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Unicenter Asset Management

Asset Management Components



  • Asset Management consists of components that manage, control, collect, process, maintain, and hold the data used by the Asset Management system. The major components are:
    • Admin Console - Management interface for scheduling requests and actions, making queries, establishing policies, and more. The Admin Console is the graphical user interface (GUI) for the Asset Management System. The Admin Console can be run under Windows XP, Windows 2000, and Windows NT and utilizes the Java Option (also known as W2), which can run on multiple platforms, such as the Internet Explorer on NT or Netscape on UNIX.
    • Engine - Processor for distribution and collection of data. The Engine performs data processing tasks on behalf of the Admin Console. For example, the Engine can update the Domain Database with the status of actions, or make queries against the Domain Database to find data. The Engine runs as a service and is started automatically at startup time. The Engine is generally scheduled to always run.
    • Agent - Runs modules and scheduled jobs on target computers. The Agent Software acts as a nonresident agent for the Admin Console, performing the tasks that have been scheduled for either a computer or a user from the Admin Console. The Agent can perform a variety of tasks, from hardware and software inventory actions to running programs and utilities for software maintenance and distribution.
    • Domain (database) - Domain data repository for all units (computers and users)
    • Sector - Temporary storage area linking the Asset Management Agent with the domain database

Asset Management Installation

  • The Asset Management installation types can easily be executed using the wizard-like Asset Management setup program. The Asset Management Product Explorer provides the following types of software installation:
    • Express Manager installation
    • Express Agent installation
    • Custom installation
    • Add component
    • Configure component
    • Unattended Installation
    • Installation with an Advantage Ingres database

Admin Console

  • The Enterprise Admin Console lets you:
    • View and manage data in the Enterprise database and in domain databases
    • Schedule actions to units and groups at both the Enterprise level and Domain levels
  • From the Admin Console you can:
    • Create and maintain computers and users for configuration and scheduling purposes
    • Define jobs for performing actions on Agent computers
    • Utilize modules for collecting data from Agent computers
    • Monitoring software packages installed and started on Agent computers
    • Manage sector settings and properties
    • Specify and execute queries
    • Create and maintain policies
  • Asset Management can modify all files on all Agents, therefore a security system has been provided. Any person wishing to start the Asset Management Admin Console must enter a user name and password.

Unicenter Asset Management Engine

  • The Engine performs information processing for the Admin Console. Information processing includes:
    • Data collection
    • Data distribution
    • Job performance
  • The Engine usually runs as a Windows service on a dedicated Windows-based computer. However, it can also run on the same computer running the Admin Console. Running the Engine service on a dedicated computer will improve the response time of the Admin Console when queries are made, and when Inventory updated from many computers is processed.
  • The tasks performed by the Engine service include:
    • Updating databases with current information collected and provided by Asset Management agents
    • Querying the databases for any user-defined information on, for instance, computers or users
    • Sending the query results to the Admin Console

Units and Groups

  • A Unit can be a computer, a user, an engine, or any other type of equipment that you can define as a new unit type, and is represented in the domain database. Each unit has a name and area that identifies it. You can add new unit types or modify existing unit types in the Asset Management system.
  • For ease of configuration and scheduling, it is convenient to define more than one unit as a collection of units. This collection of units is called a Group. Asset Management is easier to use when you have created groups that meet the precise demands placed on your system.

Modules

  • A module collects data from the Agents. There are several different kinds of modules in Asset Management:
    • Inventory Configuration - With the Inventory Configuration module, you can define which hardware units from which you want to collect information, from where, and at what level, such as per user or group. An example of hardware you may want to monitor is the processor.
    • Template Configuration - With the Template Configuration module, you can maintain your templates. Templates are used to prompt end-users for information, usually about the computer or user, and to add additional information types to the inventory system.
    • Software Inventory - With the Software Configuration module, you can define which file information is to be collected, from where, and at what level, such as per user or group. Software inventory can also keep track of your application licenses. An example of software you may want to monitor is a word processing program. These modules can all be enabled or disabled. When enabled, a module has a predefined setup. The setup can be configured to suit your specific needs.

Jobs

  • A Job is used to direct agents or Engines to perform specific actions. You can, for example, use Jobs to perform all software maintenance, including software distribution. You can also schedule jobs to be executed on Agents.
  • Jobs can be scheduled to execute once, a specified number of times, or continuously. When you set up a job, for example, you can schedule the action to execute in different ways:
    • Repeatedly
    • At a specific date and time, or after a period of time
    • Based on day-of-the-week dependencies
    • Based on the execution of another job, or the existence of a file, or an end-user decision to execute the action now or later

Hardware Inventory

  • Asset Management uses a proprietary format and the DMI standard for collecting and updating the Inventory information for a unit in the Asset Management database. Desktop Management Interface (DMI) is a standard for managing the components of hardware and logical devices. Components must provide a Management Information Format (MIF) file to be DMI compliant.
  • The Inventory module examines computers connected to Asset Management on a scheduled basis. The module uses a number of different sub-modules such as:
    • Scanner for system hardware information and information on hardware properties
    • Scanner for specific network information
    • Agent for collection of MIF files, generated by applications that are not part of Asset Management. There are different modules for different operating systems.
  • All information collected by the Inventory module is stored in the domain database, and you can view it from the Asset Management Admin Console.

Software Inventory

  • You can use Asset Management Software Inventory from the Admin Console to obtain information about the software installed in your organization. The Software Inventory module can detect software packages on both UNIX and Windows based Agent computers by scanning the file system and comparing file signatures as well as by querying operating system-specific package registration information.
  • Once you have set up Software Inventory, the software available on a computer can be viewed in the Information window when Software is selected
  • The Detected Applications window can display:
    • Application name
    • Units with the application installed, and location
    • Total number of applications installed (one per Unit and total count) with multiple counts for a Unit when the application is installed in several different directories on the hard disk.

Software Metering

  • Software licensing administration is done with the Software Metering feature, which can be used to:
    • Monitor which software packages and applications installed in your organization are being used on an Agent
    • Measure the usage frequency of any application, whether it is executed from a server or local disk
    • Police the number of copies of software products that are running on the computers of your enterprise to comply with license agreements and to save upgrades to new software because the "real" users are easily identified
    • Detect any application (without specifying) that has been started and stopped on the computer (Software audit)
    • Prevent the use of unauthorized software (including prohibiting users from installing software on their own and ensuring that a company uses only the admissible number of licenses)
  • A Software Metering Agent must be installed and running on each client system. This Agent will log all necessary activities and communicate through CAM, RPC, or file share with a central Metering Server, managing the queuing system. The metering and audit information is logged locally and transferred to the Sector the next time the system runs the Asset Management Agent.
  • The Metering Agent installs as a service on Windows 2000/XP/NT computers. However, as a prerequisite, MSI 616b13g must be installed on this computer.

User Account Inventory

  • The User Account Inventory collects information about users and their state on their computers. It collects all local users on a computer. If the user is a member of a domain, domain controller properties like 'full name' or specific information such as locked user account will be read from the domain controller and displayed on the Admin Console.
  • The information collected by the inventory is as follows:
    • According domain controller if connected
    • All local profiles
    • Additional information about all local/domain accounts, which are found on the local system
    • All local groups.

Configuration Files Backup

  • Asset Management lets you centrally manage system configuration files on your network without leaving your desk. You can define the names and number of backup copies of key system configuration files, such as AUTOEXEC.BAT, CONFIG.SYS, WIN.INI, SYSTEM.INI, or NET.CFG. You can also define specific sets of backup files by groups, so that you can accommodate the needs of different network groups and users can be accommodated without having to spend hours configuring backups on a user-by-user basis.
  • Asset Management lets you schedule a backup or restore action of a specific system configuration, simplifying the management of multiple system configurations. Asset Management can back up configuration files in several versions.

Search Facilities

  • You can retrieve items from the database with a standard Find function or with a Query.
  • The Unit Type, Domain, Area, and Name fields are available to define the item to find.
  • The File Search option is available on a Domain console only. The File Search lets you search all files on the local computer as well as computers connected through the network.
  • For advanced searches in the database, you can set up Queries to find the information that is needed.

Policies

  • Asset Management collects a large amount of valuable data for the Admin Console administrator. It is often beneficial to have policies to help the administrator focus on critical data when certain threshold values are exceeded or events occur.
  • The Asset Management Policy System is based on user-defined queries and on predefined events.
  • Query-based policies are defined by designing a query that specifies which criteria must be met to invoke a policy. As the query checks only the delta data values sent by agents, continual querying of the database is not necessary.
  • Event-based policies consist of a predefined set of system policies. These predefined system policies are subdivided into several areas and cannot be deleted or created by the user. However, they can be modified, using the event policy designer.
  • A policy is defined by:
    • Linked Query
    • Tasks to perform
    • Whether policy is invoked
    • Header and description of policy

Asset Management Reporter

  • The Asset Management Reporter tool extracts inventory information from the Asset Management database. Using the Query Designer, the user is able to evaluate this data and specify which fields are provided on the reports. The information extracted can be filtered, sorted, summarized, and viewed immediately in the GUI, and can be utilized for report printouts or exporting to other applications (for example as CSV file or HTML file). Reports are displayed hierarchically in an Explorer-like tree view, and a number of predefined result sets can be kept for each report as auto history. In order to prevent a result set from getting deleted when obsolete, the user can choose to save it.
  • Report generation can be user initiated or scheduled. Scheduling of reports is done in the Reporter GUI. The Engine will then initiate the report generation itself, according to the scheduling properties.
  • Using the Asset Management Reporter, you can create reports based on the following data:
    • General - general unit information like Area, Type, Name, etc. can be included.
    • Additional Unit Properties - additional unit property fields like for example Domain Name or Sector Type can be included.
    • Inventory Fields - inventory fields from General, User, or Template inventory can be added to the report.
    • Application - application inventory information like file name, application version, etc. can be included.
    • Job - adds job property fields like for instance job status or last execution to the report.
    • Module - includes module property fields like status information, last execution, etc. to the report.
    • Metering - adds metering statistics information like started, stopped, usage to the report.

