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Data Center Expert | Device Discovery for APC Devices using SNMPv3

Published date: 11 September 2020

Issue
Discovering APC Devices into Data Center Expert using SNMPv3 and troubleshooting SNMPv3 discovery issues.

Product Line
StruxureWare Data Center Expert (DCE)
     - Basic Appliance (AP9465)
     - Standard Appliance (AP9470)
     - Enterprise Appliance (AP9475)
     - Virtual Appliance (AP94VMACT)
StruxureWare Central (SWC)
InfraStruXure Central (ISXC)

Environment
StruxureWare Data Center Expert (all versions)
StruxureWare Central (all versions)
InfraStruXure Central (all versions)
APC Devices with NMC supporting SNMPv3

Resolution

See additional knowledge bases for discovering different other types of devices:
     - APC Device: SNMPv1
     - NetBotz 200 Series
     - NetBotz 300-500 Series
     - NetBotz 700 Series
     - Modbus TCP Devices
     - Third Party devices using SNMP
     - BACnet is currently not supported

Requirements to discover an SNMPv3 Device
     - IP Address of device, or subnet device(s) are located on.
     - SNMPv3 Username.
     - SNMPv3 Authentication and Privacy protocols and passphrases.

NOTE: It is recommended to ensure that your APC NMC has the most recent firmware on it that is available.  Instructions on upgrading NMC firmware can be found within knowledge base FA156047.
NOTE: If at any point you are using copy and paste, ensure to paste into Notepad first to remove any formatting.  Copying from other programs may alter the true values or add spaces to the strings.

1) Log into the web interface of the APC Network Management Card (NMC).

2) Navigate to the SNMP settings to determine if SNMPv3 is set to enabled.
     - Application Version 6.X: Configuration menu > Network > SNMPv3 > Access > Enabled [checked]
     - Application Version 3.X-5.X: Administration tab > Network sub-tab > SNMPv3 > Access > Enable SNMPv3 access [checked]

3) Navigate to the SNMPv3 User Configuration settings within the APC NMC.
     - Application Version 6.X: Configuration menu > Network > SNMPv3 > User Profiles.
     - Application Version 3.X-5.X: Administration tab > Network sub-tab > SNMPv3 > User Profiles

4) Click into the desired profile User Name and set the SNMPv3 authentication and privacy settings that Data Center Expert can use for communication.
NOTE: If there are already settings enabled and you know the authentication and privacy passphrases and protocol settings, you can proceed to the next step.
NOTE: Character limitations can be found by clicking on Help in the upper-right corner and may change depending on NMC model and firmware version.

5) Navigate to the SNMPv3 access control settings within the APC NMC.
     - Application Version 6.X: Configuration menu > Network > SNMPv3 > Access Control
     - Application Version 3.X-5.X: Administration tab > Network sub-tab > SNMPv3 > Access Control

6) Ensure that the NMC IP/Host Name fields for the applicable entries apply to DCE.  You can edit an entry by clicking on the link within the User Name column.  For a description of what your entry within this field means, click on Help in the upper-right corner of the NMC while on the SNMP Access page or while editing a specific SNMP Access line.

7) DCE Desktop Client > Device menu > Add Devices.

8) Device Discovery Type > SNMPv3 > Next.

8) Enter the IP or the IP Range. IP Range can be expressed using wildcards (10.10.10.*) or dashes (10.10.10.1-99).
NOTE: It is recommended to limit the number of IPs that are scanned.  The larger the number of IPs that need to be scanned will lead to longer device discovery times.

9) Enter the Authentication and Encryption information as defined within the APC NMC in step 4:
     - Username
     - Authentication Type (Protocol)
     - Authentication Password (Passphrase)
     - Encryption Type (Privacy Protocol)
     - Encryption Password (Privacy Passphrase)

10) Alter the Port number if the device is configured to use a different port.

11) Verify that the correct APC NMC administrator credentials have been entered in the Device File Transfer Settings.  If the correct settings are not entered, you will not be able to upgrade device firmware, perform mass configurations for the device(s), and some devices may not discover properly.
NOTE: It is recommended to limit the number of entries within the Device File Transfer Settings that can apply to more than one device.  For example, limit the number of entries that have all wildcards for the IP Range field.

