Components and component template overview

A component is a collection of configuration settings that encapsulates a business or infrastructure service, application, or security policy.

Components can simplify many data center management tasks because a component provides a higher level of abstraction than do the servers and server objects that make up the component. For example, a component can group the files, configuration entries, and registry values needed to support an Apache server, Oracle WebLogic, or an Oracle database. A component can also specify a collection of configuration settings that your organization must implement, such as Center for Internet Security (CIS) recommendations for a particular operating system.

This topic provides the following overview sections:

What is a component template?

To create a component, you must first define a component template, which establishes rules and provides necessary information for the component, and then associate the template with a server.

A component template consists of the following:

  • Template parts — Server objects that constitute the component. You can parameterize template parts to accommodate variations between servers, departments, and networks.
  • Signature — A set of conditions that must be satisfied on a server for a component template to be associated with that server. A Component Discovery Job compares a signature to the configurations of designated servers. When the Component Discovery Job finds that a server satisfies a component signature, the Job associates the component template with the server and creates a component.
  • Allowed operations — Decisions about what operations can be performed using this component, such as browsing, snapshots, audits, deployments, and discovery.
  • Compliance rules — A collection of one or more rules that express corporate policy about some or all of the parts included in the component template. For example, compliance rules can specify security requirements or test for an application's required configuration. If a component does not satisfy a compliance rule, you can specify remediation in the form of a BLPackage that can be deployed to correct the component's configuration.
  • Local properties — A set of properties that are assigned to the component template. Using local properties, you can define multiple instances of a component on the same server.

Component usage and capabilities

Typically an expert user defines a component template and then uses the template to discover components on servers.

After an expert user has discovered a component, less sophisticated users can use that component to browse, snapshot, and audit the service, application, or policy that the component represents, even when those users lack a deep understanding of the complexity underlying the component. Less sophisticated users can also run Compliance Jobs on components to ensure the integrity of the components and remediate problems by deploying the BLPackages specified in the component template definition.

Using components, users with any level of sophistication can:

  • Deploy custom applications as a single unit of information to multiple servers.
  • Determine component-level compliance to policies rather than compliance at the server object level.
  • Make controlled changes to multiple servers by translating changes in a single component to changes on multiple target machines.
  • Perform baseline analyses by comparing the configuration captured in a component to other servers.

BMC Server Automation recommends a standard methodology for using components, as described in Process for using components. Following these recommendations can help you implement components efficiently and achieve the greatest benefit from them.

Organization of components and component templates

BMC Server Automation provides the following folders for creating and using components:

  • Component Templates folder — Used for creating and storing component templates, organizing components based on component templates, running Component Discovery Jobs, and launching other types of jobs that are based on a component template.
  • Components folder — Used for organizing components that have already been discovered.

In the Components and Component Templates folders, you can perform any of the following procedures to organize content:

  • Create folders, groups, and smart groups. (A smart group is a group for which you define membership conditions based on properties.)
  • Copy, cut, and paste smart groups, component groups, components, and component templates.
  • Cut and paste component template folders.
  • Delete components, component templates, folders, groups, and smart groups.

For a description of any of the procedures listed above, see Folder content organization.

Where to go from here

Process for using components

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