Agent Software

  • Asset Management Agent Software includes, among others, control programs that run on various Asset Management Agent computers. When it runs, such a control program examines the configuration of that computer, and executes the sub modules appropriate to the configuration. The Agent software is normally installed on a shared network drive, but it can also be installed on each computer locally.
  • The types of Asset Management Agent Software currently include:
    • PC Agents
    • Inventory Agents for UNIX and OpenVMS
    • Enhanced UNIX Agents
    • Windows CE Agents
    • Palm Agents
    • Docked Device Proxy Agents


Unicenter Remote Control

Remote Control Admin Console

  • Centralized Policy Management - Remote Control Admin Console brings remote control administration to a new level by enabling all clients to be configured from a central management console. The configuration management is based on policies that are easily applied to individuals or groups of clients. Administrators can create and manage different configuration profiles that can be pushed to users and groups requiring varying remote control capabilities. As new users are added to a system or group, their remote control capabilities can be automatically pre-configured and deployed on their desktop.
  • Centralized User Management - Remote Control Admin Console allows administrators to centrally manage remote control users and their access rights. In one easy-to-use interface, administrators can define preferences and capabilities different users or user groups have, as well as define which targets they can control. The centralized, policy-based approach makes it easy to change the remote control capabilities for a group of users, such as help desk staff, and ensures that none of them can take remote control of the IT Department's Windows NT Servers.
  • Unicenter Common Services Infrastructure - Remote Control is built on CA's Unicenter Common Services that provide Enterprise Discovery, Real World Interface, central alert and event monitoring features, and virus detection software to further enhance the manageability of remote systems. All the computers in your Remote Control environment are represented in WorldView, enabling you to view and manage all your computers from a single point. You can choose to display them within their Computer Group or as individual computers. This infrastructure also enables Remote Control users to seamlessly implement CA's other management applications including storage, virus protection, software delivery, asset management, and help desk solutions. Through Event Manager Services, Remote Control generates a log that provides a central view of all ongoing events.
  • User-Friendly Interface - Remote Control Admin Console provides the familiarity of a typical Explorer-type interface plus many unique and convenient features, including:
    • Tree-Structure Plus HTML Displays
    • Getting Started Taskpad Access
    • Product Information Access
    • Computer States Icons

Remote Control Managed Environment

  • The Remote Control environment consists of the Admin Console, management server, the management database, and an unlimited number of managed agents. Managed agents are computers running the Remote Control application that communicate with the management server. The management server retrieves and sends information about remote control sessions to the management database.
  • Communication between the management server and a managed agent is bidirectional. The management server sends information that governs remote control sessions from the database to the managed agents. The managed agents then send event information back to the management server for storage in the management database. This functionality provides easy, centralized management for your entire Remote Control enterprise.
  • A managed agent receives information from the management server about:
    • Computer Groups - Each managed agent participates in a Computer Group. Computer Groups are associated with Access Control Lists that determine user access to managed computers and Computer Settings that determine the settings for a remote control session. Unless otherwise specified, a computer inherits the Access Control List and Computer Settings from the Computer Group it belongs to.
    • Computer Settings - Computer Settings comprise a template of privileges and options that govern remote control sessions. These settings can be applied to a Computer Group or an individual computer. By simply changing the template, all computers associated with it automatically reflect the new settings.
    • Users and User Groups - Remote Control populates the management database with users and user groups selected from the Windows NT Primary Domain Controller. These users and user groups are assigned User Privileges that govern remote control privileges.
    • User Privileges - User Privileges comprise a template applied to users and user groups that determine access privileges for remotely controlled managed agents.

Computer Groups

  • A Computer Group is a collection of computers that can be managed by Remote Control. With Computer Groups, you can perform management functions available in Remote Control Admin Console on multiple remote computers simultaneously. These functions include applying Computer Settings that govern remote control sessions, rebooting computers, starting and stopping Remote Control, and placing computers in listening mode.
  • You can easily move computers from one group to another using drag-and-drop functionality. When you do, the associate group Computer Settings are automatically inherited, reducing administrative overhead by setting up the desired configurations once per group. If needed, you can also apply custom settings to a computer so that it can be controlled in a different manner than the other computers in the group.
  • Access Control List - For each Computer Group or individual computer, you can define a list of users or user groups that can access it. Users and groups are selected from NT Domain users populated to the Remote Control management database.

Computer Settings

  • Computer Settings are Remote Control preferences and access privileges that are applied to Computer Groups or individual computers during remote control sessions. Computer Settings act as a template that allows you to easily administer settings to a single computer or multiple computers from the Admin Console. By simply changing the template, all computers associated with it automatically reflect the new settings.
  • You can easily apply a Computer Setting to a Computer Group or an individual computer by using the drag-and-drop method or selecting it from the General tab on the Properties dialog.
  • When installed, Remote Control includes Default Settings. The Default Settings can be used as is or they can serve as a template from which you can evolve other user-defined settings. If needed, you can also apply custom settings to a computer so that it can be controlled in a different manner than the other computers in the group. Custom settings applied to a computer override the Computer Settings applied to the Computer Group that the computer is in. If a computer with custom settings is moved into a new Computer Group, the computer retains its original settings.

Remote Control Users and User Groups

  • Remote Control uses the Windows NT Primary Domain Controller to provide a list of groups and users. Through Remote Control's Directory Utility, you can select an NT primary domain, view its user accounts and groups, and select those that you want to populate to Remote Control. Remote Control stores information about the groups and users that you populate in its management database. To keep the information current, Remote Control provides a Synchronize Utility that updates the database with any changes that have occurred in NT User Manager.
  • Through the Admin Console, you can view information about Remote Control users and user groups. They are represented in the left pane of the main window as the Users resource with the overlapped profiles icon. When you expand Users, each domain is displayed with their Groups and Users in a tree structure. Domains and Groups are also represented by overlapped profiles; Users are represented by a single profile.
  • Once you have populated Groups and Users to Remote Control, you can associate properties with them that:
    • Govern their machine access rights (using an Access Control List)
    • Determine whether they can use certain Remote Control features (based on their User Privileges)

Remote Control User Privileges

  • User Privileges are a set of standard rules that govern how the Remote Control application behaves on viewer machines. For example, User Privileges determine:
    • The Remote Control functions that the viewer can perform, including chatting, sending and receiving files, recording Remote Control sessions
    • Whether the Host keyboard and monitor are disabled during a remote control session
    • Whether the Remote Control application is hidden during a Host session
  • User Privileges are used in conjunction with host preferences, viewer preferences, and computer access privileges to determine which options and settings the viewer will use when connecting to a remote host. After the viewer has successfully logged on and the username and password verified by the NT Domain Controller; the user, host, computer, and viewer privileges are combined to determine the access rights of the viewer.

Access Privileges

  • Access Rights determine the remote control settings a viewer uses when connecting to a host computer. Access Rights are comprised of four sets of privileges configured in the Admin Console and the viewer computer. Once a user attempting a remote control session has been authenticated by NT security and verified as a member of the appropriate Access Control List, Remote Control checks the Access Privileges.
  • The four sets of privileges that make up Access Privileges are:
    • Machine Access Privileges (MAP) - Machine Access Privileges determine the types of Remote Control functions (such as File Transfer and Chat) allowed on remotely controlled computers. These privileges can only be set in the Access Privileges folder in the Admin Console. Visible is the only attribute that can be assigned to Machine Access Privileges.
    • Host Preferences (HSP) - Host Preferences determine whether the viewer can control computer and peripheral operations on the host computer. Host Preferences include options such as printer redirection, behavior of the host mouse, and session recording. They are set in the Host folder. Host Preferences can be set to Visible, Agent Writable and Viewer Negotiable. If a privilege or option is set to Viewer Negotiable, User Group Privileges are applied.
    • User Group Privileges (UGP) - User Group Privileges determine the remote control functions (such as File Transfer and Chat) a user can perform. They also determine the computer and peripheral operations a user can control on the host computer. User Group Privileges can be set to Visible and Viewer Negotiable. If a privilege or option in User Group Privileges is set to Viewer Negotiable, then the Viewer Preference is applied. See Determining User Privileges, later in this chapter, for more information.
    • Viewer Preferences (VWP) - Viewer Preferences determine the computer and peripheral operations the viewer can control. If a privilege or option is set to Viewer Negotiable in Host Preferences and User Group Privileges, the settings in the Viewer Preferences apply. Viewer Preferences are set in the Viewer folder.

Remote Control Statistics

  • The Remote Control Admin Console stores two types of data about your managed environment - the Session Log and Session Information.
  • The Session Log records connection information forwarded from the Host's Event Log. This provides a centralized record of connections made within your environment for easy management. Connection information is stored in the RCSession.LOG file. It can also be written externally to the NT Event Log or the Unicenter Event Log.
  • Session Information automatically tracks the status changes of all managed nodes within your Remote Control environment and displays the computer connections information, including:
    • Host - Host name
    • Viewer - Viewer name
    • Started - Connection start time
    • Duration - Connection length
    • Remote User - Computer name

Advanced Installation

  • In addition to the Installation Wizard, Remote Control also provides you with the following alternative ways to install the product.
    • Silent Install - The silent install feature installs Remote Control on a target computer without any operator intervention. You can use it in a stand-alone environment or as part of a software delivery system. Using the silent install, you can install the manager, the agent, or both
    • Remote Install - Enables you to perform an unattended install on a group of remote computers


Unicenter Software Delivery

Features of Software Delivery

  • Software Delivery provides an automated solution to many of the problems inherent with performing manual distributions. Using Software Delivery you can:
    • Work with existing Windows and UNIX servers to access and administer programs installed on remote computers.
    • Track all software installed at a particular location and identify when, where, how, and by whom the programs were installed.
    • Distribute new software packages and upgrades of existing packages to all or to a selected group of computers from a central location or through local administrative computers.
    • Maintain a centralized record of all software installed in the Software Delivery network, regardless of whether or not it was installed through Software Delivery.
    • Monitor logged events that track the installation and activation of item procedures associated with programs registered in the Software Library.
    • Identify installed software that has not been distributed or registered through Software Delivery.
    • Generate an installable software image containing all required product files and system configuration changes, using the Software Management Packager, available for Windows and UNIX platforms.
    • Perform an unattended installation of Windows computers with PXEenabled network interface, using Operating System (OS) Installation Management.
    • Create and edit software distribution scripts and register them in the Software Library, using the Desktop Management Script Generator and Desktop Management Script Editor.
    • Implement security in your Software Delivery system, using Software Delivery Security features.
    • Expand Unicenter NSM capabilities, which include monitoring Software Delivery events and responding to selected event messages, customizing the view of your Software Delivery environment, securing resources, and generating reports.
    • Utilize the functionality of other products such as Unicenter Asset Management, Unicenter Remote Control, and Data Transport Service (DTS) to further enhance your Software Delivery capabilities.
    • Integrate with Unicenter ServicePlus Service Desk, to raise trouble tickets on job or distribution failures. The Software Delivery Administrator is enabled to context launch into the Unicenter Service Desk Web browser to view trouble tickets associated with a job target or job container.

Simplified Software Distribution

  • Software Delivery provides a flexible, scalable, and open means of handling software distribution and control across networked environments. Software programs are defined to the Software Delivery Software Libraries maintained on dedicated Windows and UNIX file servers; from there they can be distributed easily, as needed, to your target computers.
  • Software Delivery provides a flexible, scalable, and open means of handling software distribution and control across networked environments. Software programs are defined to the Software Delivery Software Libraries maintained on dedicated Windows and UNIX file servers; from there they can be distributed easily, as needed, to your target computers.

