For those of you who dont know... I am the Product Manager for the newly introduced Network Probe Gen 2.
After seeing many, and quite often the same, questions being asked since Network Probe Gen2 launched last week, I felt that now is a good time for me to create an FAQ for all things related to Gen2.
This is not intended to replace, or even be an alternative to, the Official Docs (Click here to read those!), but more so something to supplement the information that is already out there. If, after reading this, you still have some questions - or would like further detail on any existing content, then PLEASE reach out to me on Slack (@martynkeigher), or just reply to this post. After I answer each new question - I'll move them into the FAQ, so they don't get lost.
So... lets see how this goes....
Q1: I’ve just update to [Automate 12] Patch 10... am I on the latest and greatest now?
Yes and No. While you are on the version that introduced Network Probe Gen 2, you must also ensure that the ‘ConnectWise Network Detection’ solution is kept up-to-date, via the Solution Center.
Q2: I’ve just updated to [Automate 12] Patch 10, updated to Gen2, and I cannot see my ESX hosts (For Virtualization Manager)! Why is that?
This was a known-issue during pilot and was fixed in v220.127.116.11 of LTNet.dll, within the ‘ConnectWise Network Detection’ solution. Please ensure you have (at least) that version, and then restart the remote (probe) agents to force the update of the new dependency. (See Q10 for more info on this.)
Q3: Can I update all my probes to Gen2 with an ‘easy button’?
No. There is currently no feature, or future-plan, to mass-update all your probes Gen2.
Q4: So… with the new probe, I can upgrade as I go? It doesn't upgrade all my probes when I update to Patch 10, does it?
Installing Patch 10 will not auto-upgrade your Gen1 probes to Gen2. You can upgrade your probes at your own pace.
Q5: As soon as I enable a Gen2 probe, a discovery scan immediately starts. I’d rather configure some settings first, and then manually start the discovery scan. How would I do that?
Network Probe defaults was also introduced in Patch 10. They can be found under System > Configuration > Network Probe. If you do not want you probes to immediately scan, adjust the default scan windows to something like… 10pm (start time) & 3am (end time), or alternatively, set the Scan Frequency to On-Demand.
Q6: I’m in the middle of converting all my Gen2 probes… How can I keep track of my Gen1 and Gen2 probes?
There is currently a data view in development for this. It will be added to the ‘ConnectWise Network Detection’ solution once available. Until then though, you could use this: (Disclaimer: I accept no responsibility if you 'get creative' with this SQL statement and, by doing so, you break stuff!)
SELECT cl.Name AS 'Client',
l.name AS 'Location',
CONCAT (c.name,'(',c.computerid,')') AS 'Probe Agent (ID)',
IF(c.LastContact < DATE_ADD(NOW(),INTERVAL 60 SECOND),'Online','Offline') AS 'Status',
IF(c.locationid IN (SELECT locationid FROM probeconfiguration),'Generation 2','Generation 1') AS Gen
FROM clients cl
JOIN computers c USING (clientid)
JOIN locations l USING (locationid)
WHERE c.computerid IN (SELECT probeid FROM locations)
ORDER BY cl.name,l.name
Q7: I just built a bunch of new Detection/Collection templates. Are they still honored?
Yes. They will still be honored.
Q8: I don’t like Gen2 and all its new, cool awesomeness!! Can I roll back to (or re-install) a Gen 1 probe?
No. Assuming you are on at least Patch 10, once you have promoted a Gen1 probe to Gen2, or just installed a Gen2 probe, there is no rolling back to Gen1.
Q9: So… What’s this I hear about a new discovery method(s)? It’s been brought up, but never actually broken down & explained. Explain it for me?
The Gen2 ‘Discovery Scan’ uses 3 methods to discover a device. After the initial ping-sweep of the subnet(s) is complete…
The 1st check is NETBIOS. This checks to see if port 139 is open. This gives us a ‘Missing Device’ count.
The 2nd check is a SNMP check against the device to determine its MAC address.
The 3rd (and optional) check is the ARP Table scanning. This is not enabled out of the box but can be enabled via the Network Probe Setting, ‘Enable MAC Address Scanning’.
NOTE: Just like with the old Gen1 probe… A MAC Address is required to uniquely identify the device - if the probe cannot determine a MAC address, then it will not create a Network Device.
Q10: When you say “SNMP Check” … what do you mean?
