3 ways Virima offers Jira Service Management customers a true CMDB
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3 ways Virima offers Jira Service Management customers a true CMDB

Are you an Atlassian Jira Service Management (JSM) customer looking to implement a CMDB within JSM but having a hard time figuring out where to start? Or perhaps you figured out the necessary steps but don’t have the time to do it.  Lastly, maybe you have put in the work but now you’re wondering how to keep the CMDB data up to date to have made the effort all worthwhile.

If any of this sounds like you, you’re in the right place. In this article, we’ll discuss how Virima builds, augments, and maintains a reliable Jira Service Management CMDB.  Plus as a bonus, you’ll learn how Virima Visual Impact Display (ViVID™) operationalizes the CMDB to add velocity to your IT service management processes.

First, let’s start with the basics of why you need a CMDB and what a CMDB even is.

Why do you need a CMDB?

There are numerous benefits to having a trustworthy CMDB and it is a topic Virima has written about substantially over the years.  For example, What is a CMDB and why is it important? details the role a CMDB plays in critical service management processes such as Incident, Change, Problem, Knowledge and of course Configuration.  A CMDB also provides inherent benefits when it comes to IT Asset Management, cybersecurity, vulnerability remediation, business continuity and capacity planning, compliance and audits.  With so many compelling reasons for a CMDB it’s no wonder IT organizations have spent so much time and money trying to build one.  

What’s a true CMDB?

The Configuration Management Database (CMDB) is a data repository that stores comprehensive information about the devices, applications, components, and relationships involved in delivering business services (such as HR, order entry, CRM) within an enterprise. This encompasses a wide range of items including compute hardware (such as servers, desktops, laptops), software (operating systems, applications, websites), infrastructure (network, storage, security), virtual resources (hypervisors, virtual machines, containers), and associated facilities (racks, power systems).

With each of IT’s key assets stored and tracked as a Configuration Item (CI), a CMDB allows organizations to centralize their data and gain detailed insights for various IT operations across departments and divisions.

So a true CMDB is something that reflects the current state (as opposed to a “once upon a time state”) of every CI record kept within and can be trusted as a single source of truth for learning about any CI and things like its attributes, status, ownership, relationships, and dependencies.

Does Jira Service Management offer a true CMDB?

Technically speaking, Jira Service Management offers CMDB functionality but lacks out-of-the-box CMDB schemas that allow it to be populated in a meaningful way. So what’s a CMDB schema? Here is what Atlassian says:

An object schema is your actual CMDB. It’s a collection of object types and their attributes, objects, and references between them. It also includes your configuration items, such as roles, icons, statuses, and automation rules. Object schemas work like maps that hold all of it together. You can have many object schemas, and refer to objects inside them from your issues and requests.

Using a painting as an analogy for a CMDB, JSM offers the canvas but by not including the CMDB schemas out of the box, it lacks the simplicity of paint by numbers.  Sure, you may end up with a painting, but probably not one you’d want to hang on the office fridge.   

How Virima delivers a true Jira Service Management CMDB

Whether you’re starting fresh with the JSM CMDB, have created a few CMDB schemas but have a lot more work to do, or put in the time (or money for someone else’s time) to create the schemas and now  need a way to populate and maintain the CMDB, Virima has you covered.

1. Virima solves the Jira CMDB schema challenge

You read that right.  What Virima refers to as “blueprints” is in fact each a CMDB schema that can be automatically recreated in the JSM CMDB.  Out of the box, Virima has over 120 blueprints covering things like Windows desktops, Linux servers, virtual machines, AWS EC2 instances, websites, applications, network switches, and so on and so on.  And if those blueprints aren’t enough, it’s a piece of cake to create new blueprints off of existing ones or completely from scratch.  The best part?  All of these blueprints can be easily configured within the Virima UI to show up in the JSM CMDB.  

Gone is the need to brainstorm and create the common CI types you want to include in the CMDB along with all their important attributes.  Without Virima’s automation, manually creating CMDB schemas within JSM poses a significant blockage to CMDB’s success.

Now let’s say you have put in the effort to create some CMDB schemas in JSM and are concerned about Virima creating duplicate schemas or overwriting your hard work.  The flexibility of the Virima UI and deep API integration with the JSM CMDB eliminates that concern.  When establishing the sync between the two platforms, you choose which Virima blueprints map to existing JSM schemas and which blueprints need to be replicated as new schemas.  You also can choose which attributes of Virima blueprints you want to sync to the Jira CMDB.   

So regardless of how much (or little) effort you have put into building the foundations for a CMDB in Jira Service Management, Virima will ensure you are ready to fully populate it.  More on that next.

2. Virima Discovery populates the Jira CMDB

Once you’ve established the building blocks of the JSM CMDB, the next step is to populate it.  Forget importing from spreadsheets or disparate data sources that were never trustworthy to begin with.  Virima’s automated CMDB discovery for Jira Service Management takes the pain out of populating the CMDB. Using agentless IP-based scans and a multitude of API integrations, Virima Discovery automatically and repeatedly discovers data center, network, edge, and cloud resources. Virima also offers an optional agent for Windows servers and PCs and a work-from-anywhere solution to keep tabs on remote PCs.

As assets are discovered across the hybrid IT environment, they are automatically associated with the pre-defined CI blueprints discussed earlier. Once again, the option to modify and create custom blueprints also exists.  These discovered CIs are then synced to the JSM CMDB per the parameters set-up for each Jira CMDB schema.

Just as there are safeguards to prevent duplicate CMDB schemas, Virima also allows for blueprint-specific unique identifiers that ensure any CIs already existing in Jira are not duplicated when the discovery data comes over.  These configurable CI correlators allow Virima to update existing CI attributes with fresh data.  And because Virima discovers so much detail about CIs, there will surely be new data fields that had never been populated before. 

