Setting up Federated CMDB Datasources with LiveTime ITSM
The LiveTime Asset Management Integration Engine (AMIE) enables enterprises to quickly and easily synchronize with one or more third party asset management systems. Using XML descriptor files embedded within the LiveTime application, AMIE is able to connect to a foreign host and transfer any type of Asset Management data into LiveTime’s Configuration Management Database (CMDB).
AMIE can also recognize schema changes on the foreign host and dynamically adapt to these modifications in real time. The system comes pre-configured with adaptors for all the major asset management vendors including Novell ZENworks, Microsoft SMS, Centennial Discovery, LANDesk and LiveTime Discovery. Other adapters can be added using simple XML descriptor files. You can also edit the existing implementations and control the information that is imported into LiveTime when needed.
Prior to v6.0, LiveTime allowed the synchronization with a single asset management datasource, such as LogInventory or ZENworks. However, in line with the requirements of ITIL v3, LiveTime 6.0 redefined this functionality and allows Users to configure and synchronize with multiple asset management systems simultaneously, such as LogInventory AND ZENworks. In fact, there is no limit to the number of third party systems that can be configured and synchronized at any one time.
Within the Import screen a list view is visible that displays the one or multiple asset management datasources configured in AMIE.
To create a new configuration, click the “New” button. The Setup tab screen will expand to allow the User to enter AMIE server and database details.
As with previous versions of AMIE, there are several important options that need to be defined when completing a synchronization. Firstly, the relevant server type for the asset management system needs to be selected. This loads the appropriate XML descriptor into the AMIE engine and can optionally complete many of the default fields.
Another important option is Ownership. This selection determines how each Item is mapped when the asset owner is UNKNOWN. With many Unknown Items in every system, it is important that theses Items are automatically pre-assigned to the System or other specific User within LiveTime to ensure they are not globally accessible to customers.
LiveTime highly recommends that each Unknown Item be assigned to the System User by default. The Configuration Manager can subsequently review this assignment at a later date and manually re-assign Items to the relevant owners.
The “Auto Create New Items” is an important new option that was not previously available. This option is only visible when a single AMIE configuration source is defined and provides the default behaviour of LiveTime 5.x. If 2 or more sources are provided this option is not available and will require the use of the Staging area of the CMDB.
When Auto Creation is set to ‘Yes’ AND Privileges > Requests > Control CMS via RFC is “No”, all imported assets are automatically converted into Items within LiveTime’s CMDB.
When Auto Creation is set to ‘No’, Items are not created automatically within LiveTime but recorded as “Snapshots” within the staging area of the Supervisor > Configuration > AMIE Snapshots section of the application. This allows Supervisor Users to manually select and review Items from a candidate list prior to converting them into active Configuration Items.
If multiple AMIE sources are configured, the auto create behavior is disabled and the option is not visible. This prevents Users from importing multiple sets of the same data, which would result in the duplication of Items in the LiveTime database.
The frequency of updates for each datasource can be configured with this option. If you have multiple sources these can also occur in parallel.
Deleting Items and Datasources
If you wish to delete Items created from multiple datasources you can select the Delete button at the top level of the CMDB import tab. This will flag every single AMIE-managed Item as deleted, but retain the datsource configurations and their associated AMIE snapshots.
Datasource deletion is available by selecting the datasource and its associated Delete button. This deletes both the datasource itself and the associated AMIE snapshots.
AMIE Import Alert
After AMIE synchs have been completed, Alerts generated for the Administrator User. The Alerts also reflect the capability of having multiple asset management systems configured in AMIE.
The Import Alert summary displays:
- the details of the system that the synchronization was run against and its associated identifier (important when there are multiple datasources from the same provider).
- the number of assets found in the datasource.
- the number of assets automatically created if a single datasource is configured in AMIE and the auto-create option is enabled; or if the auto-create option is disabled and Items already exist in the system, the number of Items that were updated.
- the number of “AMIE Snapshots” that were imported, with a breakdown of new Items added and number of Items updated.
Our next installment will focus on the use of AMIE snapshots for managing multiple federated data sources.