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Integration Request - Snow Inventory


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Hi, 

Can I request an integration with Snow Softwares Snow Inventory. https://www.snowsoftware.com/int/products/snow-inventory 

We would need to to update our asset database with hardware details, user login details etc, as close to real time as possible, and possibly software on each device as well.

This link may be helpful also https://www.snowsoftware.com/int/products/snow-integration-connectors 

Thanks 

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Hi Dan,

I will ask the question internally, I suspect our asset import tool might already work for this.  Can I clarify,....

* are you using SNOW on-premise or in the cloud? 
* [We would need to to update our asset database with hardware details, user login details etc, as close to real time as possible, and possibly software on each device as well.]  I think you are saying you would like to achieve one-way replication of data from SNOW to Hornbill Assets as close to real time as possible?  Can you quantify "as close to real time as possible" are we talking minues, hours, days etc...?
* Can you provide any screen shots of the type of data you want to bring across please?

Thanks,
Gerry

[edit] I was also mean to say  this is in the wrong forum, this type of integration does not fall under the iBridge, I will re-locate the post to the general integrations forum. 

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Hi @Gerry

Apologies for posting in the wrong area. 

We currently use Snow Licence Manager to manage our Software Licences (the clue was in the name I know) and are looking at a way of having real time (maybe 6 hours old) asset data. 

This has basically come about from an internal audit and the audit point is "to have a real time asset management solution in place to more accurately monitor hardware", about as grey as you can get. 

Basically you hit the nail on the head with 

22 minutes ago, Gerry said:

* [We would need to to update our asset database with hardware details, user login details etc, as close to real time as possible, and possibly software on each device as well.]  I think you are saying you would like to achieve one-way replication of data from SNOW to Hornbill Assets as close to real time as possible? 

 As we have yet to purchase the solution I cant provide a screenshot I am afraid (seems Snow don't like putting them online either). It was more of an is this possible, as the decision to purchase a solution will depend largely if we can integrate it with Service Manager properly. 

As a starter we would just be importing the data into fields already available in Service Manager I would guess. 

Thanks 

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Hi Dan,

So you are currently using SNOW to manage your software licenses and thats doing what you need.  Are you trying to bring data in from your software license management solution as well? I am not sure you have said that but just wanted to clarify.  I think you are saying you are looking at SNOW as a tool to discover your assets (by that I think you mean your hardware assets?) such as computers, servers etc... ? and then create visibility of the said assets in Hornbill Service Manager?

Setting SNOW aside for a moment, can I we drill down a little on the specific data you want to get into Service Manager, do you have any sense of that right now? I am trying to understand scope here, Is it your desktops, notebooks, servers etc... or does the scope extend to mobile devices? or any other? 

"to have a real time asset management solution in place to more accurately monitor hardware" , and specifically "to more accurately monitor hardware" am I interpreting that as to know more about what assets you have, accurately monitor means? know where they are? know what configuration they are? know if they are being used?  

I am assuming the purpose of brining them into Hornbill is not for reporting, its more related to enabling your team to log requests against said assets?

I sound like I am asking loads of difficult questions don't I... just trying to understand what you need to achieve so I can give you the best direction. 

[edit] you mentioned you have not bought SNOW yet, what deployment method are you considering... is it cloud based or on-premise deployment - this would be very helpful to know

Gerry

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@Gerry the audit point is about as vague as they could make it whilst still making it ITs problem. 

You are correct in saying that Snow Inventory will do network discovery. It will find all devices attached to the network (if they are in AD or not) which is why we want to use it. 

Basically it will be importing the data about all of our hardware. Clients (laptops, desktops and *shudder* surfaces at the moment), Servers, VMs. Mobile devices are managed via our MDM solution (although that is also in the process of renew / replacement). We (currently) don't need data to come from Snow Licence Manager (although that may change depending on a number of things) 

The data we are looking for is things like:

  • Hardware Configs (CPU, Installed RAM, Installed HDD, OS Ver and SP level)
  • Asset Types (Printer, VM, Laptop, Desktop, Server etc)
  • User Ownership (Used by, Last logon etc) 
  • Locations (this will probably come from AD as the fields are either one of our offices or remote worker)  

The reason for this is both reporting and ticket logging. If $User logs a request saying their laptop is slow and keeps falling over, a quick look at the assigned laptop will tell us the specs, which will be live from the machine (albeit up to 6 hours old) and how old it is etc.

