At the heart of the device management capabilities, Zenoss Core uses a configuration management database (CMDB), which stores a model of the IT environment and its change history. Zenoss Core supports adding IT assets (I'll switch out of "executive-speak" and just refer to the "IT assets" as devices from this point on) to the CMDB one at a time or by auto-discovering active devices by walking the routing tables. Devices are then modeled via Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP), SSH (or Telnet), or port scans.
Zenoss Core allows us to organize devices by user-defined locations, groups, and systems. One of Zenoss Core's most powerful organizational concepts is classes, which allow us to define monitoring characteristics based on a hierarchical classification of devices, which allows a device to inherit the monitoring properties of its parent class.