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How to put your UCMDB data to good use?

How to put your UCMDB data to good use?

BTopham

Occasionally people approach me and ask me – “you know, we have the UCMDB, and Discovery had populated it with information about the entire IT – now what?  What do I do with all this information?  How do I get value out of it?”  Our customers many times know having accessible information about their IT must be key to manage their IT, but are not exactly sure how to get the most of such data.  Furthermore, because of the “heavy” image CMDBs have in the market, most people do not realize that getting significant value out of a populated UCMDB is something you could do within just a few clicks – by leveraging our unique applications, the UCMDB Configuration Manager and the UCMDB Browser.

 

Here are a few things you could do to get more value out of your UCMDB:

 

Increased visibility across silos

“I work in the IT Security department, and I’ve just detected vulnerability in the J2EE application deployed on one of the UNIX servers.  I want to learn what the business service being impacted by this vulnerability and who the service owner is, to be able to inform him of the vulnerability”.

 

We learn more and more about the importance of bridging across the silos in IT, whether it is between the NOC operators and the system admins, between the application developers and the operations (Dev-Ops), between the security department and the operations (Sec-Ops), or any other such example.  The introduction of the UCMDB Browser made the above and other similar use cases a no-brainer.  The Browser provides a simple to use interface to access any piece of information within the UCMDB, or accessible through federated sources.  You can search for hosts, applications, databases, web-servers, business services, virtualization infrastructure, public cloud resources and even people – by just entering your search query in a natural language.  Ask your UCMDB Browser for “all Oracles deployed on Windows” and you will get all those Oracles.  Ask it for “all applications owned by Jim” or “all Windows with at least 8GB of memory” and your wish will be immediately fulfilled.  Now think of how much time this saves, instead of having to find the right people with the right knowledge or go through the right excels…

 

Ensuring the Business Continuity of your critical services

“As an application owner, I have my application deployed on a load balanced symmetrical J2EE cluster, which is deployed on different virtual machines.  I want to make sure that cluster is truly configured symmetrically, so both the configurations of the application servers are identical, as well as the configurations of the underlying hosts are all the same.”

 

“As a DBA, I have my Oracle RAC deployed on several virtual machines.  I want to make sure the virtual machines are not all hosted in ESX servers located in the same datacenter or in the same physical location, so that in case of disaster the database would still be available.”

 

Today’s IT environments are getting more and more complex.  Where previously an application was directly deployed on top of a host and used certain storage directly.  Virtualization is now a common middle-man, making it hard to grasp the entire dependency structure of a business service and the ever-growing amount of technologies are not making it any easier.  Luckily, you can let HP Universal Discovery find out all the needed information about your services throughout the different layers.   You can then detect the most intricate issues in the complex topology of your service and ensure they are mitigated - using HP UCMDB Configuration Manager topology policies.  In fact, we are already providing much content for you.  As soon as you turn Configuration Manager on, it would alert you of any high availability, disaster recovery or geo-redundancy issues recognized (provided your UCMDB is already populated with relevant data).

 

Capture the waste or overspending of the organization

“As a Windows administrator or as a Citrix administrator, I want to find out how many servers I have that were allocated for Citrix deployment and do not actually have Citrix deployed on them.”

 

“As a Windows administrator I want to find out whether there are any 32bits Windows servers with  more than 4GB of memory installed – as the 32bit version of windows cannot take the full advantage of more than 4GB of memory”

 

As IT environments of large organizations are very complex, it is very easy to over-allocate or misallocate resources to support the infrastructure of business services and applications.  By automatically discovering and auditing the existing configurations, an organization is able to ensure an allocated re-source is used appropriately, thus capturing and reallocating unused re-sources.  These use cases are supported by creating the right configuration policies in the UCMDB Configuration Manager.

 

And what if my UCMDB is not yet populated?

Even better!

 

One of the most hazardous misconceptions in deploying a new CMDB is, in order to get value out of your CMS you need to entirely populate it first.  On occasion, you will hear about others who had spent nearly 2 years in populating their CMDB with the right data, until they were able to get the value they wanted from it – some of which had concluded that the ROI was not worth the effort.  We recommend you be as greedy as possible with your CMS adoption, and make sure to immediately capitalize on each discovery investment you made – by realizing the value within the information.  For example, running a basic discovery for some of your Windows is one of the simpler tasks you could do.  Then just start exposing this information to everyone, via the UCMDB Browser, and analyze the information for potential waste, via Configuration Manager.  Only after you achieved this, should you proceed to put more efforts into your discovery, and acquire the information of existing databases, J2EEs, clusters and others.

 

In conclusion

Information is Power and Value. Now you have the tools to realize value, reduce risks to the continuity of your business, save costs by eliminating waste, and start bridging over the silos.

 

To get some more ideas on getting more value out of your CMS, make sure you read our brochure, Organize your data about IT services configuration efficiently and for more information, visit our CMS page at www.hp.com/go/CMS.

 

Follow our blog series, Realizing the Value of Your CMS:

  • Getting a handle on your unplanned changes...

 

  • infrastructure management
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About the Author

BTopham

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