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This topic walks you through the process of organizing servers into a dynamic groups using a BMC BladeLogic Server Automation (BSA) feature called smart groups. It includes the following sections:

The following video demonstrates the process of creating smart groups and nested smart groups.

https://youtu.be/UDBjta_PNUk

Introduction

Smart groups are groups for which you define membership conditions based on object properties. You can create smart groups for most types of objects in BMC Server Automation, including servers, jobs, and depot objects. For example, you can define a condition saying a smart group contains all servers with an operating system of Windows.

Defining a dynamic collection of servers can be extremely useful. For example, you can define one group of servers with active RSCD agents running Windows 2008 and another group running Windows 2008 R2. Then you could use these groups as dynamic targets when you deploy patches for each of those operating system versions.You can also create nested smart groups, but only for server groups. By nesting smart groups, you can define hierarchies based on object properties. For example, if you create a parent smart group that contains Windows servers, you can create two child smart groups for Windows servers that have Windows 2008 and Windows 2008 R2. You can further organize those servers using other server characteristics. The walkthrough described below defines geographic locations for servers. For a demonstration of the 8.7 functionality, see How to organize assets with nested smart groups.

What do I need to do before I get started?

Make sure you have the BSA Console installed on your workstation, and that you've got the appropriate level of permissions to create smart groups.  

For this walkthrough, you log on as BLAdmin, the default superuser for BSA. Note that in live deployments, BMC recommends that you grant access based on roles with a narrower set of permissions. 

How to organize assets with a smart a group

This walkthrough demonstrates how to create a smart group that contains all Windows servers with an agent that is running.

 StepExample screen (click to enlarge)
1

In the Servers folder, select the location where you want to create a smart group, right-click, and select New > Server Smart Group.

A dialog opens that lets you define the rules for membership in the smart group. 

2

For Name, enter a name for the smart group. In this case, we call the smart group Windows. Optionally, enter a description.

3

In the bottom half of the dialog, there is a row that represents a rule for smart group membership. Using that row, take the following actions:

  1. Leave the first drop-down list alone. It should say Server.
  2. In the next drop-down list, click Select Property . A list appears. Scroll down and select OS.
  3. Leave the next drop-down list alone. It should say equals.
  4. In the next drop-down list, select Windows.
  5. In the next drop-down list, select AND.
    Selecting AND means we want all rules to be satisfied for membership in the smart group.
  6. Click Apply changes . The criteria appears in text form rather than a series of drop-down lists.
4

Create another rule by taking the following actions:

  1. Click Add New Condition. A new row appears that duplicates the previous row.
  2. Double-click the new row. The options for this row now appear as drop-down lists.
  3. In the second drop-down list, click Select Property and then select AGENT_STATUS.
  4. Leave the other drop-down boxes alone. They should say equals and agent is alive
  5. Click Apply changes .
5Click Finish. A smart group named Windows appears. If you expand it, the smart group shows all servers with a Windows operating system and a function RSCD agent.

How to organize assets with nested smart groups

This walkthrough demonstrates how to create multiple levels of nested server smart groups. First we create nested smart groups for Windows 2008 and Windows 2008 R2. Then we create another level of nesting for the geographic location of each server.

 StepExample screen (click to enlarge)
1

Create a nested smart group for Windows 2008 by selecting the Windows smart group we created above. Then take the following actions:

  1. Right-click the Windows smart group and select New > Server Smart Group.
    A window for defining smart group criteria opens.
  2. For Name, enter Windows 2008.
  3. Using the techniques described above, create a smart group rule:
    1. Leave the first drop-down list alone. It should say Server.
    2. In the next drop-down list, click Select Property . A list appears. Scroll down and select OS_VERSION.
    3. Leave the next drop-down list alone. It should say equals.
    4. In the next drop-down list, select 2008.
  4. Click Finish. A new smart group called Windows 2008 appears under the Windows smart group.
2

Create another nested smart group for Windows 2008 R2 by selecting the Windows smart group. Then take the following actions:

  1. Right-click the Windows smart group and select New > Server Smart Group.
    A window for defining smart group criteria opens.
  2. For Name, enter Windows 2008 R2.
  3. Using the techniques described above, create a smart group rule:
    1. Leave the first drop-down list alone. It should say Server.
    2. In the next drop-down list, click Select Property . A list appears. Scroll down and select OS_VERSION.
    3. Leave the next drop-down list alone. It should say equals.
    4. In the next drop-down list, select 2008 R2.
  4. Click Finish. A new smart group called Windows 2008 R2 appears under the Windows smart group.
3Expand the two smart groups you just created. You can see how the Windows smart group contains 7 servers. The two smart groups you just created contain 3 and 4 servers, which are subsets of the servers contained in the Windows smart group.
4

Create a nested smart group that sorts servers by geographic location by taking the following actions:

  1. Right-click the Windows 2008 R2 smart group and select New > Server Smart Group.
  2. For Name, enter Houston data center.
  3. Create a smart group rule:
    1. Leave the first and second drop-down lists alone. They should say Server and Name.
    2. In the next drop-down list, select contains.
    3. In the next drop-down list, enter hou.
      In this data center, server names include the string hou. The rule searches for servers with a name that includes the string hou.
  4. Click Finish. A new smart group called Houston data center appears under the Windows 2008 R2 smart group.
5

Create another nested smart group that sorts servers by geographic location.

  1. Select the Windows 2008 R2 smart group, right-click and select New > Server Smart Group.
  2. For Name, enter Pune data center.
  3. Create a smart group rule:
    1. Leave the first and second drop-down lists alone. They should say Server and Name.
    2. In the next drop-down list, select contains.
    3. In the next drop-down list, enter pun.
      In this data center, server names include the string pun
  4. Click Finish. A new smart group called Pune data center appears under the Windows 2008 R2 smart group.
6Expand the two smart groups you just created. You can see how the Windows 2008 R2 smart group contains 4 servers. The two smart groups you just created contain 3 servers and 1 server, respectively. They are subsets of the servers contained in the Windows 2008 R2 smart group.
Wrapping it up

You have now learned how to set up the rules necessary for using smart groups.You also learned how to use smart group functionality to create dynamic hierarchies of servers, called nested smart groups.

Where to go from here

Now that you know how to create smart groups, you can move on to provisioning servers with BSA.