How Virima simplifies agentless asset discovery

How Virima simplifies agentless asset discovery

What is the agentless discovery of IT assets?

Agentless asset discovery refers to using asset discovery tools that do not require agent software to monitor its status or usage. The concept of agentless monitoring is quite simple. It comprises auto-discovery methods that eliminate the need to install software agents on each monitored device. This avoids the necessity for configuration, scripting, or repeated scripting when installing a new version of an application or protocol.

Repeating these tedious processes for each new configuration consumes a significant amount of time and resources for IT admins. Additionally, IT environments are becoming increasingly complex. The total number of devices managed by Windows admins has risen steadily, contributing to this complexity.

Traditional agents can add complexity and cost to your organization. In fact, agents might not even work with your network. If using an agent-based discovery solution with numerous devices, note that installing and maintaining the agent can be challenging. It is also expensive and requires regular updates. These factors can increase costs significantly over time.

Agentless discovery of assets is a robust process for IT managers looking to monitor the assets within their networks closely. The comprehensive information provided enables IT managers to obtain detailed audio-visuals of every connected asset. They can then take appropriate security measures if necessary.

This blog will discuss the differences between agent-based and agentless discovery, the benefits of agentless discovery. Also, explore how Virima’s IT asset discovery tool with agentless probes can help uncover all your IT assets.

Agent vs. agentless discovery

There are several differences between agent-based probes and agentless probes. For agent-based asset discovery, you install a software agent on each device that requires monitoring or management. The agent sends information about the device, hardware, and software configuration to a central server or management console. It allows the administrator to have a real-time view of the device and to manage it remotely.

In contrast, agentless discovery of assets relies on technologies such as Network Discovery Protocol (SNMP), Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI), and Secure Shell (SSH) to remotely query devices and gather information about them without the need to install any software agents.

Additionally, here are a few more differences between these two discovery types:

  • Management overhead: Agent-based asset discovery may entail more management overhead, as you need to install, configure, and maintain software agents on each device. Agentless discovery does not have this requirement.
  • Real-time visibility: Agent-based asset discovery can provide real-time visibility into the status and configuration of devices, as the agents are constantly sending information to the management console. Agentless asset discovery may not offer the same level of real-time visibility, as it relies on periodic scans to gather information about the network devices.
  • Performance impact: Installing agents for agent-based discovery may significantly impact the performance of the devices, as the agents are constantly running and collecting information. Agentless discovery typically has a lower performance impact, as it relies on periodic scans rather than continually running agents.
  • Security: Agent-based asset discovery may pose a security risk, as attackers could exploit the agents to gain access to the device or the network. Agentless discovery is a more secure option, as it does not require the installation of software agents on the devices.

Benefits of using agentless discovery

There are several benefits of using agentless network discovery. Some of them include the following:

  • No need for manual intervention: The setup time is minimal, often just a few minutes, in comparison to traditional methods that might take days or weeks. In addition, agentless asset discovery tools works on the network layer itself instead of relying on individual components. It provides more accurate data since it can detect devices that do not typically respond to standard queries.
  • Improved flexibility: Another advantage these tools offer is a higher level of flexibility when it comes to management capabilities. You can configure agentless discovery solutions remotely from anywhere with an internet connection. Then they can discover assets within any cloud or physical environment. It makes it much easier for IT professionals to track down all types of connected devices—from smartphones and tablets to servers and virtual machines—without worrying about incompatible platforms or differing configurations getting in the way of success. 
  • Improved security: By regularly performing agentless discovery scans, IT managers can ensure that all of their organization’s IT assets are accounted for and properly secured. It can help reduce the risk of data breaches and other security incidents.
  • Cost savings: Agentless discovery allows IT managers to quickly and easily identify underutilized or unnecessary assets, which can help save on hardware, software, and maintenance costs.
  • Ability to discover assets in remote locations: Agentless discovery can be performed remotely, which makes it easy to uncover assets in remote areas or those that are difficult to access physically.
  • Improved asset management: By having a complete and accurate inventory of all IT assets using agentless IT asset discovery tools, IT managers can make more informed decisions about asset allocation and deployment. They can also easily track and manage their assets over time.

When to use agentless discovery?

If managing a large environment, retrieving in-depth asset data can be challenging. Agentless asset discovery is an excellent solution. They offer visibility into all assets, not just those with agents or connected to monitoring tools.

You can automate the agentless IT asset discovery tool to run unattended, saving time and money on manual data collection. Additionally, with no agent installations, you don’t need to worry about firewall rules. Also, no need to worry about security reservations required for traditional agent-based solutions. Organizations of any size can quickly implement an effective solution without spending months configuring their networks first.

Additionally, agentless monitoring is preferable when the availability of time and personnel are limited. Also, there is a need to quickly collect data like basic asset inventory or performance metrics from legacy systems. It can also be beneficial when companies want to avoid privacy issues or institutional red tape.

Finally, it is excellent for geographically dispersed IT teams because there is no need to deploy and manage agents on every device. With an agentless discovery solution in place, IT departments can ensure that all assets on their network are secure and up-to-date without the extra hassle of dealing with agent-based probes.

How Virima’s agentless discovery streamlines the discovery process

Virima’s agentless asset discovery tool quickly reveals your organization’s assets. Using the latest machine intelligence technology, it will automatically uncover almost any device connected to the internet—including servers, networking gear, and even smart devices like printers or industrial sensors. Our technology is designed from the ground up to be affordable and powerful enough for all kinds of deployments.

Our agentless discovery tool is an IP-based tool that allows you to select specific subnets and ranges to scan. This tool comes with many out-of-the-box, extendable asset discovery probes, sensors, and a custom probe generator that gives you the option to create your own probes to fit your specific needs.

An image of a list of sample Discovery probes available within Virima’s dashboard

A list of sample Discovery probes available within Virima’s dashboard

The tool is automated, with set-and-forget scheduling that allows you to set up regular scans without manually initiating them each time. Its intelligent design ensures that it will not flood the network with “scan storms” or impact device performance, so you can be sure it will not disrupt your network operations.

Scan details show the successes, failures, and reasons for failure, so you can easily see the results of each scan and identify any issues that need to be addressed. With agentless asset discovery, you can keep your IT assets organized and up-to-date with minimal effort and without any security risks.

It provides broad coverage of devices irrespective of whether they are present in the data center, edge devices, or the cloud. Additionally, it offers comprehensive data such as model and serial number, BIOS, OS version, relationships, hostnames, and more. All this data gets automatically plugged into your CMDB—resulting in dynamic service maps that are constantly updated as changes are made in your network. 

An image of the kind of broad coverage of devices you receive with our agentless asset discovery tool

You can detect a broad set of devices using our agentless discovery probes

Ultimately, this cross-functionality makes it easier for your IT teams to identify, monitor, and track your assets’ status at any given time.

Streamline your IT asset discovery process with Virima

Agentless asset discovery is an invaluable part of ensuring the security and effectiveness of your IT infrastructure. Virima provides an agentless discovery solution that reduces manual processes and helps keep budgets under control. It also ensures more accurate data and detailed insight into your IT environment while uncovering hidden risks in real time.

Last but not least, by using Virima’s agentless discovery solution, you can get a handle on obtaining the most reliable, timely organizational information for specific business objectives. If you want to ensure you have the best tools for streamlining your IT asset discovery process, consider booking a demo with Virima today to learn more about its agentless discovery capabilities. Its cutting-edge features and intuitive interface offer an efficient way to stay one step ahead in system visibility and agility. 

Book a demo with Virima to take advantage of robust features such as agentless discovery and service mapping.

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