3. Virima takes the pain out of Jira CMDB maintenance

Despite having automated CMDB discovery to populate, when it comes to ensuring the CMDB is always up-to-date and reflects the correct state of every CI, it’s another process that if done right won’t leave you wondering about the trustworthiness of the Jira CMDB. 

A big part of maintaining the CMDB depends on defining roles and assigning ownership. It means you’re assigning owners for each configuration item (CI) type who will be responsible for ensuring data reflected through periodic automated discovery is correct.  They will also be responsible for augmenting the discoverable data with human intelligence and investigating when something is no longer being discovered.  Did it move, get decommissioned or become lost?  Virima’s Autonomic Social Discovery (ASD) helps automate this human intelligence gathering and confidence scores bring attention to CI’s with suspect status.  

Moreover, the intelligent CMDB automation offered by Virima allows you to set up business rule automation to establish what types of updates should be automatically reflected in the Jira CMDB versus which require manual review and approval.   So you get both a hands-free approach to maintaining the CMDB and a degree of oversight and control when you want it. 

The important thing to remember is it only takes a few instances of bad data before CMDB users start to question its integrity.  Smart automation is key to CMDB maintenance and ultimate success.  

Next steps: Operationalizing the Jira CMDB with ViVID™

So Virima helps you build a true CMDB and infuse automation in CMDB maintenance to ensure it remains true. But what’s the use of simple configuration knowledge unless you operationalize it? 

Operationalizing the CMDB is effortless with the Virima Visual Impact Display (ViVID™).  ViVID drives truly actionable intelligence from the configuration knowledge within your Jira CMDB by integrating Virima’s dynamic relationship and service mapping with Jira ITSM processes. 

What it means is that the Jira Incident and Change overlays on ViVID’s service maps add more velocity to things like incident response and change planning.  This powerful combination forms a collaboration nexus with ease of stakeholder identification and a shared view of IT infrastructure and CI statuses. 

And the best part? ViVID comes standard with Virima’s CMDB discovery and JSM integration.  So from building, augmenting, and maintaining your Jira CMDB to operationalizing what’s in it, Virima has your back at each step.   

Read more: Enhanced incident management: Virima’s ViVID™ for Jira Service Management 

Why do Jira Service Management customers need a reliable CMDB?

Jira CMDB adds velocity to IT service management for JSM customers and does more: 

1. Jira CMDB for enhanced incident management

A CMDB simplifies incident handling by logging and organizing them for easy future reference. Your Jira CMDB enables you to study the history of incidents, spot repetitive ones, and pinpoint their causes.

You can leverage Virima’s asset relationship mapping for incident impact assessments. This helps quickly identify possible ripple effects, speeding up the incident resolution process. But more than that, by analyzing the relationships and dependencies of Configuration Items (CIs) through dependency mapping, you can easily trace the root cause of issues. Change details associated with each CI further help determine if the current issue is change-related. 

For preemptive incident management, consider linking system management alerts with the affected CIs. This leads to possible resolution of issues before they amplify into felt problems for service consumers.

2. Jira CMDB for robust change management

A trustworthy CMDB serves as a detailed information bank for evaluating change risks and their potential impact on systems and users. Therefore, your Jira CMDB and Virima service maps can play a pivotal role in assessing interdependencies and impacts before approving changes to minimize change failures.

For the first step of change management, however, Jira CMDB data aids in change request prioritization by considering the significance and relationships of affected configuration items and helps avoid change collisions.

3. Jira CMDB for cybersecurity

A crucial part of cybersecurity is being aware of your IT assets and their configurations. A reliable Jira Service Management CMDB acts as the single source of truth about the numbers and attributes of your current assets. Comparing present and past data helps identify new, missing, or rogue systems.

For vulnerability prioritization, you can use Virima’s NIST NVD integration to ID assets with vulnerabilities and ViVID dependency and relationship maps to determine the remediation efforts order, considering both the inherent risk of a vulnerability and its potential impact on critical business services.

4. Jira CMDB for compliance and reporting

CMDBs are essential for maintaining compliance with industry standards and regulations by ensuring control over configurations and proper management of assets. It’s your detailed register of assets, their configurations, and the changes that happen therein. So while complying with various regulations, your Jira CMDB well maintained by Virima discovery will provide audit logs to showcase that necessary procedures and safeguards are adhered to.

5. Jira CMDB for IT asset management

An accurate CMDB is essential to modern IT asset management (ITAM).  Wondering about the current state of an asset? Check your CMDB. Need to generate reports on the condition of the assets, the changes made, and compliance with rules and regulations? Your CMDB has got it. Similarly, if you’re looking to maximize asset utilization and optimize resource allocation, the CMDB helps. With a Virima-built Jira CMDB, you can report on your hardware and software assets with confidence.

6. Jira CMDB for planning

A reliable Jira CMDB provides an accurate understanding of IT asset relationships, supporting planning for capacity, resource allocation, and investments. For example, it helps gather information about existing servers and their specifications, utilization levels, and performance metrics, ensuring informed decisions during server infrastructure upgrades. 

When combined with a heads-up display like ViVID, the CMDB aids in planning for cybersecurity response, proactive IT operations, and DevOps.

Build a reliable Jira CMDB to get the most out of the Jira Service Management investment

No matter what blockage you’re facing while implementing a Jira Service Management CMDB, Virima has you covered for every stage of the journey– building, augmenting, maintaining, and operationalizing the CMDB.  With a trustworthy CMDB at your disposal, you can now be sure of adding velocity to your IT service management processes and beyond through the Jira Service Management platform.  

Schedule a demo to learn more about how Virima discovery and the Virima Visual Impact Display (ViVID™) redefine the Jira CMDB experience. 

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