How does the CMDB task "Inventory to Asset Synchronization" work?

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Article ID: 181655

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CMDB Solution

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This article provides frequently asked questions and answers about how the Inventory to Asset Synchronization task works, along with providing additional resources on how to troubleshoot it if it fails to work.

Question: What does this task do?
Answer: The task copies the data class values for Inventory Solution's Manufacturer, Model, Serial Number and System Number to CMDB Solution's counterpart data classes, if CMDB's are blank. This is all. This task is often confused as a merge, deletion, or having the ability to do something else, which it does not.

Question: What data classes are copied?
Answer: In SQL, these are in the following tables and data classes:

The Inventory Solution data classes of...
Manufacturer: Inv_HW_Logical_Device.Manufacturer *
Model: Inv_HW_Logical_Device.Model *
Serial Number: Inv_HW_Computer_System.[Identifying Number]
System Number: Inv_SW_BIOS_Element.[Identification Code] **

... are copied to CMDB Solution's data classes if they are blank
Manufacturer: Inv_Manufacturer.Manufacturer
Model: Inv_Manufacturer.Model
Serial Number: Inv_Serial_Number.[Serial Number]
System Number: Inv_Identity.[System Number]

Notes: (*) For the Inventory Solution data classes of Manufacturer and Model, multiple entries will appear in the Inv_HW_Logical_Device table for the same computer GUID. It's not therefore a straightforward process in SQL to derive which record is specifically used for either data class. (**) For the Inventory Solution data class of System Number, this may not be in Inv_SW_BIOS_Element.[Identification Code]. For example, this data could instead be in the data class of Inv_HW_Chassis.[Asset Tag]. For more information alternate System Number data classes, refer to the following article:

CMDB task "Inventory to Asset Synchronization" does not sync the System Number
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Question: How can I check these data classes in SQL?
Answer: Evaluate the above data classes in SQL to determine what is where. For example, if a specific computer doesn't have data in Inventory Solution's data classes, such as Inv_HW_Computer_System.[Identifying Number] for the Serial Number, then it's likely that the computer doesn't have the Inventory plug-in or if so, isn't having a Hardware policy applied to it. To further evaluate this data, run the"Find Inventory and CMDB Sync data" SQL script, attached to this article, and find the specific computer in question to see what its data classes are.

Question: Where is this task located at?
Answer: This task is located in the Symantec Management Console under Manage > Jobs and Tasks > Service and Asset Management > CMDB > Inventory to Asset Synchronization.

Question: I don't see this task where it's supposed to be at, what's wrong?
Answer: This task requires CMDB Solution to be installed in Symantec Installation Manager. This can be installed separately, or by installing the Asset Management Suite or ITMS Suite. Also, ensure that the user is part of the Symantec Administrator's role, otherwise this task may not be visible in the restricted Console.

Question: Does this task run automatically?
Answer: This task does not run automatically. The user would therefore need to set up a schedule for it if it is desired to run automatically.

Question: But doesn't this task actually sync Asset Management Solution data?
Answer: This task is unfortunately named differently than it should have been named and does not actually sync any Asset Management data (purchase orders, software licenses, etc.). A better name for the task could have been "Inventory to CMDB Synchronization", therefore, as the data being synced goes into CMDB Solution, not Asset Management Solution.

Question: How do I configure this task?
Answer: This task is fairly easy to set up:
 

  1. Go to the task.
  2. Select a filter to use by clicking on the "Include filters" link.
  3. Click on the "Save changes" button.
  4. Click on the New Schedule button.
  5. If the task is desired to be run immediately, leave Now selected and click on the Schedule button. Otherwise, configure a schedule and then click on the Schedule button.
  6. If the task was set to run Now, click on the Refresh button periodically until the task shows that it completed.
  7. Spot check a computer that was on the filter by editing it in Manage > Assets > Manage Configuration Items > Computers and Peripherals > Computer, to check if it has the Inventory Solution data classes of Manufacturer, Model, Serial Number and System Number copied into CMDB's counterpart data classes.
  8. For additional information on using and configuring this task, refer to the CMDB User Guide:

    Altiris™ CMDB Solution 8.5 from Symantec™ User Guide
    CMDB 8.5 User Guide pdf


Question: What is needed to enable this task to work correctly?
Answer: The following describes what is needed for this task to work correctly:
 

Part 1: Inventory Solution Hardware policy must report back hardware data to the Symantec Management Platform server.

