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BMC Helix Discovery: Solution Overview, Pricing, and Limitations

Read Time: 4 minutes

What Is BMC Helix Discovery? 

BMC Helix Discovery is a cloud-native discovery and dependency mapping solution designed to provide visibility and control over IT assets. It covers assets across both cloud and on-premises environments, giving IT teams and stakeholders up-to-date insights into their IT assets, services, and the relationships between them. The aim is to improve operations management and help minimize risks.

By using agentless continuous discovery, BMC Helix Discovery automatically identifies assets and their interconnections without the need for manual updates. This ensures that the data remains current, supporting infrastructure visualization, service modeling, and data reconciliation. It enables a clear understanding of service dependencies.

Source: BMC

This is part of a series of articles about application discovery.

Key Features of BMC Helix Discovery 

The BMC Helix Discovery suite offers the following services and capabilities:

  • Cloud-native service: This component handles infrastructure management, upgrades, resilience, and availability through a SaaS model. Managed by BMC, it ensures that customers always have access to the latest features without the need for manual intervention or updates on their part.
  • BMC Discovery Outpost: This component operates on a dedicated Windows server within your data center or on a public cloud platform. It acts as the execution point for discovery tasks, receiving requests from the BMC Helix Discovery service to scan designated IP addresses. The Outpost performs these scans using securely stored credentials.
  • CMDB synchronization: Ensures that the Configuration Management Database (CMDB) is always updated with the latest information on IT assets and their configurations. This process automates the flow of data from BMC Helix Discovery into the CMDB, reducing manual efforts and errors associated with maintaining accurate records. 
  • Data provenance: Provides transparency and traceability by recording the origin of data, including the specific command executed, its output, and the exact time of execution. This feature enables IT professionals to verify and validate data accuracy directly within the user interface, eliminating the need to sift through log files. 
  • Start Anywhere Application Modeling (SAAM): Allows IT teams to initiate the application dependency mapping process from any point within an application’s architecture. This flexibility is useful for accurately capturing the dynamic nature of modern applications, which may span across multiple environments.  

BMC Helix Discovery Pricing

BMC Helix Discovery offers two primary pricing packages to cater to different organizational needs. 

The Discovery Starter Bundle allows organizations to gain insights into a predefined scope of IT assets and services. It includes discovery of datacenter endpoints hosted in one public cloud provider, setup and configuration for one development and one production instance, and up to two BMC Helix Discovery outposts for scanning. It also provides a remote onboarding workshop for product training and service blueprint definition, starting at $50,000.

The Discovery Enterprise package offers unlimited endpoint discovery across multiple datacenters or public cloud environments, suitable for larger or more complex setups. It includes configuration for multiple development and production instances, registration and installation for any number of BMC Helix Discovery outposts, tailored onboarding support with customized education and setup services, and advanced reporting capabilities. Pricing for the Enterprise package is customized based on specific requirements, ensuring fit-for-purpose coverage.

Related content: Read our guide to IT asset discovery

BMC Helix Discovery Limitations

When evaluating BMC Helix Discovery, you should be aware of the following limitations, reported by users on the G2 platform.

Limited Cloud Migration Features 

BMC Helix Discovery currently lacks features for cloud migration assessments. This gap puts it at a disadvantage compared to competitors who offer tools for evaluating and planning cloud migrations. Without integrated tools for cloud migration assessment, organizations may need to rely on additional solutions to evaluate their cloud readiness.

Disk Storage Capacity 

The solution’s disk storage capacity is capped at 2TB. This restriction can be problematic for organizations dealing with large volumes of data, who may need more extensive storage solutions. The limited capacity may require additional investments in external storage options or more frequent data management and cleanup activities to maintain optimal performance. 

For enterprises managing expansive IT environments, this constraint can hinder the ability to store comprehensive historical data, affecting long-term analysis and reporting capabilities.

Technical Support and Usability 

BMC Helix Discovery’s technical support has room for improvement. Users have reported receiving irrelevant auto-generated emails from BMC’s support systems. Additionally, technical support does not provide sufficiently deep coverage of functionality, affecting the handling and resolution of issues. In addition, the graphical user interface (GUI) of the application has also been noted to be not user-friendly, particularly for beginners.

Cost 

While BMC Helix Discovery offers some advanced features, its cost can be prohibitive for some organizations. Competitors often provide similar products at significantly lower prices, making BMC Helix Discovery less attractive. The high cost can also limit its accessibility to smaller organizations or those with limited IT budgets.

Faddom: Affordable BMC Discovery Alternative

Faddom is an application dependency management tool that visualizes your on-premises and cloud infrastructure in as little as one hour without agents. Immediately see all your servers and applications and how they are dependent on each other.

  • Faddom is agentless and doesn’t require credentials
  • It is cheap, starting at $10K/year
  • Map the entire environment in real-time, updating 24/7
  • Quick: One person can map the entire organization in an hour

Learn more about Faddom or start a free trial to the right

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