Understanding asset groups
An asset group is collection of assets that share a similar quality. Use asset groups to categorize appliances, applications, or individual asset elements (probe instance, Apex business group) by any criteria that you desire (for example, physical location, users it serves, and so on).
Asset groups allow you control:
Who may access an asset or asset element. Access is controlled through user groups.
What software version an asset uses. Software version is controlled through an upgrade policy.
Because an asset or asset element may be a member of only one asset group, you must decide how to organize your assets and asset elements. Typically, you do not want to mix assets and assets elements in the same asset group. When you place an asset in a group you automatically grant access to all of its underlying asset elements. Most end users need access to only the underlying asset elements. Moreover, most end users do not need to upgrade the software version of an asset. An asset element cannot be upgraded by itself—only the asset may be upgraded. In other words, asset elements are upgraded only when an asset's software version changes. By keeping assets separate from asset elements in your asset groups, as an OMS administrator you have more granular control over the objects in your Observer Platform environment.
As an OMS administrator, asset groups help you more easily control who may access which assets if you have many assets and asset elements to manage. When combined with user groups, the burden of managing large numbers of users and large numbers of assets is more easily achieved.
Imagine you have several GigaStor probes in your environment. Each one of those GigaStor probes is configured with the following probe instances that are separated by function: Packet Capture, Network Trending, VoIP Troubleshooting, NetFlow, and Active Instance. Each probe instance is asset element. If you wanted your VoIP support group to have access to debug and solve VoIP related issues, you would put all of the 'VoIP Troubleshooting' instances from every GigaStor probe into one asset group. You would exclude the other probe instances from the asset group (by virtue of not adding them). By associating the 'VoIP Troubleshooting' with the 'VoIP Support' user group the VoIP team would only have access to the VoIP probe instances. You would create another asset group for 'Active Instance' and only allow the 'Probe Administrators' to use it. By grouping related asset elements into asset groups your job of managing and maintaining access to assets is simplified.
Another type of asset group might be based on location. Imagine you have several office buildings or data centers. In each data center you have GigaStor probe instances, Observer, and OI device groups. You have a team of administrators. You have different administrators responsible for each data center. You would add all of the probes (asset element), analyzers (asset), and device groups (asset element) into a location-specific asset group and only add the administrators responsible for that data center to the asset group.
You might also create an asset group based on version or upgrade policy. If you have several assets in a lab and several others in a production environment, you might not want the production environment to automatically update at the same time as the lab. By creating asset groups for 'Lab Probes' and 'Production Probes', you can automatically push out updates to the lab environment and test the new versions before making those changes available to the production probes.
 
Figure 6: Asset Groups
 
How to create an asset group
Asset groups are very beneficial when you have a large number of asset elements and want to easily manage who has rights to them or want to control when the software version of an asset is changed.
To create an asset group:
1. Starting in the dashboard, click Auth > Asset Groups.
2. Click the new icon .
3. Type a group name.
Valid Input: Any character may by used, except for these five: " ' & > <. The length may be 1-63 characters.
4. Type a description.
5. Click User Groups. Adding user groups is an easy drag-and-drop operation from the Available list to the Member of list.
6. Click Assets. Adding assets is an easy drag-and-drop operation from the Available list to the Members list.
7. Click the accept icon .
 
The asset group is created when the Created asset group notification appears on the screen.
 
How to add an asset to an asset group
Adding a asset to an asset group allows you to put probes or device groups together that share similar characteristics (location, type, purpose, and so on).
To add an asset to an asset group:
1. Starting in the dashboard, click Auth > AuthFlow.
2. Select an asset and drag it to an asset group.
The asset group is highlighted where you drop the asset.
 
The asset is immediately added to the asset group and is accessible to any user with rights to that asset group.
 
How to delete an asset group
Deleting an asset group dissolves the relationship between the assets or asset elements. The individual assets or asset elements are not deleted and may be placed into a different asset group.
Assets in the group will no longer share filters or protocols with other assets nor will they be under version control (if applicable). Deleting an asset group also means that any user group that could access the asset group will no longer have access to those assets.
Tip! Instead of deleting the group, consider whether disabling the group is more appropriate for you. Some organizations require inactive accounts be maintained for auditing purposes.
1. Starting in the dashboard, click Auth > Asset Groups.
2. Select one by clicking a table row.
3. Click the garbage can icon .
 
Assets from the group still exist individually, but can no longer be accessed through the group you deleted. Any rights to the assets must be assigned individually or through a different asset group.
 
How to disable an asset group
Disabling an asset group revokes user access to its assets. For example, disabling an asset group is useful when maintenance needs to be performed on assets in the asset group.
To disable an asset group:
1. Starting in the dashboard, click Auth > Asset Groups.
2. Select one by clicking a table row.
The asset group is now editable in the rightmost pane.
3. Under Asset Group Settings, clear the Group enabled box.
4. Click the accept icon .
 
The asset group is now disabled. These assets cannot be accessed by users until the asset group is re-enabled.
 
How to enable an asset group
You must re-enable an asset group if it was disabled and users cannot access its assets.
To enable an asset group:
1. Starting in the dashboard, click Auth > Asset Groups.
2. Select one by clicking a table row.
The asset group is now editable in the rightmost pane.
3. Under Asset Group Settings, select the Group enabled box.
4. Click the accept icon .
 
The asset group is enabled. Users and user groups can now access the assets in the asset group.