Keeping track of ever-growing, and ever-changing, customer networks can be overwhelming for any IT support provider; but successfully doing so is the key to IT support planning, proactive maintenance, and security. This is where a Network Discovery tool comes in handy. It delivers a complete picture of your customer networks by identifying its components and creating an inventory, with detailed information on each network device. You can perform scans on your customer's Workgroup and Domain Controller (DC) networks, enabling you to discover ALL your customer networks.
Atera's Network Discovery goes even further. It pinpoints your opportunities to offer customer upgrades—and earn more in the process. This unique feature automatically zeroes in on all your upgrade opportunities, saving you the massive time and effort required to do so manually. We put the ball in your court, giving you the tools to effectively and proactively support your customers and grow your business. For these reasons, Atera’s Network Discovery is nothing short of an IT support, x-ray vision, super tool.
Network Discovery is an add-on service and costs $29 per technician, per month, billed annually, or $39 per technician, per month, billed monthly (in addition to Atera's general subscription cost). A free, 14-day trial is available for you to try it out. Keeping track of your customers’ networks has never been easier with Atera’s Network Discovery. Learn about:
- Using Network Discovery
- Network Discovery Opportunities
- Network Discovery Results
- Network Discovery History
- Optimal Network Settings
- Deactivating Network Discovery
This article describes how to use the original version of Network Discovery which can be found in Atera's classic (older) design interface. To access and use the latest version of Network Discovery, which can be found in Atera's new design interface, see this article. Network Discovery finds all devices connected to a network (WiFi or ethernet). It scans the entire network, identifies its components, and creates an inventory—with detailed information on each network device. Scans can be performed on both Workgroup and Domain Controller (DC) networks, enabling you to discover ALL your customer networks. The 'scanning agent' used to scan the network must be a Windows device (currently, Mac device scans are not supported). Once a scan is activated, it will automatically run in the background, at regular intervals, so your 'Opportunities' info is always current (See 'Opportunities' section below).
To use Network Discovery:
1. Ensure you are using Atera's classic design interface. You can check this by going to Admin > Settings > General. The Atera's New Interface option should be set to 'Off'.
Note: if you wish to access and use the latest version of Network Discovery (which can be found in Atera's new design interface), see this article.
2. From the side panel, click Network Discovery
The Network Discovery page appears.
3. Select the Customer Name and Scanning Agent (the device that will be used to scan the network) from the dropdown menus, and click Discover
Note: If you're scanning a domain controller, a form requesting the username and password appears. Enter the info and click Discover
The network discovery scan begins and may take a minute.
The Network Discovery results can be exported (downloaded) as an Excel file.
Network Discovery Opportunities
Atera's unique Network Discovery tool gives you x-ray vision to discover ways to proactively support and protect your customers, all while earning more in the process. It continuously updates you about new upsell opportunities, to benefit your customers, as well as your bottom line. Opportunities displayed vary by workgroup and domain controller network scans.
Opportunities displayed for both Workgroup and Domain Controller scans:
- Newly added workstations/servers (It's time to install an agent and update software, security, and billing.)
- Unmonitored SNMP devices (It’s time to add to get it monitored on Atera)
Opportunities displayed only for Domain Controller scans:
- An aging OS on workstations/servers (It's time to upgrade that Operating System.)
- Aging storage disks (It may be time to replace those HDD/SSD storage disks.)
- Bad sectors on storage disks (Don’t take chances with your customers’ data. It’s time to replace those disks.)
- Installed HDD storage disks (It’s a great opportunity to offer an SSD upgrade.)
This section explains how you can see your customer opportunities.
To see your opportunities:
1. Do a Network Discovery scan, following the instructions above (Using Network Discovery).
Once you've scanned a particular customer's network, automatic scans will continue to run in the background, at regular intervals, continuously finding and alerting you to new opportunities.
