We are excited to announce that a new data model for our configuration management database (CMDB) in SolarWinds Service Desk is now available! This new enhancement supports richer and more advanced configurations, drives consistency in IT services, and enables you to customize your data model to help you meet the needs of your organization.
You can build a powerful configuration model and tie it to key IT service management processes such as incident, problem, change, and release management. This helps you decrease resolution times, better assess change impact while reducing failed changes, and improve asset lifecycle processes.
We have updated our CMDB with a new, extensible data model built on a parent-child hierarchy for CI types and fields (see Figure 1). This allows you to create parent CI types which have child CI types that inherit shared attributes (CI fields) from their parents.
Figure 1: Parent-Child Hierarchy
For example, a parent CI type called ‘Network Device’ will pass on the ‘Subnet Mask’ CI field to its child CI type called ‘Router’, since both network devices and routers have subnet masks. However, not every CI field in the child CI type is available in the parent CI type. For instance, a ‘Router’ child CI type will have a ‘Router type’ field that isn’t in the ‘Network Device’ parent CI type, because this field is relevant to all routers but not all network devices (see Figure 2).
Figure 2: Example of Parent-Child Hierarchy
You can create custom CIs (see Figure 3) or use out-of-the-box CIs for common items such as Software, Applications, Services, and more, as we now have 30+ out-of-the-box CI types.
Figure 3: Creating a Custom CI Type
These CI types include out-of-the-box CI fields, but they can also be customized as needed (see Figure 4).
Figure 4: Creating a Custom CI Field
Next, we have changed dependencies in our CMDB by allowing you to create multiple types of dependencies between CIs and define directions for these dependencies (see Figure 5).
Figure 5: Creating a New CI Dependency Type
These directions include both forward and inverse dependencies, which give you richer information about the relationships between CIs with more details on the dependency types (see Figure 6).
Figure 6: Example of Attaching Two CIs with Dependencies
Lastly, CIs that you previously created in your CMDB now appear under the “Legacy” CI type. (see Table 1). Note that previously created CI types and CI fields which have names identical to our out-of-the-box CIs now have “*” appended as a suffix (see Figure 7). Also, the names of the following built-in CI types have changed in the new data model, as ‘Mobile’ changed to ‘Mobile Device’ (under the ‘System’ parent CI type) and ‘User’ changed to ‘Person’.
Existing CI Types
CI types previously created in your CMDB now appear under the “Legacy” CI type
Legacy → Laptop
Names of Duplicate CI Types
CI types previously created in your CMDB that have duplicate names with OOTB CIs now have “*” appended to the end of their name
Application → Application*
Names of Duplicate CI Fields
CI fields previously created in your CMDB that have duplicate names with OOTB CI fields now have “*” appended to the end of their name
IP Address → IP Address*
Specific CI Type Names
The names of specific built-in CI types have been changed
Mobile → Mobile Device
Table 1: Changes to Previously Created CIs
Figure 7: Previously Created CIs in the new CMDB Data Model
Benefits of the CMDB New Data Model
We’ve designed this new CMDB data model to give you more granularity, flexibility, and control over your configurations, as you can build more specific CIs and dependencies that help you meet your technology and business needs. Moreover, the new out-of-the-box CIs increase consistency in IT services and support via definitions for common components such as servers, routers, and switches.
Now, you can support more complex and advanced configurations and connect them to key IT service management processes, such as incident, problem, change, and release management. This helps you drive IT efficiency, align service management with the business, and deliver engaging service experiences to your employees.
These enhancements are available in both the existing Professional plan as well as the new SolarWinds Service Desk Enterprise plan. The Enterprise plan helps you better manage IT complexity, deliver IT services and support at scale, and provide increased security to agents and employees.
As we continue to improve SolarWinds Service Desk, we really appreciate your feedback. Let us know what you think about these capabilities and enhancements!