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When you think about strategy, what strategy comes to mind? Strategies occurs in many forms, though have you thought about your ticket archiving strategy in Remedy?

 

Did you know….? Remedy9 has a feature that you, the customer, can decide on your archiving strategy. If not..read on…if yes, and you have not acted yet…still read on!

 

What are the benefits?

 

  • Customers can define their own archiving strategy
  • Customers with linear growth will see performance gains by enabling archiving in service.
  • Reduces the size of your production data
  • Improves overall system performance (for example, searches run more quickly, because they look only at production data and not at archived data)
  • Enforces organizational data-retention policies

 

What do you need to be aware of?

 

  • When you archive a record, it is removed from the production environment and sent to a set of corresponding archive forms (within your production database).
  • Once archived, data cannot be copied back into the production forms and cannot be accessed or searched from the Remedy application, though can be reported upon.
  • Data Archived is based on – Last Modified Date is > Policy and Status = Closed
  • Archiving is single threaded so the first time this is enabled it may take some time to archive all associated schema's depending on the amount of data.
  • Reporting is possible from Archived data via Smart Reporting
    • System administrators can access archived data by generating reports that can be run against the archiving forms using third party reporting applications.
    • BMC recommends storing no more than 24 months of inactive data in production
    • BMC recommends retaining no more than 5 years of data in archive form

     

    Further resources on the topic of archiving:

    Hear Tony Myers explain archiving

    Other Docs Resources: Data Archiving Strategy, Archiving in 9.1

     

    Next Steps:

    Below is a snapshot of the service recommended baselines, although it is up to you, the customer, ultimately to decide on what to set the baseline. The standards 548 represent 18 months

    retention can be tuned.

     

    archiving.jpg

     

    If you have been running Remedy 9 for a long period, now is the time to think about your strategy for archiving.

     

    What else would you like to know? Comment with questions and feedback

    David Gaunt

    What is a CMDB?

    Posted by David Gaunt Employee Mar 17, 2018
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    Have you ever wanted to know what a CMDB is and the benefits it can provide? This blog will provide a straight forward overview of its meaning a purpose

     

    Firstly, CMDB stands for – Configuration Management Database. This is a simply a repository of data that acts as a data warehouse for Information technology(IT) information. The CMDB holds data relating to a collection of IT assets (commonly referred to as configuration items (CI)), as well as to descriptive relationships between such assets. The repository provides a means of understanding:

    • the composition of critical assets such as information systems
    • the upstream sources or dependencies of assets
    • the downstream targets of assets

     

    Purpose and Benefits

    CMDBs are used to keep track of the state of assets such as products, systems, software, facilities, and people as they exist at specific points in time, as well as the relationships between such assets. The maintenance of such state related information allows for things like the reconstruction of such assets, at any point in their existence, as well as for things such as impact analysis, in the cases of root cause analysis or change management.

    A CMDB helps an organization understand the relationships between the components of a system and track their configurations. The CMDB is a fundamental component of the ITIL framework's Configuration Management process. CMDB implementations often involve federation, the inclusion of data into the CMDB from other sources, such as asset management, in such a way that the source of the data retains control of the data. Federation is usually distinguished from ETL (extract, transform, load) solutions in which data is copied into the CMDB.

    CMDBs can be used for many things, including but not limited to business intelligence, software and hardware builds, and impact analysis for both change management[1] and incident management.

    In the context of ITIL the use of CMDBs as part of infrastructure operations and support. The CMDB represents the authorized configuration of the significant components of the IT environment.

    Contents

    The CMDB contains and records data that are also called configuration items (CI). It also provides details about the important attributes of CIs and the relationships between them.

    CI attributes and data

    Depending on the CI type or category, there are many attributes that might be captured:

    1. 1. CI Unique Identifier or Identification Code
    2. 2. CI Name or Label (often, both, long names and short names)
    3. 3. CI Abbreviations or Acronyms
    4. 4. CI Description
    5. 5. CI Ownership (organizations and people)
    6. 6. CI Importance

    There can be many more, depending on the CI types. In some cases, there may be hundreds of attributes.

