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Methods for gathering inventory

Inventory Solution

You can use different methods for gathering different types of inventory data. Each method has special features and requirements.

Table: Methods for gathering inventory

Method

Description

Features and requirements

Basic inventory

The basic inventory is gathered automatically when the Symantec Management Agent is installed on managed computers. This feature is a core function of the Symantec Management Platform and does not require any additional inventory components.

Basic inventory data includes computer name, domain, installed operating system, MAC and IP address, primary user account, etc. This information is updated on a regular basis as long as the Symantec Management Agent is running on the computer.

See About the Symantec Management Agent

See Recommended Symantec Management Agent data update intervals

The features are as follows:

  • Inventory data is automatically collected when the Symantec Management Agent is installed on the client computer. No other components or steps are needed.

  • Inventory data is updated at regular intervals.

  • You can use this method on different platforms.

  • You can use this method for gathering inventory data on managed Windows computers in the Cloud-enabled Management environment.

The requirements are as follows:

  • Target computers must be managed using the Symantec Management Agent.

Basic inventory data is limited in scope.

Standard inventory on managed computers

Inventory Plug-in works with the Symantec Management Agent and uses scheduled policies to gather standard inventory data that is more detailed than basic inventory. By default, standard inventory data is gathered through more than 100 predefined data classes.

Standard inventory data includes the following details about managed computers:

  • Hardware components, operating system, and user accounts and groups.

  • Software and virtual software layers.

  • File properties.

    More detailed information about the software, such as manufacturer, version, size, etc.

See About gathering software inventory

When Inventory Plug-in is installed on managed computers, you can manage all the inventory policies from the Symantec Management Console. You can schedule inventory policies to run at regular intervals according to your needs, so that gathering inventory does not affect your network performance.

You can use Inventory Plug-in on Windows, Linux, UNIX, and Mac platforms.

The features are as follows:

  • You can gather a broad range of inventory data.

  • Inventory data is automatically collected and updated using scheduled policies and tasks.

  • You can configure policies to report only the data that has changed since the last full inventory scan (delta inventory).

  • This method can be used on multiple platforms.

  • You can gather standard inventory on managed Windows computers in the Cloud-enabled Management environment.

The requirements are as follows:

  • Target computers must be managed using the Symantec Management Agent.

  • Target computers must have Inventory Plug-in installed.

Maintaining current inventory data can be difficult on the computers that are not regularly connected to the network.

Standalone inventory

To gather standalone inventory, you must create stand-alone packages on the Symantec Management Console. Then you distribute the packages using email, network shares, login scripts, etc., and run the packages on your target computers.

The standalone inventory method lets you gather standard inventory data on the computers that are not managed through the Symantec Management Agent, do not have Inventory Plug-in installed, and are not connected to Notification Server

You can gather detailed information about hardware components, operating system, local users and groups, software, and virtual software layers.

You cannot use this method in the Cloud-enabled Management environment.

See About gathering inventory using stand-alone packages

The features are as follows:

  • You can gather a broad range of inventory data.

  • Only Windows-based computers are supported.

The requirements are as follows:

  • External delivery of inventory package is required.

  • If target computers are not connected to Notification Server, the data must be posted manually.

The inventory data is not centrally managed, and may not be current.

Custom inventory

To gather custom inventory, you must install Inventory Plug-in on your managed computers.

This method lets you gather additional data beyond the predefined data classes in Inventory Solution. You can create the custom inventory data classes that may be unique to your environment. You can then run the custom inventory scripts that collect the custom inventory data classes.

See About gathering custom inventory

The features are as follows:

  • You can add the data classes that are unique to your environment, and are not included by default.

  • You can use a sample script task to create or configure a custom inventory script task.

  • This method can be used on different platforms.

  • You can use this method for gathering inventory data on managed Windows computers in the Cloud-enabled Management environment.

The requirements are as follows:

  • Target computers must be managed using the Symantec Management Agent.

  • Target computers must have Inventory Plug-in installed.

  • You must create custom inventory data classes, and include the data classes in your custom scripts.

  • You must create and run the custom inventory scripts that collect your custom inventory data classes.

Software-based usage tracking and application metering

To perform the software-based usage tracking and application metering, you must install Inventory Plug-in and Application Metering Plug-in on your managed computers.

You can gather the data about application usage and the summary data of monitored applications.

You can perform the following tasks on your managed computers:

  • Track usage of the managed software at the software product, component, and version level by enabling the software-based usage tracking option.

    This task is the primary method to use for the majority of software products.

  • Meter the use and control the availability of applications by running predefined or custom application metering policies.

    Symantec recommends that you use this task only if you need to meter start, stop, and denial events for applications at the file level.

  • Deny multiple applications from running by configuring the predefined Blacklisted Applications policy or running custom application metering policies.

See About software-based usage tracking, application metering, and application denial

The features are as follows:

  • You can control the availability of applications. You can deny applications from running. You can also configure deny events to be sent to Notification Server when a user tries to run a denied application.

  • The usage tracking option lets you track software usage at the product level and lets you know how often an application is used, not only if it is installed. This feature can help you manage your application licenses.

  • You can use this method for gathering inventory data on managed Windows computers in the Cloud-enabled Management environment.

The requirements are as follows:

  • Target computers must be managed using the Symantec Management Agent.

  • Target computers must have Inventory Plug-in and Application Metering Plug-in installed.

  • Only Windows-based computers are supported.

This method is not supported on Windows servers.

Baseline inventory

To gather baseline inventory, you must install Inventory Plug-in on your managed computers.

This method lets you gather the data about files and registry settings on computers.

You can generate a baseline that identifies the files or registry settings of a computer. You can later run the compliance scans on the managed computers to compare their current files or registry keys with those in the baseline. The differences between the baseline scan and compliance scan are reported to the CMDB.

See About baseline inventory

The features are as follows:

  • You can track the files and registries that deviate from the corporate standards.

  • You can verify the accuracy of rollouts and upgrades.

  • System administrators or the help desk can get automatic notifications when a computer is non-compliant.

  • You can view a compliance level summary of the computer and reports of the changes in files.

The requirements are as follows:

  • Target computers must be managed using the Symantec Management Agent.

  • Target computers must have Inventory Plug-in installed.

  • Only Windows-based computers are supported.

You cannot use this method in the Cloud-enabled Management environment.

Inventory for Network Devices

Inventory for Network Devices gathers inventory data from the discovered devices in your network. This inventory is gathered from the devices that are not managed through Symantec Management Agent. Because a management agent is not required, this inventory is considered an agentless inventory.

You can gather inventory on the following types of devices:

  • Cluster

  • Computer

  • Computer: virtual machine

  • Infrastructure device

  • IP phone

  • KVM device

  • Network-attached storage

  • Network backup device

  • Network printer

  • Physical rack

  • Physical enclosure

  • Physical bay

See About Inventory for Network Devices

The features are as follows:

  • Agentless inventory gathers inventory on the devices that are already discovered and exist as resources in the Configuration Management Database (CMDB).

The requirements are as follows:

  • Before you gather inventory from network devices, you must collect the data about the SNMP-enabled devices on your network.

  • Before you gather inventory from network devices, make sure that the connection profile of the Network Discovery task has the SNMP turned on.