The Configuration Management System (CMS) feature of Operations Center is a nice starting point for doing Business Service Management. The CMS feature provides a focused interface for collecting, storing and organizing all of the assets of an IT organization. With CMS, you can not only track the individual CI’s (Configuration Items), but it also provides a browser based graphical interface for updating the Attributes and relationships for these CI’s.
To get started, I typically recommend thinking about the end users of the system. I tend to recommend the creation of Communities within CMS that match how the organization is organized such as individual Communities for Servers, Databases, Applications, Services, etc. Since most organizations have groups of people that work together in those areas, it makes sense to form Communities around those areas in order to ease the overall ownership and maintenance of their CI’s. For nearly every ITIL project, one of the goals is to ensure data quality and the people best suited to maintain and verify those CI’s are the owners.
After creating the Communities, the next step is to integrate into any existing systems that may contain details about the CI’s. Sometimes there are Asset systems or databases that contain parts of the information. By setting up Novell Operation Center adapters into those systems, an automated population and maintenance of the CI’s can be established.
The next step is to drill into the Community within the java console and set up Service Configuration Management (aka: BSCM, SCM) jobs on the CI element inside of the Community. The SCM job leverages the data on one or more adapters to register new CI’s and/or add additional details such as specific Attributes and/or Relationships. These Jobs can be set up to run on a routine basis such as every couple of minutes or even limited to daily or weekly.
There are other steps involved in setting up the CMS feature of Novell Operations Center such as the types of Attributes that are to be tracked per type (class) of CI, specific types of relationships (Depends On, Runs On, Connects To, etc) that are important to track and other things such as security. One school of thought for setting some of the up is to use the Common Information Model (CIM) by DMTF (http://www.dmtf.org/standards/cim), but I personally think it is more of a reference point than a defacto set of rules to follow. The CIM schema is a bit overdone and if implemented in a CMDB, it will be a bit overwhelming for the administrators and end users… again, personal opinion. Selecting a subset of the model is an option, but in the end, I believe that most IT owner have a good indication of the important aspects to track such as Machine Type, IP Address, MAC Address, OS version, etc.
Once you have a good starting point of data within the CMS, you then can use Service Configuration Management Jobs to automate the creation of the Business Service Views and then correlate them to the management tools (IE: Netcool, NetIQ, Spectrum, etc) you are using. I typically recommend to start small such as picking a few important Services to model out such as Email or the company website. Once you have a few wins under your belt, expanding the scope becomes easier to map out.
Disclaimer: As with everything else at Cool Solutions, this content is definitely not supported by Novell (so don't even think of calling Support if you try something and it blows up).
It was contributed by a community member and is published "as is." It seems to have worked for at least one person, and might work for you. But please be sure to test, test, test before you do anything drastic with it.