Leveraging a discovery product to bring in how devices communication with each other can be useful for many things such as understanding impact, change control and a slew of other things. Sometimes either the discovery product doesn’t support specific types of relationship discovery or you may not have a discovery tool. In either case, there is a capability within Operations Center to add custom relationships/dependencies. Due to ITIL, the market and a few other things, there have been a few different words used for this, so from time to time you will hear Relationships, Dependencies and even Associations, for the purpose of this blog, we are talking about the one type of thing… relating one element to another element to show reliance, impact, use, dependent, etc.
To start with, you should have a basic understanding of the classes you use in your implementation. You might want to add Associations for many different things, but you need a list of the classes in order to set these up. Below is a list of some types of Associations you might add to your system.
- Connects_To (shows devices connected to a switch)
- Communications_With (shows devices talking with other devices)
- Uses_DB (device uses the following database server)
- Used_By (Users and/or Departments that utilize a Service, Application, Device, etc)
I recommend creating a folder called “Associations” in the Classes Administration area in order to group them together and easily manage them down the road. For each Association, at a minimum it requires a name to indicate the type of association and then the two classes of devices/elements that are involved with this relationship.
There are some additional settings that you can set on the Association such as how many minimum and maximum should be set up. IE: Every computer_workstation must be connected to at least one port on a switch/hub, but it is not required to have a database connection. A Web Server must have a load balancer type of Association, etc, etc, etc.
Review the video for the actual process of adding Associations and viewing them. This covers the Classes Administration section (specifically Associations), Manage Relationships, Navigate Relationships and Show Relationships.