How do you Know you have Discovered Everything on your Network?

4 Critical Steps for a Complete ITAM & SAM Discovery & Inventory


The ability to perform comprehensive network discovery to identify everything on your network is vital. You need to discover all your network devices and ensure that all valuable assets that represent a cost to the business are identified. This is necessary in understanding potential compliance risks due to software licensing issues and is a crucial first step in establishing your SAM process, if an accurate position on your software licensing is ever to be attained.

Without this 100% discovery, your inventory and any subsequent SAM work are compromised. We have spoken to organizations who tell us that they are 100% discovered. But, when we ask how they can be so sure, their reply is that it is more of a gut feel! Furthermore, when we apply our technology to their network and perform an advanced network discovery (not just an inventory of already known devices), we discover that their visibility can be as low as 80% of the true estate.

This carries implications from security to software licensing exposure and the haemorrhaging value of business assets. Its major cause is using a discovery tool that only discovers in one way, let me explain.

Firstly, you need to use a number of different protocols to efficiently scan your network to locate all devices and collect as much information as possible about them without the need to have an agent installed. The information collected as part of the discovery is a vital component, providing the check and balance of what is active and inactive on the network.


1. The Need for Multiple Feeds via Connectors


Now, having confidence in this data is crucial, the ability to cross check and validate what you have pulled from a wide range of sources will provide just that. By taking multiple feeds, via connectors, it will provide an easy way to identify what’s ‘missing’ and give you the confidence that you are tracking everything.

These connectors should work ‘out-of-the-box’ of your discovery tool so that you can install, configure and deploy the tool to large and complex environments with minimal impact on resources.

The connectors that different organizations require varies so below are some examples of the key ones to look for:

  • Microsoft Active Directory
  • VMWare – vCenter + vSphere
  • Citrix XenServer
  • SAP
  • IBM – ILMT
  • Amazon Web Services
  • Oracle database


2. Don’t just Depend on Microsoft Active Directory


This two-pronged approach is vital in ensuring all network information is collected and inventoried. We have come across tools that just use agents, but unless you know the device is there, how can you put the agent on it in the first place?

Some tools use Microsoft Active Directory Group Policy to notify them of new additions to the network, so that they can deploy their agent to them. This sounds good in theory but you need to consider what is not picked up by Active Directory, such as:

  • Linux/UNIX boxes
  • DMZ
  • Mac
  • Anything in a workgroup or other domains

Which could potentially leave a big hole in your discovery and subsequent inventory.


3. Network Discovery: Three-Tier Platform to Discover Everything


The way around this is not to rely totally on 3rd party feeds (like Active Directory) for the collection of inventory from client devices (Agent or Agent-less). The success and efficiency of the deployment is often directly linked to the connectors and network discovery. All of the required information to successfully target a client device is already collected through the connectors and network discovery so the most efficient method of deployment can be utilized. Furthermore, all operating system platforms need to be targeted, not just Windows – Mac, UNIX, Linux, etc.

We took all of this into account when designing the Certero technology. They provide complete visibility of all hardware and software on your network, removing the guesswork. It uses a 3-tier platform consisting of a single Application server, one or more endpoint servers and agent or agent-less clients.

All administration, reporting and discovery data is accessed via a Web application hosted on the application server. The endpoint servers gather data from agent-less or agent-based clients and push it up to the Application server. Multiple Endpoint servers are used to provide a distributed model and to improve scalability.


4. Enhanced Network Discovery


The discovery process can either be agent-based, agent-less or a combination of the two depending on your specific requirements. This allows you to pick between the two methods, using whichever works best within your environment.

During the discovery phase, an asset is given a unique identity within the Certero database. This helps when reconciling existing inventory data with newly discovered data to avoid duplication after repeated discovery or re-imaging of assets.

Another element of the discovery phase will read asset tag values that have been recorded in a computer BIOS. This will be gathered automatically if populated and associated with the asset. There are manual methods to record physical asset tag information including using a user-defined field or uploading a scanned image of the physical asset tag and associating it with the asset.

One important fact is that the agent is modular and will be automatically assigned by the client dependent on the environment. For example, in an IBM environment, the IBM product will be switched on, in a SAP the SAP one, and so-on. This is in marked contrast to many other products that require a different and separately deployed agent for each and every environment.

