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Population Automation

Successful BSM Depends on an Accurate CMDB

Written by Bill Tobey

From Many Sources, One CMDB

The fundamental use case in CMDB implementation is populating the configuration data store from a large number of diverse management systems and data repositories across the environment, and potentially from other siloed CMDBs. Let’s assume that you’re starting such a project using the Novell Configuration Management System. You have the Novell engine up and running on a server, along with adapters for each of the management systems you’ll need to integrate with. You also have the Service Configuration Manager administrative client running on a desktop or notebook. You want to begin federating basic information about configuration items—services and all the infrastructure elements that participate in their delivery—in the CMDB.

  • Begin in the Java console by drilling down into the CMS service model. Select the CI container inside of a community—servers for instance—and right click. From the list of options that is presented, choose Service Configuration Manager (SCM). Then choose to create an SCM job.
  • Service Configuration Manager will now display a list of the available source system adapters. Since we’re seeking information on servers, select all the adapters for target systems that are likely to contain identity, role, configuration or service state information on server systems.
  • Now it’s time to decide what information we’ll select from each of the available sources, and how we’ll load that information into the CMDB. Service Configuration Manager provides a checkbox to populate the CI Attributes from the data sources, but in most cases, unless you have an exact naming match between the source attribute names and the destination CI attribute names, you will need to set up a script to do the actual processing. Regardless, the java script approach provides additional control over how CI Attributes are populated such as pre-processing to do validity checks.

To manage the selection, linking and reconciliation of CI attributes, SCM gives us the option of using a custom JavaScript, like the following:

<// This script is called for different types of matches. It checks to see what elements exist>
<// in our source systems, and that each element has been accurately created in the CMDB.>
<// It begins with three conditions for execution. >
<if( this.source && element )>
<// Define attributes (properties) that are on the source system>
<if( !state.sourceAttrs )>
<state.sourceAttrs = [ 'filename', 'name', 'ip_address' ]>
<// Define the attributes (in matching order) that you want the source to populate>
<if( ! state.destinationAttrs )>
<state.destinationAttrs = [ 'Filename', 'DB Name', 'TCP/IP Address' ]>
<//Using state variables above reduces memory utilization on the server.>
<//Since this script is run over and over again for each matched element,>
<//it reduces run time by not redefining these variables every time.>
<//Use a for loop to traverse through the identified source attributes>
<for( var i = 0; i < state.sourceAttrs.length; ++i )>
<// attempt to pull source attribute>
<var value = source[ state.sourceAttrs[i] ]>
<// if it exists>
<if( value )>
<element[ state.destinationAttrs[i] ] = value>
<// then on the line above, we then set the element>
<// attribute to the value of the source attribute>
<// in turn, this is then persisted to the configStore (database)>
< }>
<// End of Script>

Additional information on scripting for SCM control can be found in the FormulaScript Guide that is included in the CMDB installation documentation.

A Script for Accurate, Efficient, Cost-Effective Service Management

The built-in automation capabilities of the Novell Configuration Management System combined with Service Configuration Manager’s support for customized JavaScript control take many of the complexity, labor intensity and data quality challenges out of creating and maintaining a configuration management database. They’re just one instance of the extensive automation capabilities that help Novell BSM solutions deliver faster time-to-value, lower implementation and maintenance costs, greater accuracy, improved business value and operational performance from all services under management. To learn more visit

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