I’ve been asked on occasion if it is OK to use Discovery on End User Compute (EUC) devices. My response is that it isn’t the recommended way of collecting information about EUC devices. Some of the reasons are as follows:
But don’t despair. ServiceNow provides many routes to success and there are many ways of collecting information about your company’s EUC devices and getting them into your ServiceNow CMDB and that’s what we’ll discuss. We are going to focus on two primary areas, Service Graph Connectors, and the Agent Client Collector for Visibility (ACC-V).
The information you seek is out there. Nearly every corporation has invested in technologies they use to manage their End User Compute. The technology is needed to make sure that EUC devices are configured correctly, that they are patched, and secure. These technologies also collect tons of information about the EUC devices which are stored in a central location. One need only to tap into these data sources to harvest data needed for CMDB population.
Enter the Service Graph Connector. Service Graph Connectors are specialized integration points supported by ServiceNow ITOM Visibility which connect to external data sources and pulls data into ServiceNow. Inbound data passes through the Identification and Reconciliation Engine (IRE) and is then used to populate the CIs and Attributes in the CMDB. Software can also be reported into the Software Asset Management module of ServiceNow which allows Software Asset Managers to see how software has been distributed throughout the environment. There are lots of Service Graph Connectors available covering most of the major applications used to manage EUC environments. There are Service Graph Connectors for SCCM, BigFix, Tanium, Nexthink, and JAMF (just to name a few).
Service Graph Connectors are fully supported by ServiceNow and are generally easy to get setup and going (once you know what you are trying to achieve). Therefore, you aren’t introducing a lot of technical debt by using them in your environment. The setup is generally just configuring the Service Graph Connector with information on how to connect (Maybe a database connection string or a URL) and read-only credentials. There are also options for how/what data to bring in (this differs for individual Service Graph Connectors). So, if you have a current management platform for your EUC environment, the Service Graph Connector is definitely something to consider implementing.
A relatively new and fantastic solution for getting your EUC device information into ServiceNow is the Agent Client Collector for Visibility (ACC-V). ACC-V is an agent-based solution that can be used to collect information about a device and pass it through to the ServiceNow CMDB. With ACC-V, a lightweight agent is installed on a device which runs a series of commands and collects data. The data is then sent through to a MID server which uploads it to ServiceNow. ServiceNow uses the IRE to process the data into the CMDB. ACC-V has modules which captures the following:
ACC-V is currently supported on the following Operating Systems:
You can read more about the ACC-V solution here. One thing to take into consideration is the licensing implications when using ACC-V and Service Graph Connectors. You should discuss licensing with your ServiceNow account representative.
About the author:
Chris Casey, Pre-Sales Solution Architect