Configuration Management Database

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A configuration management database ( CMDB ) is a database that is used to access and manage configuration items. All IT operating resources are referred to as configuration items (CI) in IT management . The term configuration is a bit misleading. In this context, this means the existence and mutual dependencies of the managed objects.

A configuration management database is used for more than just inventory . The aim is to support all modules of the IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL) Service Support and Service Delivery with reference to Configuration Items (CIs). This can also include organizational and commercial information of a CI, for example the users of the CI, their departments - but also acquisition and current values ​​as well as procurement information and information on the product life cycle of a CI.

Problem and basic concept

Many companies use different databases side by side for problem, change, asset and transaction data. Often (inconveniently) relevant information on a CI is scattered and / or difficult to access in different databases.

This is where the concept of the CMDB comes in. The aim is to provide all information from the above Consolidate databases in one place and thus make access to this data easier and more transparent. The data does not necessarily have to be physically combined in a database system. Instead, the use of a federated database management system can be advantageous here .

Structure of a CMDB

The construction of a CMDB can, depending on the respective requirements, be very tedious and complex. Therefore, the use of a flexible CMDB is recommended, which enables the recording of individual CIs and their relationships and dependencies and which can be expanded step by step and individually if necessary. On the one hand, this enables quick, visible successes (so-called "quick wins" to create goodwill in the management for further implementation) and, on the other hand, all the freedom to map your own requirements.

As complex and labor-intensive as the construction and maintenance of a CMDB are, both its existence and its timeliness and reliability for the processes and applications based on it are essential. (Without a CMDB, for example, there is no efficient and effective problem and change management).

According to leading analysts, basic requirements for the software, which are decisive for the construction of a CMDB, are:

  • Federation,
  • Reconciliation (actual / target comparisons),
  • Mapping & visualization as well
  • Synchronization.

See also