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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

Applications

 

SoftwareContainment

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

SoftwareService

Relates an item of software to a service.

Communication

Relates software instances to communicating software instances.

Dependency

Relates elements to elements they depend upon.

Physical Model

 

DeviceSubnet

Relates an IP device to the subnet it is on.

DeviceInterface

Relates an IP device with one of its network interfaces.

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.

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.

Pattern Relationships

 

PatternModuleContainment

Associates a pattern module to its contents.

PatternModule

Associates a pattern module to its pattern package.

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

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.

DIP Relationships

 

Provides

Relates an IntegrationProvider to all its created IntegrationPoints.

IntegrationPointContainment

Containment of one node by another

ConnectionUsage

Relates an IntegrationResult to the connection that was used to generate that result

QueryUsage

Relates an IntegrationResult to the query that was used to generate that result

Rule Relationships

 

RuleModuleDependency

Associates a rule module to its dependents.

EnablingRange

Associates a discovery access with an IP range for revisiting purposes.

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

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

Associate

Associate inference.

Attachment

Attachment.

AttachmentContainer

Node containing an attachment.

BusinessOwner

Business owner of an element.

Category

Category of elements.

Child

Child in hierarchy.

Client

Client.

CouplingFacility

Coupling Facility.

Contained

An element contained within another.

ContainedHost

Host contained within another host.

ContainedLocation

A location inside another location.

ContainedSoftware

Piece of software contained inside other software.

Container

An element containing others.

Contributor

Contributor inference.

Dependant

Entity that depends upon another.

DependedUpon

Entity depended upon by another.

Detail

A detail belonging to an element.

DeviceOnSubnet

IP device belonging to a subnet.

DeviceWithInterface

A device with an interface, for example, a network interface.

DeviceWithAddress

A device with an IP address.

DiscoveryAccess

Discovery access.

DiscoveryResult

Discovery result.

DiscoveryRun

Discovery run.

EdgeClient

Edge client.

EdgeDevice

Edge device.

Element

Element.

ElementInCategory

Element belonging to a category.

ElementInLocation

Element in a location.

ElementUsingFile

Element using a file.

ElementWithDetail

Element with associated details.

Collection

Element containing a collection of elements.

ElementWithStatus

Element with an associated status.

ManagedElement

Element being managed.

Employee

Employee.

EndpointRange

A range used to control endpoint access.

FibreChannelDeviceWithNode

A Fibre Channel HBA with a WWNN.

FibreChannelNode

A Fibre Channel WWNN for a HBA.

FibreChannelNodeWithPort

A Fibre Channel WWNN with a WWPN.

FibreChannelPort

A Fibre Channel WWPN.

File

A File.

Hardware

Physical host to which hardware reference data will be related.

HardwareDetail

Support Detail Data is for Hardware.

HomeLocation

Home location of an element.

Host

Host for Software Instances.

HostContainer

Host containing other hosts.

HostedFile

A File on a Host.

ITOwner

IT owner of an element.

InferredElement

Inferred element.

InferredRelationship

Inferred relationship.

InstalledSoftware

Installed software.

InterfaceOfDevice

Interface of an IP device.

InterfaceWithAddress

Interface with an IP address.

IPv4Address

An IPv4 address.

IPv6Address

An IPv6 address.

KnowledgeUpload

Knowledge Upload.

List

List.

Location

Current location of an element.

LocationContainer

A location containing other locations.

Manager

Manager

ManufacturedItem

Manufactured item.

Manufacturer

Manufacturer of an item.

Member

Member of a list or collection.

MountedFileSystem

Mounted file system.

Mounter

Mounter of a file system.

NetworkEndpoint

One end of a network connection.

New

A new node.

Old

A replaced node.

Next

Next node in sequence.

OperatingSystem

Operating system of a host.

OSDetail

Support Detail Data is for Operating System.

OwnedItem

Item owned by someone or something.

Owner

Owner of an item.

Parent

Parent in hierarchy.

Pattern

Pattern.

PatternConfiguration

Pattern configuration.

PatternDefine

Pattern definitions function.

PatternDefinitions

Pattern definitions.

PatternModule

Pattern module.

PatternExecution

Pattern execution.

PatternTrigger

Pattern trigger.

PatternCreated

Created node.

PatternModified

Modified node.

PatternConfirmed

Confirmed node.

PatternDestroyed

Destroyed node.

Peer

Peer.

Previous

Previous node in sequence.

Primary

Primary inference.

ReferenceData

Holds hardware reference data.

Relationship

Relationship.

Resource

Resource being used.

ResourceUser

User of resource.

RunningSoftware

Software running on a host.

AggregateSoftware

Aggregate software running on a host.

Service

Service being provided.

ServiceProvider

Provider of a service.

Server

Server.

SoftwareContainer

Piece of software containing other software.

SoftwareDetail

Support Detail Data is for Software.

Status

Status.

StorageContainer

Element containing storage.

ContainedStorage

Storage contained in an element.

Storage

Storage for an element.

Subnet

Subnet of an IP device.

SupportOwner

Person or group responsible for supporting an element.

Overridden

A pattern that is overridden by another.

Overrider

A pattern that is overriding another.

Error

An ECAError related to a pattern.

PatternWithError

A pattern with ECAErrors.

Provenance

By linking data items and their attributes to the evidence for them, BMC Atrium 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 Atrium Discovery knows there is a relationship between the evidence node and the inferred node.
    • Relationship — indicate that BMC Atrium 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 Atrium Discovery that enable this. Apart from specialist purposes, you should not need to understand the provenance implementation details in BMC Atrium 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 Atrium 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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