Control and Uniformity

  • In addition, Software Delivery provides control and uniformity in your network, allowing the Enterprise Administrator to keep track of all authorized program installations. You can schedule software packages to be delivered to, installed, activated, or configured on any computer in the network, and then check to see if all these tasks were performed. As part of this procedure, you can also make sure all users have the same version of a software package.
  • Moreover, you can search for and remove old versions of authorized software, clean up failed installations, or detect unauthorized versions of software, on any computer in the Software Delivery system.
  • All these capabilities provide a far greater measure of control and uniformity than any LAN or WAN alone can offer.

Centralized Distribution

  • Programs can be stored directly in a Local Library for distribution to all computers networked to the Local Server, or they can be initially stored in the Enterprise Library, where they can be distributed throughout the network of areas. Items that are first registered in the Enterprise Library can be distributed to Local Libraries.
  • Programs can also be stored in a Workgroup Library for distribution to all computers networked to the Workgroup Server. Jobs set up on a Local Server can also be distributed to the Agents of a downstream Workgroup Server.
  • Software Delivery also lets an administrator detect what programs are currently installed on a particular computer, regardless of whether or not they were installed using Software Delivery.

Inventory Database

  • A separate Software Delivery database is maintained on the Local, Workgroup, and Enterprise Servers and contains libraries, folders, and log files.
    • Software Libraries - Store the software programs that are available for distribution. The Enterprise Server contains the Enterprise Library, the Local Server contains the Local Library, the Workgroup Server contains the Workgroup Library, and the Staging Server contains the Staging Library.
    • Folders - Maintain records of important server data, such as computer attributes. The information recorded depends on the type of server.
    • Log files - Record the occurrence of events, such as the successful or unsuccessful installation of a product.

Inventory Discovery

  • Inventory Discovery is a tool that uses customizable detection and verification scripts to search for the presence, or optionally, the absence of particular software packages on a target computer. Inventory Discovery is most commonly used to determine which software programs were installed without intervention of Software Delivery.

Software Management

  • Software Management guarantees full control of heterogeneous environments and is the best way to maintain large infrastructures.
  • Software Management helps you to install, configure and remove software throughout a complex environment in a controlled and standardized way. Software Management is based on the components Packager and Installer that are both available for Windows and UNIX. Packager and Installer are Software Management tools that enable you to create software products, and to easily install and remove them unattended and reliably.
  • With the Packager component products can be created for Windows and UNIX platforms. During the packaging process, the product to be packaged is installed on the same computer as the Packager. Product files, installation parameters, and other necessary changes can be specified. The Packager then records the information required for a successful installation of the package, and generates an installable software image. Note that the software image can only be installed on target computers that run the same operating system as the packaging computer.
  • Software and data for Windows are packaged in the SXP format. For UNIX, software and data are packaged in the PIF (product interchange file) format.

Operating System (OS) Installation Management



  • Operating System (OS) Installation Management enables you to perform an unattended initial installation of a Windows computer with PXE-enabled network interface, and an automatic integration in Software Delivery. By using OS Installation Management, it is easy to deploy and to configure the infrastructure (that is, Boot Server, boot images, OS images, and configuration parameters) to be able to manage unattended a great number of Boot Servers and Target Computers. OS Installation Management consists of the following components:
    • Image Prepare System
    • Boot Management Explorer
    • Boot Management Server
    • Boot Server
    • Target Computer

Desktop Management Script Generator and Editor

  • The Desktop Management Script Generator is a tool that enables you to easily record configuration changes for an installed product, for example, registry modifications. The Script Generator takes a snapshot of the computer and builds an image and installation script. This script can then be registered in the Software Library, and installed on target computers that have the appropriate script interpreter installed. The Desktop Management Script Generator is not suitable for complex product installations.
  • The Desktop Management Script Editor can be used to write, syntax-check, debug, and run scripts.

Security

  • Software Delivery Security features can be used to secure your Software Delivery system. Using Software Delivery Security, you can create security groups to determine which operating system dependent groups and users will have access to the Software Delivery system. You can establish class permissions, as well as folder and object permissions. You can also use SD Security to restrict views within the SD Explorer.

Unicenter NSM Integration

  • Unicenter Software Delivery integrates with either Unicenter TNG 2.4 or Unicenter NSM, a comprehensive, open management solution that provides cohesive, integrated administration of all IT resources in your enterprise. Alternatively, for a true standalone solution, Software Delivery comes complete with CA Common Services (CCS). CCS offers all the crucial components of Unicenter NSM necessary to satisfy the requirements of Software Delivery. Specifically, CCS components supplied include Event Management, Calendars, WorldView and AutoDiscovery, Unicenter Explorer and Anti-Virus.

Asset Management and Remote Control Integration

  • Software Delivery can be integrated with Unicenter Asset Management and Unicenter Remote Control. The integration with Asset Management, for example, allows for computer group membership to be resolved using Asset Management queries.

Data Transport Service Integration

  • Data Transport Service (DTS) is the data transfer tool that controls the flow of data transfers in the Software Delivery system. Therefore, the Data Transport Service Administration Client is completely integrated in the SD Explorer (DTS Administration). Data Transport Service supports point-to-point data transfers, as well as point-to-many data transfers including Broadcast, Multicast, and Fanout. You can also optimize network performance by throttling parcel sends and restricting parcel size.
  • Additionally, through the integration of Data Transport Service with Software Delivery, you can halt, resume, and terminate data transfers from the Software Delivery dialogs.

Unicenter ServicePlus Service Desk Integration

  • Software Delivery can integrate with Unicenter ServicePlus Service Desk from Version 6.0, which provides a single solution to manage trouble tickets, that is, requests and change orders, throughout the enterprise. The Unicenter Service Desk integration allows Software Delivery to raise trouble tickets on job failure or distribution failure, and to attach logs to trouble tickets. The Software Delivery Administrator is enabled to context launch into the Unicenter Service Desk Web browser, so that he can immediately view trouble tickets associated with a job target or job container. On the other side, the Service Desk Analyst is enabled to locate failed job targets and job containers quickly.

Install Model

  • Open installation mode:
    • The open installation mode supports any software installation. Software Delivery relies on the vendor-provided install methods, for example to perform an upgrade, and thus only installs files that are new or changed from the previous installation. When using the most widely accepted install routines, such as Install Shield, only the necessary (new or updated) files are copied and installed.
    • The open installation mode also supports MSI, Windows CE, Palm, and Nokia software products. During registration of the product in the software library, you can choose one of the available installation methods.
  • Managed installation mode:
    • The managed installation mode is based on Software Management, and uses the Packager and Installer components. These tools are available for Windows and UNIX. The Packager is used to generate Software Management products (packages), and to register them in the Software Library. Using Software Delivery, these products are distributed to, and installed unattended on target computers.
    • Software Management enables you to install, configure and remove software throughout a complex network environment in a controlled and standardized way. Both the Packager for Windows and the Packager for UNIX, provide the delta packaging feature. A delta product contains only the differences between two software products or any data, so that reduction of data traffic can be accomplished.

Graphical User Interface (GUI)

  • The benefits and features of Software Delivery are available to you from the Software Delivery Explorer (SD Explorer), an easy-to-use graphical interface, and a Web GUI.
  • To simplify the access and performance of the day-to-day tasks of a Software Delivery Administrator, the SD Explorer on Local and Workgroup Servers provides you with the Tasks folder, and an incorporated tutorial. When you select Tasks, wizards will guide you, step-by-step, through each of the relevant administrative tasks. After installation of the Software Delivery Admin Console the tasks are available out of the box.

Command Line Interface (CLI)

  • Software Delivery supports a command line approach to managing software. Most of the Local Server administrative tasks performed through the Software Delivery GUI can also be performed using commands.


Unicenter NSM

Global Catalog

  • Every Unicenter NSM installation has a central catalog known as the Global Catalog. Created at installation, the Global Catalog contains information about the availability and location of all Unicenter NSM components. The Global Catalog should be installed on a high availability server before installing any other components such as WorldViewT, Event Management, or Agent Technology Distributed State Machine (DSM). WorldView, Enterprise
  • Management, DSM, and other information sources register with the Global Catalog as providers at installation. Providers enable applications, data, and business components to appear as native within the object infrastructure so that all data can be accessed and integrated, regardless of origin, format, or location. Any Unicenter Explorer Client pointing to the Global Catalog can see the entire Unicenter NSM installation. The Unicenter Explorer Client running on your PC, for example, may be using a Global catalog on a server somewhere else. Your local browser can access any provider known to the Global Catalog.
  • Using Unicenter NSM, organizations can create software agents for devices that do not support standard management protocols such as SNMP. In fact, you can create agents to monitor a wide range of devices, such as IDNX switches, modem banks, video multiplexors, long-range radio transceivers, secure telephone transceivers, frame relay switches, and DoD encryption devices. Unicenter NSM empowers organizations to monitor and manage their entire networking infrastructure, not just typical TCP/IP networks, allowing non-IT devices to be instrumented for management.
  • The robust management functions of Unicenter NSM span across traditionally discrete resources. The discovery services in Unicenter NSM, for example, discover systems, databases, and applications, in addition to network devices and topology. This complete inventory of IT resources allows administrators to manage from the perspective of "the big picture."
  • In addition to TCP/IP, management functions must support heterogeneous environments including SNA, DECnet, and IPX networks; Windows NT, UNIX/Linux, and proprietary servers; NCs, Windows desktops and mainframes; hierarchical, relational and object databases; diverse network devices; web servers from different vendors; and applications from many different companies. Unicenter NSM provides a solution that manages all of these resources in a cohesive, integrated manner.
  • The ability to extend and customize integrated functions is central to the concept of end-to-end management in Unicenter NSM. For example, discovery agents are extensible to discover any custom IT resource (such as in-house built applications) or even non-IT resources such as POS devices, telephony, and even transportation systems.

Scaleable Infrastructure

  • Providing end-to-end coverage requires a highly scaleable infrastructure to efficiently manage the diverse scope of resources, which can range from hundreds to thousands across every major computing platform.
  • The Unicenter NSM architecture makes it possible to develop and deploy both CA and non-CA management functions in a manner that best suits the enterprise and requirements of each individual IT organization.
  • To address scalability requirements, Unicenter NSM provides efficient agent architecture for monitoring resources and invoking policy. Unicenter NSM can correlate information across disciplines, devices, and the enterprise as a whole, not only taking automatic actions but also anticipating problems. Recent advances in software agents, based on adaptive pattern recognition, extend conventional technology.

Predictive Agents

  • Neural networking agents known as Neugents enable Unicenter NSM to behave as a self-learning system. Neugents can recognize complex patterns in vast amounts of data, correlate seemingly unrelated events, predict business outcomes, and learn and adapt continuously-even when faced with dynamic business changes. Through Neugents, Unicenter NSM integrates advanced business intelligence logic into eBusiness infrastructure.
  • Incorporating technologies from statistics and artificial intelligence, Neugents use pattern recognition to predict opportunities, detect problems, and offer solutions. The integration of "learning" agents with a cross enterprise framework is critical to the efficient management of huge, complex environments. Neugents are available as an option to Unicenter NSM.

