This documentation supports the 19.11 version of BMC CMDB, which is available only to BMC Helix subscribers (SaaS).

To view an earlier version, select the version from the Product version menu.

Product categorization

Product categorization divides CIs into groups. Using the three-tier structure of product categorization, you can create successively smaller, more tightly defined groups.

The following sections in this topic describe the Product categorization process in detail:


CIs in BMC CMDB require valid product categorization. When a CI is discovered, it must include valid product categorization.

  • By default, BMC Atrium Discovery and Dependency Mapping applies recommended categorization values to all CIs that are discovered. For information about these categorization values, see Mapping Your Data to BMC Atrium CMDB Classes. For software categorization values, also refer to the Product Catalog data provided by BMC. For information, see the BMC online documentation.
  • BMC BladeLogic Client Automation Configuration Discovery Integration for CMDB uses an XML file to apply categorization values to all CIs that are discovered. Based on the product categorization option that is selected during installation of the product, BMC BladeLogic Client Automation Configuration Discovery Integration for CMDB applies the appropriate categorization values to the CIs.

    Best Practice

    We recommend that you not change the categorization in the data providers. Instead, change the categorization through the Product Catalog only.

  • For information about the default categorization values, see the following table.

For example, you might use Tier 1 to divide CIs into hardware and software groups. Within the hardware group, you might define Tier 2 groups for disk device, peripheral, processing unit, and virtual systems. Within processing unit, you might define Tier 3 groups for desktop, laptop, mainframe, personal digital assistant, and server. 

Product categorization is leveraged by multiple BMC applications. By understanding the product-specific use of categorization, you can determine the impact when setting up product categorization or when making additions and changes to the product category structure.

The associated Product Name and Manufacturer fields provide an even more fine-grained grouping of CIs. Version can be specified on CIs but is not part of the Product Catalog. 

Product categorization is defined in the Product Catalog. CIs stored in BMC CMDB include this categorization in equivalent fields defined at the BMC_BaseElement Common Data Model (CDM) class level, as show in the following table.

Product categorization fields on the CI and in the Product Catalog 

Categorization fields in the Product Catalog

Categorization attributes on the CI

Example values

Tier 1

Category

Hardware

Tier 2

Type

Processing Unit

Tier 3

Item

Server

Manufacturer

ManufacturerName

IBM Corporation

Product Name

Model

IBM x445

Benefits of product categorization

A well-thought-out product categorization structure helps you to more efficiently perform the following capabilities:

  • Reporting
  • Searching
  • Workflow

Leveraging product categorization

Even though the product categorization is focused on the categorization of CIs, the BMC Remedy IT Service Management suite (BMC Remedy ITSM) and other BMC products use product categorization. The following section describes the ways in which the product categorization can be leveraged.

Default categorization in BMC BladeLogic Client Automation Configuration Discovery Integration for CMDB

CDM class

Tier 1

Tier 2

Tier 3

BMC_BaseElement

Unknown

Unknown

BMC Discovered

BMC_ComputerSystem

Hardware

Machine

BMC Discovered

BMC_Printer

Hardware

Printer

BMC Discovered

BMC_NetworkPort

Hardware

Network

BMC Discovered

BMC_Media

Hardware

Storage

BMC Discovered

BMC_DiskDrive

Hardware

Storage

BMC Discovered

BMC_FloppyDrive

Hardware

Storage

BMC Discovered

BMC_CDROMDrive

Hardware

Storage

BMC Discovered

BMC_Monitor

Hardware

Monitor

BMC Discovered

BMC_Keyboard

Hardware

Keyboard

BMC Discovered

BMC_PointingDevice

Hardware

Pointing Device

BMC Discovered

BMC_Processor

Hardware

Processor

BMC Discovered

BMC_Chassis

Hardware

Chassis

BMC Discovered

BMC_Card

Hardware

Card

BMC Discovered

BMC_Memory

Hardware

Memory Card

BMC Discovered

BMC_Product

Software

Application

BMC Discovered

BMC_OperatingSystem

System Settings

Operating System

BMC Discovered

BMC_Patch

System Settings

Patch

BMC Discovered

BMC_LocalFileSystem

System Settings

File System

BMC Discovered

BMC_DiskPartition

System Settings

Disk Partition

BMC Discovered

BMC_IPEndpoint

System Settings

Network

BMC Discovered

BMC_BIOSElement

System Settings

BIOS

BMC Discovered


When BMC BladeLogic Client Automation discovers a CI, it tries to find a match in the BMC Atrium Product Catalog. If it finds a match, it applies the Product Catalog values of the ModelManufacturerNameModelCategory, and Item attributes. If it does not find a match in the Product Catalog, it tries to find a match in the XML file selected at installation, and applies those categorization values to the CI.

Even when you use the recommended categorization, BMC BladeLogic Client Automation Configuration Discovery Integration for CMDB uses additional categorization for CIs that it cannot otherwise classify. The following table provides these categorizations.

Additional categorization BMC BladeLogic Client Automation Configuration Discovery Integration for CDM

CDM class

CI type

Tier 1

Tier 2

Tier 3

BMC_BusinessService

Logical Entity--Business Service

Miscellaneous

Service

BMC Discovered

BMC_Product

System Component--Product

Software

Application

BMC Discovered

For any discovered CI that cannot otherwise be classified, regardless of CDM class or CI type.

Unknown

Unknown

BMC Discovered

Product categorization and normalization of discovered CIs

The Normalization Engine makes sure that only CIs with valid categorization are reconciled with the production dataset. 

In a typical CMDB deployment, all new CIs or CI updates are first added to import datasets, which are then normalized and reconciled with the production dataset. You can set up a normalization job so that, whenever a CI is submitted to be created or updated, the CI's attributes are normalized with the values defined in the Product Catalog. 