    Because attributes are defined by metadata, CMDBs also contain metadata, and thus the concept overlaps with that of a metadata repository, which is also used to more effectively run IT organizations. Configuration management addresses how the data is to be kept up to date, which has historically been a weakness of metadata repositories.

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    Do you ever wonder what are the difference between Service Requests, Incidents, Change Requests, Problem Records and Work Orders. This blog provides the official ITIL definitions.

     

    Service Request: This is a user request for information or advice, or for a standard change. This is a pre-approved change that is low risk, relatively common and follows a procedure, or for access to an IT service. A great example of a standard request is a password reset.

     

    Incident: An unplanned interruption to an IT Service or reduction in the quality of an IT service. Failure of a configuration item that has not yet affected service is also an incident.

     

    Change: Request for Change (RFC) A formal proposal for a Change to be made. An RFC includes details of the proposed Change, and may be recorded on paper or electronically. The term RFC is often misused to mean a Change Record, or the Change itself.

     

    Problem: A cause of one or more Incidents. The cause is not usually known at the time a Problem Record is created, and the Problem Management Process is responsible for further investigation.

     

    Work Order: Used for the installation of an application, system or infrastructure component, typically issued from Release Management

     

    Summary

     

    These definitions form part of the ITIL Service Operation Process which encompasses the day-to-day activities, processes and infrastructure responsible for delivering value to the business through technology

     

    Additional information can be found at - ITIL: The Beginner's Guide to Processes & Best Practices - BMC Software

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    The highly anticipated Smart IT 2.0 is now available for Remedy as a Service (RaaS) customers. Some of the new Smart IT 2.0 capabilities available to administrators include the ability to:

     

    • Change the layout of the Incident and Change forms, placing custom fields wherever they are needed, moving existing fields, and hiding any out-of-box fields which are not required.
    • Dynamically control the key properties of fields (hidden/visible; read-write/read-only; mandatory/optional), and set data to fields, using logical expressions which execute in real-time as the user works on a record (even on mobile!).
    • Add custom fields to the ticket console, and filter records using them.
    • Take advantage of a significantly enhanced "provider action" capability, enabling server-side workflow actions to run in the Smart IT client, and creating icons alongside fields on the form to run them.

     

    A couple capabilities (primarily related to Cognitive Service Management and the Remedy Deployment Application (D2P)) require Remedy AR Platform to be on 9.1.04. Otherwise, Remedy ITSM 9.1.00 is the minimum supported version for Smart IT 2.0.  Smart IT 2.0 is coupled with Digital Workplace (DWP) 18.02 during installation. Digital Workplace 18.02 replaces the previous 3.5 version.

     

     

    For good reason, there is lots of buzz around the enhanced capabilities of Smart IT 2.0 and Digital Workplace’s continued focus on improving the end user experience, as well as its Integration Services. There are many resources available to you on communities.bmc.com and docs.bmc.com  (including the opportunity for you to post your own questions). Please see below for a consolidated list of just a few of the Smart IT 2.0/Digital Workplace 18.02 blogs/resources available to you right now:

     

     

    To get more information on upgrading to Smart IT 2.0/Digital Workplace 18.02 or how to use our BMC Communities and Docs pages, please reach out to your Business Relationship Manager.

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    This simple blog is aimed to provide Remedy as a Service (RaaS) users a quick guide to understanding Service Level Agreements. The below table describes BMC's published Initial Response SLA’s.

