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Network Discovery and Agentless Inventory 7.1, 7.5 Best Practices and Troubleshooting, Part 4 

Sep 30, 2014 04:52 PM

MIB Imports
     Troubleshooting Tips
SNMP Data Mapping Tables
     Troubleshooting Tips
Agentless Inventory Task
     Troubleshooting Tips

Network Discovery to Agentless Inventory

Now that the discovery is done, Agentless Inventory can now be used against SNMP discovered devices. The following items should be considered when moving to an Agentless Inventory

  1. Agentless Inventory is SNMP only. A device must have returned SNMP information in order for us to gather Inventory for Network Device data.
  2. Computers are not good candidates for Agentless without a lot of customization, the intended purpose is for SNMP driven devices such as routers and switches. This was covered earlier. Inventory Solution for Windows or Unix, Linux, Mac provides better information and does not require a lot of customization, so it is recommended to use the Agent in those cases.
  3. For credentials we use the known good community string used during the Network Discovery. This means it is not necessary to do any security, protocol, or credential configuration with a Network Inventory task.
  4. Network Discovery is REQUIRED for Agentless Inventory. The two use the same engine, and Agentless is designed as an SNMP extension of Network Discovery.
  5. All calls for Network Discovery and Agentless are made via Task Server

Just like Network Discovery, there are a number of items that need to be considered before running it. Out of the box Agentless Inventory provides standard information about systems via our SNMP data classes, but the real ability of Agentless is to configure the engine to pick up whatever SNMP has to offer. In order to do this, the following steps need to be followed:

  1. Import MIB files that contain the SysObjectIDs needed for the data you wish to be collected.
  2. Create a table / data class to house the collected data.
  3. Create columns for the table that contain a data type, length, name, and the OID used to capture the data.
  4. Select what device types will try to collect this data.

By following all the steps the custom data can be collected upon completion of the Inventory for Network Devices (Agentless) Task.

MIB Imports

Agentless requires a manufacturer’s MIB file in order to make a proper call to the device to gather each column value of a custom data class. The process must be followed in order to gather custom data if the SNMP values are not available in the MIBs we provide by default. The following process walks through how to import MIBs, using the MIB Importer from the Event Console.

NOTE: At this time the All MIB files import does not appear to be functional, so individual MIBs must be imported individually. Note that the entire process below must be followed for each MIB import.

  1. In the Symantec Management Console, browse under Manage > Jobs and Tasks > and in the left-hand tree browse under System Jobs and Tasks > Discovery and Inventory > Right-click on Discovery and Inventory and choose New > Task.
  2. In the left-hand task tree, look under the Monitoring and Alerting section and choose MIB Import.
  3. Provide a Name (default works as this task can be reused for multiple MIB Imports) and click OK. The steps to import the MIB will be done after the task is created.
  4. The following steps must be followed to properly upload a MIB. It is not intuitive, so please make special note of the order of steps.
    1. Click Browse.
    2. Select the MIB you’ve obtained and downloaded from the manufacturer or elsewhere on the internet and click Open.
    3. Select the radial for Import ONE MIB file only.
    4. Click the Upload button. Ensure that the message “The MIB file has been successfully uploaded” is displayed below the browse field.
    5. Click the Save changes button.
    6. Click the New Schedule button.
    7. Select Now, or if desired schedule a time, and click Schedule.
    8. Let the schedule complete.
  5. The MIB is now imported.


Once the MIB is imported, it is available to use when setting up the Data Mappings for custom tables.

Troubleshooting Tips

  • If a MIB shows as importing successfully, but does not show up when using SNMP Data Mapping Tables, then the MIB might not be in a format supported by Agentless Inventory. Seek an alternative MIB, or contact the manufacture. The MIB should support SNMP v1 or v2, not v3 which is not supported at this time.
  • Review the steps taken if a MIB does not import. Make sure all steps are taken from Step 5, A through H for each MIB to be imported.
  • Double-check the list as the MIB name might not be the same as the file name of the MIB. Review the values to see if it matches what is expected.

SNMP Data Mapping Tables

The heart of Agentless Inventory (sometimes known as Inventory for Network Devices) is custom values available via SNMP. By setting up new tables and columns, these values can be collected and stored, available in reporting and filtering on Network Devices. Setting up these tables and columns is important, and there are several gotchas to be aware of to ensure success. The following process walks through setting up a customer table to be captured by SNMP devices.