Snow Licence Manager is 'cloud' based and so (if purchased) Snow Inventory would follow suit. 

We are trying to make a solution where the service desk guys and girls dont have to keep jumping from system to system to find basic info on the estate. It will also make our lives easier at audit time (which is always a winner) 

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Hi Dan,

OK that all makes sense now, I think I understand what you are trying to achieve.  Now I know we have integrations with SNOW already, but I have a feeling thats for an on-prem deployment where we were able to pull from the database.  For SNOW in the cloud I am not sure how that would work as I am not sure as a customer you have direct access to the database in that deployment model - perhaps thats a question you could pose to SNOW in your communications with them?  I think we would be happy to look at creating an integration for you if we have access to the database, not sure how it would work if we cannot get the database access, possibly some form of automated export/import type arrangement. Much of this depends on what we can do with SNOW its self. 

Gerry

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It doesn't help that we use a third party who provide our Snow instance. 

I will speak them them and maybe they can provide a user logon with db access to allow for this.

They should be calling me at some point during the next week so I will get back to you and see what they say. 

Thanks 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi @Gerry

Can you provide me a quick run down of how you connect to the Snow on-prem solution? 

I have a call with Snow on Thursday to go over requirements and if I could tell them how you get it to work now it may give them an idea of how to move forward with connection to the hosted solution. 

Thanks 

Dan

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@Dan Munns

Its pretty simple, for imports you would run an import tool on your  network.  It would connect to the SNOW database, extract the required data, and transform it into data that our platform needs, pushing it up to our instance over a simple HTTPS connection.  

For the hosted solution, it depends what access you get to the underlying data.  If its API's we have to call thats one thing, if you can access the database directly then thats pretty much the same as the on-prem integration. 

Does that help? If you run into major problems I am happy for myself or someone else here to jump on a call with them to clarify

Gerry

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Thanks @Gerry

The call is Thursday at 3pm so if someone is available it may be beneficial. 

If not I can set up another call at a later date for Snow and yourselves to iron out details if needed. 

I am hoping that APIs are available if I am honest but I will have to wait and see I suppose.

Thanks again. 

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  • 1 month later...

@Dan Munns

I expect this might make you happy :) This integration request was prioritised for you primarily because we really value your participation in our spotlight blog series (https://www.hornbill.com/blogpost/spotlight-secure-trust-bank-has-esm-success-with-hornbill/ ), thanks again for that. 

One of our engineering team has developed the integration following the telephone meeting he attended with yourself and the representative of SNOW, its been developed as an open integration connector. 

The documentation can be found here:
https://wiki.hornbill.com/index.php/Snow_License_Manager_Cloud_Asset_Import

And the connector and other related documentation as well as the source code for the connector can be found here:
https://github.com/hornbill/goSnowCloudAssetImport

As this is a new integration there may be minor issues, please let us know in the Open Integration forum if you have any problems and we will sort it for you. 

Gerry

 

 

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@Gerry Sorry and I am sure it is something I am doing (or not doing) but all I seem to get is an error: 'Could not get Asset Class and Type. Please check AssetType within your configuration file: EOF'

The AssetTypes section is only looking for laptops and the AssetType field matches both the Snow and Hornbill asset type 'Laptop' but in the log file it seems to be looking for the asset type 'Server' which isn't in my .json.

Any ideas / help appreciated 

I have attached the rather short error log.

Thanks 

Asset_Import_2018-03-22T11-20-46Z_0.log

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Hi @Dan Munns,

As per the email I've just sent, a 404 error here generally points to an incorrect instance name being used. Could you check the instance name in the conf.json please, ensuring that it's correct, and in the correct case?