Advanced Visualization

  • Unicenter NSM uses visualization technology to turn massive amounts of data into useful and relevant information. The WorldView component of Unicenter NSM presents a 2D and 3D view of the infrastructure to facilitate intuitive management of the enterprise. Anyone familiar with Explorer-style and browser-based GUIs can move effortlessly through systems and networks, without special navigational skills or prior knowledge of physical topology.
  • Organizations can use the interface that is most appropriate to their management requirements. For example, organizations that deploy the optional Neugents technology would probably prefer the 3D Map. The data visualization, animation and virtual reality capabilities of the 3D Map complement pattern recognition technology, and the underlying patterns detected in data, especially time sequences, are more easily depicted using an extra dimension. On the other hand, a network operator who is frequently on the road troubleshooting and opening new facilities may prefer a more conventional 2D view solely of network topology.
  • Delivering an extensible architecture with predictive and self-learning capabilities is just the beginning. Unicenter NSM also delivers a wide range of rich management functions for administering various IT resources. The integration of all management functions allows you to leverage your existing investments in technologies, tools, data, and proven business logic.

Network Management

  • Network managers struggle daily with the variety of devices supplied by different vendors, diverse communications protocols, and complex network topologies. The various platforms, communications protocols, application software, servers, mainframes, desktops, and databases that can be connected to a network are infinite.
  • Unicenter NSM blends the management of network elements with system, database, and application assets to provide a comprehensive, integrated enterprise management infrastructure. The system treats network elements as part of a continuum of interrelated components with a full understanding of the dependencies between them.
  • From a single, central console, Unicenter NSM can manage networks running every major protocol, automatically discover network elements using these protocols, and map their network topology.
  • You can visualize the network as a discrete entity in relation to other enterprise assets or within the context of business processes. Unicenter NSM makes network management accessible to multiple audiences within the enterprise.

Internet Management

  • By extending its robust management functionality to web sites and across the Internet, Unicenter NSM allows enterprises to conduct business with confidence in cyberspace.
  • The architecture of Unicenter NSM allows IT departments to transparently encompass web-based (Internet, extranet or intranet) resources. An effective web presence requires professionally managed servers in terms of reliability, availability and performance, including:
    • Securing content from loss or corruption, whether intentional or not
    • Eliminating network, systems, databases or applications choke points
    • Providing automated, policy-based responses to common events such as usage spikes and virus attacks
    • Planning for and positioning servers around the Internet to minimize traffic hops and application response time

User Interfaces

  • Unicenter Explorer
    • Implemented in Java, Unicenter Explorer integrates and hosts all user interface components and plug-ins for complete management. You can run the Unicenter Explorer management console on various platforms in a heterogeneous environment.
    • Unicenter Explorer includes standard menus, context menus, a left-hand pane for navigation and a right-hand pane for the display of information on objects selected in the left-hand pane, configurable caption titles, and a paper-look design. You can launch Unicenter Explorer through the Unicenter TND program group. UNIX/Linux users can run the uniexplorer script in $JI_SYSTEM/bin to access it.
  • Unicenter Browser
    • The Unicenter Browser is an Internet- and intranet-based user interface that provides virtually all of the functionality found in the WorldView Classic user interface. Since it is a Java applet, it does not require client installation, which makes it accessible from virtually anywhere. Windows users can access it locally on the system where the Common Object Repository resides through Start, Programs, Unicenter TND, Unicenter Browser Interface. UNIX/Linux users can run the tngui script in $CAIGLBL0000/wv/scripts to access it. Remote systems can access it by entering a URL address on any Java-enabled web browser in the form: http:// wvserver/ubi/ubi.html   where wvserver is the name or IP address of the web server on which the server components reside. You can use many of the procedures for the WorldView Classic GUI, contained in CA Procedures located in the Online Books program group, with this interface.
  • Unicenter Classic
    • Unicenter Classic refers to the traditional Windows-based user interface delivered with previous versions of Unicenter TNG. Unicenter Classic includes the WorldView and Enterprise Management program groups accessed through Start, Programs, Unicenter TND.
    • Unicenter Classic also includes the cautil command line interface.
  • WorldView Classic
    • WorldView Classic refers to the traditional Windows-based user interface. WorldView Classic includes the WorldView program group accessed through Start, Programs, Unicenter TND.
    • Using WorldView, you can do the following:

-         Discover all the devices in your network using the CA Discovery service and automatically add them to the Common Object Repository as managed objects.

-         Define new classes using the Class Wizard, allowing for characterization and modeling of practically anything.

-         See your entire network graphically represented on 2D and 3D maps, grouped into networks, subnetworks, and segments based on their logical relationships.

-         Create customized Business Process Views of specific processes based on different business needs, resource features, roles, geographical locations, organizational structures, and applications.

-         Trace all events reported by network devices on the Event Console Log, isolate faults, and display them on the WorldView maps so action may be taken for resolution.

    • WorldView Classic also includes the cautil command line interface.

End-to-End Management

  • End-to-end management is the ability to identify resources throughout your IT infrastructure and organize, monitor, and manage them. Typically, these resources are widely dispersed throughout the enterprise.
  • Unicenter NSM uses object technology to automatically identify and define many resources in your IT infrastructure.
  • Object Technology
    • The number of individual resources in an IT infrastructure may range from small (hundreds) to large (millions). Unicenter NSM uses an object-oriented approach to the management of these resources by automatically defining them as "managed objects" and storing them in the Unicenter Common Object Repository.
    • The Common Object Repository is used by all management functions to store information about managed objects, their properties, relationships, and the methods by which they are managed. Examples of managed objects are hardware devices, software applications, databases, and processes.
  • Common Object Repository
    • All of the objects in your enterprise, including network devices, agents, and software applications, are defined according to their Unicenter NSM class names, and are stored in the Unicenter NSM Common Object Repository (see Objects and Classes following). The Common Object Repository contains managed objects derived from many different classes, such as router, host, application, database, agent, and link. It also contains policies, methods, associations, and objects derived from non-managed object classes.
    • Building the Common Object Repository with information about the resources in your enterprise-also called "populating the repository"-is accomplished using the CA Discovery service.
  • Objects and Classes
    • Unicenter NSM uses two basic tools to manipulate data: objects and classes. Understanding this concept makes creating or modifying a class with Unicenter NSM much easier.

-         Unicenter NSM focuses on easily defined units, which together with their status, are referred to as objects. Examples of objects include SQL servers and CD-ROMs. Unicenter NSM lets you manage these objects.

-         A class is a collection of objects with the same characteristics and behavior. There are many types of classes.

-         A special type of class is the virtual class. A virtual class is not used to create objects, but rather used to help you organize other classes. For example, the ManagedObject class is a virtual class. In Unicenter NSM, you can use the Class Wizard to simplify the creation of classes.

-         Unicenter NSM provides classes for a variety of the most common entities found in heterogeneous environments. Each predefined class has all the characteristics defined and is ready to use.

  • Advanced Visualization Capability
    • Using any data source, you can transport your entire infrastructure to a virtual reality plane that simulates real world environments and is both easy to use and to understand.
    • The innovation of the Association Browser shows the dynamic container relationship and enterprise configuration through a wide array of views. This advanced browser allows you to traverse objects in your enterprise.
  • Time Dimension
    • Time dimension is achieved through the Historian technology of Unicenter NSM. Presented in a multidimensional format, Historian gives you unprecedented insight for the entire enterprise. This added intelligence increases service and efficiency thresholds.

Agent Technology

  • Unicenter NSM uses multi-level, manager/agent architecture. Agent Technology is critical to the management of large environments.
  • Agents perform remote monitoring to report to the manager when error conditions occur or certain threshold values are reached. Agents may also act when instructed to do so by the manager, or they may correlate information and act by themselves.
  • Unicenter NSM provides agents to monitor operating systems and databases. Using the Software Development Kit (SDK), you can also create agents for any device or process, as desired. Unicenter NSM is an open architecture into which you may add agents created by other software vendors.
  • You can create agents to instrument file systems, database applications, and other software applications. These agents significantly increase your ability to monitor and control such software processes.
  • Node View
    • You can use Node View to monitor the status of managed objects discovered by the Auto Discovery process. Managed resources on a node may include such entities as the operating system and its subsystems, databases, and software applications.
    • Because Node View displays the managed objects on a node in tree format, you can see both the overall status of the node, and the logical relationship and status of individual agents and objects at the same time.
  • DSM View
    • DSM View is a companion to Node View and provides detailed information about each managed object in the Distributed State Machine's domain. You can use DSM View to create new properties for a managed object as well as modify the values of existing properties. Using the DSM View windows, you can:

-         Display managed objects based on the class to which they belong.

-         Query the Object Store for managed objects.

-         Edit the properties of a managed object.

  • MIB Browser
    • The MIB Browser is a graphical user interface that can be used to view the values of MIB attributes. Using the MIB Browser, you can browse MIBs supported by SNMP agents running on any node connected to your Unicenter NSM workstation over a TCP/IP network, set the values of MIB attributes, and print MIB data.
  • Individual Agent Views
    • You use the individual agent views to drill down to the specific set of resources monitored by each Unicenter NSM agent. You can also use the controls provided by the views to add new resources for monitoring and to set the threshold values that determine the status of each of the monitored objects.
    • Each agent view is unique and provides a set of detail windows that reflect the different sets of monitored agent resources, such as database tables or file systems.

Performance Management

  • Performance Management provides the following graphical applications used for visualization of performance and resource consumption data:
    • Performance Configuration
    • Performance Scope
    • Performance Trend
    • Performance Chargeback
  • The Performance Management agents collect data from standard system utilities appropriate to the environment being managed. Using the tools provided, you may view this performance data in a context-sensitive fashion by pointing and clicking the managed objects on the Unicenter NSM WorldView Map.

Enterprise Management

  • Enterprise Management is a collection of integrated system management functions available through Unicenter NSM.
  • Using Enterprise Management, you can manage your system resources and add policy-based automation, security, reliability, and integrity to your environment.
  • This management can be accomplished in a centralized fashion, distributed throughout the network, or hybridized by combining different approaches to best match the unique structure of your organization.
  • Further, each Enterprise Management workstation can be customized to reflect the needs of a particular administrator. For example, one workstation can manage backup and archiving of storage, while security workstations can be placed throughout the network, bringing user administration closer to each business unit.
  • Most successful organizations operate according to established policies. As the organization becomes more complex, it becomes necessary to formalize and document these policies. Unicenter NSM allows these policies to be enforced by the systems management functions available in Enterprise Management. Some examples of these types of policies are:
    • When and how different types of data are backed up
    • Who has access to sensitive data
    • Who can change sensitive data
    • How often certain processes shall run
    • What to do if they fail

Enterprise Management Functions

  • Event Management is a status/exception management facility. Using Event Management, you can define policies that instruct Unicenter NSM to intercept selected messages requiring additional attention.
    • By defining Event Management policies, you can:

-         Respond to the message.

-         Suppress the message.

