Part 8: Discovery Methods

SCCM has a number of discovery methods which it uses to populate SCCM with resource records. You need these so you can do good stuff like deploy apps, operating systems, software updates, compliance and do reporting. If you choose not to enable these you’ll have a very empty ConfigMgr environment.

  • Active Directory Forest Discovery
    • What: Discovers subnets via sites and services and forests/domains for publishing SCCM
    • Why: Required for SCCM to be published to the forest/domain. Also allows boundaries to automatically be created based on sites and services.
    • Best Practice: Enabled but without auto boundary creation (unless you have immaculate AD sites and services).
  • Active Directory Group discovery
    • What: Discover all AD groups and their members
    • Why: Essential for deploying things to AD groups and also reporting.
    • Best Practice: Enable it!
  • Active Directory System Discovery
    • What: Scans AD for all computer objects
    • Why: Essential for identifying all computers in the organisation before the client has been deployed.
    • Best Practice: Enable it!
  • Active Directory User Discovery
    • What: Scans AD for all user account objects
    • Why: Like computers chances are you’ll want to deploy or advertise software to users.
    • Best Practice: Enable it!
  • Heartbeat Discovery
    • What: Unlike other discovery heartbeat is all about the client sending a packet of info to the primary site server
    • Why: Provides health, client details, network location etc.
    • Best Practice: Don’t turn this off it’s required
  • Network Discovery
    • What: Queries DHCP, ARP Tables on Routers, SNMP and AD
    • Why:  May be useful if you need to discover workgroup compouters
    • Best Practice: Don’t use unless required, my experience has been that turning this on pollutes your DB.

How I configure discovery in my lab –

  1. Open SCCM Admin Console
  2. Select Administration workspace>Hierarchy Configuration>Discovery Methods
  3. Enable Forest Discovery
  4. Configure Group Discovery
  5. Configure System Discovery
  6. Configure User Discovery
  7. I leave Heartbeat as the default as per the below

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