Nick is a natural-born genius, he is 25 years old and a CEO of a large Canadian Corporation “Alpha-Beta” based in Toronto. When he was 18, he invented a new communications product that revolutionized the communication industry. He and two of his friends decided to start “Alpha-Beta” corporation in 2005 and today the company has locations over 40 countries and over 12,000 employees. Alpha-Beta with a unique business model grew very rapidly and acquired more than 10 companies in last 5 years. One of the acquired companies MyNet is located in Montreal, Quebec.

After the acquisition of MyNet, analysts at Alpha Beta reviewed the business processes and suggested an improvement in the process such that a sustainable business environment is created and providing a justifiable ROI. Analysts used Novell CMS product to analyze and lower the risk of outages caused by planned changes to the IT infrastructure. By having a complete and up-to-date model of configuration item (CI) attributes and relationships, analysts readily analzed and understood the impact of potential changes to the IT infrastructure – even before they implemented in production.

MyNet Strategy using Novell CMS

To address today’s CMDB challenges, CMS integrates principles of Web 2.0 and structured social networking—coupled with advanced analytics and modeling—into a brand new Web-based application that is designed specifically to enhance CMS interaction, analysis and visualization.

Novell Communities and Home Page

MyNet analysts created a role based views of CMS data – grouped by function, role, class and geography. This enabled business or IT users to subscribe to CMS communities—usually based on their specific business responsibility. Within each community, analysts could quickly and intuitively search and report on CMS information—leveraging ad hoc or bookmarked queries, as well as predefined reports that could be launched with a few mouse clicks. Community-defined governance gave analysts needed access capabilities while ensuring that actual CMS updates are controlled by authorized configuration management personnel.

Novell CMS Tag Cloud

The CMS Tag Cloud provided MyNet analysts an instant reference and access to individual CI classes, counts and attributes. Within the Tag Cloud area each CI class is listed, followed by a count of the number of CIs of this class type. Clicking on a class type provided analysts instant access to the individual CIs within a specific class type. The Tag Cloud area was customized to show a variety of different MyNet business specific information that enabled analysts to get a single point view of the entire CMS data.

Novell CMS Inbox and Community Updates

Just like traditional e-mail inboxes, the CMS inbox provides an easy mechanism for community users to communicate about recent or upcoming changes to the CMS. This feature came is handy when a planned IT configuration change raised questions about the impact on other services, applications or IT elements within the enterprise. The Community Update area provided up-to- the-minute activity listings for each CI change within the CMS.

Novell CMS Pinboard

CMS Pinboard provided an intelligent and convenient “clipboard” feature for keeping track of recently viewed CMS data, as well as bookmarked queries and reports. This feature saved valuable time for MyNet Analysts who needed to perform repetitive searches or produce custom reports. These reports were book marked in the Pinboard. Bookmarked items persisted across sessions and analysts could return to a bookmarked item by just a mouse click.

CMS Governance

Analysts controlled the CMS change management governance within CMS by basically three different mechanisms. The first is through authentication security control built into CMS. Using the community rules analysts defined, strict access control is maintained for both CMS as well as each community within it. In addition, each user is assigned specific authorization rules— either as a Producer or Consumer of CMS. In this way, Analysts are restricted to making only those changes to the CMS for which they were authorized. The final mechanism for changing CMS data came through the built-in data “flagging” capability of CMS. Through the use of flags, Analysts could identify specific CI data that is either in error or targeted for a change.

Novell CMS Analytics and Reporting

CMS offers a variety of built-in analytics and reports—all fully-customizable and available directly from the home page. By using its intuitive visualization capabilities, MyNet Analysts had easy access to a complete detailed view of attribute and relationship information and because the CMS environment is fully interactive, each element in these views could be manipulated and/or drilled into for greater detail. This came in handy when it’s necessary to traverse MyNet CI dependency maps. Since CMS impact analysis is fast and easy, Analysts could simply zoom in or out or dragged their way through CI relationships.

Novell CMS Modeling

Analysts used sophisticated new modeling environment called myWorkspace wwithing CMS, which is a personal “sandbox” that helped to analyze and manipulate CMS data— without affecting critical production configurations. This enabled analysts to develop searches and reports that they are not ready to share with other users. Analysts used myWorkspace for:
• Getting a head-start defining CMS components that are not yet in production. Creating a basic CI type for a popular CMS component that can be copied out to multiple communities and then customized
• Creating standard type searches and reports that can be used as “templates” that are further customized when copied into a community
• Developing searches and reports that are not visible to community members until they are finalized

Novell CMS visualization, navigation, search, analysis and reporting are measurably easier and more intuitive, Novell CMS positions internal IT organizations and service providers alike with the capability to tackle today’s complex configuration management demands.

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Disclaimer: As with everything else at NetIQ Cool Solutions, this content is definitely not supported by NetIQ, so Customer Support will not be able to help you if it has any adverse effect on your environment.  It just worked for at least one person, and perhaps it will be useful for you too.  Be sure to test in a non-production environment.

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By: mpapaiah
Jan 18, 2011
8:21 am
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