2. Click the Opportunities tab.
The Menu selection displays the total number of unmonitored devices. The total number of opportunity types and monetary value of all customer opportunities, appear at the top (and next to each customer name). You can sort your customers by Most Opportunities, New Opportunities, and Customers A-Z, by clicking the dropdown menu on the right.
Note: The 'Opportunities' monetary value displayed is an aggregate of typical IT support service fees charged per upgrade action (based on Atera customer surveys):
|Newly added workstations/servers||$720 ($60 per device/per month x 12 months)|
|Aging OS on workstations/servers||$100 ($70 for an hour of work + $30 markup)|
|Installed HDD storage disks||$40 (20% markup of $200 average disk cost)|
|Aging storage disks||$40 (20% markup of $200 average disk cost)|
|Bad sectors on storage disks||$40 (20% markup of $200 average disk cost)|
3. Click on a customer to see the opportunities available.
- New opportunities appear with a blue dot. An opportunity will remain 'new' for 30 days from the time it was discovered.
- Network Discovery will not scan through your existing devices in the Atera console to cross-check the results with newfound Opportunities; hence you may be alerted about agents/SNMP devices that you already added in Atera.
From Customers (on the side panel), click the unmonitored devices number on the specific customer.
This will take you to your opportunities.
Atera enables you to perform on-the-spot, upgrade actions on certain opportunities, so you can instantly perform the necessary actions, and take care of business. You can get SNMP devices monitored within the Unmonitored SNMP devices opportunity. Within the Newly added workstations/servers opportunity, you can install agents on unmonitored workstations and servers (with domain controller scans only).
From within the Unmonitored SNMP devices opportunity, you can add unmonitored SNMP devices to Atera monitoring.
1. From within Network Discovery Opportunities, click the specific customer.
The customer opportunities appear.
2. Click the Unmonitored SNMP devices opportunity type.
The unmonitored SNMP devices appear.
3. Check the box(es) on any device you wish to monitor or edit.
4. Select the appropriate Monitoring Agent(s) from the dropdown menu. The domain controller (if applicable) is set as the default, but you can choose from a list of all the agents.
Note: Much of the column information can be edited:
Device Names can be edited by clicking on a device name and typing a new one.
Device Types can be edited by clicking a device type and selecting from the dropdown menu.
5. Click Add device(s) to confirm monitoring setup and/or save changes to your selected device(s)
Note: You must click the Add device(s) button to save any changes made to selected devices. Failure to do so will result in changes not being saved.
See unmonitored workstations/servers (and install agents*)
Within the Newly added workstations/servers opportunity, you can see your customer's unmonitored workstations and servers. If the scanning agent is a domain controller, you can also install the Atera agent on the devices, with one click.
*Agents can be installed on online devices, that are discovered via Domain Controller scan only.
To install agents:
1. From within Network Discovery, click the Opportunities tab.
2. Click the specific customer.
3. Click the Newly added workstations/servers opportunity type.
The list of devices appears.
4. Select the device(s) on which you wish to install an agent, and click Install agent(s).
You can search, filter, hide, and restore the opportunities, as well as export (download) the table.
You can search for a device by typing the parameters in the field, underneath the column headings.
After offering customer upgrades, you may wish to hide these opportunities from the list.
To hide opportunities:
Check the box next to the device(s) you wish to hide, and click Done deal!
You can view these hidden/completed opportunities by clicking on Completed Opportunities, from the dropdown menu (at the top of the page).
You can also restore these opportunities back to the list.
To restore opportunities:
Check the box next to the device(s) you wish to restore, and click Restore
The customer network information, pulled up by the network discovery scan, is broken down into multiple sections. Workgroup and domain controller scans differ somewhat in that domain scans offer additional graphs and information.
Sample workgroup scan
Sample domain controller scan
The General Details section includes the:
- Domain Name
- Scanning Agent
- Customer Name
- Network Name
- Default Gateway
- Public IP
The Graphs section includes the following interactive graphs:
- Device Types
- OS Editions and Versions
Scans via domain controllers include also include these additional graphs:
- Workstation/Server Status
- OS Aging ('New' is 1-51 months old, 'Aging' is 52-59 months, and 'Upgrade me!' is 60+ months old)
- An 'Unreachable' status for Workstation/Server and OS Aging graphs indicates a communication failure between Atera and the agent. This status can appear for many reasons (e.g., Firewall or antivirus blocking, active directory issues, etc.), and does not necessarily indicate that the device is offline.
