Nathan Foreman, our solutions superstar here at Cookdown, shares his knowledge on how to successfully blend data sources to create a beautifully populated CMDB, as well as tips on how to customise and maintain data quality.
Nathan talked us through the process of using ServiceNow’s out of the box Identification and Reconciliation Engine (IRE) to ensure a smooth integration of a multi-source CMDB. Populating your CMDB can be overwhelming, so don’t drown in a sea of CIs and data sources, just follow Nathan’s advice on the matter!
“Poor data quality is one of the primary reasons for Configuration Management failures”
CMDB Design Guidance Whitepaper, ServiceNow
Let’s start from the beginning – What is IRE?
The process of Identification and Reconciliation enables you to take data from several sources (such as Customer Discovery Script, Excel Spreadsheets, MS Operations Manager and much more), then setup rules to remove any unwanted data or duplicates store the remaining data in ServiceNow – voila you now have a beautifully populated CMDB.
Now let’s break it down – What is Identification?
Identification takes inbound data and applies a CI type, creating Identification rules and key properties; these can then be prioritised, and any duplicates filtered out.
Next up Reconciliation?
When you reconcile your data, you overlay the data from all your sources by using rules to:
- Define what fields can be updated
- Create data source precedence so data can be prioritized
The result is a shortlist of data you want to keep, from a single source of truth.
Take your Identification and Reconciliation further; by using Nathan’s tips on advanced configuration and extension, in his Knowledge 2020 session where you’ll learn:
- How to reclassify custom CI classes so they can be incorporated into your CMDB
- How to use the Simulator Tool to manage and test custom CI classes and generate JSON payload
- How to keep on top of duplicates, reclassification settings and reporting to make sure you maintain the health of your CMDB.
For more of a deep dive on all of the above check out Nathan’s session at Knowledge 2020, where he will walk you through the process of using the IRE tool and all the advanced configuration and extensions you need to try it yourself.
Also watch this space, as Nathan will be discussing part two of this blog series: How ServiceNow IRE works – covering everything you need to know on using Identification Rules and Related entries.
You may also find some of these additional resources helpful on your CMBD journey: