Configuration Management Database
Technology has become an integral part of every business in today’s world. From small to large organizations, every business must run IT services to support their day-to-day tasks.
Which means that organizations need to keep track of many assets, such as configurations and documentation? Most noteworthy, not tracking your assets and missing out on the latest updates for your assets can cause an IT failure or even security issues.
Configuration Management Database (CMDB) is a centralized storehouse that reserves information on all the vital entities in your IT environment. The entities, termed as Configuration Items (CIs) can be hardware, the installed software applications, documents, business services and also the people that are part of your IT system.
Evolution of Configuration Management Database
The CMDB service providers take on an extended role in empowering IT employees to understand the production environment and obtain real-time decisions about things like problems and changes.
Looking into the future, the CMDB will play an expanded role in not only IT operations but business operations as well. Having the CMDB service providers to build upon will be critical, one that supports your needs today but will also evolve with you as your company grows and business environment changes.
Characteristics of a Configuration Management Database
CMDBs have some great features and characteristics. Some common but important characteristics are given below:
- Transparency and Visibility: Transparency and visibility are the most valuable characteristics of CMDBs. They give you a lucid overview of the assets your organization owns and your IT ecosystem. And also a deep understanding of the relationships between certain assets and which employees use particular assets.
- Better IT Management: An organization’s success more or less depends on how well they can handle their IT ecosystem. That’s one of the greatest challenges of managing a business. You will get all the information and data needed to make better business decisions to ultimately help you manage your organization effectively.
- Data Centralization: CMDBs permit you to retrieve your configuration item data from one database that centralizes your information. This is very efficient and cost-effective as well. You do not need to invest in custom data integrations to centralize or group data. A CMDB enables you to integrate business intelligence solutions to generate dashboards to track.
How does a Configuration Management Database work?
The CMDB service providers work by presenting a common place to store information about IT assets and other configuration items in a commonplace that people can locate. This data typically originates from multiple sources and without the CMDB; it would be problematical to put together a complete and realistic picture of the IT environment. Discovery and data import tools are typically used to identify configuration items in the IT environment and populate them into the CMDB.
Some CMDB service providers also practice manual inventories and audits to modernise their CMDB data. Once data from the various sources is loaded in the CMDB, the information can then be accessed in a unified and consistent way by tools and processes that need to consume it.
It is unusual for people to access configuration data directly from the CMDB due to the volume of data present and the format that it is stored in. It is arduous to understand a lot of data in rows and columns. That’s where the purpose of other ITSM tools and reporting capabilities come in. These tools obtain the data in the CMDB, sort it, filter it, and provide information to users in a form that better aligns to the operational or business problem they are trying to solve.
Advantages of using a Configuration Management Database
Cost-effective CMDB service providers offer a centralized view of IT data that in turn offers IT leaders more control over their infrastructure. A CMDB user can visualize each IT infrastructure component which prevents administrative and management errors, helps to ensure regulatory and process compliance, and increases security. CMDBs can also enable IT leaders to spot ways to preserve within the organization by eliminating irrelevant or repetitive IT resources and their associated costs.
Another advantage of a CMDB is the ability to integrate data from another vendor’s software, reconcile that data, identify any inconsistences within the database and then ensure all data is synchronized.
Challenges of using a Configuration Management Database
A CMDB can also offer some challenges. A particularly difficult issue is organizational: to influence businesses of the benefits of a CMDB and then to adopt the system properly.
Once implemented, an initial challenge is to import all relevant data into the CMDB. This can be a tiresome task, as admins must input a wealth of information about each IT asset, including financial information, upgrade history and performance profile. CMDB vendors offer enhanced discovery capabilities, enabling the tool to discover and profile CIs automatically.
Over time, IT must maintain and update the CMDB’s data. It is common for a CMDB to fail if IT does not update the information and, therefore, it becomes spoiled and unusable.