Integrating with BMC Helix CMDB

Use the BMC Helix Intelligent Integrations BMC Helix CMDB connector to collect topology data from BMC Helix CMDB, and view the collected data in the following BMC Helix applications and derive actionable insights: 

  • BMC Helix Discovery (Topology)
  • BMC Helix AIOps (Services)

As a tenant administrator, perform the following steps to configure a connection with BMC Helix CMDB, verify the connection, and view the collected topology data in various BMC products.

Important

  • Starting with version 22.4.01, while configuring integration with BMC Helix CMDB, you can choose to extract data both from the business process level (BMC_BusinessProcess) and the business service level (BMC_BusinessService). In 22.4.00, you can choose to extract data only from the business process level (BMC_BusinessProcess).
  • After you choose a business process, data is extracted only for the following CMDB CI instances: 
    • BMC_Application
    • BMC_ApplicationService
    • BMC_ApplicationSystem
    • BMC_BusinessProcess
    • BMC_BusinessService
    • BMC_Cluster
    • BMC_ComputerSystem
    • BMC_ConcreteCollection
    • BMC_DataBase
    • BMC_IPEndpoint
    • BMC_LANEndpoint
    • BMC_LogicalSystemComponent
    • BMC_NetworkPort
    • BMC_PhysicalLocation
    • BMC_ResourcePool
    • BMC_ServiceOfferingInstance
    • BMC_SoftwareServer
    • BMC_VirtualSystemEnabler

    These instances must be related to the selected top-level business process directly or indirectly (transitively) via impact relationships.
  • BMC_BusinessService is mapped to DSM Business Service and BMC_ComputerSystems is mapped to Hosts. All other types are mapped to DSM GenericElements. For GenericElements, the name, type and InstanceId attributes are imported.

Plan for the connection

  • Choose the BMC Helix Intelligent Integrations deployment mode and review the corresponding port requirements. For information about various deployment modes and port requirements, see Deployment scenarios.
  • Based on the deployment mode, either use BMC Helix Intelligent Integrations or deploy the BMC Helix Intelligent Integrations on-premises gateway. For more information, see Deploying the BMC Helix Intelligent Integrations on-premises gateway.

To integrate with BMC Helix CMDB

  1. In BMC Helix Intelligent Integrations, on the CONNECTORS tab, click in the SOURCES panel.
  2. Click BMC Helix CMDB.
  3. Specify the source connection details:
    1. Specify a unique instance name. 

      Recommendation

      We recommend that you specify the instance name in the following format:

      <sourceType>_<sourceControllerServerName>{_<InstanceQualifier>}                   

      The instance qualifier helps you to distinguish the multiple instances configured from the same source server. For example, you can name your instances as CMDB_Host_PROD, CMDB_Host_TEST, and so on.

    2. Specify the BMC Helix CMDB host name and port number (default value is 443).
    3. Select the HTTPS check box to indicate that you plan to use an https connection to the BMC Helix CMDB  host.
    4. Specify the user name and password. Ensure that the specified user can access the BMC Helix CMDB REST API.

      Warning

      We recommend that you do not select the Allow Unsigned Certificate option in a production environment. You might want to select this option to allow unsigned certificates in a test environment. See the BMC Helix CMDB documentation to learn how to install SSL certificates.


    5. Specify the number of maximum concurrent REST API requests that should be executed during a data collection schedule (default value is 5).
    6. Specify the time, in seconds, after which no attempt should be made to establish the connection (default value is 30 seconds).
    7. Click Proxy and specify if you want to configure a proxy server. If yes, specify the host name and port number (default value is 8888).
  4. Click VALIDATE AND CREATE.
    The specified connection details are validated and the corresponding source connection is created in the Source Connection list.
  5. Select the source connection that you created from the list if it is not selected already.

    Important

    The destination host connection is created and configured automatically for each tenant when the source connection is created.


  6. Expand BMC CMDB Topology and specify the configuration parameters in the Collectors section as described in the following table:

    Parameter name and description

    Collection Schedule

    Specify the data collection frequency (in minutes). 

    Default: 60 minutes

    Example:

    Collection Schedule is set to 5 mins. 
    Current time is 00:30.

    If you run the collector just after 00:30, data is collected every 5 mins, first at 00:30 and next at 00:35, and so on.

    For more information about this parameter, see Data collection schedule.

    Data Collection Window

    Specify the historical time period (in minutes) from the current time for which the data should be collected from BMC Helix CMDB

    Default: 60 minutes

    Example:

    Collection Schedule is set to 5 mins.
    Data Collection Window is set to 5 mins.
    Current time is 00:30.

    If you run the collector just after 00:30, data is collected first at 00:30 for the interval, 00:25 - 00:30, and next at 00:35 for the interval, 00:30 - 00:35, and so on.

    For more information about this parameter, see Data collection window.

    Data Latency

    Specify the time (in minutes) by which the data time window should be shifted far back on the timeline.
    This parameter is useful in delayed data availability situations.

    Default: 0 minutes

    Example:

    Collection Schedule is set to 5 mins.
    Data Collection Window is set to 10 mins.
    Data Latency is set to 2 mins.
    Current time is 00:30.