  1. In the Symantec Management Console, browse under Settings > All Settings > and in the left-hand pane browse under Discovery and Inventory > SNMP Settings > and select SNMP Data Mapping Tables.
  2. Click the New icon to create a new table.
  3. Provide a Name. This name will become the table name is the following format:
    Name provided: SNMP Cisco 8540 Switch
    Resulting SQL table name: Inv_SNMP_Cisco_8540_Switch
  4. Click OK to move to the configuration step.
  5. Click New under Table columns.
  6. Provide the values as applicable, following the guidelines below:
    • Name: This will become the column name. Note that while spaces are supported, it will require the underlining reporting or filtering SQL to bracket the column name.
    • Type: This will be the data type for the column in SQL. An appropriate value for what is being captured should be selected. The common selecting (and default) is “string”.
    • Length: This should be long enough to contain any expected values. Adding extra typically does not hurt anything.
    • Key: Only select this option if the value captured will be specifically unique for each device reporting it. If it is not, two devices with the same value cannot reside in the table at the same time. Data can be overwritten and/or rejected. If in doubt, do not select this option.
    • Object ID: This will open up the MIB browser, allowing a user to select the value they wish to capture. The select must be accurate as this is the OID the engine will used when fetching data for this column from SNMP devices.


  1. When selecting the MIB value for a column, use the following guidelines:
    • Double-click on the folders in the UI to expand them.
    • Select a value to populate the properties fields below.
    • Review the properties field to ensure you have selected the value you require.


  1. Click OK to save the column.
  2. Repeat the process of creating columns until you have the columns you desire. Note that the ID column and Resource GUID of the device will be created but not shown in this section of the user interface.
  3. NOTE! When going through this process, the ASPX session may timeout, so be ready to save changes as you go. Alternatively you can refresh the console and start again once you’ve identified what values and MIB selects to use.
  4. Click Save changes to save the current progress.
  5. Click on the Device mappings tab. (NOTE! This step is often forgotten, ensure that it is followed or no device will collect inventory for the new table)
  6. These are the same Device mappings used when working in Network Discovery. Any device you wish to run the new SNMP calls against, and thus capture the custom data, must be checked in this list.
  7. If you sort by Manufacturer it can make it easier to select the devices you need.
  8. Once you’ve checked all applicable devices, click Save changes again.
  9. NOTE the message that appears:


Saving this table will delete all information and recreate the table, are you sure you want to do this?

  1. This will happen any time the table mapping is saved, whether merely adding a device mapping or adjusting, modifying the columns. This means all previously captured data WILL BE ERASED. In this way it is highly recommended to have all device mappings and intended columns configured. If you do need to adjust it, run an Agentless Inventory again to repopulate the table.
  2. The process is now done!

NOTE: The Test on Device button has defects which render its effectiveness null. Please see the section in Troubleshooting for SNMPUtilg.exe for the alternative way to test.

Repeat the above steps for any data class (table) you wish to create. Be sure to follow all the steps so that mistakes don’t cause failure to gather the data, or the need to adjust the configuration and thus delete and recreate the table.

Troubleshooting Tips

If data is not gathered, note the following items:

  • Have you selected the device mapping for the device being inventoried? You can review this in the Discovered Devices report in Network Discovery. The Manufacturer, Model should match what is placed in the mappings.
  • Do you have more than one device mappings that might apply to this device? Make sure all are checked.
  • Does the machine respond to the OIDs you have selected to be queried via SNMP? See the section for troubleshooting that covers the SNMPutilg.exe utility for how to test this.
  • Check the Notification Server logs at the time the Discovery completed as the engine will drop the NSEs with the data into the queue for processing. Look for errors relating to the processing of that data. If no errors or warnings are seen, the data was likely processed correctly.

Agentless Inventory Task

Now that all the preliminary work has been completed, the task can now be run. Most of the work is done on the back end, so running the task is fairly painless. Follow these steps to run the task:

  1. In the Symantec Management Console, browse under Manage > Jobs and Tasks > and in the left-hand tree browse under System Jobs and Tasks > Discovery and Inventory > Right-click on Discovery and Inventory and choose New > Task.
  2. In the task tree, look under the section for Discovery and Inventory and select Inventory for Network Devices.
  3. Provide a name, such as “Agentless Inventory for Cisco Switches”.
  4. Select the group of devices to Inventory. Note that the default organizational groups will not allow a lot of specific targeted. For example I selected Infrastructure Device, which will include all Cisco Switches, but will also include any other Infrastructure device found in that group. If you want to be more specific, create your own Organizational Group to select.
  5. Alternatively you can select an individual device. This is recommended when testing the Task to limit how much activity the Task causes.
  6. You also have the option to check the box for inventory devices not inventoried in a defined number of days. Use this as necessary to limit the traffic on the network if needed, otherwise it is recommended to keep this unchecked so to ensure data integrity.
  7. Ignore the Advanced button.
  8. Click OK to save the Task.
  9. Once back to the main console, click on the New Schedule button.
  10. Set a scheduled time or choose now to run the Agentless Inventory.
  11. When complete, the new inventory should be appended to the targeted devices, including the new custom data classes configured previously (if applicable via device mappings).