- Clicking on a graph legend removes the parameter from the graph (or adds it back in).
The Devices section consists of the following table categories:
Scans via domain controllers also include an additional 'Storage' category.
The Workstation/Server category displays detailed information such as:
- Status (Online - device ping successful, Unreachable - relevant only for domain controller scans. It refers to devices in the DC database where a device ping was unsuccessful)
- Device Name
- Device Type
- IP Address
- MAC Address
- OS Platform
- OS Edition
- Installed Agent
- FTP (21/TCP)
- HTTP (80/TCP)
- HTTPS (443/TCP)
- RDP (3389/TCP)
Workstation/Server Ports: The ports listed above indicate whether open (green) or closed (gray). A 'potential risk' (red) is indicated when:
- an RDP or FTP port is open on a server
- an RDP port is open on a workstation (Windows and Mac)
Domain controller scans display additional information such as OS Version, OS Build, Office Version and Build, Last Login, Installation Date, OS Age, Virtual System, System Memory, SSH (22/TCP), SQL Server (1433/TCP), Telnet (23/TCP).
The SNMP category displays detailed information such as:
- Device Name
- Device Type
- IP Address
- MAC Address
- Serial Number
- Full Description
- HTTP (80/TCP)
- HTTP (8080/TCP)
- HTTPS (443/TCP)
- SSH (22/TCP)
SNMP Ports: The ports listed above indicate whether open (green) or closed (gray). A 'potential risk' (red) is indicated when:
- an SSH port is open on a router or a switch
- an HTTP and SSH port is open on a camera
The Storage category (relevant only for domain controller scans) displays detailed information such as:
- Device Name
- Disk Type
- Serial Number
- Media Type
- # Bad Sectors
- Disk Usage (Hours)
- Total Disk Capacity
- Disk Used
- Disk Available
'Devices' Table Properties
Within the tables, you can pin, arrange, resize, autosize, remove, or reset columns, as well as set up an advanced data filter. These options are found within the menu, which appears when you hover over any column.
A log is recorded of all successful network discovery scans. You can click on a past scan
to view the customer network information, current as of that time. The log includes scans of all your customers in one place.
To view a past network discovery scan:
We recommend proactively configuring your target networks with the following network settings, for optimum Network Discovery results. If you already tried Network Discovery but had trouble connecting, or with retrieving device information, please review the checklist below.
Checklist for Domain Environments
This checklist details the recommended network settings for Windows domain environments. Share this with your IT Administrator and request that they configure your network's domain controller as follows:
GPO Configuration for Windows Firewall (Inbound Rules)
This includes the following rules:
- Windows Management Instrumentation (ASync-In)
Allow ICMP (Internet Control Message Protocol) to operate through Windows Firewall
Note: ICMP requests are used to detect active devices to scan.
GPO Configuration for Windows Services
Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI)
Windows Update Service
Make sure third-party firewalls are disabled or configured similarly to Windows Firewall (see above)
Check this article for step-by-step instructions on how to enable the above settings.
SNMP Checklist (for retrieval of SNMP devices and monitoring setup)
- Ensure Remote Registry can operate through Windows Firewall, and that third-party firewalls are disabled or configured similarly to Windows Firewall
- Ensure the desired monitoring agent is online
- Ensure the SNMP device hostname/IP address is correct
- Ensure the ports are open
Deactivate Network Discovery
1. From Admin, on the side panel, click Subscription > Network Discovery.
2. Click Deactivate network discovery. A confirmation window appears.
3. Click Deactivate.
Your subscription to Network Discovery is deactivated immediately and the service will discontinue. Access cannot be resumed.