The Configuration Management process and the associated Configuration Management Database (CMDB) is the core of successful IT service management. HHG has deep practical expertise with CMDB technologies:
both the ITIL process-centric CMDB, as well as the Service-centric CMDB supporting real-time business service views
CMDBs, and management data repositories generally, are an essential part of any IT management strategy for three reasons:
- So many IT devices are now deployed, with such complexity and diversity, that it takes a common set of federated databases to begin any enterprise-level analysis of IT costs, security vulnerabilities, service mappings, technology utilization and services. Furthermore, growing regulatory compliance and security demands necessitate an accurate and comprehensive "source of truth" about the IT infrastructure that cannot be achieved using ad-hoc spreadsheets and technology silo-specific data.
- The growing popularity of ITIL is driving the adoption of CMDB because the ITIL framework is built on a CMDB foundation. Process implementation for Incident, Problem, Change and Release requires a CMBD to support control, status, verification and audit. However, as described by the ITIL documentation, the CMDB is not actionable; many IT organizations struggle with the needed CMDB complexity to support their various processes.
- IT service automation requires an accurate realtime CMDB covering all the technologies being automated (breadth) as well as each of the individual Configuration Items (CIs) necessary for that specific technology to be automated (depth). Asset or inventory repositories, while necessary, are not sufficient to support IT infrastructure automation.
“Most client implementation teams have problems dealing with the complexity and fragility of the
feeds for a federated CMDB. They subsequently blame the vendor for "garbage in = garbage out".
HHG designed and implemented a staging approach that leveraged the client's existing investments
with the underlying infrastructure tools while preventing bad or mismatched data from getting into
our tools and preventing a successful implementation
Technical Architect for a major CMDB Vendor
A properly implemented CMDB will:
- Enable automated implementation of ITIL service support processes
- Improve availability and cost effectiveness
- Reduce unknown security vulnerabilities by holistically managing security of the infrastructure
- Provide a "single source of truth" via clear and consistent federation for compliance and governance
- Minimize change-related outages due to poorly understood critical dependencies
- Support tighter financial management of IT assets than possible with a simple inventory
Successful implementation of an enterprise, federated CMDB is probably the most difficult project that a large IT shop can undertake. In addition to difficult organizational issues, successful implementation requires a mix of IT architects, database specialists, integration engineers, process experts, tools specialists and organizational facilitators. The most important and difficult deliverable is getting the people in your organization committed to a well-understood, coordinated plan to actually implement the enterprise CMDB.
HHG can assist your team with all the following CMDB activities to make your CMDB a real-time "source of truth" of your IT operation:
- CMDB business requirements
- CMDB business case, ROI and implementation roadmap
- CMDB solution architecture, especially federated CMDB architectures, scope definition, data flows and logical relationships
- CMDB vendor evaluations and product comparisons
- CMDB representations of service catalogs and hierarchies suitable for SOA automation
- CMDB relationships, down to the CIs required by application & server support groups, as well as common IT process automation tools
- CMDB tools and technology implementation as well as the associated integration services, including data migration, initial reconciliation and integration of federated data sources
- Revised security and compliance process based on CMDB capabilities
- CMDB ongoing maintenance, reconciliation and update automation
- CMDB data lifecycle and quality assurance process definition
- CMDB operations management consulting.