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The inner workings of agentless discovery

How does agentless discovery of the storage area network work? What devices can be discovered with this method and what properties of each device-type can be collected with agentless discovery? What are the requirements for agentless discovery? What are the limitations of this discovery method?

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Agentless discovery works by the FLOGI (fabric login) process in Fibre Channel. All N nodes MUST log in to a switch in the fabric before they can access the network. The switch discovers all nodes this way and this is how the name service information is populated.

properties that can be obtained this way are limited to those that are exchanged during the login sequence. This is probably going to differ somewhat by manufacturer.

The agent method can collect more information as the agent can collect information from the machine it was designed to work with.

Regards,
Marc

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This was first published in April 2003

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