1. A Computer or Virtual Machine resource (an active managed computer) must have the Symantec Management Agent and Inventory Solution plug-in installed and they must be reporting successfully back to the Symantec Management Platform server. Note: Inventory Solution can also use a stand-alone inventory process for this, and so technically a client does not need to have a physical Agent installed so long as its Inventory Solution Hardware data is being gathered.

2. An Inventory Solution Hardware policy must be ran on the client and it must report its hardware data back successfully to the Symantec Management Platform server.

Part 2: The Inventory to Asset Synchronization task is run.

1. The task is run, either manually or on a schedule set up by the user.

2. If the computer being evaluated by the task has values for Inventory Solution data classes of Manufacturer, Model, Serial Number or System Number, this data is copied over to CMDB's counterpart data classes that are empty. If CMDB's counterpart data classes already have values, the specific data class is skipped. For example, if CMDB already has its own Serial Number, but its Manufacturer, Model and System Number data classes are blank, then the Inventory to Asset Synchronization task will only copy Inventory Solution's data classes of Manufacturer, Model and System Number to CMDB's counterpart data classes; the Serial Number is skipped and not overwritten.

WARNING: The expectation is that once the the Inventory Solution data classes of Manufacturer, Model, Serial Number and System Number never change. Once synced over to the CMDB's counterpart data classes, these should never change either (as the task can't overwrite any data already present anyway). However, if computers or computer names are being reused (which is not supported by the Altiris system), this will result in corrupted Inventory Solution data. This may then appear as a different value in Inventory Solution as compared to CMDB's data. This issue is serious, and is further discussed here, along with a way to help empty CMDB data classes in preparation of re-running an Inventory to Asset Synchronization to correctly re-populate the current ones:

Computer's Manufacturer, Model, Serial Number or System Number are incorrect or missing
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Question: When should I run this task?
Answer: This task can be run whenever the user wants to copy the Inventory Solution data classes of Manufacturer, Model, Serial Number and System Number to the CMDB's counterpart data classes. This can be part of a of a process where there are unmanaged records and managed records. For example:

  • The user sets up staging (unmanaged) records by importing computers via Barcode Solution or Data Connector.
  • Later, actual computers that their staging records are for are brought into the database by the Symantec Management Agent.
  • Later still, Inventory Solution runs policies on the actual computers, bringing back Hardware and possibly Software data.
  • An Inventory to Asset Synchronization can now be run, if the user desires to see or make use of Inventory Solution data in its Manufacturer, Model, Serial Number and System Number in CMDB's counterpart data classes.
  • One use for this data being copied over is that for this scenario listed here, a duplicate computer record will exist; one will be the staging record, the other the actual record. A Duplicate Computer Merge task could then be finally run to combine both records, based on their Barcode, Serial Number or System Number. Note: For this last part to successfully work, the user would need to import the staging records with a Barcode, Serial Number or System Number, to enable the Duplicate Computer Merge to work.


Question: Can't this task also merge, delete or copy other data classes?
Answer: This task is only designed to copy the Inventory Solution's data classes of Manufacturer, Model, Serial Number and System Number to CMDB's counterpart data classes (if blank) and performs no other processes. This task:

  • Does not copy data from CMDB Solution to Inventory Solution; it is a one-way sync from Inventory Solution to CMDB Solution.
  • Does not copy any other data classes (default or custom) other than Inventory Solution's Manufacturer, Model, Serial Number and System Number to CMDB's counterpart data classes.
  • Does not merge records. The sync uses the same record that has Inventory Solution data to copy to its empty CMDB data classes. It does not use one record that has Inventory Solution to copy to another record's CMDB data classes.
  • Does not delete records.


Question: This task isn't working, some or all of Inventory Solution's data classes are not being copied to CMDB's data classes, how can I troubleshoot this?
Answer: Refer to the following article for how to troubleshoot the Inventory to Asset Synchronization task:

How to troubleshoot the CMDB task "Inventory to Asset Synchronization"
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Attachments

Find Inventory and CMDB Sync data.txt get_app