-         Issue Unicenter NSM commands.

-         Start other programs or scripts.

-         Send information to a network management application.

-         Forward the message to other managed platforms.

-         Issue commands to be executed on other platforms.

-         Define or update objects in the Unicenter NSM Common Object Repository.

-         Administer the Unicenter NSM environment remotely using email and pager messages.

    • The CA Event ConsoleT lets you monitor system events across the network as they occur. All running programs and user processes can direct inquiries and informative messages to this facility.
    • You can process messages on individual servers and redirect them to a central server or other Unicenter NSM Event Management servers and, by extension, their consoles. You can collect related messages network-wide for display at a single location, or send them to multiple locations, as needed. Additionally, you can use Security Management options to restrict Console Log views to only authorized personnel.
  • Workload Management provides an effective tool for planning, organizing, and controlling your entire production workload. Workload Management allows you to automate background processing for execution during non-peak hours or according to pre-set schedules, dependencies on other jobs, calendar definitions, or a combination of these.
    • Using Workload Management, you can:

-         Define and maintain jobs.

-         View a list of related jobs.

-         Identify predecessor jobs, files, and manual tasks.

-         Schedule jobs with calendars and triggers.

-         Display job status.

-         Cancel or demand jobs.

    • Additionally, Unicenter NSM Security Management can be integrated to provide authority for each job, and to prevent unauthorized access to these facilities.
  • Tape Management provides comprehensive, yet easy to use tools to perform tasks associated with maintaining your tape library. These tasks include the following:

-         View lists of files, volumes, and storage vaults/areas so you can update or perform actions based on the information.

-         Change the expiration date of a volume.

-         Check a volume out to an out-of-area storage vault, or check a volume in that was previously out-of-area.

-         Print an external label for a volume by selecting either the volume serial number or the data set name.

-         Update the cleaning statistics.

-         Display the status and service description of a volume (in service, deleted, expired, scratch).

-         View lists of tape devices based on esoteric group or generic unit group name for which you want to receive detailed information.

-         Monitor tape device status to determine whether the device is online or offline.

-         Monitor the movement of tape volumes through the Vault Management system.

-         Place ANSI standard labels on tape volumes.

-         Protect against tape data destruction by malicious or accidental overwrites.

-         Maintain automatic tape file inventories.

-         Facilitate swift retrieval of the appropriate tape volume when a file is needed.

-         Provide for automatic recognition of mounted tape volumes and assignment of those devices to requesting applications.

  • Many installations require some type of facility for the storage of tape volumes containing critical files. Examples of such storage facilities include a fireproof vault or an off-site storage location. Working with Tape Management, Vault Management supports:

-         Vault creation

-         Media selection

-         Automated media movement

-         Manual media movement

-         Movement and inventory tracking

-         Audit trails

  • Storage Management comprises Brightstor ARCserve 2000 Backup Unicenter Edition. Brightstor ARCserve Backup is the backup and restore management solution for a local Windows or UNIX/Linux host server. Brightstor ARCserve Backup furnishes the following features:

-         The Job Status manager informs you of job activity and assists in controlling a specific Brightstor ARCserve Backup job.

-         Various options let you optimize basic functions, such as backing up specific files or scheduling a job's performance.

-         The Device Manager manages the devices and media needed to run Brightstor ARCserve Backup efficiently.

-         Brightstor ARCserve Backup enables you to optimize the use of your media, and designate a scheduled backup scheme to coordinate with specific requirements in your environment.

-         The server component monitors the Job, Tape, and Database engines of Brightstor ARCserve Backup, displaying the status of each.

-         The Alert manager reports on the status, results, and activities of Brightstor ARCserve Backup.

-         Brightstor ARCserve Backup recognizes ASM tapes and prevents the tapes from being overwritten.

  • Security Management protects valuable system resources. Using Security Management, you can identify authorized users and the conditions under which they may enter the system and access designated assets. By defining policies for Security Management, you can:

-         Prevent unauthorized individuals from gaining access (logging on) to your system.

-         Ensure that only authorized personnel can access system data, resources, and other assets.

-         Protect against access abuse by users with administrative privileges.

-         Provide a way to audit the use of data and resources. Securable assets may include physical resources, such as programs and files, and abstract resources, such as administrative privileges, and other user-definable assets, as well.




    • An optional feature, User Profile Synchronization (UPS), permits Windows, UNIX/Linux, OS/390, and z/OS nodes to participate in the sharing of password and status updates to user accounts.
  • Problem Management
    • Automates the definition, tracking, and resolution of problems. It provides a framework for accurate management of day-to-day problems and questions.
    • You can continuously improve the reliability of your computing environment by accurately identifying the cause of a problem and relating it to a specific hardware, software, or procedural source. Additionally, you can significantly reduce the time needed to correct problems by assigning ownership and tracking the progress of the resolution, and by automatically escalating a problem until it is resolved.
    • Further, as it is integrated with the other Unicenter NSM functions, Problem Management can identify problems and potential problems automatically.
  • Report Management
    • Report Management extends traditional report/print processes by enabling you to define rules under which selected pages of a report can be repackaged into "bundles" and redistributed to designated users using print or electronic mail facilities.
    • Report Management also tracks report delivery so that the system administrator can monitor the service provided to users.
  • Spool Management furnishes a simplified interface to the UNIX/Linux spooler lp (or AIX enq) to enable users to access and manage spooled files, and to provide the systems administrator with a graphical interface to spool functions.
    • Print devices are usually defined once and updated only when a new printer is added to the system. When you need to add a new printer, you probably spend an excessive amount of time just looking up the commands and syntax you need to make the update. Spool Management simplifies this process and expedites the overall task.
    • Using Spool Management, you can:

-         Define, add, and update print devices.

-         Manipulate the printer queues.

ManagedPC

  • The ManagedPC feature of Unicenter NSM lets you effectively administer your PC workstations. ManagedPC provides the following solutions:
    • Automatically detects ManagedPC operating system installation requests, and provides facilities to customize those requests.
    • Furnishes remote installation services for a Windows operating system.
    • During the Discovery process, automatically inventories all ManagedPCs in the Common Object Repository.
    • Secures images transferred to client computers using Intel's Boot Integrity Services (BIS) for those clients that support it.
    • Through the Unicenter WorldView GUI, offers you methods needed to monitor the status of your ManagedPCs.
    • Includes facilities in the Unicenter WorldView interface that can "awaken" a ManagedPC from a soft off or sleep mode.
    • Furnishes reports that are specifically customized for your ManagedPC administrative personnel.

The Software Development Kit

  • The CA Software Development Kit (CA SDK) lets you take advantage of the capabilities of Unicenter NSM in your own applications. The Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) provided allow access to the WorldView, Agent Technology, and Enterprise Management components of Unicenter NSM.
  • The CA SDK includes three API sets representing the major components of Unicenter NSM.
    • WorldView API - Includes functions and exits that enable user-written programs to interact with Unicenter NSM, the WorldView maps, and the Common Object Repository.
    • Agent Technology API - Lets you create multi-platform, scaleable manager/agent applications. The Agent Technology API library provides an environment in which you may develop agents that communicate with management applications using SNMP.
    • Enterprise Management API - Furnishes access to all of the management functions and common services supplied in Unicenter NSM, and facilitates cross-application integration. The Enterprise Management API library includes functions and exits that enable user-written programs to interact directly with Enterprise Management.


Unicenter Service Level Management

Distinctive Features

  • Java-enabled Web-based User Interface. You can access all administrative tasks and operational status monitoring through the web interface. You can get service level reports from any browser with access to the management console. Unicenter SLM can present collected data on resources in easy-to-understand report formats, including tables and graphs.
  • Generic ASCII Data Import Wizard. You can consolidate service management for disparate applications and services through an intuitive graphical interface, enabling Unicenter SLM to be the focus of your service level initiative. Importing external log data to SLA reports previously required advanced programming skills.
  • XML Data Import Interface. You can import configuration information and collected data into Unicenter SLM by formatting this information in XML. This information needs to comply with a specific XML schema. A SOAP-based interface lets you load this information easily from remote systems. This new interface and mechanism lets you more easily automate the configuration and maintenance of Unicenter SLM.
  • Report Wizard. You can define report groups and report definitions through an intuitive Report Wizard, which also simplifies report production.
  • Metrics. You can create your own SNMP or service metric to provide support for user-specific SLA reporting. Unicenter SLM supports Windows 2000, SAP/R3, MS Exchange agents, and Unicenter agents such as Unicenter Web Management.
  • Metric Charter. You can manage your metrics using the metric charter, which is an advanced visualization and analyzing tool for service management metrics. This Java application provides 2D and 3D animation and charts to highlight service trends. Visual correlation between service components, such as between services offered inside and outside a firewall, provides insights into service bottlenecks as well as useful information to aid capacity planning.
  • Report Configuration Tools. You can tailor reports to view data collected within intervals of interest only, such as business hours, days or weeks, and you can filter the reports to show the level of details to suit job function or interest. Unicenter SLM can present reports on a business' process, geography, organization, customers, service goals and business hours. Unicenter SLM depicts each group with descriptive, user-friendly names.
  • Extensible Data Collection. You can measure, collect, and import performance and SLA data from a wide range of sources, including performance cubes produced by the Unicenter® Performance Management option. SNMP and service metrics from applications and services extend service management to an entire eBusiness infrastructure. You can also import third-party network service performance data from other applications for end-to-end service management.
  • SNMP Metric Wizard. You can create SNMP-based metrics in Unicenter SLM more easily. The wizard also provides you with the ability to create an expression. Expressions (in this context) are MIB variables that together form an arithmetic expression. This can be single OIDs or combinations. The script language is a small subset of the Tool Command Language (TCL). The wizard also provides a MIB browser that can perform online browsing against SNMP agents.
  • Exportable Service Level Reports. You can generate service reports in batch mode and upload the reports automatically to a remote web server.
  • Service Incidents Highlights. You can monitor what factors affect noncompliance. Unicenter SLM highlights periods when external factors, such as power outages, are responsible for noncompliance with SLA.
  • Calendar. You can use the web-based GUI to create events. These events can be used by Unicenter SLM to schedule service incidents, but they may also contain other information. The calendar is designed to provide functionality needed to store and lookup calendar (date/time) related information.
  • Scalable. You can scale Unicenter SLM. Distributed data collection and measurement architecture makes Unicenter SLM a scalable solution for networks, regardless of size.
  • Integration. Unicenter SLM integrates with various Unicenter® Network and Systems Management (Unicenter NSM) agents and solutions for a unified service view of the entire ebusiness infrastructure. The ability of Unicenter SLM to integrate includes the following functions:
    • Collects service management data, automatically, from objects in predefined business process views, creating new report groups
    • Monitors the severity status of these objects for availability in the context of set SLAs
    • Sends potential breaches of SLAs to the Unicenter NSM Event Management console or to the notifications workspace in Unicenter® Management Portal (Unicenter MP)

