As we have seen in the latest post, a CMDB system has many areas in which it can contribute to the processes running in your organization. It can deliver accurate data to your service management tools, and make the change management process rely on accurate and updated information. It can have your BSM system monitor not just infrastructure components, rather complete business services, and it can contribute in many other areas your company relies on.
With the latest release of the HP Universal CMDB (version 10.0) this is just the beginning. To enable having all the processes running smoothly, you collect a lot of important information about your IT within your UCMDB. You collect the servers that run in your data center, how they relate to databases, and the storage these databases use. You also collect the network information serving all these components, and the software runs on them. On top of that, all this information is also mapped to applications your organization deployed, and to business services these applications support. Can you think about any users in your IT organization that can benefit from having access to this data? The answer is simply: all of them.
Think of your storage administrator. Would he/she be happy to see which applications are using his/her storage, and who is responsible for them? Or would your database administrator (DBA) find it nice if they could see immediately see who is the owner of the application which just crashed your database? Of-course, each of these users will have their own tools to manage their own hardware, applications and software. However, none of these tools would be able to link them up all together and broader visibility into services, owners and relationships, in the way the HP Universal CMDB can.
What would be the best way to enable a quick and intuitive way to all your data? Traditionally, organizations simply used an old fashioned enterprise UI, the type most users would prefer to avoid. Users rejected this method. Coming from a consumer world, where you can access data intuitively and fast, without needing to learn how it works in your everyday life (think Google, Facebook or Amazon). Thinking of where to put which attributes, in order to find something, is simply not the way things work these days. With all these challenges in mind – the UCMDB Browser was born.
The UCMDB browser is a modern web based UI built with HTML5. The UCMDB browser uses intuitive search queries to find any information from the UCMDB or any data that is federated by the UCMDB (data the UCMDB collects when connected to other systems). What’s the learning curve for the browser? None. We have already seen companies where the Browser is used by hundreds of users. We have seen users run all kind of queries on it. In some cases Unix administrators have searched for servers with specific configurations (for example, “all Unix servers with 2 CPUs”). In other cases network administrators searched for network devices in a specific network segment ( for example, “all devices in 15.125”). The search options are endless. The UCMDB Browser runs on almost any web browser, including several tablets. Having the UCMDB Browser available unlocked the data from the traditional CMDB administrators usage, and made it available to be used by anyone who actually can benefit from such information in their daily work.
The hundreds and thousands of users who started to use the browser to access IT information, have requested also getting access to information coming from many other HP products. Users wanted to see all the incidents, RFCs, problems from Service Manager, and others users have requested to see their status of an application as it appears in BSM. The web browser has responded to this challenge by introducing the concept of widgets, small UI components which show information about any device or application from a specific integrated product. As of today, many widgets have already been released out of the box, such as widgets for ALM, BSM, SM and many others.
The information retrieved from the UCMDB directly, and the information that comes from other products via the widgets, give users a comprehensive view to any CI in your UCMDB, allowing you to consume information in the easiest way possible.
All of this has significantly changed the way users can consume and access vast amount of data, once hidden from them.