     

    Severity

    Schedule

    Initial Response Targets

    S1

    24 hours a day, 7 days a week (including published holidays)

    15 Minutes

    S2

    Local business hours: 7:00 AM to 7:00 PM, Monday to Friday (excluding published holidays)

    30 minutes

    S3

    Local business hours: 7:00 AM to 7:00 PM, Monday to Friday (excluding published holidays)

    4 business hours

    S4

    Local business hours: 7:00 AM to 7:00 PM, Monday to Friday (excluding published holidays)

    16 business hours

     

    Severity 1: Critical Service Impact

    Case critically affects the primary business service, major application, or mission critical system. Customer resources should be available and willing to work on a 24x7 basis with BMC to resolve the case. Characteristics of a Severity 1 case include:

    • Business Service is not operational
    • Production system crashes
    • Data integrity at risk
    • Production backup and recovery operations fail.

    Severity 2: Significant Service or Implementation Impact

    The Business Service, major Application, or a system is seriously affected or implementation stopped. No acceptable workaround is available.

    Severity 3; Moderate Service Impact

    The Business Service, major Application, or a system is moderately impacted, no data has been lost, and the Business Service, Application, or system is still functioning. The case may be temporarily circumvented using an available workaround.

    Severity 4: No Service Impact

    Non-critical cases, general questions, enhancement requests, or documentation cases

     

      For more information refer to https://docs.bmc.com/docs/display/public/rondsubscriber/Service+levels+and+support+hours

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    As part of the Connect with Remedy Webinar Series, R&D will discuss the available tools for managing data within the ITSM Solution. They will review best practices for working with ITSM, CMDB, and SRM data. Discussing the supported use cases for each scenario. This discussion will include Data Management Tool, UDM, DDM, Atrium Integrator jobs, and SRM Import/Export tools. You can check the following content to get further information on this event (it includes registration instructions): Connect with Remedy - Remedy 9:Best Practices for Loading & Migrating Data in the ITSM Solution Special Webinar

     

    Date: Wednesday, March 28, 2018
    Time: 10 a.m. Central Daylight Time (GMT-5)

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    With the end of life of Analytics, several customers have inquired about various reporting and data access requirements. Released in 9.0, Smart Reporting is the next generation BMC Remedy IT Service Management Reporting and Analytics solution. It is a web-based, in-app, intuitive solution that provides an easy to use, drag and drop interface for rapid report development. Occasionally, Remedy as a Service (RaaS) customers have additional requirements for reporting/data access which BMC accommodates by offering access to the Remedy ITSM database layer, via Open Database connectivity, or ODBC. ODBC is an open standard Application Programming Interface (API) for accessing a database. It permits applications to use SQL to access the database, without having to know the details of the database system. ODBC handles the SQL request, converting it to a request that each system understands. ODBC allows customers with unique data requirements access to their data. Some examples of where an ODBC connection might be utilized include:

     

    • Extracting data from Remedy as a Service (RaaS) for an in-house data warehouse/data store
    • Executing SQL against Remedy as a Service (RaaS) to generate a .csv file to build a report/chart in Excel, Analytics tool, or other application
    • Utilizing an in-house reporting solution (i.e. Crystal Reports, Business Objects, etc.) against the Remedy as a Service (RaaS) database

     

    The ODBC connection provides read access to the database layer, including the ability to read the schema model (tables, views, fields and data types, constraints, query plans, etc.). The Remedy data model is complex and an understanding of the data model, table joins, and proper data type mapping is important. If SQL reporting writing/data warehousing experience doesn't exist internally in your organization, BMC Professional Services can be utilized to assist with this development.

     

    The only prerequisites for ODBC connectivity are a client gateway and that the appropriate data access driver be installed on the client that will be connecting via ODBC. Once ODBC access to the RaaS environment is requested and appropriate information is collected, credentials (a user name and password) for connectivity will be provided to the requestor.

     

    FAQ:

    • A Client Gateway must be set up to utilize ODBC (can use an existing Client Gateway if it is already set up for other RaaS integrations). For more information client gateway, please see: BMC Client Gateway connectivity - BMC Remedy OnDemand Subscriber Information - BMC Documentation
    • A separate ODBC request is required for each RaaS environment
    • Upgrades and Customizations can impact the database, therefore may impact your queries/reports and will require redesign/development accordingly
    • The current Remedy as a Service database is Microsoft SQL Server 2012. Upgrades to new versions of SQL Server can impact the database, therefore may impact your in-house queries/reports/data warehouse/date stores and will require redesign/development accordingly.