12) Click Next to navigate to the Choose Device Group screen.

13) Choose the device group that you wish the device to be part of and click Next.
NOTE: Only one group may be chosen. If the discovery will be for multiple devices that need to be within different groups, it is recommended to discover them into the Unassigned group.  You can then drag and drop them into the desired device group (Monitoring perspective > Device View pane / Device Groups pane).

STOP!  It is important to not click Finish if you wish to run the discovery at this point in time.  If you have already clicked finish, navigate to: Monitoring Perspective > Saved Discoveries Pane. Locate the created discovery, right-click on it, and select Run.

14) Enable the discovery scheduling, if desired.  Check the Box for Run Discovery Now and click Finish.

15) Discovered devices should start to show within the device group that they were selected to be discovered into. If the device(s) discovered, you do not need to proceed to additional steps.  If the device(s) you attempted to discover are not listed within the device group you selected, proceed to APC NMC SNMPv3 Device Discovery Troubleshooting
NOTE: Activity Progress can be seen within the Saved Discoveries pan within the Monitoring perspective.
 
APC NMC SNMPv3 Device Discovery Troubleshooting

STOP!  It is highly recommended to ensure that your device has the most up-to-date firmware on it, due to Protocol compatibility.  Instructions on updating firmware can be found within knowledge base FA156047.

1) Navigate to the Monitoring Perspective.

2) Within the Device Groups pane, select All Devices.

3) Within the Device View pane, search for the IP Address of a device in question.  If the device shows, the device was either successfully discovered in the previous steps, or was discovered at some point in the past.  You can drag and drop the device into the desired device group to keep your devices organized.  If there are no results, proceed to next step.

4) Verify the community strings and ports within the saved discovery and within the APC NMC.  Within the Saved Discovery pane, right-click on the discovery and select edit to view the settings.  If the settings are not correct, make the necessary changes and run the discovery again.  If the settings all match, proceed to next step.

5) Edit the Saved Discovery and increase the timeouts to 10 seconds and retries to 5.  This will allow the device more time to communicate with Data Center Expert.  Run the discovery again and wait until the Activity status goes to idle.  If the device still does not show, proceed to next step.

6) Change the SNMPv3 communication settings on the APC NMC to be None for Authentication and Privacy:
     - Application Version 6.X: Configuration menu > Network > SNMPv3 > User Profiles.
     - Application Version 3.X-5.X: Administration tab > Network sub-tab > SNMPv3 > User Profiles

7) Edit the saved discovery to have the updated SNMPv3 parameters.  Run the discovery.  If the device discovers, proceed to step 8.  If the device does not discover, proceed to step 9.

8) Delete the device from the DCE Desktop Client > Monitoring perspective > select Device Group > Device View pane > Right-click on device and select delete.

9) Change the SNMPv3 communication settings on the APC NMC to have Authentication and Privacy, with passphrases of dcesnmppassphrase.  This string should work on all NMC versions.  Some firmware versions do not allow strings shorter than 15 characters.

10) Edit the saved discovery to have the updated SNMPv3 parameters.  Run the discovery.  If the device discovers, repeat steps 7-9 again with your desired SNMPv3 communication settings.  If the device does not discover using your desired SNMPv3 settings, remove any special characters and ensure that the length of your string is between 15 and 32 characters and repeat steps 7-9 to find what character is causing an issue.  You can perform this multiple times if necessary making changes to your string each time to find what character(s) is causing issues.

11) For testing purposes only, discover the APC NMC using SNMPv1.  Steps can be found in knowledge base FA177081.  If the device still does not discover, reach out to your networking team to ensure that SNMP is not being blocked on the network between DCE and the APC NMC.  If the device discovers, delete the device and run through the SNMPv3 discovery process again ensuring to follow all of the steps again and type out your passphrases from scratch to ensure they are entered properly.

If the device discovery issue is still present after verifying the information above, including verification through your network team that traffic is not blocked, reach out to your local technical support.

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