Understanding Dynamic Scan Groups
Software scans—like those performed with ILMT—are familiar to just about anybody working in Software Asset Management (SAM). They keep you compliant, help ensure there won’t be any surprises during a software audit, and are critical for giving you important details about your software inventory.
But the problem with software scans is that they require a huge amount of processing power—so much that they can overload your server and compromise the ability of your host to function properly. Dynamic scan groups were created to solve this problem.
What does a dynamic scan group do?
Because software scans require so much processing power, you need to balance your CPU resources to avoid server problems. That means creating a dynamic scan group, which will randomly distribute the processing power associated with the software scan across different groups. This keeps the software scan from trying to perform the entire function on all the virtual servers at once, which is something your host likely can’t handle.
It’s the same principle as if you were deploying patches or distributing software—you can’t run twenty thousand endpoints at the same time without expecting to cripple your servers.
What happens when servers overload?
Overloaded servers are bad news and can cause all sorts of problems. Probably the most common is that they’ll be slow—and can be crippled entirely, which will disconnect users. This can lead to all sorts of problems, including data loss and the loss of critical functions like backup capabilities.
What kind of business uses dynamic scan groups?
As companies grow larger, more sophisticated, and more globalized, load balancing is becoming a bigger problem—and dynamic scan groups are becoming more important. Generally speaking, if you have a large business with ten thousand endpoints or more, you should be using dynamic scan groups when implementing software scans, deploying patches, or application updates/rollouts. They probably aren’t as necessary for small- or medium-sized businesses.
Are there other uses for dynamic scan groups?
Dynamic scan groups can be useful for testing purposes, in addition to helping with load distribution. Say, for example, you use a dynamic scan group to randomly distribute new software throughout your company. This is useful because if the random distribution works, you can expand the rollout process with peace of mind, knowing that it’s been tested across a variety of operating systems, hardware platforms, application servers, etc.
How can my company start implementing dynamic scan groups?
If your business routinely does software scans and needs help setting up dynamic scan groups, our team at CleanSlate can help. We understand how to integrate them into your software scan process so that your load distribution won’t affect server performance—and your business and servers will keep running full force. Contact us today to learn more.