Architecture

  • Unicenter SLM has a distributed architecture that includes the following components:
    • Console
    • Collectors
    • Report Repository
    • Database
  • The following illustration shows a console and two collectors. The report repository and database run on the console system:

Console

  • The console configures data collections and report groups, produces reports, and monitors current status. The console contains the configuration database and provides the following functionality:
    • Produces service level reports
    • Configures and maintains data collections
    • Displays collected system status
    • Defines and modifies data collections, report groups, report properties, batch report productions, and service incidents
    • Restarts and stops collectors
    • Displays the status of data collections and Unicenter SLM systems
    • Runs and displays reports
    • Maintains the report repository
    • Maintains the calendar service
  • User Interface
    • You access the Unicenter SLM user interface from any web browser with a network connection to the console. You access this interface through TCP port 6668.
  • Web Server
    • You can control access to the user interface by configuring access control on the Unicenter SLM web server. By default, access requires a user name and password. The default for this user name and password are slmo and slmo, respectively.
    • Unicenter SLM includes an interface where you can create user groups using Apache to control access to specific reports. By creating access groups, you can choose whether a user has read-only access or writable access to reports.
  • Daemon Processes
    • The daemon processes on a console system include the following:

-         Database engine (AdvantageTM Ingres® or Microsoft SQL)

-         Data collector (smmCollect)

-         Data loader (smmdbd)

-         Report server (smmReportd)

-         Web server (mhttpd)

-         Optionally, a standard web server (httpd)

-         Servlet runner (Tomcat)

-         RMI Server

-         SNMP MIB Browser

Collectors

  • The Unicenter SLM collector collects and measures data from a wide variety of sources. Unicenter SLM regularly uploads this data to the console system for reporting.
  • snmpCollect
    • The snmpCollect collector gathers data using an SNMP MIB variable or combination of variables. This collector can use advanced expressions prior to data logging.
  • pathagent
    • The pathagent collector measures IP network delay and availability. This collector sends SNMP traps for state changes to the management console.
  • appagent
    • The appagent collector measures system and service response time and availability. This collector sends SNMP traps for state changes to the management console and can measure a wide range of services such as FTP, HTTP, DNS, SMTP, NTTP, POP3, TCP echo, NFS, and so forth.
  • coreimport
    • The coreimport collector imports objects from a Unicenter® Network and Systems Management (Unicenter NSM) Common Object Repository (COR) and collects properties from these objects. This collector must run on the Unicenter SLM console.
  • import
    • The import collector imports configuration data, log files, or externally collected data from files.

Reports, Functions, and Services

  • Unicenter SLM produces service level reports and provides the functions and services needed to support their production. The services provide the following benefits:
    • The data model provides a flexible solution for maintaining, operating, and integrating collected data and configurations.
    • Data collectors gather and measure statistics from your IT infrastructure.
    • Data import reads and uses data collected by other systems, log files, or additional sources of information.
    • Automated data administration maintains collected data over time.
    • Status view of all data collections and systems involved provides information vital for maintenance.
    • The web-based user interface uses, configures, and maintains all aspects of the system.
    • Functions group data collections into report groups and assign them individual service goals and business hours.
    • An automated report production environment distributes service level reports as web documents.
    • Functions support your service level reporting process, including the ability to comment on and classify service incidents, export reports to other web servers and enforce quality control before reports are distributed or exported.

Report Repository

  • The report repository stores and organizes all produced reports. Installed with the Unicenter SLM console, the report repository contains reports as HTML documents organized into categories by group, period, and type. You access reports through the Unicenter SLM web server (port 6668) or a standard web server (port 80).
  • You can create user groups using Apache to control access to the report repository. When a user logs into Unicenter SLM, only those access groups that the user is a member of appear under the Report Repository node of the Unicenter SLM tree.

Database

  • The database stores and maintains all configuration information and collected data. During installation, you select whether Unicenter SLM bases the database on either the Advantage Ingres database or Microsoft SQL server product.
  • You can install your database remotely as a regular or clustered database. You must manually configure a remote database.


Unicenter ServicePlus Service Desk

Unicenter ServicePlus Service Desk Server

  • Your Unicenter ServicePlus Service Desk installation has one or more server components. The number of servers depends on your enterprise. Every installation has exactly one primary Unicenter ServicePlus Service Desk server that manages the overall functionality of the service desk, and installations can optionally have one or more secondary servers to manage specific features.
  • For example, your particular configuration may be as simple as a single machine on which all the needed services are installed. This would be the primary server. On the other hand, your installation may be spread out over several machines, each of which serves a specific function. For example, you may have one machine that runs as the primary service desk server, which also acts as your database server, while a separate web server machine runs the web interface, and yet another machine authenticates users as they come into your service desk system.

The Business Structure

  • ServicePlus Service Dsk has the following components:
    • Sites
    • Locations
    • Organizations
  • These objects have a relationship to each other, as shown in the following diagram:

  • Sites
    • A site is a grouping of locations. Because locations reference sites, you should define sites before locations. This lets you use the new site in the location.
  • Locations
    • Locations precisely identify a specific physical place, such as the address of a particular company, or an office address.
    • Locations are used to pinpoint where other system components reside, such as contacts and assets. A location can be any type of place, such as a city, a campus, a building, or even a floor of a building. Defining locations lets you keep track and administer the areas and locations where the items of concern to your enterprise reside. Locations are the only objects with which you can associate a physical address-all other objects, such as organizations, assets, and contacts, derive their address from the associated location.
    • Locations are also used for the purpose of automatically assigning requests. To base automatic assignment on location, you assign locations to request areas and groups. The request area locations are used to match a request to a location based on the location of the request's asset or affected end user. The group locations are then used to select a group that is eligible for automatic assignment of requests in that location.
  • Organizations
    • Organizations describe internal departments and divisions or external companies that can be assigned to tickets, asset classes, and contacts (for example, they are used to identify the company with which a customer is associated).
    • You can assign a default service type to an organization that is automatically assigned to tickets when the organization is specified. This lets you associate a specific level of service to a ticket based on the assigned organization.

The Business Infrastructure

  • An important aspect of implementing your service desk using Unicenter ServicePlus Service Desk, is to define your business infrastructure by setting up:
    • Asset families and classes
    • Manufacturers and models
    • Service statuses
    • Vendors and vendor types
    • Assets
  • These objects have a relationship to each other, as shown in the following diagram:

  • Asset Families and Classes
    • Asset families classify your system assets by type and assign meaningful attributes for each asset. Asset classes identify general categories of assets that your enterprise supports. Families are broad categories of assets, such as hardware, software, and services. Classes are more specific categories within the broader family category. For example, the asset family hardware might contain asset classes such as, modem, router, repeater, and bridge.
    • Organizing your assets into families and classes makes it easier to manage your assets. For example, you can generate a list of assets that belong to a particular family or class.
  • Manufacturer and Models
    • Manufacturers identify the manufacturers of the various assets of concern to your enterprise. Models contain specific information about the products that a particular manufacturer provides to your enterprise. For example, you might define as a manufacturer a particular software company. Then, you would define as models each one of the applications that the company provides for your enterprise.
    • Defining manufacturers and models makes it easier to manage your assets. For example, you can generate a list of models provided by a particular manufacturer and generate a list of assets of a particular model.
  • Service Statuses
    • Service statuses identify the readiness condition of assets, such as in service, in repair, or discontinued. Defining service statuses let you track the availability and use of assets in your enterprise. For example, you can generate a list of assets that are currently in repair.
  • Vendor Types and Vendors
    • Vendor types are classifications for vendors that identify the type of company providing assets. For example, you might classify vendors that you lease assets from as lessors, while classifying vendors that provide service to you as providers.
    • Vendors identify the companies that supply your enterprise, including the type of company and a primary contact. Besides being referenced by assets, you can also reference a vendor in a user's contact record.
    • Defining vendor types and vendors gives you a convenient way to organize your assets. For example, you can generate a list of vendors that fall under a particular vendor type and generate a list of assets from a particular vendor.
  • Assets
    • Assets are the devices, software, and services that make up your business infrastructure. The information associated with an asset uniquely identifies the asset and indicates its precise location. Assets are referenced in tickets and can be associated with contacts (private assets) and organizations (shared assets). Assets let you:

-         Identify assets by name, class, and family

-         Specify inventory information

-         Specify additional properties to define the asset

-         Log and view comments associated with the asset

-         Specify location information for the asset

-         Specify service information, such as a service type, for the asset

-         View and define contacts and organizations assigned to the asset

-         Identify hierarchical relationships between assets

-         View tickets associated with the asset

    • You can integrate your Unicenter ServicePlus Service Desk installation with other asset management tools such as Unicenter Network and Systems Management, Unicenter Asset Management, and Intraware's Argis IT Asset Management Suite.

Policies

  • A key component of running your service desk using Unicenter ServicePlus Service Desk is implementing your policies in a way that best matches your current business process. You define policies using the following features:
    • Notifications
    • Service level agreements
    • Security
    • Surveys
  • Unicenter ServicePlus SD provides an out-of-the-box policy implementation that is acceptable for some sites and serves as a good starting point for other sites. You will need to review the default implementation in all the policy definition areas to determine if it meets your needs and modify it accordingly, if it does not.
  • Notifications
    • With Unicenter ServicePlus SD, you can automatically notify key personnel about ticket activities (researching, escalating, and so forth) and events (opening a ticket, for example). When a significant activity or event occurs, Unicenter ServicePlus SD creates a notification message that does the following:

-         Identifies the ticket activity or the notification event

-         References the ticket

-         Optionally includes other information

-         Can identify potential contacts

  • Notifications Methods
    • The standard notification methods for Unicenter ServicePlus SD are as follows:

-         Email sends messages by electronic mail directly to the recipient through Simple Mail Transport Protocol (SMTP) mail. Messages are also sent to the recipient's notification log.

-         Fax sends messages to the recipient using the FAXserve product.

-         The notification function sends messages to the recipient's notification log that the recipient can access when Unicenter ServicePlus SD is running.

-         Pager email sends email to an address maintained by a paging system provider. The email text will typically display on an alphanumeric pager.

