Overview of populating the production dataset with configuration items
BMC Atrium Configuration Management Database (BMC Atrium CMDB) stores information about the configuration items (CIs) in your IT environment and the relationships between them. A CI is an instance of an entity that is part of your environment and has configurable attributes specific to that instance. These entities can be physical (such as a computer system), logical (such as an installed instance of a software program), or conceptual (such as a business service). For example, a discovered application server is represented by a CI that defines the attributes of the host computer, and the application that it hosts is represented by a CI that defines the attributes of the application. A relationship defines the dependency of the application on the application server.
Data providers, such as discovery applications, put data into BMC Atrium CMDB, where it is partitioned into separate datasets. Software products (and other CIs) can be discovered by multiple providers. Each provider provides data in a separate dataset.
The same software product might be represented by CIs in multiple datasets. The different data providers might record the CIs in different ways. The Normalization Engine helps track discovered CIs by assigning the same value to the product name, manufacturer, and the product categorization attributes.
The Reconciliation Engine component enables you to reconcile these datasets into a consolidated production dataset that you use as the single source of reference for your IT environment. Data consumers such as the SWLM License Engine, read data from the production dataset.
When computer systems are deployed in an organization, software is installed on them. Following this when the discovery is run, the CIs (the computers and the various applications installed on them) are discovered and get tracked in the discovery database. The discovery sources then bring the data from their individual databases into BMC Atrium CMDB in their own dataset using an integration, such as the AIE service or the CMDB API.
The following steps, which are illustrated in the following figure, highlight the integration of discovered data into BMC Atrium CMDB:
- A user or the IT department deploys hardware and software.
- The discovery application discovers the CI data and stores the data in a database.
For example, for BMC BladeLogic Client Automation, the Scanner Service discovers inventory data on the endpoints and sends the data to the Inventory database.
- The data is transferred to a dataset in BMC Atrium CMDB.
For example, BMC BladeLogic Client Automation uses BMC Atrium Integration Engine to transfer discovered data between the Inventory database and BMC Atrium CMDB. BMC Atrium Discovery and Dependency Mapping (BMC Atrium Discovery) uses the BMC Atrium CMDB API.
Data is transferred into the appropriate classes in the Common Data Model (CDM).
- Discovered data goes through normalization to make sure the product titles coming into BMC Atrium CMDB are consistent and aligned.
Normalization is performed by checking the BMC Atrium Product Catalog, based on matching attributes.
If there is no match, the Product Catalog must be updated with any product titles and versions that are not already in the catalog.
- Reconciliation jobs for the respective datasets is run to identify the CIs, to merge any CIs together if duplicates exists.
- The Reconciliation Engine promotes the reconciled CIs into the BMC.ASSET dataset, which is the production dataset.
Flow of data from discovery to BMC Asset Management
After the data is promoted into the production dataset, it is available for the SWLM License Engine to find the software CIs deployed and hence be able to compute compliance. When connecting CIs to license certificates and when computing compliance, SWLM only looks at CIs in the BMC.ASSET dataset.
After all the CIs are in BMC Atrium CMDB, with cleaner normalized titles, there are some software products that can be used for free (meaning no contract or license is needed before it can be used) while some products should be deployed and used only if the necessary contracts for them are purchased and hence authorized to use.
Software license management in BMC Asset Management (version 7.5 or later) helps you with this information by tracking contracts and related certificates for various products. It tracks which CIs apply to software contract and reports whether you are compliant.