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SQL Server Discovery

By Level 10 Champion
Level 10 Champion

Is the SQL server discovery rule looking for an active listener on port 1433 (or whatever port specified)? I have read through the documentation multiple times on the discovery rules but the actual verbiage in the doc says "Allows FlexNet Manager Suite to connect to a SQL Server database using the specified ports". This is not a connection to the actual DB but to the server itself right?

We have a rule running at one of our customers and it is discovering servers that do not have SQL software on them, but at some point in the past they did. Trying to understanding what exactly is happening.


- Dan

(1) Reply

Hi Dan,

To my knowledge, if you open an "Action" in the "Discovery and Inventory Rules" part of FNMS, the following activities are kind of a cheat, and don't belong there:

  • Microsoft Hyper-V
  • Microsoft SQL Server

The reason why I consider these activities to be a "cheat" - "misleading" actually might be a more polite way to describe it - is that if you enable any of these activities, FNMS will not do any IP port scanning, but will try to do a remote inventory on the target computer.

The 'discovery' of these applications relies on the remote inventory results. The Flexera agent executed on the target system(s) remotely will report the Hyper-V or SQL Server on the target system. You can achieve the same result by enabling "Gather hardware and software inventory from all target devices" in the "General hardware and software inventory" section of this document. All prerequisites for doing a remote inventory - like having a valid account for the target system configured in the Beacon password store - apply here.

For proving this, the best way is to monitor the Beacon activity when the rule is executed on the Beacon. On the "Action", you have to:

  1. Disable "Gather hardware and software inventory from all target devices".
  2. In the "Microsoft SQL Server" section, enable "Discover Microsoft SQL Server" and/or "Discover Microsoft Hyper-V"
  3. Create a rule by combining this "Action" with a valid "Target" that covers some computers running SQL Server. Preferably, these target computers should NOT have a Flexera agent installed (yet).
  4. Trigger the download of the rule to the Beacon that is responsible for scanning devices in the "Target".
  5. After the rule has been downloaded to the Beacon, you can trigger execution of the rule manually from the Beacon UI.

When looking at the Beacon LOG files after following these steps, you will see that when the rule is executed, the Beacon tries to do a remote inventory (try to execute the Flexera agent remotely) on target devices. Even if you did not enable "Gather hardware and software inventory from all target devices".

This is different from the real discovery of Oracle databases - where the Beacon tries to connect to the Oracle listener on the target devices using the IP ports specified in the "Action" as described by @ChrisG.