     

    Best Practices:

    • Development of SQL queries, Reports and/or any other data extract processes should not be done against the RaaS Production database. Customers should set up an ODBC connection to each environment (DEV, QA, and Production) and make sure to perform development and testing in lower environments before running anything against Production.
    • Any large SQL statements and/or reports with large datasets should be run during non-peak hours. Basically, there is a balance between performance and reporting. Though we govern the resources that are allowed to be allocated to reporting, large or poorly written SQL can impact application performance.

     

    Limitations:

    • Remedy as a Service (RaaS) does not support stored procedures, functions, or design level database customizations in the RaaS database.
    • Customers are allowed 1 ODBC user/connection per environment. If multiple levels of data access are required, it should be implemented through your own access control methods, via your warehouse/analytics applications or through reporting tool access.

     

    To Request Access:

     

    • Login into i.onbmc.com and "Request Something Else" and use "ODBC connection setup" as the Summary.
    • Attach an ODBC Access Request Form

     

    Note: Client Gateway setup can also be requested by going to i.onbmc.com and "Request Something Else" and use "Client Gateway setup" as the Summary.

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    You can make Digital Workplace and Smart IT available to your users via the Universal Client (desktop web browser) and mobile applications. There are three different methods available to make these mobile applications available to end users:

     

    1. Place the application in your enterprise app store.
    2. Push the application through your mobile device management (MDM) platform, using your preferred tool.
    3. Make the mobile applications available through a download URL.

      BMC Operations provides, after activation, the URLs that can be used to install these apps on Android and iOS devices. Be aware that if you use this method, as the apps are downloaded outside the official stores (Apple App Store and Google Play Store), users must establish trust before being able to use them:
      • iOS.
        When a user first open an app that hasn’t be installed from Apple App Store, it gets a notification that the developer of the app isn’t trust on the device. In our case, the expected message is: “Untrusted Enterprise Developer. iPhone Distribution: BMC Software, Inc. has not been trusted on this iPhone. Until this developer has been trusted, their enterprise apps will not be available for use”. Apple force this prompt to appear because the application that is being installed hasn't gone through the App Store review process so is technically untrusted. After dismissing the message, the user should establish trust for BMC Software, Inc. following the instructions in this Apple Knowledge Article: Install custom enterprise apps on iOS
      • Android
        Out of the box, an Android device only allows you to install apps from Google Play Store. Android protects users from inadvertently installing apps from other sources by blocking the installation process and displaying the following notification “For security, your phone is set to block installation of apps obtained from unknown sources”. In order to install a BMC app distributed through a URL, the user has to opt in to “Unknown Sources” in Settings > Security on their device. Once the app installation is completed, the user can disable this setting again.

    Additional information
    Please, review DWP & SmartIT information on the product documentation

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    Follow this link to read about the new exciting Remedy release. The blog gives an overview of what has been released and have links to more detailed information.

     

     

    Remedy Fall 2017 Release (9.1.04): BMC Continues to Innovate ITSM with New CMDB User Experience, New Cognitive Capabilities in Remedy and New Multi-Cloud Service Management

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    Updated 1/22/18

     

    Two vulnerabilities (known as Meltdown, CVE-2017-5754, and Spectre, CVE-2017-5753 & CVE-2017-5715) were publicly disclosed on January 3, 2018.  These vulnerabilities can impact almost all modern-day CPUs through an architecture design flaw within the hardware itself. Meltdown flaw includes application-level access to system memory, including memory allocated for the kernel. Spectre actually consists of two variants that can include the ability for one application to force another application to access arbitrary portions of its memory, which can then be read through a side channel. Both vulnerabilities are known to be exposed to servers, workstations, mobile devices, web browsers, and more.