    If you run the collector just after 00:30, data is collected first at 00:28 for the interval, 00:23 to 00:28 and next at 00:33 for the interval, 0:18 to 00:23, and so on.

    For more information about this parameter, see Data latency.

    Extract these Business Processes

    Select all or a subset of business processes from the list. 

    Important: Choose to extract data only from one level: business process or business service (listed in the next row).

    This list is updated automatically from BMC Helix CMDB. You can add multiple business processes to the same connector or create a different connector for each business process.

    Extract these Business Services

    Select all or a subset of business services from the list. 

    Important: Choose to extract data only from one level: business service or business process (listed in the previous row).

    This list is updated automatically from BMC Helix CMDB. You can add multiple business services to the same connector or create a different connector for each business service.

    Dataset ID

    Specify the BMC Helix CMDB dataset ID.

    Default is BMC.ASSET.

    Namespace

    Specify the BMC Helix CMDB namespace.

    Default is BMC.CORE.

  7. Click CREATE COLLECTORS to create the required collector streams for the selected data type.
  8. Click a data type and specify the configuration parameters in the Distributors section as described in the following table:

    Parameter name and description

    Max Batching Size

    Specify the maximum number of data items to send in a single POST request to the destination API.
    The batch size
    depends on the destination’s ability to buffer the incoming data.

    Default: 250

    Max Batching Delay

    Specify the maximum time (in seconds) to wait before building a batch and processing.

    Default: 3 seconds 

    Base Retry Delay

    Specify the initial time (in seconds) for which to wait before retrying to build a batch and processing.
    The waiting time increases in the following sequence: n1, n2, n3, and so on, where n indicates the number of seconds.

    Default: 2 seconds

    Example:

    Base Retry Delay is set to 2 seconds.

    Retry is performed after 2, 4, 8, 16, ... seconds.

    Max Intra-Retry Delay

    Specify the maximum limit for the base retry delay. 

    Default: 60 seconds

    Example:

    Max Intra-Retry Delay is set to 60 seconds.
    Base Retry Delay is set to 2 seconds.

    Retries are performed 2, 4, 8, 16, 32, 64,... seconds later again.

    Max Retry Duration

    Specify the total time for retrying a delivery. For REST destinations, a delivery is a batch of data items in one POST request. 

    Default: 5 minutes

    Example:

    Max Retry Duration is set to 8 hours.
    Base Retry Delay is set to 2 seconds.

    Requests are sent for 2+4+8+16+32+64+132... until 8 hours in total duration is reached. After that, no subsequent attempts are made to retry the delivery.

    The assumption here is that if there is an outage or other issue with the destination tool, recovery should take less than the value of the Max Retry Duration parameter to be completed.


  9. Click CREATE DISTRIBUTORS to create the required distributor streams for the selected data type.
  10. Click one of the following buttons:
    • SAVE STREAM: Click this button if you want to edit the integration details before creating the instance. After you save the stream, the instance that you just created is listed in the SOURCES panel. Move the slider to the right to start the data stream.
    • SAVE AND START STREAM : Click this button if you want to save the integration details and start receiving data immediately.

          For more information about data streams, see  Starting or stopping data streams.


To verify the connection

In BMC Helix Intelligent Integrations, on the SOURCES panel, confirm that the data streams for the integration you created are running. Data streaming is indicated by moving colored arrows.

A moving light blue arrow () indicates that the topology stream is running. topology data will be pushed according to the configured Collection Schedule interval.

To view data in BMC Helix applications

View data collected from BMC Helix CMDB in multiple BMC Helix applications.

To view topology in BMC Helix Discovery

  1. In BMC Helix Discovery, select Explore > Data.
  2. Click the folder link corresponding to the entity for which you have collected data from BMC Helix CMDB

    Important

    • When configuring the connector if you have selected a business service, the business service and the hosts that have impact relationship with the business service are imported into the Business Services folder. Any other entities are imported into the Generic Elements folder.
    • When configuring the connector if you have selected a business process, the associated business services and the hosts that have impact relationship with the business services are imported into the Business Services folder. The business process is imported into the Generic Elements folder.

    For example, if you have collected topology for a business service, click the <count> Business Services link. 
    The <entity> List page shows
    the list of entity names and its other attributes received from BMC Helix CMDB. For information about entities in the infrastructure, see Managing your IT infrastructure. Open link .

  3. Click the entity name to view its topology.

To view services in BMC Helix AIOps

Before you view services in BMC Helix AIOps, create a Business Service model (for example, Blackberry_Service) in BMC Helix Discovery for the topology. For information about creating models, see Creating a model Open link .

  1. In BMC Helix AIOps, go to the Services page.
    This page shows Blackberry_Service for which you have created the Business Service model. 

  2. To view the impact on the service, hover over the service.
    The impact score in percentage and Situations, events, incidents, or configuration items (CIs) associated with a service are displayed.  
  3. Click the service to view the health summary, causal analysis, health insights, and other key metrics of interest.

For more information about services, see Monitoring services. Open link

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