Introduction

This document describes how to install, configure, manage, and troubleshoot the latest version of Snow Inventory Server; Some functionality described in this document may work differently or not at all in previous versions.

New installation vs Upgrade

This guide describes how to install Snow Inventory Server 6.

For environments that have Snow Inventory Server 3.2 in production and plan to upgrade, contact Snow Software or your local Snow partner for assistance with the necessary pre-upgrade checks and post-upgrade validations.

Prerequisites

System requirements

For information on system requirements, refer to Snow System Requirements.

Certificates

For communication using HTTPS, an SSL certificate must be available prior to the installation of Snow Inventory Server is started.

User accounts

The database to use in the installation process of Snow Inventory Server could either be created beforehand or via Server Manager during the installation itself.

If the Snow Inventory database has been created beforehand, a SQL account with db_owner privileges is needed for accessing that database.

If the Snow Inventory database is to be created via Snow Inventory Server Configuration Manager, a SQL account with sa privileges is needed. This account will be used for accessing the database after the installation, so it is recommended to reduce the account privileges to a db_owner level after the installation.

Definitions

Term

Description

Discovery site name

Used for identification of the Inventory server and for all discovery data. A Discovery site name can be of a geographical or organizational nature, or any other that will suit the needs.

Example: A Master Server is to be set up to communicate with Service Gateways and/or devices in the Nordic countries. To be able to identity all discovered devices from those regions in Inventory Server, the Master Server will group them into discovery site NORDICS.

Snow Inventory Agents

Snow Inventory Agents collect software information, software usage (metering), hardware specifications, and user information from the computers within the organization. Each agent sends its inventory result to a Master Server instance for processing, either directly or via a Service Gateway instance.

Master Server

The Master Server instance receives the inventory data reported by the agents, processes the data and writes to the Inventory database. Also, it processes and writes Active Directory Discovery data to the database.

Service Gateway

To ensure high-availability of the Master Server, Service Gateway instances can be configured for load-balancing. Service Gateway instances can also serve as proxies in segmented networks.

Standalone Receiver

The Standalone Receiver can be used in environments where the agents are not allowed to communicate directly with a Master Server or a Service Gateway. This can be the case in companies with high security requirements or in environments with no internet access.

The Standalone Receiver instance receives inventory data from the agents and any SIM connectors, and then saves the data either locally or to a file share. A process must then be in place for transferring the inventory data from the "isolated" environment to the Master Server or any Service Gateway.

Snow Inventory database

The Snow Inventory database is used for storing the inventory data reported by the Snow Inventory agents. The Inventory database is an SQL server database.

Comparison of Inventory Server roles

The table describes the major differences in the Inventory Server roles.

Table 1. Comparison of Inventory Server functionality

Functionality

Master Server

Service Gateway

Standalone Receiver

Requires a license

X

-

-

Requires a database connection

X

-

-

Provides Cloud metering API

X

-

-

Can be configured through Snow MACC (Admin Console)

X

X

-

Supports distribution of agent configurations

X

X

-

Supports Network Discovery and Active Directory Discovery

X

X

-

Supports deployment of agents

X

X

-

Supports automatic updates (via Snow Update Service, SUS)

X

X

-

Provides legacy API for IDR/web application metering

X

X

-

Supports data gathering from agents, SIM connectors, and legacy clients

X

X

X

Can be used in isolated networks

X

-

X