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ARS: Discovery & CMDB

10.25.2007 · Posted in BMC Remedy

ARS: Discovery & CMDB

There are two primary components of this integration: The BMC Topology Discovery server, and the BMC Atrium CMDB (running on the BMC Remedy Action Request System).

The Topology Discovery server has a number of discovery tasks that scan the defined network segment looking for specific types of devices. Once discovered, these devices, their associated components, and resulting relationships are stored in the Topology Discovery database as a “dataset”.

Multiple discovery tasks can be configured, each looking at different segments, or for different types of devices. Each task can also be scheduled to run automatically, or left to be run manually. There is a single dataset and all discovery tasks populate that dataset.

Once a dataset has been populated with items (a.k.a.; configuration items, or CIs) it can be synchronized with the CMDB. The Topology Discovery synchronization utility is configured with an AR System username/password and uses the ARS API to populate a specific dataset in the CMDB (BMC.TOPOLOGY.IMPORT).

After the BMC.TOPOLOGY.IMPORT dataset is populated with CIs resulting from the discovery, a reconciliation job can be run that merges the temporary topology import dataset with the production dataset (BMC.ASSET).

BEST PRACTICE

As might be expected, the number of configuration items (including their relationships) can easily overwhelm a person(s) designated to manage them. This is particularly true if the degree of discovery detail does not match the degree to which the organization manages devices.

If the organization only manages to the “box” level, swapping out routers, switches, and even servers (per vendor agreements) when a failure occurs, and the discovery tool is configured to the component level (a single server has many components – rack, case, mother board, CPU, memory, hard-drivers, etc. – and discovery can find most of them) there will be a huge amount of unnecessary information stored in the dataset.

What usually happens is both discovery and the CMDB are configured for all devices on all networks (*.*.*.*). It takes 12 hours for the discovery to run, and 4 for the synchronization. Now you’ve got 200K+ items in the CMDB and no idea how to manage them.

This point cannot be understated: Only configure Discovery/CMDB to match the degree of detail that the organization manages devices to.

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