Dear Santa: Making a list and checking it twice is EASY with CMS

Santa-list.jpgWe all know the old saying “Making a list, and checking it twice”—especially this time of year. Well, this is perfect timing to remind those who embark on a service delivery initiative where a Configuration Management System (CMS) is makes sure the list of “CI Types integrated” is a realistic and obtainable one. As to the checking it twice part, there will always be on-going updates for the data within a Configuration Management Database (CMDB). Having a solid set of processes within your tools will ensure data is checked frequently so your service delivery front-end is as up to date as possible.

 

We recently held a webinar where we shared the value of Configuration Management from a service delivery perspective in support of those customers who leverage discovery and integrations for service delivery. The webinar was recorded and is available on demand for you to experience.   

 

We had some interesting results from one of our polling questions, “How many of you leverage discovery as part of your service delivery strategy”? Roughly 70 percent of the customers polled were doing some sort of vendor-based discovery, which is a validation that more and more customers are moving to discovery as part of their strategy overall.

 

In fact, when I started in the CMS space roughly 10 years ago, discovery was a bleeding edge topic and something relatively new to customers. We struggled to identify what others were doing in the industry, and so did industry analysts.

 

Identifying the secrets of Discovery

 

From an HP perspective, we used our Service Anywhere software and the native integrations with HP Universal CMDB as our example for the out of the box functionality that customer’s leverage—thus gaining faster time to value. The Service Anywhere adapter is deployed in the HP Universal CMDB and essentially synchronizes data from Universal Discovery with what is discovered across their organization. The trick is having the right set of Configuration Item (CI) Types for customers as their starting point.

 

What we have done is focus on the Service Asset and Configuration Management (SACM) alignment where an asset and CI overlap in their types and attributes. This provides a core set of classification and attributes so that customers as a whole have the optimal starting point—without making it too overwhelming or difficult to deploy. In other words, we know every customer is different and we support those customers who need a simplistic and obtainable starting point. We also know there are overtly complex customers who need to enhance and tailor a solution extensively for their deployment.

 

At a high level, here are some of the CI Types integrated and synched with Service Anywhere from UCMDB and UD:

  • Business Services, Infrastructure Services and Business Applications
  • Databases, Clusters and Virtualization
  • Server Nodes, CI Collections, Running Software and File Systems
  • Disks, CPUs, Interfaces, IP Addresses and Running Software

 

By providing these as a collective view of your discovered environment, HP UCMDB makes it easy to model out and consume a joined view into the record as it relates to the SACM record within Service Anywhere—whether it be in an incident, change or a request for change. All of this gives a representation of the data versus an overwhelming or unnecessary set of attributes that are never leveraged or managed. What this really does is support customers success in a useful and manageable CMDB versus one that has junk in and junk out for the service desk. All customers should avoid the junk in and junk out types of CMDB’s!

 

For the users of Service Anywhere, the result is that they are able to search easily and quickly for attributes and CI Types within the SACM data brought in from the UCMDB.  The easy “search-ability” of Service Anywhere makes it easy for the novice user to quickly identify data and leverage that as part of the analyzing of an incident or change record. Information for a CI is all assessable from a single record – so information is simple to find and easy to use

 

 CMS.jpg

Remember, service desk representatives are not the only set of users that consume data out of the UCMDB.  It’s important to know that the UCMDB Browser provides a comprehensive ability for service delivery searching with discovered data; especially in the recent release of HP UCMDB v10.10 and HP Universal CMDB Browser v3.0 with dynamic widgets.

 

In summary, it’s relevant to note that more and more customers are performing discovery for their service delivery, yet many still struggle to identify what are the right CI Types and Attributes to integrate. HP has the right degree of CI Types integrated out of the box in our easy to deploy adapter; this provides the right starting point for customers no matter how simple or complex their deployment is.

 

I encourage you to listen to the recent BrightTalk Webinar Recording we delivered on this topic to hear more! You can also feel free to reach out to me in the comment section below. I look forward to hearing from you and to seeing what develops in CMS in 2014!

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