Working with External Data Sources for Advanced ITIL Activities

This section describes how to use external data sources to support certain advanced ITIL activities.

Connection to external monitoring tools

Use the Import Source and Import Mapping settings in the Data Import component to connect to one or more external monitoring tools. Then you can map the imported fields to the Availability and Capacity collections on the Service and import this data using a daily schedule using the Scheduler component.

Service Desk enables you to connect to many generic sources of data (SQL Server, Oracle, Access, Excel, Active Directory, LDAP, and so on). External sources of data imported as described may be monitoring and tracking tools, or business and management tools, even down to individual spreadsheets. Your various data sources may provide alternative APIs, but if you are using the above supported import connections, no custom configuration is required. Service Desk also supports connections to database views, and many monitoring tools provide database views pre-built to translate complex table contents into a simple presentation of key data such as Uptime, Downtime, Cost, Average Response Time, Storage usage, average processor usage, Department Budget, and so on.

When this data has been imported, it is also available for presentation and distribution through all of Service Desk's reporting and information routes, including dashboard gadgets, e-mails and reports.

Design Idea: It is not only imported data that can be presented through Service Desk. You can use the same Data Connections set up for import to run live queries on external data sources, and those live results can be displayed on dashboard, e-mails, RSS feeds and so on.

Ivanti Management Information

Ivanti Management Information (MI) provides a further benefit in this area. MI can connect to external sources of data (such as Availability and Capacity monitoring tools) and run calculations on those sources, storing the results of those calculations in warehouse tables every day. Then MI's Trend chart gadgets enable you to display multiple trends of captured values over time against defined tolerance and threshold (breach) values. In this way you can present charts tracking, for example, CI or Service availability or capacity over time against a defined target.

MI also connects to Service Desk data. If you are running Event Manager to track device and service availability, you can create a metric showing the number of Events received, and display this in a chart over time in MI to see a view of Reliability (or unreliability) trends.

See also Ivanti Management Information.