    • You can also create your own notification methods. For example, you can send notification to a particular printer for periodic collection or by pager.
  • Service Level Agreements
    • In Unicenter ServicePlus SD, you set up service level agreements (SLAs) using service types and events. You can

-         Monitor tickets using events

-         Keep track of vendor and organization commitments and schedules as they relate to specific tickets using service types

-         Establish date and time controls for processing events and service types

  • Security
    • Before you allow people to begin using Unicenter ServicePlus SD, it is important that you set up security to determine what aspects of the system you want users to be able to access, what level of access you want them to have, and how you want them to be authenticated when they log into the system.
    • Security that you establish for Unicenter ServicePlus SD applies to all interfaces to the product, including the administrative client, the web interface, and the email interface.
    • Access Types. Using access types, you can control all security-related aspects of your service desk, including:

-         Access and grant levels

-         Web interface defaults

-         Function access privileges

-         User authentication

-         Internal logs

-         Customization form group

-         Unicenter ServicePlus integration

-         Data partition

    • Access and Grant Levels. Each access type has an access level associated with it, as well as a grant level, which you choose from the following list of predefined access levels, ranked from the highest to lowest level:

-         Admin (highest)

-         Analyst

-         Cust/Emp

-         None (lowest)

    • Function Access Privileges. The access type also defines function access, which determines the Unicenter ServicePlus SD components a user can view or modify.
    • User Authentication. Unicenter ServicePlus SD provides a user authentication solution that you can customize as part of the access type. The same authentication is used by all Unicenter ServicePlus SD interfaces, as well as by other Unicenter ServicePlus products, such as Collaboration Tools (Unicenter ServicePlus CT) and Knowledge Tools (Unicenter ServicePlus KT).
  • Surveys
    • Customer surveys are a useful administrative feature of Unicenter ServicePlus SD, allowing you to systematically collect and analyze customer feedback about your service desk performance. As with most other features of Unicenter ServicePlus SD, you can tailor this one to suit the needs or your site.



Users

  • An important part of establishing a working service desk is defining the users who are going to access it. In Unicenter ServicePlus Service Desk, users are called contacts.
  • Contact Types. Contact types are used to categorize service desk users into logical groupings based on how they use the system. For example, some of the many contact types that are predefined by the system are analyst, customer, and group. These predefined contact types will meet the needs of most service desk implementations; however, if your circumstances require it, you can create new contact types, as well as modify the predefined contact types.
  • A user's contact record defines all the information the system needs to know about the user, which in turn, is used in many ways throughout the system

-         Basic Identification Information

-         Login Information

-         Security Information

-         Service Type Information

-         Automatic Assignment Information

-         Information on How to Send Users Notification Messages

-         Information about the Assets Users Have in Their Environment

-         Groups to which a User Belongs

  • Groups.
    • A group is a collection of contacts that represent a specific area of responsibility within your service desk. Defining groups lets you assign responsibility for resolving a ticket when that responsibility is shared among several individuals. The individual that responds to the ticket in the group is irrelevant.
    • In Unicenter ServicePlus Service Desk, groups are implemented using the predefined group contact type, making a group just a special type of contact. A group has the same basic information as a contact, with the important additional feature that groups are one of the keys to automatically assigning requests.

Support Structure

  • The support structure of you service desk consists of the components that your users work with to resolve problems.
  • The support structure of you service desk consists of the components that your users work with to resolve problems.
  • Unicenter ServicePlus SD supports the following service desk models:
    • Internal
    • External
    • Both
  • Internal Model
    • An internal service desk supports employees who work for a company and have questions or problems with the products and services provided to them by the company. In Unicenter ServicePlus SD, the request is the basic unit of support when operating an internal service desk. Requests are tracking documents designed to handle the questions or problems of employees. They are oriented toward supporting an infrastructure owned and administered by the support organization.
  • External Model
    • An external service desk supports customers who buy products or services from your company and have questions or problems with those products or services. In Unicenter ServicePlus SD, the issue is the basic unit of support when operating an external service desk. Issues are tracking documents designed to handle the questions or problems of customers. They are oriented toward supporting products and services purchased by the customer.
  • Combined Model
    • Some companies have the need to operate both service desk models. In these cases, you can choose to separate these two functions with separate service desk installations, or you can set up Unicenter ServicePlus SD to support both models. The latter choice is convenient if your service desk analysts are cross-trained to support both employees and customers and if the distinction between internal and external support is not always clear. For example, you may have employees who purchase products from your company or customers who have problems and questions with the infrastructure of your company.

Reports

  • Unicenter ServicePlus SD provides a variety of reporting capabilities. Several reporting options are built directly into the Unicenter ServicePlus SD administrative client and web interfaces, including the ability to print forms for individual change orders, issues, requests, assets, and so on; to display summary or detail reports for lists of change orders, issues, requests, assets, and so on; and to display analysis reports.
  • In addition, you can install predefined Microsoft Access and Crystal Reports. These reports present you with information about the performance and status of your service desk and are available to you without the need to install any additional software-everything that you need to run them is installed for you automatically when you choose to install these reporting options with Unicenter ServicePlus SD.
  • Finally, because all of the information that you enter and use to run your service desk is stored in the Unicenter ServicePlus SD database, you can report on that data using any third-party reporting tool that is compatible with your database. To facilitate this type of reporting, several convenient views of the database are provided. Creating reports based on these views is quick and easy because the complex joins and selections are done for you, presenting the information that you, the Unicenter ServicePlus SD clients, have asked for most often.
  • Database Views
    • To allow you to create customized reports of the database quickly and easily, several database views are provided with Unicenter ServicePlus SD. Views simplify access to data by flattening normalized relational data to hide complex data relationships without increasing the size of the stored data.
  • Report Formatting
    • Unicenter ServicePlus SD gives you the ability to customize various data formats on the reports you print from the administrative client and web interfaces
  • Summary and Detail Reports
    • Summary and detail reporting options are built into the Unicenter ServicePlus SD administrative client and web interfaces. To print or view summary and detail reports, you must first select the records you want the report to include.
  • Analysis Reports
    • Analysis reporting options are also built into the Unicenter ServicePlus SD administrative client. Analysis reports help you to provide a global and detailed perspective on the service desk process. The following analysis reports are available:

-         Request Reports. Request reports provide you with statistics, such as number of requests opened, number of requests closed, average time open, and average time until closed for a specified period. This report is sorted by date, oldest to newest.

-         Request Area Reports. Request Area reports provide you with the number of requests opened in the specified period for each request area. This report is sorted alphabetically by request area.

-         Request Area Priority Reports. Request Area Priority reports provide you with the number of requests opened by priority in the specified period for each request area. This report is sorted by priority (highest to lowest) and then alphabetically by request area.

  • Microsoft Access and Crystal Reports
    • Unicenter ServicePlus SD includes several predefined Microsoft Access and Crystal Reports that you can use to generate a variety of graphical and text-based reports. When you install Unicenter ServicePlus SD, you can choose to install either or both of these types of reports-this reporting option is available on both client and server installations.

Options Manager

  • The Options Manager is a feature of the administrative client that lets you modify the functionality of Unicenter ServicePlus SD. For example, you can specify that service types are to be applied to requests but not to change orders.
  • All options can be installed, modified, or uninstalled. Some of them require a value to be specified when they are installed or modified. The detailed description of the option, available through the online help, indicates whether the option requires a value, and the values that are accepted by the Options Manager.
  • Using the Options Manager, you can:
    • Review the status of all options at the summary level
    • View the details of any specific option
    • Uninstall any of the available options
    • Install any defined option

Integrating Unicenter ServicePlus Products

  • Unicenter ServicePlus Service Desk is one of several Unicenter ServicePlus products and as such, is closely related to and integrated with other Unicenter ServicePlus products, such as Unicenter ServicePlus KT and Unicenter ServicePlus CT. Unicenter ServicePlus KT provides you with the tools you need to manage and search your knowledge base, and Unicenter ServicePlus CT gives you a personalized way to interact with customers and help them solve their problems. Used alone, each of the Unicenter ServicePlus products provides a powerful solution to help you service your customers-used together, they provide customers and analysts with all the tools they need to solve problems quickly and communicate effectively with one another.
  • There are a number of different combinations of the Unicenter ServicePlus products from which you can choose, depending on your requirements.

  • Software Delivery and Service Desk Integration
    • Unicenter Software Delivery provides a single solution for the distribution of software packages throughout the enterprise. The Unicenter Software Delivery integration with Service Desk lets Software Delivery raise trouble tickets, specifically in regards to requests and change orders on a Software Delivery job failure or distribution failure. Further, the Software Delivery Administrator is enabled to context launch into the Unicenter Service Desk Web Browser so that you can immediately view trouble tickets associated with a job target or job container. On the Service Desk side of the integration, the Service Desk Analyst is enabled to locate failed job targets and job containers quickly from the context of these tickets.
  • Service Desk and Asset Management Integration
    • Unicenter Asset Management provides a single solution for the discovery and management of IT assets throughout the enterprise. The Unicenter Asset Management integration with Service Desk lets Asset Management raise trouble tickets, specifically; requests and change orders in two ways:

-         Interactively. From an Asset Management asset, Asset Management analysts may launch the Unicenter Service Desk Web Browser to create new tickets associated with the Asset Management asset.

-         Non-interactively. Unicenter Asset Management analysts may define Asset Management policies (event or query based) that when violated, generate tickets from ticket templates in Service Desk.

Graphical User Interface

  • You can access all Unicenter ServicePlus SD functions through its graphical user interface (GUI), which provides a comprehensive and consistent interface for the Unicenter ServicePlus SD administrator and service desk analysts.
  • The Unicenter ServicePlus SD GUI and browser interfaces let you customize windows and view information according to the demands of your business. This lets your administrators and managers evaluate enterprise-wide problem management status instantly and respond with resource allocation adjustments when necessary. You can use the Screen Painter to change windows or create new windows according to the needs at your site.

Web Interface

  • The Unicenter ServicePlus Service Desk web interface (also called the browser interface) provides you with Unicenter ServicePlus Service Desk functionality through the World Wide Web, including the ability to open, update, or close tickets, display and post announcements, and access supporting data tables. It enables independent browsing of the knowledge base, thereby reducing the number of calls to the service desk and speeding resolution times. Web interface security is controlled by the use of access types. The interface can be fully tailored and can be used with many popular web browsers.
  • The Different Web Interfaces
    • Unicenter ServicePlus Service Desk provides several separate web interfaces for different types of users. These interfaces differ primarily in their level of access to the capabilities of the product and the types of tickets they use-interfaces geared primarily toward a user in an external service desk environment would work with issues, while internal service desk users would work with requests and change orders.
    • The supplied interface types are as follows:

-         Analyst Web Interface

-         Customer Web Interface

-         Employee Web Interface

-         Guest Web Interface

-         Mobile Device Web Interface

Keyword Search

  • Unicenter ServicePlus Service Desk - Keyword Search is part of the Unicenter ServicePlus suite of products from Computer Associates that offers a complete customer relationship management solution. Unicenter ServicePlus Service Desk - Keyword Search (Unicenter ServicePlus Service Desk KS) is a powerful knowledge management solution that offers multiple knowledge models, tailoring the right solution to the customer effectively and efficiently. It enables rapid searches of a dynamic knowledge base to quickly resolve customer issues.
  • Unicenter ServicePlus Service Desk - Keyword Search is composed of the following modules:
    • Search Tool. The Keyword Search method allows you to perform a search on words contained in the Problem field of knowledge base documents.
    • Managing Documents Functionality. An analyst and knowledge engineer can manage the content for all of the problem-solving models in the knowledge base. The Manage Documents function provides a mechanism for building and editing knowledge underlying the retrieval tools. Because it includes the ability to assign ownership of a particular knowledge solution to an expert, it ensures that the solution for a given problem is kept current and accurate.
    • Keyword Search Administration. Keyword Search Administration enables the knowledge manager and system administrator to manage the Keyword Search Tools system. A knowledge manager can manage the noise words, special terms, and synonyms that will be excluded or included in searches. The system administrator has access to all of the Keyword Search Administration features, which allows for the management of documents, attachments, and search terms.

