Description of existing 2008 system

The current inventory system was developed in 2008. It is derived from both the previous DCS and DAI systems. On the positive side, it introduced location discovery from switch reports. On the negative side, it failed to meet the prime requirement for redeveloping the previous system - keeping track of the growing number of self-managed machines. It is also overly complicated, inflexible and buggy.

... further technical details ...

Purpose of an inventory system

  • resource allocation - short term and planning
  • insurance
  • audit
  • machine configuration (eg allocation -> authorisation)
  • WEEE

Problems with existing 2008 system

  • can't track self managed machines
  • hostnames can't be reused
  • loads of old LCFG profiles and no mechanism for deleting
  • ordershost too tied to LCFG inventory (which includes above old LCFG profiles)
  • overly complicated (2 systems)
  • too much codified -> inflexible
  • doesn't cope with iCrap
  • unclear keying - sno insufficient
  • can't easily extract reports
  • buggy
  • not easy for machines to not have a hostname
  • Issues logged by USU


Moving forward

  • Should we simplify or redesign the schema, eg by removing the part table? Doing so simplifies code, but causes migration issues. Will need to add to existing tables anyhow.
  • Do we want to merge the ordershost tables into Theon - presumably yes?
  • LCFG should be a consumer, but not a source, of inventory information
  • There is no compelling reason to drop the use of rfe-edited text files for orders files (though immediate post-edit validation would be a useful improvement)
  • Keeping history is useful - but could just have a history table that records old allocations/hostnames etc
  • Somehow need to support expensive kit built from parts - eg core network routers
  • New system must include firmware monitoring as produced by Server Hardware Interaction Phase 2 project (171)
  • Would be good to have ability to store info on system crashes and hardware failures

Small misc notes

  • Consider Map into inventory resource
  • New sysinfo.role resource

-- AlastairScobie - 15 Aug 2012

Topic revision: r8 - 01 Apr 2013 - 14:38:43 - AlastairScobie
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