Quick Start Guide

New to RISC Networks?  Use this guide to get started with the RISC Networks Platform. 

Getting started with the RISC Networks Platform is quick and easy.  The setup process generally takes between 5 minutes to an hour, depending on the number of credentials you have for your environment.

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Prerequisites

Review/complete the Predeployment Checklist.

In addition to our quick start guide below, we offer professional services. For more information on professional services please contact info@riscnetworks.com


All RISC Networks engagements require a subscription and licenses.

If you do not have a subscription, contact Account Management.  If you have a subscription and need to purchase node licenses, please contact your account manager or contact help@riscnetworks.com.



Create an Assessment

The first step to using the RISC Networks Platform is to create an assessment. Follow the instructions below to get started.

  1. Navigate to the RISC Networks Portal.

  2. Log in, or register if you don’t already have an account.

  3. Click the +Add an Assessment button in the assessment list window.

  4. Enter your subscription code in the field. If you do not have a subscription code, please reach out to your account manager or to info@riscnetworks.com

  5. Fill in the company information fields in the +Add an Assessment window, company name will be the name of the assessment. 

  6. To invite other users, click the Invite button. You will be taken to the User Access screen, where invitations can be sent via email. Users can also be invited later on. Click Dashboard to return to the main screen.

  7. Upon completion, you should see a pane with your new assessment.


Deploy the RN150

In order to start discovery we need to download and deploy the RISC Networks RN150 virtual appliance.

  1. Click your assessment to open the Appliance Status page.

  2. Click the Download RN150 button in the section titled: Step 1 - Download Virtual Appliance.

  3. While waiting on your download to complete, copy the code provided in the section Step 2 - Bootstrap Virtual Appliance with the Code in the Appliance Status page, and save it where you can retrieve it at a later time.

  4. When your download completes, extract the files to a safe place.

  5. Follow VMware documented procedures for Deploying OVF Templates in your specific version of VMware. 

  6. Once the machine is deployed and powered on, you should see the RISC Networks Logo and briefly see a white screen before being redirected to a log in screen.

Additional Resources

Deployment Requirements


Log In to the RN150

After powering on the RN150, you can log in and accept the RISC Networks End User License Agreement.  In the top right corner of the page is the IP address of the appliance which can then be navigated to via a web browser. We recommend accessing the RN150 through your web browser as copy/paste may not be available through the hypervisor console.  Open your browser of choice and navigate to the IP address. Once the site has loaded, you can close the hypervisor console. Follow the instructions below to log in.

  1. Enter your username (Email address).

  2. Enter your password.

  3. Go to the box on the right to read the eula. Scroll to the botton.

  4. Elect whether or not use professional services.

  5. Accept the End User License Agreement.

  6. Click Login.


Enter Your Assessment Key

Now it is time to enter the assessment key we copied in "Deploy the RN150" above.  Again, we recommend using the RN150 in a browser window because copy/paste may not be available in a hypervisor console.

  1. Enter your assessment key.

  2. You will be prompted to choose whether or not you are using FlexDeploy. If you are unsure, click no.

  3. If you are using FlexDeploy, enter the network address of the FlexDeploy appliance you have previously set up


Enter Subnet Information

Now it is time to enter Subnet information. We can’t go any further without entering at least one subnet. There are three options for entering subnet information. You can enter a subnet individually, populate from a routing table, or populate from a .csv file.

Click the Subnets link on the dashboard page.

  1. To enter subnets individually, enter a network address >> select Subnet Mask from the dropdown >> Click Add

  2. To populate from a routing table, click Populate from routing table >> at the prompt, select the version of SNMP you are using >> enter your credentials

  3. To enter subnets using a .csv file, click Populate from CSV >> click Choose File and browse to your subnets.csv file >>  select the file and click Open, and click Upload

    1. The file must be under 1MB and formatted as either network address/CIDR prefix, or network address/CIDR prefix new line. (ex. 63.146.167.192/26,65.125.73.180/30)

  4. In the table below, make sure to select all of the subnets you wish to scan.

After you have confirmed that you have selected all subnets for which you want information, click the Dashboard button.



Enter SNMP Information

  1. Click the SNMP link on the dashboard page.

  2. Enter an SNMP string in the input box, or click the Add SNMP Version 3 button if you are using SNMP version 3 >> click Add

  3. Enter the IP address. and click Test

  4. After testing successfully, click Ok and return to the dashboard


Enter Windows Credentials

Be sure to enable netstat application socket collection  in order to collect and view workload dependencies. Refer to the Windows Collection Module for more information.

