What is Configuration Management (ITIL)?
An Overview of Configuration Management
Configuration Management (CfM) is a component in the ITIL Service Support area. It is the process in which the logical service configurations of the application domains and infrastructure supporting a service are built and maintained.
The inventory data / physical configuration of the supporting application elements and infrastructure in the respective domains map these logical service configurations. The logical and physical state of IT service elements is tracked, and incidents are associated with the state of service elements by them. This way, trends are analyzed and incidents and problems are reduced.
A configuration management database (CMDB) is where the configurations are stored. Also included in the CMDB are entities that are part of the environment and are known as Configuration Items (CI).
A CI is generally one of three things:
- A conceptual entity like a Requisition Service
- A logical entity, like an instance of a database
- A physical entity like a router or computer
In Configuration Management:
- Accurate information about CIs is collected, recorded and maintained.
- CIs are identified, and they are entered into the CMDB.
- The scope, i.e. the breadth and depth of the CMDB, is determined.
Why should Configuration Management be implemented?
The implementation of Configuration Management processes is beneficial in the following ways:
- A reliable repository of correct information about IT components is established.
- Relationships between CIs and which services are impacted by what components can be better understood.
Change Management, Incident Management, Problem Management and Release Management are closely integrated with Configuration Management processes. Additional interfaces in Configuration Management, followed by new structure of Service Transition processes, are required by ITIL 2011.
Configuration Management Sub-Processes
ITIL Configuration Management includes the following sub-processes:
Process Objective: The underlying structure of the CMS (the Configuration Model) are defined and maintained, so that all information on Configuration Items (CIs) is held. Specifying the attributes that describe CI types and sub-components of CI types is included in Configuration Identification.
Configuration Verification and Audit
Process Objective: Regular checks are performed so that it can be ensured that the information contained in the CMS exactly represents the Configuration Items (CIs).
In the word of today, individuals cannot manage IT infrastructures on their own or with spreadsheets or local databases silos since they become too complex and large. The need for a centralized infrastructure model has increased strategic IT planning is becoming more preferable, so that high quality IT support, low-risk, rapid change are supported. Thus, when it comes to managing the complexity of the infrastructure, and maintaining control of IT, having a Configuration Management System (CMS) has become necessary.
Information that is vital for delivering and supporting IT services is provided by Configuration Management. A CMS is responsible for creating and maintaining an accurate and comprehensive infrastructure model, so that all IT processes can share it across the organization. Thus, a Configuration Management System is valuable in a lot of ways. To understand and manage the delivery of IT services, a Configuration Management System is a crucial tool that is essentially required these days.