to implement Management, Instrumentation, and Discovery (MID) servers
  • How to establish a credentials strategy and schedules

Key takeaways

The most important things to know

  • Discovery is a continuous process, that can support both your CMDB and effective service mapping. As with your CMDB, your Discovery project should begin with a clear definition of your goals and use cases, to ensure focus.

The payoff of getting this right

Your CMDB will be populated with reliable data, giving you complete visibility into your infrastructure. With this visibility, you can improve speed of incident resolution and gain critical, early visibility into the health of your business services.

Steps covered

Step 1: Set up the goals and strategy

  • Document your business goals and highlight how discovery helps achieve them. 
  • Get stakeholder buy-in before deployment. 
  • Break your implementation strategy into six steps.

Step 2: Configure and deploy MID Servers

  • 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.

Step 3: Create a robust credentials strategy

  • Align your credentials strategy with network and security teams to avoid project delays. 
  • Use credential-less discovery for basic configuration data about devices and apps. 
  • Run a full discovery to complete the CMDB update process.   
  • Create a credentials ordering mechanism to speed up discovery. 

Step 4: Automate Discovery with schedules

  • Create schedules that run in finite time for on-premises and cloud infrastructure. 
  • Prioritize scans based on critical business service or geographic needs. 
  • Use MID Server clusters and behaviors to optimize schedule performance. 
What you need to get started
What you need to get started
A designated IT admin overseeing the discovery process
Intermediate understanding in Windows/Unix/Linux system administration
A basic to intermediate grasp of networking principals, like IP routing and how to deploy and use primary network analysis tools
Knowledge of configuration management methodology
A ServiceNow Discovery license
An understanding of configuration management plans
When you should start this activity
When you should start this activity
Before you begin, have a solid configuration management plan that protects the CMDB against unnecessary changes, provides governance, and integrates with key business processes, such as incident management, change management, and security.
What else you should read

Related resources

Success Playbook

Plan your successful CMDB deployment

Learn how to build an effective plan, team, and governance process to manage your CMDB.

Success Checklist

Discover and map your service assets

Download our ready-made action plan to implement ServiceNow Discovery and Service Mapping.

Gain insights, get custom action plans, and achieve your goals faster.

Our Success Navigator will assess where you are in your implementation and guide you, step by step, from vision to value.