How is the Online (green dot) status determined for computers?

Purpose

You wish to understand how the online status (green dot) is determined.

Resolution

There are two methods used to determine online status:

  1. Heartbeat: A heartbeat is nothing more than an ICMP packet sent from the console computer to the target.
  2. Inventory Scan: If you scan a computer that currently appears offline (indicated by the absence of a green dot), but the scan successfully detects it as online, the online status will be updated to display a green dot.

Considerations for Online and Offline Status in Computer Scanning

  • If your computers do not have ICMP Echo Request enabled (firewall or certain types of AV suite software) then they can appear offline but have their status change to online when they receive a successful scan.
  • The Offline Status (Options > Preferences > Scanning) is important. If you have your Policy set to Ping before scanning then each scan attempt will first try to ping the target computer. If the target does not respond then the scan won't be attempted. If this is left unchecked then it will attempt to scan regardless of online status.

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  • If you scan a computer and it shows online and then shortly after goes back to offline, the Heartbeat probably didn't receive the ping response in time. By default the Heartbeat will wait over 2 seconds for a response before moving on to the next computer. Slow response time can be linked to slow DNS resolution or network problems related to high latency.
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