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Assess your ITAM and CMDB health and benchmark your data quality

Data Validation with Asset and CI Insights

Assess your ITAM and CMDB health and benchmark your data quality
3
min read
|
by
Ben Savage
February 15, 2024

All CMDBs have a few issues. Be it duplicates/stale records, missing attributes, or malformed records. That’s not an exhaustive list, and it’s just the tip of the iceberg.

Visually observed issues are easy to identify, but who has the time to chase them down and fix them? Additionally, hidden data issues are seldom, if ever, identified and remediated.  They are typically observed during data migrations or related activities and result in untold headaches.

A broken relationship, otherwise known as an orphan, is a perfect illustration of a hidden data issue. You may have seen these via the UI at times; they look like this:

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Technically, there is a sys_id in that field, but the record doesn’t exist in the referencing table. From an XML perspective, that actual field reports the following:

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But that sys_id doesn’t exist. It’s fundamentally broken. Now consider the following:

  1. A user opens an incident ticket on 'Active Directory". It's down. The associated business application has a broken reference to the "Managed By' group, and the "Owned by" user recently left the organization. The actual ‘Managed by’ group wouldn't receive any notifications tied to this ticket, and the notification to the owner would bounce. No one would be notified, and Active Directory would stay down until management started calling around.
  2. An employee from finance loses their laptop during their commute. The link between assets and users, assigned to, is corrupt. What laptop was lost?
  3. An office literally burns down. The relationship between assets and locations is corrupt, and the assets point to orphaned location records. What was in that building?

And that’s just orphans. Other known hidden issues are:

  1. Structurally malformed assets. A good illustration of this is an asset that should have an associated CI but doesn’t.
  2. Duplicate assets.
  3. Assets without unique identifiers.
  4. Classless assets.

So now that you understand the issues, hidden or known, what can you do about them? Identification would be the first step. But where do you start?

We, Rapdev, thought we would like to help you in this identification process by creating a FREE, certified ServiceNow store application. We named it Asset & CI Insights. In short, Insights is:

A scripted analysis of the fundamental tables and records directly tied to your enterprise infrastructure. It identifies optimization opportunities that, when acted upon, frequently result in:

  1. Improved instance performance via the archival of unused records in key tables. Tables that are heavily leveraged by the CMDB and ITSM.
  2. A rationalized perspective of your assets via identifying and archiving "Phantom" assets.  This results in reduced hardware maintenance costs and improved results in subsequent SAM and HAM implementations.
  3. A validated data model pertaining to the configuration of asset and associated CI classes.
  4. Optimized reporting and data drive notifications via our bespoke orphan identification analysis.

The data is displayed on a dashboard and refreshes each weekend. Impacted records are “tagged” and queryable. Here are a few screenshots:

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Download Asset & CI Insights from the ServiceNow Store and see how your data is doing. 

Written by
Ben Savage
Boston
UK-born and raised ITAM veteran now residing in Chicago.
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