Service Manager


About Inventory Management

An inventory is a collection of assets that are listed in the CI (Configuration Item) workspace.

Inventory management is accomplished by creating a CI record and includes the Discovery, Auditing, and Desktop and Server Management (DSM) components.

There are a number of roles that can access this workspace and ways that can manage the inventory within Service Manager. Configuration Managers, Discovery Managers, and Discovery Analysts can use the Discovery dashboard to view, manage, and track the assets.

After you create a record (configuration item), you can gather and store useful data about the asset. Users can search for an asset or sort the list by record type (configuration item type), its location (configuration item location, organizational unit). Creating a record that is a managed asset also allows to track whether a computer is connected to the network, type of software installed on the computer, track and manage outages, and network traffic.

Records can be created or imported into the Service Manager database by the following methods:

Manual entry - Open a new configuration item record and enter the data.

Importing existing data - Use .csv or other file types using the business object uploader.

Importing Data using Discovery 9.x connector - Use the import mechanism available in Discovery Classic Release 9.3.x or later databases to import into Discovery. For more information, refer to the documentation available in your installation of Discovery Release 9.3.x or later.

Importing data using SCCM

Using an Active Directory scan (ADscan) - From a gateway.

Using NetScan from a Gateway - Perform a ping discovery of the network to discover machines. NetScan on Data Center Edition gateways also discovers switches, routers, and printers, using IP ranges or by configuring SNMP V1, V2C and V3 protocols.

Installing a client agent and using LanProbe - Use the agent installed manually or by using the gateway settings, to run LanProbe. LanProbe listens for network traffic and queries devices.

After an asset is discovered, the application audits it to collect additional data about the hardware or software installed on the device or computer. It can also create a CI map in order to see how the machines connect to the network and assess the impact of an outage.

The following workspaces are integral to managing assets and inventories. They can be sorted or grouped by columns listed in the workspaces.

CI: Lists configuration items or records on the assets tracked by your organization.

Software Inventory: Lists software installed on the computers or devices that have a configuration item record. Software information can be discovered only by auditing.

Agent Task: Displays tasks that were scheduled from the Gateway or Inventory Settings workspaces, or any tasks selected from a configuration item toolbar such as Deploy Agent, Audit Inventory and so on. For configuration items, the tasks are also listed on the Agent Tasks tab.

CI Location: Creates locations to which a configuration item can be assigned. Allows you to see where the asset is physically located.

Inventory Settings: Creates new settings that allow you to audit and collect information. Use this workspace to set audit and polling frequency, enable or disable LanProbe, and set SNMP queries.

Org Unit: Lists organizational units within your organization. Only administrators can create additional organizational units.

Org Unit Management: Displays a directory or tree structure of the organizational units and the configuration items contained in each unit. A configuration item can be selected and dragged to another organizational unit to change its location.

Gateway: Lists gateways. If only one record is found, the application displays it automatically.

CI Service: Lists the types of services configured for your organization. Examples are Service Desk, printing, mobile, and email.

Managed Software: Lists software managed through DSM.

Manufacturer: Lists manufacturers of hardware or software found through discovery or as created by manual entry or by importing data.

CI Component: Lists the number of component types identified for installation.

Configuration Managers, Discovery Managers, Discovery Analysts, and Administrators can manage inventories and can access the inventory management workspaces.

Inventory management is the discovery and auditing of assets or configuration items used within an organization to ensure that they appear in the configuration management database. The CI workspace maintains information about the assets required to deliver an IT service, including their relationships.

You can create a configuration item record by importing information about assets or by manually creating a record. However, without knowledge on the connected assets, the information cannot be kept current or updated.

Discovery, a component of Service Manager, automatically detects network-attached devices such as computers, servers, printers, and switches. After the application has discovered these devices and created a configuration item record for them, the devices are audited to collect detailed information for each discovered device. For example, for a computer, the audit gathers information about the hardware, operating system, application software, and data files. Client agents communicate with the server agent through an efficient and compressed protocol, with negligible impact on network performance. In addition, you can use DSM to install or update software.

Discovery Managers have the required permissions and views to perform all the inventory auditing tasks.

Inventory auditing provides the following features:

Asset tracking through the comprehensive auditing of networked computers, standalone computers, and servers, for hardware and software applications.

Simple, flexible, rapid deployment across your network without disrupting users.

Software usage. This can tell you whether to move an application from a computer on which it is installed but not used, to another computer (thereby saving the expense of a new license).

History by re-auditing. Auditing can be carried out according to a schedule and on demand.

Ability to track and manage mobile devices.

Flexible reports and queries of audit information.

Ability to display the audit information in the following ways:

Organizational unit to reflect your company structure

Software product

Operating system

Device type

Inventory Management Lifecycle

The Inventory Management lifecycle is generally automatic once configured.

Inventory Management Lifecycle

Inventory Management Components

The following diagram illustrates how the different components involved in inventory management communicate with each other:

Inventory Management Components

The following diagram illustrates how the different components involved in inventory management communicate with each other:

Inventory Management Components

Was this article useful?