CMDB – Configuration Management Database
The CMDB – Configuration Management Database is the core of your ITIL processes. There is no need to implement anything without a CMDB in place.
What is a Configuration Management Database?
A CMDB (Configuration Management Database ) is in fact a data base that consists of all information pertaining to the components of an information system that is in an organization’s information technology services and what the relationship between these components. A CMBD enables one to view all data in an organized manner and is also a way of examining this data from any perspective you may desire. Similarly, the components of any information system are known as its CI (Configuration Items) and they can be any conceivable information technology components such as hardware, software, personnel and even documentation as well as any combination of these. Configuration management essentially is all about controlling, specifying and tracking configuration items and any effects to them in a systematic and detailed fashion.
The information technology infrastructure library (ITIL) recommended practices also include the specifications used for configuration management. According to the ITIL recommended specifications, there are four major tasks involved in configuration management; to identify the configuration items which are to be put in the CMDB, to control the data so that it is only changed by individuals who have the authority to, to consistently maintain the status so that the current status of incoming CI is always recorded and always updated and verification through audits of the data and reviews to make sure it is always accurate.
The ITIL looks at the CMDB as a specialized data depository where the authoritative pot of information about infrastructure, attributes, identities, relationships and configuration states depend on other configuration items (CI). The CMBD is an important part of the ITIL network’s configuration and manipulation processes and it supports many management activities and functions thus it has to be accessible for many users in the organization. However you should note that many of the users will be casual who have little to no experience in database use yet they have to gain access to the CMDB’s kept information with ease and quickness with minimum training. One way of making the CMDB easier to use is by exposing all its features in a web interface. You can also leverage the techniques used in social media and simplify the CMDB’s collaboration, navigation and access of information.
In the recent past there was a release from CA, BCM, HP, Fujitsu, IBM and Microsoft that detailed a plan to create a common interface for CMDB products especially for federation purposes. This release included four main components; Query of the resources or modeling, notification and subscription or synchronization, Reconciliation or registration and resource federation and the administration of the federated federation. The primary interface was to be provided by the administration service and all those MDR’s who were to participate were to register with this administration service which allows governing of federated data. A federated service was to allow for addition, modification and deletion of resource definitions. There was also to be a resource query interface that would allow retrieval of data from The CMDB but was to be based on a pre-determined criterion. The ability to register for any data change that could occur was also to be provided in the federated CMDB.