This is a follow-up to my earlier ‘Introducing the Serio CMDB’ post – this time I’m going to talk about some of the other data attributes and something new we’ve added. I’ve posted more generally about the Configuration Management Data Base (CMDB) here.
My earlier post discussed three attributes on an Item – Item Type, Product Type and Customer. There is other important data you can add, as follows.
Network Name. This is used mainly for computers, but can also be used for other types of network-connected devices such as routers and hubs. It’s simply the DNS name of the device if trying to connect to it over the network. This is because in some organisations, the ‘Asset Tag’ or sticker with a unique ID physically attached to the device is sometimes different to how the device is identified on a network. This attribute is used by Serio’s network audit and monitoring software to connect to remote devices and obtain data. Personally, I think like is a lot less complicated if the network name and the sticker on the side of the box are the same.
Status. The use of Status is not immediately obvious. Typical values might be ‘Deployed’, ‘In warehouse’, ‘Awaiting repair’, ‘On loan’. It’s simply there to tell you how an Item is being used, or to which ‘pool’ of equipment something belongs. In my post from April 2nd about difficult customers I mentioned that my employer at that time kept a significant inventory of spare, new kit ready to be deployed at a moments notice. Using that article as an example, the fuzzy monitor might have a status initially of ‘Deployed’, which is then changed to ‘Awaiting repair’ as it is taken away. The replacement might have a status of ‘Ready to deploy’ initially, quickly changed to ‘Deployed’ as it is swapped to a user’s desk. If we think about this for a second, it means I could have queried the system for all ‘Monitors’ (Item Type) that are ‘Ready to deploy’ and seen the spare sitting in stock.
SLA and Supplier SLA. You can attach two different SLAs to an Item. The first (your Service Desk or Helpdesk SLA) is used on Incidents when you use the Item to log an Incident (on other words, it override the Default SLA and any SLA Selection Rules you have). If you then assign that Incident to a Supplier (search this blog for Supplier Management) then the Supplier SLA from the Item is used to gauge supplier performance.
Something new has been added to Serio. It’s called Item Schedules – basically a diary system for booking Items in an out on loan. You can record the booking out of Items to customers between different dates, with the system telling you about ‘double booking’ of any item. It’s a nice feature for anyone running an equipment library.