Smart Groups are key to enabling central infrastructure management at scale, and therefore provide many Lighthouse workflows.
Nodes can be associated with metadata such as Location or Firmware Version. This metadata consists of automatically populated Configuration (for example, MAC Address or Node Name) and user-defined Tags (for example Rack or Ops Team).
Tags can be associated with Enrollment Bundles, to automate metadata configuration for all Nodes provisioned with that bundle. For example, you use ZTP to deploy a fleet of Nodes into a new data center row you wish to tag with Data Center, Room and Row.
Smart Groups are essentially searches that filter Nodes by matching Configuration and Tags. Group membership is automatic and dynamic, for example when a new Node is enrolled, it automatically becomes a member of any matching Smart Groups.
Smart Groups are used to conveniently allow users to sort and locate Nodes using Manage -> Console Gateway and Manage -> Node Web UI. They may also be used to select nodes on which to run batch CLI commands using node-command.
Crucially, Smart Groups also allow Lighthouse Administrators to grant users access to Nodes. Settings -> User Management -> Groups may each be linked to a Smart Group, granting users of that group access to all matching Nodes. In this way, user access can be dynamically assigned and revoked using metadata Tags, and also automatically granted from day one using Enrollment Bundle Tags.