Automated Device Discovery
Getting OpenNMS to discover the devices on your network is a very simple process. As you saw in the section on Capability Scanning, all OpenNMS needs to add a device to its inventory is a newSuspect event containing the IP address of the device that you would like OpenNMS to scan.
While sending these events is easy, sending one for every address that you need to manage can be very tedious; as can entering every address into the OpenNMS GUI. For that reason OpenNMS has a couple of ways to automate the process.
The simplest method of find IP addresses on your network is to write a simple loop that pings one address after another to see if it finds a response and send a newSuspect event for each one.
This is exactly what the OpenNMS Discovery daemon does. It pings every IP address in its configuration and sends itself a newSuspect event for each of those that respond and has not yet been added to OpenNMS's list of nodes.
You can't get much simpler than this.
The OpenNMS Discovery daemon can be configured with specific IP addresses and ranges of IP addresses. By default, Every 24 hours each of these addresses is pinged about once per second to determine if they exist on the network. Any new ones are added to OpenNMS by sending a newSuspect event.
Trap based Discovery
Our SNMP Trap daemon can be configured to send a newSuspect event whenever it receives an SNMP trap from a node that is does not recognize. Therefore all you need to do to discover nodes is to configure them to forward their traps to OpenNMS. When OpenNMS receives these traps it will automatically send a newSuspect event for the IP address that sent the trap.
These are the two simplest ways to have OpenNMS automatically discover your nodes.
Though automatic discovery is a simple way to get devices into OpenNMS. Take a look at the Provisioning Feature of OpenNMS for more fine grained control of exactly what gets discovered and added to OpenNMS.