How Dynamic is Start Anywhere Modelling?
I am trying to make a recommendation to my company about how or if we use Start Anywhere. I need some advice please.
We are concerned that Start Anywhere is not dynamic; the documentation says it is - but does not say how.
My Qqestions are shown at the bottom of this post.
The BMC documentation says this:
The models produced with start anywhere application modeling are simple to create and work on the basis of data that has already been discovered from you network, data that is held in the BMC Discovery datastore. This does not mean that the models are static, rather, they update automatically to reflect the current data. So, if you scan the application and a new component of the application is discovered, it is automatically linked in to the existing components, and reflected when you view the model again. If the new component is one that you have excluded from the model, it is still in the datastore, but not included in the application model.
This paragraph raises more questions than it answers. let me give an example:
Below is a model defintion for a simple three tier application.
- DB - MSSQL Server and host.
- APP - Application Server and Host.
- IIS Server and Host.
I created this Map in four easy steps:
- I seached for the DB Host (SQL0100), Visualized it, Removed all stray Software Instances, Added the remaining to Items to a new Model.
- I seached for APP Host (app0100). Visualized it, Removed all stray Software Instances, Added the remaining to Items to the existing Model.
- I seached for APP Host (iis0100). Visualized it, Removed all stray Software Instances, Added the remaining to Items to the existing Model.
- Published the Model.
This is what I see as My Application Instance.
How dynamic is the resulting Model?
- If another Software Instance (for an Item that is relevant to my Map) is installed on one of these three hosts, will it be automatically included? (This would be good)
(For example; Another App Server instance on the Application Host).
- If another Software Instance (for an Item that is irrelevent to my Map) is installed on one of these three hosts, will it be automatically included? (This would be bad)
(for example a monitoring agent that is being rolled out globally to all hosts).
- A second HA Web Host (iis0101) is added. It has Observed Communication with the App Server Host. Will it be Automatically Added with the Correct SI?
- A second MSSQL Instance and Host is Added for Reporting Purposes. The database is replicated from the first host. It has Observed Communication with the first DB Host. Will this New Host and DB Instance be added?
- Can you used a Named Value to dynamically map DEV, TEST and PROD at the same time?
- If The MS SQL Server changes from SP3 to SP4. (I am not sure how ADDM works - but this may result in a new SI?).
Will the Map automatically include the new SI for the new Version?
- The database gets corrupted and has to be wiped and there is no backup. The database is then recreated via discovery.
The model or maps have been saved and are re-imported. Will the Application Instances get recreated with no Issues?
I downloaded and opened a .model file and saw a lot of node ids and keys.
- A host is recreated with the same name (a duplicate);
there are multiple reasons why this occures (for example migrated a host from VMware to HyperV);
we get about 3% duplicates per month - or about 20% per year; after 3 years ~50% of the hosts may have been affected.
Each map might contain 5 hosts on average - so most of the maps would be affected after 3 years.
Will the maps autmatically update and contain the new hosts?
Answers for Legacy CAM
For Maps built using Legacy CAM (assuming they are built correctly) the answers to these questions are:
- Yes. (if you build the Selection Criteria to look for SIs of a certain Type).
- No. (which is what we want).
- Yes. (If you traverse from the app server to look for IIS SIs).
- Unlikely. (It is theoretically possible to build a map just in case a Report Server is added, but unlikely.)
- Yes ( if The SI "type" attribute remain constant and the Map is built using this attribute).
So CAM scores 7/8 for "Dynamic Capability"
Answers for Start Anywhere Mapping
What are the answers for start anywhere?
The decision appears to be Dynamic Capability versus Ease of Use. Our mappers are more Business Analysts than Developers - so I want the answer to be in favour of Start Anywhere. Does anyone have any experience to share here? Is there an argument to use a combination of CAM and Start Anywhere? I certainly think Start Anywhere is conceptually easier and therefore the Map building should be faster? I guess we could sacrifice some Dynamic Capability - if Mapping is twice as fast. We have always wanted the Mappers to Map DEV. TEST, QA and PROD using a Named Value - but this is conceptually hard is is not getting done. So what is the best way forward?
The BMC documentation is very short and inexact. Could you please expand the ducumentation to help Users make these types of decisions.