Living Inventory Managers

By | September 18, 2012

Inventory management systems are a must for most of the root cause analysis and service impact analysis that we rely on.

One of the other primary benefits of a NIM is that it gives you a holistic view of your infrastructure. This way, you can use this infrastructure more effectively and reduce your CAPEX. You can pinpoint your idle resources and assign the next work package to them rather procuring a new one. Seeing the processing capacity, the planning department can apply more processes to lower utilized devices.

The problem that may arise in here is the static nature of the NIM. The data you enter manually or import to the system is static. That is to say, the system does not go and fetch data by itself. You define the device, you define locations, you define IP addresses. All static. Theres nothing wrong with this as the NIM lives like this without a problem. A healthy process architecture, can make the NIM data concrete and up-to-date.

But wouldnt’ it be nice if the NIM becomes more active? For example, I need a virtual machine to be installed on my architecture. I have a look at my devices and see the they are currently at their capacity.
So I need to procure a new device? This may not be the case. Looking at the performance management, I see that the device X is CPU loaded only at the midnight for 2 hours period. Other times its’ utilization is 1% only. For sure this VM can be installed onto this machine if the application on this VM will not use CPU that much on that time.

If my NIM can somehow fetch this load data and reflect it to the provisioning process, the admin or the expert system who will assign the VM to a machine can choose to install it on this device rather starting a new device procurement process.

Offcourse this VM example can be extended to virtual routers or TDM resources. The approach will save resources and promote re-usability while reducing CAPEX.

Do current NIM vendors ready for such change or are they willing to?