     

    BMC continues to monitor the industry regarding these threats, as well as individual vendor/supplier updates related to available patches/fixes. While many patches have been made available, there have also been widespread reports of system performance and stability impacts to various patches, prompting some vendors to pull those patches and recommend against them. In light of this, and in alignment with risk analysis against our services and assets, have prompted the following actions for BMC OnDemand services.

    • Anti-virus updated with patch enhancements to support recommended Meltdown/Spectre patching, as well as up-to-date definitions to minimize ability to launch remote execution exploits.
    • OS patches applied to shared multi-user systems.
    • Infrastructure software hosted by AWS have been addressed.
    • Infrastructure software hosted by BMC OnDemand will proceed with required updates by February.

     

    At this time, additional vendor-issued firmware patches are still under review and will await confirmation of stable resolutions before deploying further to customer systems.  Once available, patching will be scheduled and coordinated as part of emergency and schedule maintenance windows, as needed.

     

    In the meantime, please note that various mitigations are also in place, including but not limited to, BMC OnDemand services operating in private cloud environments, with dedicated hosting hardware not shared with other companies, therefore minimizing likelihood of exploitation.  Intrusion prevention systems also receive updates as needed (at least daily) to monitor specific attack code and websites hosting the attack code as they emerge.  Updates will continue to be applied for ongoing coverage updates as new exploits emerge.

     

    More information about these flaws can be found here: https://www.us-cert.gov/ncas/alerts/TA18-004A

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    As we head towards 2018 we ask the question: Do you have what it takes to be part of the World Class Service? …Our objective at Remedy As A Service (RaaS) is to provide a World Class Service to YOU, our customers. One of our focused aspects of that service is the RaaS Service Desk and Support. Over a sustained period in 2017, we have started though not yet finished: re-thought, re-designed and re-implemented our support service strategy and delivery. This has been through listening to your feedback through the support surveys that are completed by you.

     

    An example being a POD support model had been introduced to provide an enhanced and consistent support to our customers. With this introduction, our service to customers has been consistent in delivery in terms of knowledge, relationship and understanding of specific customers, incidents and customer requirements.

     

    While we continue to strive towards the objective of providing a world class service, we need your help, to help us to achieve this objective for you! You may be thinking what can I do to help improve the support service. Without realizing it, the first step of raising an incident or request to RaaS provides that baseline to achieving that objective.

     

    To enable RaaS to achieve our World Class Service objective, we would like to ask customers to help with the following:

     

    • The RaaS home page is located here: Home - BMC Remedy OnDemand Subscriber Information - BMC Documentation. This has lots of information in relation to our RaaS Service where you can use the search function to find the information. Of course, if you do not find what you are looking for, please reach out to your BRM.
    • Use the Availability or Performance SRD in i.onbmc if you do experience either for Production which will create a critical incident.
    • Within i.onbmc, remember we do have a knowledge base that you can access and search for knowledge articles.
    • Choosing the correct severity of incident, request. This is one of the most important factors. If every incident was raised as critical, we would never able to achieve a service. It is vital that incidents are raised as per the level outlined here: https://docs.bmc.com/docs/display/public/rondsubscriber/Service+levels+and+support+hours
    • When raising incidents, please complete the template provided, which includes business impact, this will help us understand why an incident is at the severity it has been raised.
    • Provide screenshots, steps to re-create the incident (if possible). Providing as much information as possible at this first step will prevent any delays in seeking further information to understand the incident/request. This will improve the efficiency and save both time for the BMC team and you the customer.
    • Please ensure you profile in i.onbmc is completed with both correct email and phone numbers. In cases of severity one incidents, the team preference of communication is always via phone.
    • Follow the escalation process if you require to escalate an incident for the most efficient response, providing a business case for the escalation. Your OnDemand Escalation Path
    • If you do receive a support survey after a request has been closed, please complete the questionnaire. Remember the survey is for that specific request. If you do score below an 8, please provide some comments so we can review the feedback internally and take appropriate actions. Remember it is your feedback that will help us deliver the world class service! Feedback eitherway would be welcome.
    • For a generic questions, please note we also have our remedy on demand communities where you can gain a lot of information, share ideas, suggestions, and even pose a questions not only to BMC though other customers can also provide you feedback. https://communities.bmc.com/community/bmcdn/bmc_remedy_ondemand

     

    With your help, our challenge to you is to follow the guidelines, so that we at RaaS can strive to meet the objective of providing our World Class Service for YOU.

