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pjoran
Level 3

FlexNet Inventory Agents and Beacons

I'm spinning up on FlexNet Manager (On prem) and I have a quick question regarding the use of Beacons and Inventory Agents. Is it correct to say that Beacons and Inventory Agents perform the same function but the Beacon performs the inventory remotely, from the Beacon host?

When is it best to use either a Beacon or an Inventory Agent?

This is the one area, so far, that is not very clear to me.

TIA!

Pete

 

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4 Replies
adrian_ritz1
Level 9

Hello @pjoran ,

This topic is a little bit more complicated.

There are 3 ways to perform an inventory:

1. install agent on servers

2. Perform a remote inventory from beacon

3. Use stand alone inventory, or agentless or ZTI (Zero touch inventory) or the core of the agent.

Now regarding you question, which is the best way, depend of your security requirements,  I usually prefer to use the standard agent installation on server, is more robust, can perform auto update, etc.

Remote inventory didn't use, because of security restriction, you will need to have an service account, which is allowed to connect remotely and audit the servers, with RPC i think or SSH for linux, and this is most of the time not allowed by security teams.

Last method is to use the ZTI, you simply leverage the scheduled task or CronJob in linux, to run the core of the agent with some parameters, where to upload, where to create log, what to do, i used this method for isolated network where the connection with a beacon server is not possible.

 Best way is to check the documentation and to decide what to do.

 

Very useful - Thanks for the quick response!
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kclausen
Level 14 Flexeran
Level 14 Flexeran

@pjoran - Beacons and Agents perform completely different functions.

The Inventory Beacon is basically a collection point for data and then forwards the collected data on.  For example, it can forward the collected data up to the FNMS Cloud.  An inventory beacon can connect to a source of data such as SCCM or vCenter, or it can collect the Inventory that has been captured by an Agent.

An Agent is installed on each device to capture all of the raw hardware and software inventory from that device.  Once the scan has been completed, the agent creates an "Inventory File" and then uploads that inventory file to an Inventory Beacon using HTTPS PUT.

You can also perform "Remote Inventory", but because of all the requirements, this is seldom used at scale by customers.  With this method, the inventory beacon creates a "remote connection" to a target device, copies the Agent binary files over to the target and remotely runs the agent to perform an inventory scan.  On Linux, this requires an open SSH connection and logon credentials (stored on the beacon) that have sudo to root credentials on each target Linux server.

Another very useful answer, again thanks for the quick response!
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