The Normalization Engine checks against the Product Catalog, which stores the definition of categorization data, and either validates or rejects the CI. For more information about the normalization process, see Normalization steps and the Product Catalog.

Examples of product categorization and normalization of discovered CIs

This section illustrates how the categorizations for discovered CIs are normalized. The following table shows examples of submitted CIs and the result of their validation against the following entry in the Product Catalog:

  • CI Class: BMC_ComputerSystem
  • Tier1: Hardware
  • Tier2: Processing Unit
  • Tier3: Server
  • Manufacturer Name: Hewlett-Packard
  • Product Name: Proliant DL380 G4

Examples of submitted CIs

Submitted CI

Result of validation

Class: BMC_ComputerSystem
Name: foo.bmc.com
Category: Hardware
Type: Processing Unit
Item: Server
ManufactureName: Hewlett-Packard
Model: Proliant DL380 G4

Because the product name and manufacturer both match an entry in the Product Catalog, the CI is validated and inserted into BMC CMDB as:

Class: BMC_ComputerSystem
Name: foo.bmc.com
Category: Hardware
Type: Processing Unit
Item: Server
ManufactureName: Hewlett-Packard
Model: Proliant DL380 G4

Class: BMC_ComputerSystem
Name: foo.bmc.com
Category: Hardware
Type: Machine
Item: Server
ManufactureName: Hewlett-Packard
Model: Proliant DL380 G4

Because the product name and manufacturer both match an entry in the Product Catalog, the CI is validated. The product categorization is rewritten with the categorization from the Product Catalog entry and inserted into BMC CMDB as:

Class: BMC_ComputerSystem
Name: foo.bmc.com
Category: Hardware
Type: Processing Unit
Item: Server
ManufactureName: Hewlett-Packard
Model: Proliant DL380 G4

Class: BMC_ComputerSystem
Name: foo.bmc.com
Category: Hardware
Type: Machine
Item: Server
ManufactureName: HP
Model: Proliant DL380 G4

Varies, depending on product categorization alias mapping and datasets configured for normalization, as illustrated in the following table.

The following table presents scenarios of what can happen to the third CI in the previous table--when the discovered ManufacturerName does not match an entry in the Product Catalog. The first column indicates the Discovery product categorization on the PCT:ProductCatalogAliasMappingForm form. The Product Catalog target values are set to the values indicated in the following table.

Outcome of product categorization alias and dataset configured for normalization

Product categorization alias Discovery product categorization

Dataset configured for normalization?

Result of each step of workflow

Result of validation

CI Class: BMC_ComputerSystem
Tier1: Hardware
Tier2: Machine
Tier3: Server
ManufacturerName: HP
Model: Proliant DL380 G4

Not applicable

  1. Manufacturer not in the Product Catalog.
  2. Product categorization alias maps Tier 2 and the manufacturer. The CI is now validated.

CI validated and inserted into BMC CMDB as:

Class: BMC_ComputerSystem
Name: foo.bmc.com
Category: Hardware
Type: Processing Unit
Item: Server
ManufactureName: Hewlett-Packard
Model: Proliant DL380 G4

CI Class: BMC_ComputerSystem
Tier1: Hardware
Tier2: Machine
Tier3: Server
Note: This product categorization alias does not include the ManufacturerName or Model.

Yes

  1. Manufacturer not in the Product Catalog.
  2. Product categorization alias maps Tier 2. The manufacturer name is not mapped.
  3. Because the CI comes from a dataset configured for normalization, a Product Catalog entry with the new manufacturer is created. A company record for the new manufacturer is also created. The CI is now validated.

CI validated and inserted into BMC Atrium CMDB as:

Class: BMC_ComputerSystem
Name: foo.bmc.com
Category: Hardware
Type: Processing Unit
Item: Server
ManufactureName: HP
Model: Proliant DL380 G4

CI Class: BMC_ComputerSystem
Tier1: Hardware
Tier2: Machine
Tier3: Server

No

  1. Manufacturer not in catalog.
  2. Product categorization alias maps Tier 2. The manufacturer name is not mapped.
  3. Because the CI does not come from a dataset configured for normalization, the CI is rejected.

CI rejected. Although there is an alias for the three tiers of categorization, because the dataset is not configured for normalization, a new entry cannot be created for the manufacturer and model.

None

Yes

  1. Manufacturer not in catalog.
  2. A product categorization alias is not found.
  3. Because the CI comes from a dataset configured for normalization, the CI is validated.

The Product Catalog is extended; CI validated and inserted into BMC Atrium CMDB as submitted.

None

No

  1. Manufacturer not in catalog.
  2. A product categorization alias is not found.
  3. The CI does not come from a dataset configured for normalization.
  4. The CI is rejected.

Running the discovery process in the preproduction environment

If you allow the Normalization Engine to create Product Catalog entries, you must run your discovery process. Make sure that you get representative data from the providers. Ideally, you are categorizing a comprehensive list of entities. The more comprehensive the list, the easier you can define the right categorization for those CIs, and the easier you can manage the content of the Product Catalog.

The number of CIs is not important; the discovery should include as many distinct types of CIs that are representative of your environment. For example, discovering 10 HP Proliant computers and inserting the CIs is no more helpful than discovering one. However, if you have two different models of a computer in your environment, you want to discover both models.

When this step is complete, the Product Catalog is populated with entries created by all the data providers.

For instructions for running the discovery process, see the BMC Atrium Discovery documentation located at http://discovery.bmc.com/confluence/display/83/ and the BMC BladeLogic Client Automation CMS and Tuner User Guide.

Tip

If you cannot run the discovery process at this time, you can look at the default categorization to see what categorization is assigned during discovery. For more information about default categorization, see Product categorization and discovery.

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