Introducing the Serio CMDB

I’ve been posting previously about getting your own CMDB (Configuration Management Data Base) off the ground. This post is about some of the specifics of the Serio CMDB.

First of all, a question I’m often asked is this: ‘Can I convert data from the Serio discovery tools to CMDB data?’. The answer is yes, you can. However, you should remember that this does not mean you have a CMDB (as I’ve discussed here). Configuration Databases contain business knowledge – things like how many concurrent users use a particular service, where the equipment is physically located, who maintains it – and this type information cannot be obtained by a mere network scan (though I’ve known vendors [not Serio, I hasten to add] who claim they can auto-generate a CMDB).

Data created in this way (from a network scan) does however offer a reasonable start point for you, but resist the urge to view it as anything more than that.

So let’s look at some of the specifics. Firstly, categorisation. An individual Configuration Item (referred to as Item in Serio for short) has two main types of categorisation: Item Type and Product Type.

  • Item Type: This is best used as a generic classification, and is hierarchical – having both an Item Type Category and Item Type. By generic, I mean it’s a less specific way of considering an Item. An example might be a category of Computer, with Item Type values underneath it of Desktop, Laptop, and Server.
  • Product Type: This is a much more specific categorisation. Like Item Type, this is a hierarchical data value but with 3 levels – Product Type Category, Product Type, and Product Version (the Version is optional). Generally if follows the manufacturers designation of an Item, with many users putting the manufacturer into the category part, with the Product designation underneath.

Having these two values means you can combine them to allow you to work on different subgroups – for things like upgrade planning.

Aside from these two, one of the other most important values you can store against the Item is the Customer. This is normally the main user of an Item, and as you would expect applies more to desktop equipment than server equipment. Setting this value is useful during Incident logging in the following ways.

  •  If you select the customer for an Incident, Serio will automatically load the Item into the logging form for you.
  • If you log the Incident by selecting the Item first, then Serio will automatically load the customer.

I’ll continue this thread of topic over the new few weeks.