Determining the impact of changes in Smart IT
Impact analysis helps you evaluate and manage the risks of a change request by identifying the services and configuration items (CIs) most affected by the change. Relating the services and CIs found in impact analysis to the change request also helps you identify and manage collisions. You can run an impact analysis when you submit a change request in Smart IT, or at any time from change request details.
To access impact analysis functionality, you must have the required permissions. See "Smart IT Permissions" in Related topics.
Overview of impact analysis
Impact analysis searches BMC Atrium CMDB for CIs and services with impact relationships to CIs related to the change request. The impact relationships among CIs and services must be defined in BMC Atrium CMDB before you run impact analysis, as explained in "Creating relationships between CIs" in Related topics. If you relate additional CIs to the change request after the impact analysis job has started, the new CIs will not be part of the analysis. You can choose to discard or cancel an impact analysis and try again.
The universal client shows relationships among all impacted CIs in a graphical format with various display options. Mobile clients show the first 100 impacted services and CIs in a list view only, with the most impacted services prioritized at the top. For more information, see Relating impacted services and CIs to the change request.
If you relate services and CIs that were found in the impact analysis to the change request, additional collisions might appear in the alerts banner in change request details based on change requests that exist for the newly related items. You can manage the new collisions as explained in "Managing collisions in Smart IT" in Related topics.
Impact analysis helps you understand the impact of a change on the system. To simulate the impact of a particular CI (or set of CIs) becoming impaired or unavailable (for disaster planning, for example), use the BMC Atrium Impact Simulator. In BMC Atrium Impact Simulator, you can configure different scenarios, save a simulation and run it again later, or generate a report from the simulation results. For more information, see "Simulating the impact of changes to CIs" in Related topics.
After you relate one or more CIs or services from an impact analysis, the impact analysis job is no longer active in the system. You can run impact analysis again after relating new CIs to the change request. Items related to the change request from an impact analysis have a relationship type of Impacts, so they are not considered in subsequent impact analysis jobs. For more information, see "CI relationship types" in Related topics.
Impact analysis example
As a change coordinator in his organization, Allen wants to manage collisions for a change request. Before doing so, he wants to make sure an impact analysis has been completed, so he can identify and relate all impacted CIs and services to the change request.
- Allen opens an existing change request in the Ticket Console in the universal client.
The alert banner has a message about collisions, but there is no indication that an impact analysis was run at the time that the change request was saved.
- From the More menu on the change request, Allen clicks Initiate Impact Analysis.
Allen continues working in a new window until he receives a notification that the impact analysis is complete.
- Allen opens the impact analysis results from the notification.
The results show a total of 50 CIs (including 2 services) that are impacted by the change. The CIs and services are arranged in a graph so that Allen can see the relationships among them.
Allen clicks Expand all and chooses the landscape layout to get a better view of the impacted items. He chooses Relate All > Relate All CIs to relate both CIs and services.
On mobile clients, you must select and relate individual CIs.
- He saves the change request
The alert banner on the change request details shows more collisions than before the impact analysis.
- Allen works with the other change coordinators in his organization to manage the collisions.
Relating impacted services and CIs to the change request
After the impact analysis is completed, tap Take Action on your mobile device and then choose an option to relate CIs to the change request or to discard the results. CIs found during the impact analysis are shown in a list format with the most impacted services at the top, up to a total of 100 services and CIs. You can select individual services and CIs, or you can select all services or all CIs and relate them to the change request.
If you tap the Select All (n) option in the lower left corner of the mobile display, you select all services and CIs found in the impact analysis, even those items not displayed on your mobile device. The number (n) indicates the total number of items found.
In the universal client, click Relate All from the alert on the change request to relate all services and CIs to the change request without viewing the results, as shown in the following figure:
Alternatively, click Conduct Impact Analysis from the alert to display the impact analysis results in graphical format. The graph shows all CIs and services that are related to the change request at the top, as starting nodes. Impacted CIs and services at the end of the relationship chain are shown along the bottom. Impacted services and CIs in the middle of the relationship chain are shown in blue boxes that you can expand or collapse by double-clicking, or by using the Expand all and Collapse all buttons near the top of the display.
Open the Icon Guide in the universal client to view descriptions of the icons used for different types of CIs in the impact analysis.
You can use various display options to explore the impacted services and CIs. For example, you can zoom in and out, toggle to full screen mode, choose portrait or landscape layout, or manually drag CIs on the screen to optimize the view. Click the Recenter icon to restore the original display after zooming or manually dragging CIs.
Click each service or CI individually to select it. Optionally, select the Box Selection control and drag your mouse over a group of CIs and services to mark all of them as selected. Click Clear Selection to deselect all services and CIs.
Choose Relate All near the bottom of the display to relate all impacted services, CIs, or both to the change request. For individually selected services and CIs, click Relate Selected.
How administrators configure this functionality
Impact analysis is enabled by default and requires no configuration. You can choose to disable this functionality for individual tenants (or for the default tenant, if multitenancy is not enabled). See "Disabling collision management and impact analysis in Smart IT" in Related topics.
Creating relationships between CIs (BMC Atrium Core documentation)
Simulating the impact of changes to CIs (BMC Atrium Core documentation)
CI relationship types (BMC Change Management documentation)