This documentation supports the 11.3 version of BMC Discovery.

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Relationships

Node associations are represented by relationships. There are different types of relationships which define hierarchy, hosting, containment, ownership, manufacturer, category, versions, location, dependency, in fact, any kind of relationship required to model an IT infrastructure.
A type of relationship is represented as colon-separated strings. A relationship comprises more than the two node endpoints, it contains the "route" between the two. This is made up in the following way:

Node:Role:RelationshipLink:Role:Node

For example, the relationship from a Host node to the Cluster node that contains the host is shown as:

Host:ContainedHost:HostContainment:HostContainer:Cluster

The relationship from a Cluster node to a Host node that it contains is shown as:

Cluster:HostContainer:HostContainment:ContainedHost:Host

A relationship is a bidirectional link between two nodes. In this section, the terms "start node" and "target node" are used to describe the way that the relationship is built. However, once the relationship has been built, the terms are redundant.

The general timeline for the creation of a relationship is:

  1. Create "start node".
  2. Create "target node".
  3. Create relationship between 1 and 2.

The individual components of the relationship are described in the following sections.

Node

The node is any kind of node that can have a relationship, such as a Host node. All nodes can have relationships, including relationships.

Relationship kinds

The relationship kind describes the nature of the relationship. For example, the DeviceSubnet relationship kind describes the link between a device and the subnet that it is on, but without any directionality implied.

This section refers to Relationship Kinds as the colon-separated lists which describe how two nodes are related, the roles that each node plays in the relationship, and the Relationship Link which describes the nature of the Relationship.

A complete list of Relationship Kinds with their descriptions is provided in the table below.

Relationship Kind

Description

Hierarchy Relationships

Hierarchy

Relates nodes into a hierarchy.

Attachment Relationships

Attachment

Relates a node to a file attachment.

Category Relationships

ElementCategory

Relates an element to a category it is in.

People Relationships

Ownership

Relates an element to its owner.

Management

Relates an employee to their manager.

Locations

Location

Relates an element to the location it is in.

LocationContainment

Relates a location to the larger location it is in.

Hosts

HostedSoftware

Relates software to the host it is running on.

HostContainment

Relates hosts and software instances to contained virtual hosts.

EndpointIdentity

Relates Hosts that appear to have changed identity

HostedServiceRelates a service to the host it is running on

Applications

ActivityRelates a Model Definition to an activity that has been performed on it

Communication

Relates software instances to communicating software instances.

Used when a pattern can identify configuration within a piece of software that specifies communication with another piece of software. For example, a pattern might be able to read a configuration file for an application server and see the address of a database server.

Dependency

Relates elements to elements they depend upon.

SoftwareContainment

Relates an item of software to an item contained in it.

SoftwareService

Relates an item of software to a service.

DefinitionCloneRelates a Model Definition to a cloned version of it
DefinitionContainmentRelates a Model Definition to items included or excluded by it
FunctionalContainmentRelates a Functional Component to an item contained within it
MultiFacetRelates multiple facets of a single process
ObservedCommunication

Relates observed communicating elements.

Used when communication between two pieces of software has been generically discovered from information like open network connections and listening ports. When Discovery is able to identify both ends of a communication, it tries to then correlate this information with software that it sees running.

For this to work well, often root/administrator access for Discovery is needed, as operating systems only give all the pertinent information to sufficiently privileged users.

Physical Model

AdapterWithPortRelates an adapter to a port

DeviceSubnet

Relates an IP device to the subnet it is on.

DeviceInterface

Relates an IP device with one of its network interfaces.

DeviceAddressRelates an IP device with one of its IP addresses

NetworkLink

Relates a network interface on a host to a port interface on a switch.

HostedFile

Relates a file to its host.

RelatedFile

Relates a file to something that uses it.

FibreChannelNodeDevice

Relates a World Wide Node Number (WWNN) to an HBA.

FibreChannelNodePort

Relates a World Wide Port Number (WWPN) to a WWNN.

FileSystemMount

Relates the mounter and the FileSystem.

ChosenEndpointRelates a device successfully scanned by this endpoint
EndpointRelates a Discovery Access that successfully scanned a device by this endpoint
CloudServiceRelates cloud services
CouplingFacilityRelates Coupling Facility to its dependents
ExportedFileSystemRelates exported FileSystem to local FileSystem
ExposedViewRelates a port to an exposed view (volume)
HardwareUseRelates hardware to the system using it
InterfaceAddressRelates a network interface with its IP addresses
NetworkServiceA network device service

Directly Discovered Data

DiscoveryAccessResult

Relates a DiscoveryAccess to one of its results.