Auto Assignment

  • The Auto Assignment feature helps the Unicenter ServicePlus Service Desk manager become more productive by reducing the time it takes to administer the assignment of Requests. Fewer hours are required for manually balancing staff workloads and coordinating Analyst work schedules.
  • Auto Assignment can make logical choices when it comes to assigning Requests to Analysts, based on the following considerations:
    • Which group of analysts works on the requests
    • When different types of problems are worked on
    • Which locations service the various customers
    • Individual analyst workload and availability
  • Auto Assignment can be implemented gradually. In other words, you can avoid spending months on planning and then crossing your fingers when it comes time to start it. Using the Request Area, Auto Assignment is able to make decisions based on logical relationships between Analysts, Groups, Locations, and Workshifts. Whether you track Requests by customers or have an Asset-centric service desk, Auto Assignment can simplify even the busiest help center.


Unicenter Service Management

(Unicenter Service Catalog , Unicenter Service Accounting , Unicenter Service Assure , Unicenter Service Meter & Unicenter Service Fulfillment )

Unicenter Service Management is a fully automated and integrated, multi-vendor service management solution that lets you closely link IT operations with business requirements. With Unicenter Service Management software, you can track resource usage by user, Business Unit or line of business, set and manage service levels and gain visibility into the costs of the services that you provide.

  • Unicenter Service Management enables enterprises with:
    • Service Provisioning. The automatic activation of service requests to speed deployment and minimize the amount of time the IT staff spends on administrative procedures.
    • Accurate Accounting of IT Resource Utilization. Enables enterprises to consolidate and reallocate IT resources, based on actual IT resource usage. Enterprises gain the ability to manage all of their dedicated and shared infrastructure resources including network, storage, servers, and applications. Unicenter Service Management provides enterprises with an accurate account of how resources are being utilized (i.e. by what applications, user, or business function)
    • Cost Allocation and Chargeback. Enables enterprises to account for IT expenses and the true cost of providing services and distribute those costs among the business units using the services. Enterprises can provide their internal Business Units with web access to real time and historical charge back invoice information, as well as, detailed IT usage reports.
    • Budgeting and Planning. Enables enterprises to budget and forecast IT costs based on collected historical IT usage data. Business managers can view the variance between actual spending and budgeted projections providing greater visibility into future IT cost. Business managers gain the necessary information to accurately calculate and justify future IT budgets to meet their future business objectives.
    • End-to-End SLA Management. Ensures that service commitments are met and that appropriate levels of service are provided, which meet business requirements. Service packages suited to any business requirements can be created, and administrators can define and implement SLAs and then track performance verses the defined objectives. Service assurance can also be applied to monitor and enforce service levels for third-party services. SLA reports provide greater visibility into an enterprise's operation environment, and overall health of IT resources from an IT administration or end-user point of view.
    • Service Catalog. Users can access and request service, as well as review their account status. As an IT Administrator, you can track user activity, set up accounts, review service reports, and set service levels and rates for services provided. A service catalog also allows IT to brand its services in order to better communicate the value that IT is bringing to end-users and the enterprise.
  • Unicenter Service Catalog
    • Unicenter Service Catalog serves as the gateway through which information is made available anywhere via a Web Browser. Unicenter Service Catalog is also the access gateway to other components in Unicenter Service Management.
    • Unicenter Service Catalog lets IT managers create a service catalog through which they easily can administer and provide access to all their service offerings. Through the service portal, users can quickly access their current services, browse additional service offerings, subscribe to new services and review their account status. Through the administrator view, IT managers can track user activity, add and delete entries, review and publish service reports, create new accounts and set service levels. By using the catalog to define service parameters, managers can set technical and product standards. Unicenter Service Catalog's simple Web interface is highly customizable and displays can be viewed in multiple languages. Administrators can view user activity by application, resource, Business Unit, or any other defined organizational unit and can also brand service offerings for specific groups of end-users.
    • Unicenter Service Catalog consists of the following features:

-         Service catalog. Defines service offerings, captures and maintains IT service components.

-         Organization structure. Defines an enterprise's organizational structure, controlling access to and publishing information.

-         Web Based Service Portal. Acts as the gateway to information collected by the Unicenter Service Management system complete with access control settings, by role and business unit.

-         Scheduler. Schedules service management associated tasks.

-         Reporting Engine. Has the ability to create tables and charts with drill down capabilities from various data sources. Offline reporting is also available and may be used to free up server resources.

-         Branding. Allows the product look and feel to be customized by business unit and user without any coding.

-         Web Services Interface. Programmatic interfaces, allowing quick and easy integration to other enterprise applications.

    • Catalog Architecture

-         Pictured below is a representation of the service catalog architecture. This depiction demonstrates how an offering is comprised of rate plans, which in turn consist of assorted rate items. These rate items in conjunction with there varying associations constitute the inner workings of the service catalog:

    • Offerings. A product, application, service, or simply something you want to make available to your business units. An offering is then associated with a rate plan, which contains the cost associated with subscribing to it.
    • Rate Plans. A rate plan contains the cost associated with subscribing to an offering, based on transaction, usage based billing, rate and more. It can be composed of many types of chargeable and non-chargeable items, including applications, agreements, etc.
    • SLA Package. A Service Level Agreement (SLA) is a contract that specifies the level of service that will be provided while the agreement is in effect. It is a bundling of service level objectives for a particular enterprise resource. One of the main components of an SLA package is an application instance. You may define new SLA Packages through the Catalog configuration definitions.
    • Unicenter Service Catalog Portal is comprised of 2 components:

-         Content Library. The Portal Library, a directory of published information where data is defined, organized and customized. This data can be shared among users. Administrators can use role based and Business Unit based access control to manage Content Library data. Users can publish private data to the Content Library.

-         Presentation Dashboards. Used to view the information stored in the Content Library. Personal Dashboards allow users to organize, integrate and personalize data. Shared Dashboards are used to publish information to users.

  • Unicenter Service Fulfillment
    • Using Unicenter Service Fulfillment, an instance of a workflow process (also called a process instance) can be launched through Rule Management in response to an internal or external event or scheduled to be run on a regular basis using the scheduler.
    • Architecture. The Workflow architecture is shown below:

    • Workflow Components. Unicenter Service Fulfillment consists of a tool to define a business process model visually, various services for executing the business process model, and a user interface for managing and monitoring workflow processes and tasks.

-         Rule Management. Allows a Service Management administrator to define an action or actions (in the form of scripts, Java programs, E-mails, etc.) to be taken when a certain event is generated in Unicenter Service Fulfillment Workflow Management.

-         Workflow Management. Allows a Service Management administrator to monitor process instances executed by the Process engine. The process engine is the core of the workflow management system, which executes the process instances by following the flow in which they were defined. All the rules and regulations that constitute a workflow process are resolved and executed by the Workflow Engine.

-         Process Definition Tool. Sometimes referred to as the Workflow IDE or Workflow Design Tool, this is  your primary tool for maintaining process definitions, managing workflow instances, and controlling workflow participant interaction.

-         Worklist. The Work list application lets you manage tasks that are currently in your queue as well as the group's queue to which you belong.

  • Unicenter Service Meter
    • Unicenter Service Meter is the architecture designed to collect and normalize data into a common format, preparing the data for business level applications, such as Unicenter Service Accounting and Unicenter Service Assure. Unicenter Serv ice Meter utilizes HTTP for data exchange, and is built on a lightweight, network friendly and scalable push technology.
    • Unicenter Service Meter functionality includes:

-         Real-time and batch data collection and aggregation

-         Monitoring capabilities of dedicated or shared resources

-         Proven methods of data collection

-         Data integrity methods.

-         Self-deployment, update and management of data collectors.

    • Unicenter Service Meter consist of the following features

-         Resource tracking

-         Out-of-the-box metering packages

-         Extendible Resource Tracking Customizations

-         Data Mediation

-         Failover Mechanisms

-         Load-Balancing

-         Pre-build metering reports

    • Host Administration. An enterprise resource is classified as a Host or Network Device. When creating a host through the Host Administration GUI, the host type denotes whether the device is of type net device or host. As an Administrator, you may add new hosts or drop hosts
    • Metric Request. Ucenter Service Meter is responsible for data collection. The metric request is a request to collect a particular metric on a particular resource.  It denotes the actual metric to be collected on a resource and the data collection method used to collect metric data.
    • Metric Diagnostic Reports. Diagnostic reports give detailed information on every data collector and metric request. An administrator can monitor data collection from a central location and quickly pinpoint an error when an error in data collection occurs.
  • Unicenter Service Assure
    • With Unicenter Service Assure, IT managers can monitor service levels from their user's point of view. Known as end-to-end service-level reporting, the software allows them to track an array of IT functions in aggregate. So, instead of reporting on dropped CPU cycles, memory errors and network lag, they can demonstrate the end result of all this activity in terms meaningful to their end-users such as e-mail availability and response time.

    • Unicenter Service Assure Subcomponents. The Unicenter Service Assure Engine runs as a Windows Service or a UNIX daemon and hosts four sub-components. The components that can be installed during installation are:

-         Processor. Monitors SLO's (Service Level Objectives). The main SLO engine is designed to have multiple instances, allowing you to split the workload across multiple machines. The workload depends on the number of SLAs andSLOs you define in Unicenter Service Assure.

-         Database. Handles all database access. It can be installed on a single machine that has the database drivers installed to service the processors. Currently, the database component supports native Oracle client, native Ingres client, or MSQL Server on the Windows platform.

-         Unicenter Service Management Registry. Follows the same philosophy as the database component.

-         Gateway. Provides a central access point to allow external systems (for example Unicenter Service Meter) to send event data to the processors. The gateway component is designed to have only one instance.

  • Unicenter Service Accounting
    • Unicenter Service Accounting enables you to set up usage or transaction based billing through Unicenter Service Meter, credit for violations through Unicenter Service Assure, charge for subscriptions to the Catalog, and more.
    • Uncenter Service Accounting generates invoices based on real-time usage data and supports a variety of chargeback methodologies.
    • Unicenter Service Accounting offers extended usage based chargeback over a wide range of supported applications, networks, and applications, and other value added services, including email transaction count by user, CPU usage on shared UNIX or Windows servers by application , amount of storage used and allocated, etc.
    • Accounting Architecture

    • Accounting Configuration. You may change the configurations by clicking on the value and selecting a new value. The Accounting Configuration window displays the following groups of fields:

-         Accounting Profile Defaults

-         Invoice Engine Configuration

-         System Configuration

-         System Configuration

-         Subscription Configuration

-         Planning Configuration

-         Payment Methods

-         Invoice Methods

-         Billing Cycles












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