In this review, we will explore TNI's network functionality, figure out how to scan a network for devices and why should you do it, how to analyze network equipment, and most importantly, get useful information about all hidden network processes in your organization.
1. Why do you need to scan the network for all devices?
2. What methods can be used to scan a local network using TNI?
3. Scan the network with the IP address scanner.
3.1. Scan Windows based devices;
3.2. Scan Linux, Unix OS and macOS devices;
4. How to scan devices on a network using SNMP Network Discovery Software.
Before proceeding with the scanning, we first need to figure out why is this procedure is important. Any organization possesses a large amount of technology and without it, a number of work processes would be impossible. In addition to computers based on various OS (Windows, Linux, macOS), servers, laptops, we are surrounded by video surveillance cameras, routers, printers, VOIP, UPS devices, etc., and all of those devices operate over the network. For the correct functioning of each piece of equipment, it is important to correctly perform the initial settings and to maintain the equipment in working order. Quite often happens that the system administrator (the old one quit, the newbie started work) did not track changes in the network and, as a result, does not own information about the IP addresses, does not know when the network was scanned, does not know the tools that are used or were used to check the health of the network, etc. In such cases, scanning network devices is a mandatory procedure to obtain the necessary information.
In addition to the above processes, it is important to know your network architecture. This data is required if you are going to upgrade your hardware, conduct network inventory, connect an additional communication channel (a spare or a faster one). Quite often, a corporate network can become a target for various cyber threats. In this case, timely identification of third-party devices on the network helps prevent tampering and theft of important data.
An efficient tool for scanning the network for devices, which is widely used by administrators is Total Network Inventory. It has many built-in useful functions and is highly informative. Basic scanning methods supported by the software:
- scan using WMI – is a standard set of interfaces for accessing devices, applications and parameters of the Windows.
- remote scanning via SMB protocol – to collect the most complete information about the scanned system. The method allows you to remotely run a scan agent with the necessary local privileges to check and remotely access files, load registry data, and collect additional data from system utilities.
- remote scanning via RPC protocol – checking client-server applications based on Windows OS.
- remote scanning using SSH protocol – suitable for Unix systems and macOS.
- remote scanning using SNMP protocol - network printers, managed switches, routers, xDLS modems, IP phones, wireless access points, etc. Listed devices often support this protocol and TNI can let you scan them.
- low-level hardware scanning - TNI downloads and installs a driver to collect low-level hardware data, for example: information from SPD about memory modules, hard disk data, etc.
- manual scan.
Let's consider working with an IP address scanner, which is suitable both for Windows and Unix operating systems. Scanning for non-standard network equipment that uses network protocols that do not belong to the type of the above mentioned systems is also available.
It is worth clarifying that the software allows you to work with variety of equipment: network-attached storage devices (NAS), printers, routers, switches, UPS devices, VOIP phones, web servers based on various operating systems. The scanning algorithm is almost the same for all devices (it only differs in the equipment protocol).
Basic scanning algorithm:
There are 3 types of scan for Windows. Let's take a look at the first one - remote scanning via SMB protocol:
Remote scanning via the RPC protocol has no advantages over the previously mentioned options and is recommended for use only when, for one reason or another, the use of the SMB protocol is impossible:
There are certain disadvantages of this method, namely, significant traffic is generated and the scan speed may drop because of a slow connection.
Scanning computers running macOS (64 bit only), Linux, FreeBSD and ESX/ESXi is carried out using an executable file, which is downloaded to a remote PC via SSH and SCP/SFTP and collects information. There are certain things to consider before starting a scan:
Remote scanning using SSH protocol.
To carry out an inventory in this way, the user does not have to use dozens of commands, find out whether a certain technique is using a dynamic or static IP. SNMP scanner is easy to set up and run, but despite this, it will collect detailed information about each router, switch, network printer in just one pass.
The algorithm for starting and scanning is the same as for the above function, except that you need to select the “SNMP” function.
To scan devices on the network, you should use trusted software. You will forget about manually entering commands into the console, you can conduct a detailed scan of any network equipment on the network under the control of a variety of operating systems. Download Total Network Inventory and get all the information you need in just a couple of clicks at any time convenient for you.
TNI 6 introduces two main innovations: collection of hardware sensor statistics and transition to 64-bit architecture.
Now you can customize their display for your workflow.