List

Relates a List of Members.

Sequential

Relates sequential nodes.

Inference

Relates an inferred node with its source node.

Status

Relationship to a status node.

AccessFailure

Access failure.

AccessOptimization

Access optimization.

Metadata

Information about a discovery request.

DiscoveryConditionRelates an element with a condition to that condition
EndpointRangeA range used to control endpoint access
ImplicitScanImplicitly scanned IP address

Pattern Relationships

PatternModuleContainment

Associates a pattern module to its contents.

PatternModuleDependency

Associates a pattern module to its dependents.

Maintainer

Pattern that is maintaining an inferred node.

Requirement

Associates a pattern that will need the products of another.

Override

Associate patterns that are being overridden or are overriding others.

Deprecated

Associated pattern has been deprecated or is deprecating others.

Error

Errors generated by this pattern at runtime.

PatternExecution

Associates a PatternExecution to its Pattern.

PatternTouch

Associate a PatternTrigger with things it changed.

PatternTrigger

Associates a PatternExecution to its trigger nodes.

Request

Associates a Pattern to the DDD nodes requested by it.

IntegrationImplementation

Relates the implementation of a resource

ResourceUse

Relates the usage of a resource

CodeGenerationRelates a generated pattern module to a pattern definition
UploadContentsContents of unloaded knowledge

Generic Modeling Relationships

Containment

Relates an element to its container.

Detail

Relates an element to details about it.

SupportDetail

Relates Host and Software Instance nodes to SupportDetail nodes.

CollectionRelates an element to the collection in which it is contained
MirrorRepresents a mirroring relationship
ReplacementA node replaced during update
ReplicationRepresents a replication relationship

Rule Relationships

RuleModuleDependency

Associates a rule module to its dependents.

Foundation User Relationships

Favorite

A Favorite item for a User

InvokingUser

Relates to the invoking user

Hardware Reference Data Relationships

ReferenceData

Relates physical hosts to hardware reference data

HardwareReferenceDataRelates Host and HostContainer nodes to HardwareReferenceData nodes

Stack Devices

DeviceStackRelates a stack member to the stack itself

Storage

SANStorageRelates a host consumer of SAN storage to the reference to that host on the storage
StorageRelates Storage to hosts using it
StorageContainmentRelates Storage to the Storage Collection containing it
StorageUseRelates storage nodes

Role

The role describes the part that its node plays in the relationship.
For example, where a Host node represents a host which is running a software process:

  • A Software Instance has been created which represents the process running on the host.
  • The Host node is acting in the role of Host; the host for some running software.
  • The Software Instance is acting in the role of RunningSoftware; software which is running on a host.

Roles are required because a node can play one of many parts in a relationship, and clarification is needed; the role clarifies the part that the nodes are playing in the relationship.

A complete alphabetical list of Role Kinds in the default taxonomy with their descriptions is provided in the table below.

