There are two ways to add a SharePoint farm to the managed scope of Site Administrator:

  1. Add Farm Wizard is the simplest and fasted way to add a farm Farms -> Add anoter farm
    If you know that a particular computer is a SharePoint server, you can simply add it to Site Administrator using the Add Farm Wizard. The search is performed by the specified NetBIOS name, DNS, or IP address of the server. Local Admin on front-end servers and read on SharePoint configuration and content databases are required for this step.

  2. Discovery Wizard IT Infrastructure Dashboard for Enterprise -> Add another farm

    Enterprise
     -> Add another farm, just mouse over the farm size digits to display the option  

    If you would like to search for SharePoint servers in your network even if you don't have enouth permissions to manage them - Discovery Wizard helps you. Servers where you have insufficient permissions will be added to Unknown scope.

The server discovery contains the following steps:

  1. Enumeration of network computers
  2. Scanning computers for installed SharePoint technology (it uses remote registry, WMI, HTTP, SQL protocols to get access to computers purporting to be SharePoint servers)

Enumerating Network Computers

During discovery, Site Administrator for SharePoint searches the network for computers using Microsoft Windows Network as well as Active Directory:

  • Searching of Microsoft Windows Network is based on the NetBIOS Computer Browser service running on the network computers. Using this service, Site Administrator retrieves the list of computers for the entire network.
  • In the Active Directory Site Administrator retrieves the domain structure from the Global Catalog and connects to the domain DCs to get the list of domain computers.

Scanning Servers for SharePoint

Next, Site Administrator retrieves and processes information about the computers where SharePoint can be potentially installed. It checks each server for a SharePoint installation using the following:

Remote registry queries

Site Administrator searches specific Registry branches for the following SharePoint Services installation data:

  • Windows SharePoint Services and SharePoint Portal Server versions
  • Installation path
  • SharePoint configuration database connection string
  • Virtual Server ID

This operation requires Read permission for the following registry keys:

REGISTRY SECTIONSPECIFIC VALUE
SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Installer\UserData\S-1-5-18\Products[Product Code]\InstallProperties DisplayName and DisplayVersion
SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Shared Tools\Web Server Extensions\12.0 Location
SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Shared Tools\Web Server Extensions\12.0\Secure\ConfigDb Dsn
SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Shared Tools\Web Server Extensions\14.0 Location
SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Shared Tools\Web Server Extensions\14.0\Secure\ConfigDb Dsn
SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Shared Tools\Web Server Extensions\15.0 Location
SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Shared Tools\Web Server Extensions\15.0\Secure\ConfigDb Dsn
SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Installer|UpgradeCodes
SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Shared Tools\Web Server Extensions\Ports

IIS Metabase queries

Site Administrator requests the following SharePoint virtual server (web application) information from the IIS Metabase using WMI queries:

  • Host headers
  • Virtual server ports
  • SSL information

Querying the IIS Metabase requires local administrator permissions on the computer.

SQL query

Site Administrator retrieves the following virtual server (web application) configuration information from the SharePoint configuration SQL database:

  • SQL version
  • Content databases for the virtual server (web application)
  • Site/site collection count
  • Hosts in the server farm

HTTP ping

Site Administrator checks availability of discovered SharePoint web applications by sending HTTP requests to the computer ports specified in the Discovery Wizard (the default ports are 80 and 443). A computer is reported as a SharePoint server if the reply header value contains "SharePoint". This is the most common and reliable search method because it requires no additional access permissions and is not subject to traffic filters.

If none of the SharePoint virtual servers on a machine are listening on the ports specified in the discovery wizard and other checks fail due to insufficient permissions, the computer will not be identified as a SharePoint server.

Topology gathering

Next, Site Administrator retrieves topology information and statistics from the SharePoint configuration databases using the OLE database interface.