The “CMDB” acronym stands for the words – Configuration Management Database. Your CMDB database is a critical element of an IT estate and the IT management efforts that take place.
A closer examination of those words highlights why it is critical to your IT management success and outlines the commitments you need to make to maximize the business value of the initiative.
A CMDB database is a purpose-specific database. It contains all relevant information about the hardware and software components that make up your IT estate, and the relationships between those components. When it is properly populated and organized, it enables your business to examine information about your IT estate from multiple perspectives.
CMDB: An Acronym and a Commitment
It is critical to realize if all you’re storing is configuration data about your hardware and software, you are not maximizing the value. Beyond that information, your CMDB can and should also contain everything relevant about the relationships that link your infrastructure elements to each other, your key services and applications, and your users.
As described in the ITIL best practices guidelines, the elements of information stored in your CMDB database are referred to as Configuration Items or CIs. And a CI can be any IT component – hardware, software, documentation, or relevant associated people and their roles.
A CI can also be any combination of IT estate elements, or documentation of the dependencies between two or more of those elements. Capturing and managing all of those CIs along with the four key functions of configuration database management – IT discovery, security, reporting, and auditing is essential to the success of configuration management.
(Also see, “Your CMDB: Your ITSM-ITOM Connection.”)
Perhaps most important, all of the information must be kept accurate, complete, and up to date. This is particularly challenging during times of significant change, to your business, your IT infrastructure, or both. Changes can range from mergers and acquisitions to changes in partner relationships or even just implementation of new technologies.
Whether your IT resources are on your premises, in data centers run by others, or in the cloud, your business must be able to see, maintain, and manage them.
This means that your CMDB must include features for communicating with and gathering information from each and every critical IT resource, whether incumbent or newly added. It must also support regular, automated, and comprehensive updates to that information.
From Information to Action to Value
The commitment required to enable the features and functions described is considerable. But those features and functions are basic table stakes for any successful CMDB implementation. Beyond these, a comprehensive CMDB database enables you and your business to manage all of your IT estate consistently and effectively.
Depending on your specific business needs, your CMDB might also include detailed information about who owns, pays for, and supports each of your critical IT assets. Information about maintenance requirements, actions, and histories can also be helpful.
Whatever information your business decides to include in the configuration management database, that information must be as easy as possible to extract and understand. This means your CMDB database must support powerful, flexible reporting features, so information can be tailored to and made actionable for multiple constituencies.
Your cybersecurity, IT management, and business leadership teams all need information presented differently. Your CMDB must be able to meet these and other requirements to maximize the business value of your CMDB and your overall IT investments.
Make sure you and your team understand, prioritize, and commit to addressing all of these issues as you choose, implement, and manage your CMDB.
(Also read, CMDB Success In Six Steps)
Virima: Your Partner for Maximum CMDB Value
Virima offers ITAM, ITSM, and ITOM solutions that are designed to play well with your CMDB. Virima solutions can automatically discover and map those critical IT resources and the interconnections that link them to one another, your applications, services, and your users.
The Virima platform includes enhanced features that are easy to use and configure, and designed to work well with each other. They also produce useful, actionable reports about your IT environment, reports that can help you identify and resolve challenges before they become disruptive problems.
Virima is here to help. To get started, contact us today to schedule a demo and explore the possibilities!