Role Kind

Description

ActedUponAn item that is being acted on
ActivityRecordAn ActivityRecord
AggregateSoftwareAggregate software running on a host
AssociateAssociate inference
AttachmentAttachment
AttachmentContainerNode containing an attachment
AutomaticGroupA group automatically generated by BMC Discovery
BusinessOwnerBusiness owner of an element
CategoryCategory of elements
ChildChild in hierarchy
ClientClient
CloneForEditA Definition which is a clone of another for editing
CloneSourceA Definition which has been cloned
ClusteredSoftwareClustered software running on a host
CollectionElement containing a collection of elements
ConnectingConnecting
ConsumerA consumer
ContainedAn element contained within another
ContainedConnectionContained connection
ContainedDriveContained disk drive
ContainedFunctionalityComponent within a FunctionalComponent
ContainedHostHost contained within another host
ContainedInstanceContained load balancer instance
ContainedItemAn item within a container
ContainedLocationA location inside another location
ContainedMemberContained load balancer member
ContainedPoolContained storage or load balancer pool
ContainedProcessorContained storage processor
ContainedServiceContained load balancer service
ContainedSoftwarePiece of software contained inside other software
ContainedStorageStorage contained in an element
ContainedVolumeContained storage volume
ContainerAn element containing others
ContributorContributor inference
CopyCopy of item
CouplingFacilityCoupling Facility
DefinitionDefinition
DependantEntity that depends upon another
DependedUponEntity depended upon by another
DetailA detail belonging to an element
DeviceDevice
DeviceOnSubnetIP device belonging to a subnet
DeviceWithAddressA device with an IP address
DeviceWithInterfaceA device with an interface, for example, a network interface
DiscoveryAccessDiscovery access
DiscoveryConditionIdentifies a discovery condition
DiscoveryResultDiscovery result
DiscoveryRunDiscovery run
EdgeClientEdge client
EdgeDeviceEdge device
ElementElement
ElementInCategoryElement belonging to a category
ElementInLocationElement in a location
ElementUsingFileElement using a file
ElementWithConditionIdentifies a node to which a discovery condition pertains
ElementWithDetailElement with associated details
ElementWithStatusElement with an associated status
EmployeeEmployee
EndpointEndpoint
EndpointRangeA range used to control endpoint access
ErrorAn ECAError related to a pattern
ExcludedItemAn item excluded from a Definition
ExplicitEndpointUser provided endpoint
ExportedExported filesystem
ExposedElementExposed element
FacetFacet
FavoriteA favorite item for a user
FibreChannelDeviceWithNodeA Fibre Channel HBA with a WWNN
FibreChannelNodeA Fibre Channel WWNN for a HBA
FibreChannelNodeWithPortA Fibre Channel WWNN with a WWPN
FibreChannelPortA Fibre Channel WWPN
FileA File
FoundationUserA BMC Discovery User
FrontEndPortA Front End Port
FunctionalContainerFunctionalComponent containing components
HardwarePhysical host to which hardware reference data will be related
HardwareDetailSupport Detail Data is for Hardware
HomeLocationHome location of an element
HostHost for Software Instances
HostContainerHost containing other hosts
HostedFileA File on a Host
IPv4AddressAn IPv4 address
IPv6AddressAn IPv6 address
ITOwnerIT owner of an element
ImplicitEndpointSystem provided endpoint
IncludedItemAn item included in a Definition
InferredElementInferred element
InferredRelationshipInferred relationship
InputInput data
InstalledSoftwareInstalled software
IntegrationPointIntegration point for a connection or query
InterfaceOfDeviceInterface of an IP device
InterfaceOfStackInterface of the Stack
InterfaceWithAddressInterface with an IP address
ListList
ListeningListening
LocalLocal filesystem
LocationCurrent location of an element
LocationContainerA location containing other locations
MainFacetMain Facet
ManagedElementElement being managed
ManagerManager
ManufacturedItemManufactured item
ManufacturerManufacturer of an item
MemberMember of a list or collection
MountedFileSystemMounted file system
MounterMounter of a file system
NetworkDeviceNetwork device
NetworkEndpointOne end of a network connection
NetworkServiceNetwork device providing a service
NewA new node
NextNext node in sequence
OSDetailSupport Detail Data is for Operating System
OldA replaced node
OperatingSystemOperating system of a host
OriginalOriginal item
OutputOutput data
OverriddenA pattern that is overridden by another
OverriderA pattern that is overriding another
OwnedItemItem owned by someone or something
OwnerOwner of an item
ParentParent in hierarchy
PatternPattern
PatternConfigurationPattern configuration
PatternConfirmedConfirmed node
PatternCreatedCreated node
PatternDefinePattern definitions function
PatternDefinitionsPattern definitions
PatternDestroyedDestroyed node
PatternExecutionPattern execution
PatternModifiedModified node
PatternModulePattern module
PatternTriggerPattern trigger
PatternWithErrorA pattern with ECAErrors
PeerPeer
PreviousPrevious node in sequence
PrimaryPrimary inference
ProducerA producer
ProviderA provider
ReferenceDataHolds hardware reference data
RegionCloud Region in which the related resource resides
RelationshipRelationship
RequestSourceSource of discovery request
ResourceResource being used
ResourceUserUser of resource
RunningServiceService running on a host
RunningSoftwareSoftware running on a host
ServerServer
ServiceService being provided
ServiceHostHost providing a service
ServiceProviderProvider of a service
SoftwareContainerPiece of software containing other software
SoftwareDetailSupport Detail Data is for Software
StackStack of Network Devices
StackMemberNetwork Device in Stack
StatusStatus
StorageStorage for an element
StorageContainerElement containing storage
SubnetSubnet of an IP device
SupportOwnerPerson or group responsible for supporting an element
UploadUploaded knowledge
UploadItemComponent of uploaded knowledge

Provenance

By linking data items and their attributes to the evidence for them, BMC Discovery enables its data to be easily verified; a prerequisite for trusting it. This feature is called Provenance.
Provenance Data is created by the Reasoning Engine and consists of relationships between Directly Discovered Data items and entities inferred from them - a relationship back to the source from the inferred entity. For example, there is a provenance relationship between each Software Instance (SI) and the data that caused the SI to be inferred - typically one or more processes, files, or the like.