  1. Click the Windows link on the Dashboard page.

  2. Enter the domain for your credential, optional.

  3. Enter your user name and password.

  4. Select an option for application socket collection

  5. We recommend you select Enable >> confirm your choice >> click Next >> Select whether you want to enable this feature on workstations.

  6. Click Add

  7. Click Test to verify your credential.  We recommend testing all credentials.  This helps ensure we collect information on all relevant devices and prevents problems later on.

  8. After receiving confirmation that your credential is correct, click ok and either add more credentials, or click the Dashboard button to go back to the main page.

We recommend testing all credentials prior to starting a scan. This ensures information is collected on all relevant devices the first time, and that the complete set of analytics is available.


Enter VMWare Credentials

It is time to enter your VMWare credentials

  1. Click the VMWare link on the Dashboard page.

  2. Enter a network address

  3. Confirm you are hitting the right port. The default is port 443.

  4. Enter a username and password

  5. Click Add

  6. Click Test to verify your credential

  7. After receiving confirmation that your credential is correct, click ok and either add more credentials, or click the Dashboard button.



Enter SSH Credentials

It is time to enter your SSH credentials

  1. Click the SSH link on the Dashboard page.
  2. Enter the username for the credential in the Username field.
  3. From the drop-down list entitled Credential Type, select the type of authentication desired. 
    1. If Password is selected, an additional entry field will be presented, in which the password should be entered.
    2. If Public Key is selected, a text input field will be presented. The full text contents of the private key associated with the credential should be pasted here. 
  4. Click Add.
  5. Click Test to verify your credential
  6. After receiving confirmation that your credential is correct, click ok and either add more credentials, or click the Dashboard button.

Additional Credentials

The RN150 supports additional credentials under the sections Cisco CallManager, Cisco Discovery Services, and Additional Credentials.  The Additional Credentials sections can contain Database Credentials if that is enabled, and CLI for Cisco Devices.  If you have these credential types or if they are relevant to your desired analysis then please enter them, otherwise proceed to the next section.



Complete Bootstrap and Start Scan

  1. After entering or opting out of all credential categories, You have the option to start the assessment. Click the Start Assessment button.

  2. You will be prompted to confirm your settings. Confirm that all of the credentials you entered are accounted for in this pop up.

  3. Click Start.

  4. You are done for now. You will receive an email when the discovery process is complete.

You have now completed the RN150 setup. You will receive an email when the discovery process is complete.


Review Assets and Request Rescan

You will receive an email notifying you that the scan is complete. Once you receive this email, you should review your assets to verify that all devices that are in-scope for the assessment are accessible.  We have more detailed documentation on the discovery troubleshooting and the process in general here:

Discovery: How to

We recommend reviewing the page above before proceeding so you understand the resources available.


  1. Log in to https://portal.riscnetworks.com and select your assessment.

  2. Click the Consume Intelligence dropdown >> click Assets

  3. Verify all devices and subnets are in scope and in scope devices are accessible (i.e. Make sure Windows Servers are in the “Windows Devices” section and not under “Inaccessible Devices”).

  4. If needed, go back to the RISC Networks RN150 appliance and add missing credentials and click the Request Rescan button as needed.


License Devices for Data Collection

Now it is time to license devices in your network to start data collection. You may or may not want to license everything. For instance, you may want to license Windows Servers only or, devices in a certain ip range. You can do this by filtering the list of devices in the licensing page.  Generally, it is recommended that all devices whose device type contains "server" should be licensed.  These are devices that we are collecting both performance and dependency data on as we have OS level access.

  1. Log in to https://cs-portal.riscnetworks.com and select your assessment.

  2. Click the Collect Data dropdown >> click Licensing

  3. On the Core Licensing tab, filter to the devices you would like to license  (you can apply filters by clicking the down arrow in a column header and enter a filter value).

  4. Depending on your subscription you may need to select the Start 30 Day Burst button to make your licensing available (this activates a clock which makes the burst licensing available for 30 days)

  5. To license check the License box.

  6. Devices will start collecting as soon as they are checked. Uncheck the device to remove it from collecting.


Next Steps

You have completed the quick start.  After you have collected a sufficient amount of performance and dependency data it will be time to proceed to the Application Review Process.