This documentation supports the 23.3 version of BMC Helix CMDB, which is available only to BMC Helix customers (SaaS).

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

BMC Helix CMDB overview

BMC Configuration Management Database (BMC Helix CMDB) helps you source, store, monitor, and manage the data related to configuration items (CIs) like IT hardware and software, printers, servers, air conditioners, and so on, including the relationships among them. This data helps you understand your environment better.

Use the information in this topic to understand how BMC Helix CMDB and its components work together and carry out processes to maintain the CI data for your environment. The following diagram shows a high-level representation of the data flow from unprocessed data from multiple discovery service providers into BMC Helix CMDB, the processes carried out in CMDB to create the golden dataset, and into the consuming applications. 

The following image represents the flow of data into CMDB:

For information about how BMC Helix CMDB is placed along other BMC Helix ITSM apps and REST APIs within the BMC Helix Innovation Suite architecture, see  BMC Helix Service Management deployment architecture Open link .

From a high level, the following video (11:48) shows you the end-to-end steps that are required to take your data into production from a third-party source to your production dataset in BMC Helix CMDB

Important

This video is recorded using the earlier version of BMC Helix CMDB but the principles are relevant.


 https://youtu.be/I5PoOIB0VRg

Data flow in BMC Helix CMDB

Data providers, such as discovery applications, put data into BMC Helix CMDB, where it is partitioned into separate datasets. This data is then brought together into a consolidated production dataset that you use as the single, reliable source of reference for your IT environment. Consuming applications, such as BMC Helix ITSM (BMC Helix ITSM), BMC Helix ITSM: Asset Management, BMC Service Level Management, applications represented in Business Service Management, and more, use the data in the production dataset. 

The BMC Helix CMDB user interface attempts to provide a unified experience to the various workflows and tasks that one needs to perform when monitoring and managing a CMDB.

ITIL processes and BMC Helix CMDB

ITIL standardizes the processes that IT departments use to manage IT hardware and software, such as Problem Management, Incident Management, and Change Management. These standard processes ensure the availability of the critical IT services that sustain a business, like banking systems, ordering systems, and manufacturing systems. Additionally, ITIL Service Asset and Configuration Management needs reliable data about components in the IT environment and needs to understand the impact to key business services when changes occur in that environment.

Central to ITIL processes that involve maintaining and managing information about thousands of pieces of hardware and software is the configuration management database. The data in the BMC Helix CMDB feeds the applications that perform ITIL processes.


Basic concepts in BMC Helix CMDB

ConceptDescription

Discovery applications

Discovery applications help identify various systems in the network and obtain information about them that is relevant to the CMDB.  Applications such as BMC BladeLogic Client Automation Configuration Discovery provide data to the Integrator. Applications such as BMC Discovery provide data directly to the Import dataset.

Atrium Integrator

The Atrium Integrator is an integration engine with which you can transfer data from external data stores to BMC Helix CMDB classes.

Import dataset

A dataset is a local grouping of data. An import dataset is data in its unprocessed form and cannot be used for ITIL processes until it is normalized and reconciled.

Normalization

Normalization is the imposition of standards or regulations as defined in the product catalog.

The normalization engine performs the following tasks to standardize, correct, and clean up the data drawn from various discovery sources:

  • Updates the name and version information for products and suites based on the definitions in the product catalog.
  • Sets impact relationships that define dependencies between CIs.
  • Sets attributes that are customized for specific use cases.

Reconciliation

Reconciliation is the process in which data from different discovery sources is checked and corrected to maintain consistency while also making sure there is no duplication of data. 

Production dataset

This reliable data helps you understand the environment and the impact to key business services when changes occur in this environment. 

Sandbox dataset

Any changes that need to be made to the production dataset are first tried out in the sandbox dataset. If the implementation is successful, only then are they moved to the production dataset. The sandbox provides a safety mechanism that prevents unintended changes to your production dataset.

Federated data

Federated data is data stored outside BMC Helix CMDB, but linked to CIs so that it is accessible through BMC Helix CMDB. The most common types of federated data are related information and detailed attributes.

Roles with respect to the product, key responsibilities, and documentation

The following diagram explains the various product roles, their key responsibilities, how that relates to the various ITSM components, along with various areas of the documentation to find that information.

Additional Resources and related topics

Wikipedia topic on ITIL Open link

InformIT article: What is a CMDB? Open link

BMC Discovery Open link

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