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Getting your data under control with discovery and dependency mapping

Michael Pott (michael_pott) ‎03-12-2013 03:34 AM - edited ‎09-27-2015 08:04 PM

There is a huge amount of data in today’s IT environments - this is a fact. The amount of data and the high change rate of this data is just the beginning of the big data iceberg. The growing complexity of dependencies between data elements (configuration items) is also making it hard for IT to deliver on expectations like service quality, delivery speed and timely support. But there is light at the end of the tunnel – the Discovery solution.


Challenges are manifold

Today I want to discuss gathering and maintaining accurate data as efficiently and timely as possible, and leveraging this data for as many tasks (and processes) as possible.  When I think of these topics some of the questions that come to my mind are:


  • How do you know what business services are being impacted by a failure and how critical is the impact?
  • Do you understand risk exposure on your IT services resulting from changes? How do you detect unplanned changes and configuration drift?
  • How do you control and track all the data that makes up your IT environment? Is it always up-to-date?
  • For your consolidation project or data center transformation, how do you get a comprehensive view of what you have and how it relates?
  • How do you keep track of all the hardware and software that make up our IT environment? Are you prepared for a software vendor audit?
  • How do you ensure that different people, processes and tools in your organization all work on a common shared set of configuration items and dependencies, independent from the specific role?

In many environments, ad hoc tools including spreadsheets and a lack of processes are still predominant. This leads to a manual approach. This manual approach causes growing complexity, inaccuracy as well as thin and wrong data mapping. In the end you are left with time consuming and error-prone configuration data, which results in bad service quality.


A discovery solution can help you

A discovery solution automates the collection and maintenance of the copious amounts of data to a large extent. It discovers all the elements that comprise the IT environment and determines how they relate to each other—this is known as dependency mapping.

Discovery solutions answer the above questions by providing information about the relationships of configuration items and the services that IT delivers across domains through a configuration management system. This is accomplished through direct integration with IT service management and business service management solutions. The solution supports key IT management processes like service asset, configuration, incident and change management and also key tasks like software vendor audits.

In many cases the implementation of discovery is a low-hanging fruit. Having a pragmatic approach to ITSM implementation (watch this: Pragmatic ITSM – Adding value one step at a time webinar for more information) in mind, you can start addressing the questions above and be prepared for your next step.

Discovery enables you to build your configuration management system (CMS). Then you can re-use the data (configuration items), and leverage your investment into discovery— across your IT tools and processes.


Where to go from here

HP Universal Discovery offers end-to-end (network, systems, middleware, software, applications …) visibility into your physical and virtual IT environments. It combines agent/agentless and active/passive technologies for collecting detailed asset and configuration item information.

It integrates with many of HP’s software solutions, including Universal CMDB, Service Manager, Asset Manager and Service Anywhere.  For more information you may want to visit the following:



What is your top use scenario for discovery, and what key values and benefits do you gain or expect from it? I would love to hear how you plan to use our discovery solution.  Feel free to share your experiences in the comments section below.


Have a nice day,

Michael Pott


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About the Author


Michael Pott is a Product Marketing Manager for HPE ITSM Solutions. Responsibilities include out-bound marketing and sales enablement. Michael joined HP in 1989 and has held various positions in HP Software since 1996. In product marketing and product management Michael worked on different areas of the IT management software market, such as market analysis, sales content development and business planning for a broad range of products such as HP Operations Manager and HP Universal CMDB.

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