If we can communicate with a device using SNMP (community string) we walk the device’s MIB for 2 specific OIDs (Object Identifiers) to obtain the MAC. If this check does not return a MAC address, then we will not create a Network Device entry for it.
18.104.22.168.22.214.171.124.1.2.<Device IP Address>
Check 1 (returns the Interface ID, in this case 27)
Check 2 (returns my MAC address - and the one that will be used in the networkdevices database table).
FYI: The VMware MIB stores these values in different OID's for ESX hosts:
Check 1: InterfaceID: 126.96.36.199.188.8.131.52.184.108.40.206.<IPAddress>
Check 2: MAC Address: 220.127.116.11.18.104.22.168.1.6.<InterfaceID>
Q11: I heard something about the Network Probe being more focused around the location… Can you elaborate on that?
During pilot, we re-worked how the probe is associated to the location, and now the location has more of a role to play for Network Probes. This was a huge undertaking, and ‘laid the groundwork’ for implementing many other enhancements already on the roadmap. A good use-case that this solves for today is when a probe agent stops functioning, and cannot be brought back online, e.g.: a BSOD. Should a probe agent become unrecoverable, then you can now elect a different agent to be a probe at the same location, as the settings are now tied to the location and not the agent itself, so the new probe will ‘pick up where the old one left off’.
Q12: We haven't used the network probe much until this release and it's bringing up some questions now. So, should we be enabling SNMP on almost all networking devices?
For best results with Gen2 you must have SNMP enabled on SNMP compatible devices. Doing that will set you up for success. No doubt about it!! From Automate’s perspective… You can’t really say you are ‘managing devices’ unless you have SNMP connectivity to them!
Q13: The new network map is cool, but it doesn't show nearly everything the probe sees. Is that normal?
Network Probe Gen2 places a heavy dependency on SNMP for device discovery. If we cannot get the MAC address of a device, then we cannot add it as a Network Device. Gen2 was designed to only ‘bring in’ devices that it can manage. Be sure that you have SNMP enabled, on your SNMP compatible devices, and can validate the MAC address (as referenced earlier). If you can, then please contact support, and be sure to have the following 'qualifiers':
On Automate 12 Patch 10 (build 451), minimum.
On at least v22.214.171.124 of LTNet, (distributed in 'ConnectWise Network Detection' via Solution Center).
Communication to the device, via SNMP, is returning the MAC Address.
Q14: SNMPv3… yes? no?
SNMPv3 is still an option with the new Network Probe. You can configure that at a probe level. We recommend that you set that if all your devices, that are configured for SNMPv3, are using the same authentication/encryption passwords and methods.
Q15: I'm seeing more devices in my network device list and my computers list then I am seeing on my network map. Any idea what I may be doing wrong?
Only devices discovered via the Gen2 probe have the potential to be placed on a map. Devices discovered during Gen1 will not show. In addition to this, (due to how we still rely on the MAC address of a device to give it a DeviceID), you may also find that while you can see network devices in your list, they may not show on the map, as they are Gen1 discovered devices. (The MAC already existed in the DB table, so the device can’t be ‘re-added’). Extreme scenarios where this has been witnessed is where, after a discovery scan shows multiple devices yet only ONE device is on the map. This also leads into the next question…
Q16: Thoughts/process on… ‘Nuking’ my current Gen1 probes and configs (never really got into it) to setup the new Gen2 stuff? Any ‘best practices’ around this?
Given the feedback we received during pilot and the new probe being viewed as a time to ‘start-over’ and ‘re-do probes’ for most Automate admins, the best practice approach to this would be to disable the probe role from the agent and then re-enable the probe as a Gen2. The commands that proved to be most popular on existing probes (after adjusting Network Probe defaults) was:
Purge Network Devices
Disable Gen1 Probe
Enable (Gen2) Probe
Start Discovery Scan
Q17: I disabled the network probe on this agent but now it's saying I can't retire it, because the network probe is enabled!? Why is that?
The ‘Disable Probe’ command is a database focused command, so the Control Center may not acknowledge the change until you ‘Reload System Cache’ & then refresh the Computers view.
Support Tools: (attached to this post!)
SNMP Walk Tool.
Download here: SNMP Walk Tool v2.zip
probeconfiguration (& many other probe**** tables).
No point editing as table redraws after each Discovery scan
SwithMac is the Parent (uplink) device
DeviceMac is the child device
HH-HH-HH-HH-HH-HH = Top level device
GG-GG-GG-GG-GG-GG = Internet (WAN) connection
SNMP Walk Tool.zip