In our previous post of this series we talked about the general issue of data variability and the challenges it presents to ITAM practitioners. You’re likely familiar with the truism “Garbage in, garbage out” – and it is the Achilles’ heel of any ITAM initiative. There’s a plethora of data available, but because of the variability between different sources, you can quickly end up in a situation where the data is rendered useless through duplication, naming convention variations, versioning differences, and other means.
Enter BDNA, whose product line is focused on improving data quality through its master catalog of hardware and software items, known as Technopedia. With over 1 million cataloged products maintained by a dedicated workforce, Technopedia provides the reference point for rationalizing hardware and software intelligence gathered by discovery.
A complimentary offering known as BDNA Normalize provides a method of aligning the variability between multiple discovery sources to construct a more comprehensive, complete and consistent view of the customer environment. It can currently extract inventory data from more than 40 different sources, including those offered by HP (Universal Discovery, DDMI, etc.) The data is normalized to a common standard to resolve conflicts between data sources and remove duplicates, using BDNA’s Technopedia as its master reference. Technopedia also enriches the data with non-discoverable information such as end of life dates, license options, temperature ratings, physical dimensions, and more.
RevealIT, in partnership with BDNA, developed an HP Connect-It adapter for the BDNA data structure, then used it to create a series of Connect-It scenarios to supplement the inventory import process already in place. Say, for example, that you want to bring both DDMI and SCCM data into HP Asset Manager. Each of those sources would be brought into BDNA Normalize through its extractor process. Both datasets would be normalized and reconciled to remove duplicates between the two sources. The normalized data can then be moved from Normalize to Asset Manager via Connect-It.
If you already have a Connect-It scenario between your discovery source and Asset Manager, and have business rules incorporated into those scenarios, you can add that logic to the Normalize Connect-It Scenario or add a Normalize connector to the existing scenario so the normalized values can be queried for and used in place of the original source data.