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Understanding Custom Device Groups

Custom group is way of grouping your devices based on your business needs. You can create custom groups and add devices to each custom group. You can manually add devices to a custom group or you can define rules to add devices, that match the rule condition, to the custom group once they are discovered by Connectivity Services Director. You can view the custom groups and devices that are assigned to each group in the Custom Group view.

A custom group can include devices such as different routing platforms. Creating custom device groups enables the configuration of multiple devices simultaneously—you can create multiple custom groups and directly associate devices at any level. Up to this point, Custom Groups are the same as selecting related items in the view tree. What makes Custom Groups unique is that you can also configure a custom group to automatically add devices after discovery. You indicate the criteria for additional devices by editing rules. Custom groups can then be created in a hierarchy up to eight levels deep. Each layer can contain up to 32 peer containers under a single parent container.

Where Is the Custom Group Function Located in Connectivity Services Director?

Connectivity Services Director has different views that you select to see different aspects of your data. You select one of these views at a time from the Select View option in the Connectivity Services Director banner. The options are Device View, Custom Group View, and Topology View. To create a Custom Group, Connectivity Services Director must be in Custom Group View. Custom Groups are created at the top level of the network—My Network.

Once Custom Groups are created, they appear in all views as options for profile assignment—assigning a profile to a Custom Group assigns that profile to all members of the group.

How Do Custom Group Rules Work?

Adding rules to a Custom group consists of creating a three part rule statement, with a rule basis, an operator, and matching criteria. Possible combinations are shown in Table 1.

Table 1: Three Options of a Rule Statement

Rule Basis


Matching Criteria

Device Type

Equals or Not Equals


Serial Number

Equals or Contains

You provide serial numbers or letters

SKU or Model

Equals or Contains

You provide model numbers or letters

Management IP Address

Equals or Regex

You provide IP address

Device Type

Equals or Not Equals


Firmware Version

Equals or Contains

You provide a full or partial firmware version for devices

What Happens When I Edit a Custom Group Rule?

When you edit a rule, devices that were added to the group but no longer qualify because of the rule edit are not automatically removed from the group. You must remove those devices manually. If more devices are now qualified to join the group because of your rule edit, the devices are added to the group on the next device notification change to the network.

When Are Rules Executed?

The option Associate devices based on the rules for the custom groups while saving group information is enabled by default. If the option is disabled, the rule engine will be activated only when there is some change in the device property. When a device property change occurs, rules are processed and devices are added to the group, if the group has a rule for those actions.