Provenance information is meta-information describing how the other information came to exist. It is generated as Reasoning builds and maintains the model. Provenance information is stored on relationships in the model.

  • Inference Types
    • Primary — indicate that the existence of the evidence node is the reason that the inferred node was created.
    • Contributor — indicate that the evidence node provided information used in building the inferred node.
    • Associate — indicate that BMC Discovery knows there is a relationship between the evidence node and the inferred node.
    • Relationship — indicate that BMC Discovery knows that a relationship exists because of the evidence node.
    • Deletion — indicate that the removal of the inferred node was due to withdrawal of the evidence node.
  • Maintaining Pattern — the pattern maintaining a node.

If you need to access the data in your model you should access the UI functions provided in BMC Discovery that enable this. Apart from specialist purposes, you should not need to understand the provenance implementation details in BMC Discovery. However, an overview is provided below.

Provenance implementation details

To represent provenance information, attributes can be stored on the Inference relationships. The keys attribute contains a list of the attribute keys that were set or confirmed on the inferred node as a result of the inference. The rule attribute contains the name of the reasoning rule that decided upon the inference. Provenance information is only created and is not updated.

Inferred nodes are related to DDD nodes using 'Creation Inference' relationships. The Inferred node has the role InferredElement; the DDD node has the role Primary, Contributor or Associate as appropriate. To support the full lifecycle of inferred nodes there are complimentary Removal Inference relationships. Destruction is the complimentary role to Primary, and Withdrawal is the complimentary role to Contributor.

The method of linking of discovered information to inferred information means that in general, each inferred node will have relationships to many discovery data nodes, representing multiple discoveries of the entity over time.

The Reasoning Engine maintains this provenance information and this can be accessed using functions in the BMC Discovery Search Service named Provenance and Provenance Details.

Relationships between relationships

Relationships are technically a sub-class of nodes and they have the same basic characteristics. Relationships can have attributes stored in them and can have relationships to other nodes in the same way that nodes can.

A relationship connects two nodes between their role, however a relationship can also act in a role in a relationship. Therefore, you can have relationships between nodes and relationships or relationships between relationships.

Relationships between inferred nodes

Using patterns, the reasoning engine can construct a number of relationships between inferred nodes, as follows:

Links an SI to the Host it is running on.

SoftwareInstance:HostedSoftware:HostedSoftware:Host:Host

A client-server relationship between SIs. This can be inferred based on the presence of network connections between processes. It can also be based on other evidence such as configuration files or directly querying the endpoints.

SoftwareInstance:Client:Communication:Server:SoftwareInstance

Equivalent to the client-server case, but where the endpoints in a communication are peers, rather than client and server.

SoftwareInstance:Peer:Communication:Peer:SoftwareInstance

A dependency between SIs, other than a communication link. Attributes on the relationship can indicate the kind of dependency.

SoftwareInstance:Dependant:Dependency:DependedUpon:SoftwareInstance

Represents SIs that logically contain other SIs.

SoftwareInstance:SoftwareContainer:SoftwareContainment:ContainedSoftware:SoftwareInstance

Links a virtual host to the Software Instance that implements it.

SoftwareInstance:HostContainer:HostContainment:ContainedHost:Host

Links a configuration file to a Software Instance.

SoftwareInstance:ElementUsingFile:FileUse:ConfigurationFile:File

Represents the SIs that make up a BAI.

BusinessApplicationInstance:SoftwareContainer:SoftwareContainment:ContainedSoftware:SoftwareInstance

Represents BAIs that logically contain other BAIs.

BusinessApplicationInstance:SoftwareContainer:SoftwareContainment:ContainedSoftware:BusinessApplicationInstance

A dependency between BAIs.

BusinessApplicationInstance:Dependant:Dependency:DependedUpon:BusinessApplicationInstance

Indicates the Hosts which form a cluster.

Cluster:HostContainer:HostContainment:ContainedHost:Host

Indicates the SIs that provide clustering services for a cluster.

Cluster:Service:SoftwareService:ServiceProvider:SoftwareInstance

Represents the relationship between logical hosts and their container for Sun E15Ks and similar.

HostContainer:HostContainer:HostContainment:ContainedHost:Host

Represents the relationship between network interfaces and the subnets they are connected to.

Subnet:Subnet:DeviceSubnet:DeviceOnSubnet:NetworkInterface

In addition to these relationships, the reasoning engine also constructs relationships to the Pattern Management nodes, for example, patterns.

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