A guide to IT configuration data management

Share on linkedin
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Configuration Data is more than just insightful. It's necessary.

IT service management (ITSM) and configuration management databases (CMDB) have been around for a long time and most companies have been loading them with configuration data for years. But how much value are you really receiving from the data you are amassing? Is your IT configuration data only giving you pretty pictures or is it generating actionable insights?

The purpose of IT configuration management and IT data management in general is providing trustworthy insights that enable informed decision making. It’s not about how much data you have, it’s about what you use it for.

IT configuration data is essentially a raw material that needs to be refined and combined with other things to be transformed into understandable information and actionable insights. Like most raw materials, their real value isn’t exposed until the transformation is complete.

Discovery

IT Discovery tools are great! They enable you to collect data about your IT environment from various points of view focusing on different layers in the technology stack.

When you combine discovery data with reference data and master data from other sources, you probably have most of the pieces to assemble a wholesome picture of your environment, its components, and how they fit together. The more pieces available to work with, the more complete your puzzle is likely to be when assembled.

Data aggregation

Once you’ve collected data from different sources, that is where your CMDB comes into the picture – providing a place where you can begin to bring the pieces together and connect them together.

IT configuration data is really nothing more than lists of data and dependencies mapped between them i.e. the configuration items (CI) and relationships.

IT Discovery is usually pretty good about providing updates to the lists of data, but relationships are a bit more difficult. The dependency data derived from different discovery sources can often have gaps and overlaps that need to be reconciled in the CMDB to make the overall picture accurate.

Data visualization

After some aggregation and refinement in the CMDB, your IT configuration data picture should be starting to take shape – but depending on how you are trying to view it, it might be pretty confusing. That is because the data in your CMDB is a simplified representation in text form of your IT environment which started out as a picture.

In order to see the picture that your IT configuration data is portraying, you need to get it back into a visual form. Most reporting and analytic solutions that provide data visualization are really focused on depicting summarized data – graphs and trends.

Understanding your IT environment requires visualizing the detailed underlying data in a way you can easily understand.

Data visualization capabilities like Virima can help with that by turning your raw CMDB data – configuration items and relationships – back into the picture the data depicts.

Drawing actionable insights

Simply visualizing the data in your CMDB isn’t enough unless your end goal is simply creating some pretty pictures and artwork.

For most companies, the reason they invest in IT configuration data is not to create art, it is to create information and drive decisions. This requires the ability to take the big picture of your IT environment, zoom in on the area you are interested in, filter out the stuff you don’t need, and focus on the information that is meaningful.

If you have the right tools to do this effectively, the information that you see will provide you with insights about what is working well and where there are areas needing attention.

These are the actionable insights that decision makers are looking for. In order to get there, you not only need the raw materials, but you need the right tools to help you with the refinement process.

Virima: an experienced IT specialist

That is Virima’s specialty – providing the IT discovery tools, CMDB and visualization capabilities to manage the end-to-end process of turning your IT configuration data into insights that drive value for your company.

Why not see for yourself? Run Virima Discovery free for 60 days in a data center of your choice and see how insightful a fully visualized CMDB can really be. To learn more, sign up here.

Virima features can automatically discover and map your critical IT resources and the interconnections that link them to one another, your applications and services, and your users.

Virima is here to help. To get started, contact us today to schedule a demo and explore the possibilities!

Share on linkedin
Share on facebook
Share on twitter

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

More to Explore

IT Operations Management (ITOM) refers to the administration of technology and application requirements within an IT organization. Under the ITIL framework, ITOM’s objective is to monitor, control, and execute the routine tasks necessary to support an organization’s IT infrastructure.(Also, see…

CMDB service maps are visual depictions of hierarchical relationships among business services (sometimes also major applications) and their supporting Configuration Items (CIs). Because service maps can provide an instant bird’s eye view of critical dependencies and relationships, their utility lies…

Understanding the Configuration Management Database (CMDB) and its core functions is a critical aspect of service management. The CMDB forms the hub of numerous service management practices and provides a means of correlation needed to deliver business services successfully.   The…

Introduction  IT asset management (ITAM) and inventory management are both useful practices that can benefit any organization using IT. Both of these practices are concerned with the management of IT assets but focus on different things. Inventory management can exist…

IT asset management (ITAM) and configuration management are both useful practices that can benefit any organization using IT. Both of these practices are concerned with the management of IT assets, but focus on different things.Configuration management can exist without IT…

Some people think that an IT service desk is the same thing as an IT help desk. It isn't, as I'm going to explain. Sure, there are some similarities, but there are also many differences. Let's start by exploring what…

To understand the business value of service mapping, it’s important to shift to a service delivery mindset, rather than thinking about delivering infrastructure, equipment, software, and applications. Defining services is relatively simple if thought of as the commoditization of what’s…

Business service mapping – the area of configuration management that perplexes so many IT professionals, yet that which provides the highest value in configuration management database (CMDB) projects. There are several major reasons IT gets stopped when it comes to…

The world of ITSM has changed as technology has shifted from providing tools for administrative support to being fully embedded in the delivery of the business’ core function.  There’s a world of difference between using an accounts payable system to…

The Configuration Management Database (CMDB) provides a single database that contains information about the enterprise’s assets, both logical and physical. In modern service management platforms, it provides core functionality that is referenced by all of the service management practices, including…