Creating Assets with the ServiceNow IRE
What is the IRE?
To better understand how Axonius can utilize the IRE, it is important to have context of the tool itself. What it is contextually, what it is comprised of, and why it is important.
Also referred to as the Identification Reconciliation Engine (IRE). It delivers a centralized method for identifying and reconciling data from different data sources. It helps maintain the integrity of the CMDB when multiple data sources are used to create and update CI (device) records. Axonius, specifically the enforcement center, may be leveraged as one of these data sources to enrich the ServiceNow CMDB.
There are a few key processes that serve as the foundation for the engine.
Identification Rule: Process of uniquely identifying CIs, to determine if the CI already exists in the CMDB or if it is a newly discovered CI that must be added to the CMDB. Identification processes rely on identification rules, or on unique IDs for CIs that data sources can provide.
Reconciliation Rule: Process of reconciling CIs and CI attributes by allowing only designated authoritative data sources to write to the CMDB at the CI table and attribute level. The CMDB is updated in real time as records are being processed. There is no staging area to verify the reconciliation activities before they are committed. Reconciliation processes rely on reconciliation rules and IRE data source rules.
De-duplication tasks: When duplicate Cis are found during the Identification and Reconciliation process, it groups each set of duplicate CIs into a de-duplication task Review the information in these tasks to see how it was determined that these CIs are duplicates.
Reclassification Tasks: During the CI identification process, a matched CI might need to be upgraded, downgraded, or switched to another CI class. If automatic reclassification is disabled, then the system generates a reclassification task. Review the information in these tasks, and decide whether a manual reclassification of the CI is appropriate.
API’s: The Identification and Reconciliation APIs are a centralized set of APIs that can be used with different sources of data such as Discovery, Monitoring, or Import Sets. You can use it to enforce Identification and Reconciliation before data is stored in the CMDB. Data sources do not directly write to the CMDB. Instead, they call APIs first to ensure that the data being written does not introduce inconsistencies.
The image below outlines the process flow of the IRE.
While it is important to understand the inner workings of the IRE engine, it is equally important to understand how Axonius can integrate with this great tool. When leveraging the Create ServiceNow Asset enforcement action we can choose to use this endpoint rather than the table API. This will allow for the IRE engine to digest the payload and act accordingly. The supplied value in this field will be used as the source for the newly created asset. It is recommended to use ‘Axonius’ as the source value.
While the use of the IRE is not mandatory, it is certainly encouraged. Even more so as the number of data sources feeding your CMDB increases, this can be a powerful tool to enforce accuracy, maintain data integrity and eliminate redundancies in your ServiceNow CMDB.