Thanks,

Steve

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@Steve G @Gerry I would just like to thank you both for all your effort with this. I have now successfully imported around 650 assets from our hosted Snow Inventory Manager solution in to Service Manager (including filtering out assets from other areas within the business) and it works like a charm. 

I just have to set it up on the server to run to a schedule and all will be complete.

Thanks again. 

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@Steve G @Gerry I would just like to thank you both for all your effort with this. I have now successfully imported around 650 assets from our hosted Snow Inventory Manager solution in to Service Manager (including filtering out assets from other areas within the business) and it works like a charm. 

I just have to set it up on the server to run to a schedule and all will be complete.

Thanks again. 

Edit: Whilst I remember, is there a way I can set up another task to set Quarantined machines (Snow) to Archived with the tool? (maybe not quite as 'complete' as I said :))

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Hi @Dan Munns,

Apologies for the late response, I've been on leave :) 

Great to see that you're using the tool and it's working for you!

On 26/03/2018 at 3:57 PM, Dan Munns said:

Edit: Whilst I remember, is there a way I can set up another task to set Quarantined machines (Snow) to Archived with the tool? (maybe not quite as 'complete' as I said :))

Yes this can be done in the tool, by setting the value of one (or both) of the following fields in the AssetGenericFieldMapping section of the config JSON, but this means you will need one JSON config file defined per record state being imported as the values will need to be hard coded in the JSON:

h_record_state : this is the State field from the asset record, and will take the following integer values:

  • 0 - Current
  • 1 - Active
  • 2 - Archived

h_operational_state : this is the Operational State field from the asset record, and will take the following integer values:

  • 0 - Operational
  • 1 - Pre-Production
  • 2 - Retired

So if you include a state clause in your asset type filters to only return assets with a specific status (Status eq 'Active' for example)to match the hard-coded values set in h_record_state and/or h_operational_state,  then you should see the correct statuses against the imported assets.

In this example, all assets imported/updated by the tool using this config file would have a state of Archived and an operational state of Retired.

image.png

I'll add support for record & operational status mapping in to the tool when I get chance, so you can roll these up in to the same config. Will let you know once that's available.

Kind regards,

Steve

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@Steve G hope you had a good leave and thanks for this.

Is there a switch to set the .json to update Hornbill assets only? I don't want to import all of the archived machines from Snow, just change the ones already imported that have since been archived. 

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Hi @Dan Munns,

Sorry I thought I'd already replied to this. The asset importer will update any assets it finds where the value contained within the field defined in the AssetID object in the config matches an asset value in Hornill, where the Hornbill table column is defined by the AssetIdentifier object in the config. So where the value returned by Asset.Name here:

image.png

Matches a value in the main Hornbill assets table column h_name, as defined here:

image.png

Which, if the AssetGenericFieldMapping is configured as so, should find matches on the second+ run of the import tool:

image.png

So as long as the tool finds a match, and the operational or record state of the record (or indeed any of the other mapped columns) contains a different value,  then the record will be updated. If no match is found, then a new asset record is created.

Kind regards,

Steve

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@Steve G thanks for the explanation.

I am going to be a pain now and ask if it would be possible to add an update only option to the tool. We currently have 700ish assets imported with the Snow status 'Active'. In Snow we probably have another 500ish with the Snow status 'Quarantined'. Whilst I don't need to import these machines I will need to update the machines already imported if they are set to 'Quarantined' in Snow (as this is how Snow shows a machine not logged on to the domain for over 30 days).

We are just at the start of a hardware refresh so at some point in the near future all currently imported laptops (around 350) will need to be set to 'retired' in Hornbill, along with the date of retirement. Desktops will follow suit shortly after. 

Thanks 

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Hi @Dan Munns,

That's done, and released to Github, with details & release download there and on the wiki page:

https://github.com/hornbill/goSnowCloudAssetImport/

https://wiki.hornbill.com/index.php/Snow_License_Manager_Cloud_Asset_Import

I've added the ability to switch on/off the adding or updating of discovered assets.

Let me know how you get on with this.

Cheers,

Steve

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