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    Notifications are a critical part of the process of managing the lifecycle of incidents, problems, changes, etc. But we find that teams often struggle on how to best TEST notifications when going live for the first time or adopting new features. Why is it a challenge? Systems usually have real people data, including email addresses, and it’s important to avoid sending “test” notifications to these real individuals if they are not participating in the testing.

    So how do you limit who receives emails during these test cycles?


    Possible Approaches

    • For newly activated environments – Email engine is always configured and active on all the environments by default. This includes Remedy ITSM, SmartIT and MyIT/DWP apps.
      • If there is requirement to stop/disable email notifications on any of the environments, customers/implementation teams can submit a request with BMC Service Desk through i.onbmc.com
      • BMC Service Desk can help with disabling notifications by stopping the email engine or disabling outgoing/incoming mailbox configurations.
    • To disable notifications at the user level, the implementation team or customer admins will be responsible for making the necessary configuration changes.

     

    The BMC RaaS team has provided some recommendations which can be followed to limit unexpected emails to non-testers during your UAT. You may choose one or many of these options depending on your use case.

     

    Options to disable notifications

    If you are conducting a system UAT or testing in a non-prod environment, and have full set of foundation and people data configured in the system, OOTB notification rules may trigger system generated notifications to end users and support staffs configured in the system. To avoid this “spamming” situation where false notifications to go out to the real user base, one of the following options can be followed:

     

    1.   Ensure there is no email address configured for user profile; i.e.; “Email Address” field on CTM:People form has no valid email address configured for the user.  You can remove “email Address” for the users who don’t need to receive notifications.
    Note: This option however may not be feasible when you are looking to disable notifications for a large user base, you may want to consider other options depending on your use case.

     

    2.  Turn off notifications for individual users. In this scenario, “Notification Availability” is set to ‘No’ for the user profile. This configuration option is available on CTM:People form under Notificaitons tab. If Notification Availability is set to “No”, notification engine skips that user profile for sending any email notification. You can update this setting for bulk user at one time.

     

    3.   Disable notification by Support Group. If your requirement is to avoid sending notifications to all the members of a particular or multiple support groups, you can achieve this by updating individual support group configuration. “Disable Group Notificaitons = Yes” on Group Notifications Settings tab on CTM:Support Group form will turn off group notifications.

     

    TIP: You can configure a distribution list (it can be an individual’s email address also) configured in support group configuration. If yyou do this, the notification engine will not send notifications to any of the support group members, instead a single notification will be sent to the email address defined in Group Email field. This can be useful when you are performing testing and want to avoid notifications going out to real support staff without making any changes to their people profiles. For details refer – Configuring Support group Notifications

     

    4.   Change notification rules. There are several notification rules configured OOTB on basis of which notifications are sent out for different ITSM modules. You can create “User Notification Events” if you have a requirement to overwrite default “System Notification Events”. User Notification events have precedence over supersede system notification events.

    NOTE: Do not modify any System notification Event. Always create corresponding “User Notification Event” for corresponding Notification type which require customization. Detailed documentation -

    1. Notification Workflow
    2. BMC Remedy ITSM notification Events

     

    Alternatively you can also follow instructions on one of the following links to disable notifications-

      1. Changing Notification Availability
      2. Setting notification Preferences
      3. Disabling Notifications

     

    We hope this guidance helps you to thoroughly test notifications without sending unexpected messages to those outside the test group! Many thanks to Aditya Sharma for this guidance!

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