If you have a question on asset and network discovery, please get in touch.

Follow us on Linkedin for more SAM


Read more like this from

Ready to Speak to the Team that Makes Our Customers So Happy?

Certero’s [software-as-a-service] Solution

Certero help organizations transform their outdated operations and technologies in days and weeks not years. All of Certero’s solutions can be delivered as SaaS with no loss of functionality. 

Certero Unified Platform
Learn more about Certero’s truly unique ‘unified’ platform.

Digital Transformation Edition
Transform in days and weeks, not months and years, start your journey now.

Verified Oracle LMS/GLAS Solution
Verified LMS (License Management Services), now GLAS (Global Licensing & Advisory Services) solution.

Cloud Management
Manage Visibility, Cost and Governance of your Cloud Resources 

Enterprise Standard Edition – ITAM / SAM for Wintel
Default solution to manage ITAM/SAM for a Wintel environment. 

Enterprise Premium Edition – ITAM / SAM for Wintel
All you need in one place to manage your ITAM/SAM for a Wintel & Citrix environment. 

Stand-a-lone or holistic solutions for IBM, SAP and Oracle.

Software License Compliance
One Stop Shop, products and services for any solution – all in one

Business Intelligence Solution
See how to turn DATA into INFORMATION then transform into KNOWLEDGE, all in a few clicks. 

IT Asset Visibility
Find out: What do I own? Where is it located? Who is using it?

ITSM & CMDB Integration 
Populating the CMDB with ‘Quality’ asset information is more critical than ever

SaaS Subscription Management
Discover, manage and optimize your SaaS investments.

Everything in One place, True Unification

IT Hardware, Software, SaaS and Cloud Asset Management products that can run ‘stand-a-lone’ or ‘holistically’ and optimally together as a single solution, no dependencies. True unification across all asset and platforms and all delivered as SaaS. All of Certero’s products have the best TTV (Time to Value) by some distance.

Certero for Enterprise ITAM
Networks, printers, routers, Wintel, Mac, Linux, zLinux, Unix, all virtualizations and much more….

Certero for Enterprise SAM
Focused on Wintel software vendors, including automated solutions for Microsoft, Adobe and much more…

Certero App Centre 
Enterprise ‘Application Portal’ for Self-Service application provisioning.

Certero for Mobile
Go beyond standard MDM and deliver full management and security for your mobile workforce.

Certero SRDB (Software Recognition)
Transform raw software inventory data into actionable intelligence about application usage and licensing.

Certero for Oracle 
Optimize your Oracle Database, Middleware and E-Business Suite applications.

Certero for IBM
Discover and manage all IBM software & entitlements across the network. Dual Inventory, ILMT and Certero.

Certero for SAP Applications
Managing and automating the analysis of complex SAP named user and engine licenses across your estate. 

An intuitive self-service password reset solution that can reduce service desk calls by 30%. 

PC Power Management solution. Save money and reduce your carbon footprint. 

Certero Channel Partner Program

Our Partner Program opens up Certero solutions to a global network of partners – enabling customers to work with the trusted solution and service providers that know them best.

Join the Partner Program
Information on tiers and ease of doing business.

Deal Registrations 
Submit your deal-registrations.

Launching the Program
Highest-rated major SAM vendor on Gartner Peer Insights, launch global Partner Program.

Gartner Peer Insights Customers’ Choice

Rated #1 for SAM Customer Satisfaction year after year, after year

For the latest in ITAM, SAM, Cloud and SaaS Asset Management

White Papers and eBooks 
Download the latest white papers and eBooks for key insights and guides.

Read the latest news from Certero and the industry.

Events and Webinars
Keep up to date with Certero’s latest webinars and events.


View our range of product videos, webinars and customer case studies. 

Data Sheets
Download our datasheets which highlight the key benefits and features of our world class products and services. 

Case Studies 
See how organization around the globe change they way they [Do IT].

We think [and do] IT Differently

We don’t believe in claiming to be something we’re not. We will not do mediocre, average, indifferent, or outdated. We are different and will do it differently.

About Us
Get to know us more

Our Story
See how our approach is different

Our Journey
A timeline of events

Our Vision, Mission and Purpose
Mission, Purpose and Values

Browse our current roles

Find our nearest location