Troubleshooting Tips

  • When you’ve selected a group, does the device you expect to inventory reside in that group? Check by browsing under Manage > All Resources and browsing to and selecting the group. Look for the device in the right-hand list. Alternatively you can test the task against the device specifically using the “Individual device” radial option.
  • Did the task complete successfully? Double-click on the Task Status row for the instance you ran. This will provide statistics and statuses for the task, and you can review if the task has completed and what the outcome was.
  • Double-check data mappings if a device is not inventoried as expected (for example it collects the standard default tables but not the custom one).


The most important tool for troubleshooting not already covered in the individual sections is the SNMPutilg.exe utility. This utility provides the interface to test using the same methods we will use when running Network Discovery or Agentless Inventory.


You can obtain this utility from the following location:

  • Alternatively you can search the Web as it is available elsewhere.

You can use SnmpUtilG to perform the basic SNMP operations such as GET, GET-NEXT, and SET from a graphical interface. SnmpUtilG also supports saving SNMP data to the clipboard, as well as saving data to comma delimted text files.

This utility is provided as is. This utility was originally released as freeware from Microsoft, but since it follows the same SNMP calls/methods that Altiris employs it is good for testing.

Use the 'Get' method to see if the OID you are supplying returns any data. If not, switch to the 'Get Next' method to see what the next OID is. If it's outside of the current branch, Altiris will not capture that OID. You can see the results, and if it's the value you're looking for, use the returned OID.

Note: Using this utility you need to put a '.' at the beginning of the OID you are querying, and a .0 at the end. This is usually required!

Use the following steps to test against a device to see if the SNMP SysObjectID will work for the device in question.

  1. Download the utility to the Notification Server. Since the calls are being made from the NS, this is the location you will want to run the utility for proper testing. This is a stand-alone EXE and does not require installation.
  2. Right-click on the EXE and select Run as Administrator.
  3. In the Node Address field, put in the IP address of the device you wish to test against.
  4. In the Community field, put in the community string of the device. This will be the “password” that allows SNMP to fetch data.
  5. In the Current OID field, put in the SysObject ID in question. This will be the OID that shows up in the column mappings for the table, as shown in this screenshot:


Be sure to add a period ‘.’ at the beginning of the OID, and end it with a ‘.0’

  1. Change the SNMP Function to Execute to “GET the value of the current OID”.


  1. Click the Execute Command to test against the device.

The result should show up in the list below the options. If an error is thrown, check the error to see what may be the problem. If data is shown, generally it means this OID should work, but check the value.

  • Does the error indicate it can’t reach the IP? Perhaps SNMP is being blocked on its way to the selected device.
  • Is the Community string correct? It must be correct in order to be successful (Community Strings are CASE sensitive).
  • Is no data returned? The device is contacted and authenticated to, but the OID selected is not returning data. This means the device will not return the desired data. Check with the manufacturer to see what may be the problem. Also you can switch the SNMP Function to “Get the NEXT value after the current OID” to see if the OID might be a little off. Check the value found and what the next OID is. If it’s correct, you have a new OID to aspire to! That’s where the difficulty comes in as we need the MIB that corresponds to that OID.

All in all it may be up to the Network Team or Manufacturer to figure out the issue. As long as we are making the call successfully but are not getting results, it often is an environmental/manufacturer issue.


I hope this article has helped when troubleshooting and using Network Discovery and Agentless Inventory (aka Inventory for Network Devices). If none of these things helps with your problem, and you are unsure if the issue is with the network or manufacturer, consider contacting Symantec Endpoint Management Support for assistance.

Network Discovery and Agentless Inventory 7.1, 7.5 Best Practices and Troubleshooting, Part 1

Network Discovery and Agentless Inventory 7.1, 7.5 Best Practices and Troubleshooting, Part 2

Network Discovery and Agentless Inventory 7.1, 7.5 Best Practices and Troubleshooting, Part 3

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Aug 13, 2016 09:14 AM

Nice article and very illustrative. Is there a way you share information about How to "manually" classify discovered devices specially for those where SNMP is not an option because SNMP is not allowed or use a version not supported by Altiris?

In addition, is there a line where this product can be used in Asset Management, so the classification can be done at this level?
Thanks!! Thumbs up from Me


Sep 30, 2014 06:14 PM

Very informative articles about this not well known part of the console.

Thank you Joel.

Thumb up from me.

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