A CMDB is a database that contains all relevant information about the components of the information system used in an organization's IT services and the relationships between those components. The CMDB provides an organized view of data and a means of examining that data from any desired perspective. From this perspective, components of an information system are referred to as configuration items (CI), which can be any conceivable IT component, including software, hardware, documentation, and personnel, or any combination of them. The processes of configuration management seek to specify, control, and track configuration items and any changes made to them in a comprehensive and systematic fashion.
In the legacy world, the configuration management database (CMDB) is often viewed as a necessary evil. CMDB projects have a reputation for failed starts, lengthy implementations, and ongoing maintenance challenges that result in limited business value and lots of unrewarding work. The best IT thinkers have found a better way now with this CMDB.
The CMDB allows you to plot out your entire IT infrastructure. This involves entering all physical and non-physical components of your IT into the CMDB as CIs and then creating relationships between each of the components. By keeping your CMDB up-to-date, you can easily see a complete map of your network from the perspective of a single component. This makes it easy to predict the impact of component failures and to build disaster recovery plans. You can also see what's at stake any time a problem is reported within your network.
According to IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL) specifications, the four major tasks of configuration management are:
The CMDB in ManageEngine IT360, keeps a track of all the pending requests, problems and change raised for the CI Type - Assets, Business and IT Services. Any impact cause by the malfunctioning of these CIs on other CIs can be identified using the Relationship Map, and specific measures can be adapted to minimize the effect. The CMDB, thus, functions as an effective decision making tool by playing a critical role in Impact Analysis and Root Cause Determination.
The Relationship Map is uniquely designed to provide the ability to understand the dependencies between the CIs. The relationships between the CIs are discovered automatically while populating the CIs into the CMDB. You can also manually add the relationship between the CIs from the Relationship Map.
The Relationship Map shows the number of pending requests, problems and changes raised for the Assets, Business and IT Services. You can view the pending requests, problems and changes directly from the relationship map.
Using the Relationship Map, you can analyze the impact caused by the CI on a business service and identify the root cause of the impact, thus establishing appropriate measures to gradually eliminate the perpetual issues faced by your organization.
The Relationship map will look like:
The CMDB, when catered to the IT environment, functions as a decision making tool, impact and root cause analyzer. But, by populating a large amount of data, your CMDB may turn complex, causing a loss in structure and information, thereby making its analysis less effective.
Now, it is possible to build an efficient CMDB without turning it complex. ManageEngine IT360 - gives you a step-by-step process to identify the essential CIs and populate them in your CMDB. To set up a less complicated CMDB design, strategize on your CI List and their supported attributes and relationships. Given below are 3 easy steps through which you can effectively populate CIs in your CMDB.
ManageEngine IT360 - ServiceDesk provides a list of pre-defined Configuration Item Types and Relationship Types, along with a parent- child hierarchy for CI Types. You can establish and maintain relationships with other assets, software, business services, components and users, which provide enough information on the impact analysis.
Each CI Type is defined with attributes and relationships. The Child CI Type will inherit the attributes and relationships configured for the Parent CI Type.
Visualization map provides a detailed view of the CI relationships which will help in identifying the dependencies and impact of CIs before performing any changes or in case of any problems. Also add new CI types and define relationships between the assets.
View the pending requests, problems and changes raised for Assets, Business Service or IT Service from the relationship map.
The CMDB is the single repository of configuration information for the enterprise. In addition to configuration information, the database contains information regarding the relationships and dependencies among infrastructure components. It works closely with the Change Management processes, because risk assessments must take into consideration any relationships and dependencies that may be affected by requested changes to production operations.
It provides a public Knowledge base of known errors and solutions that help employees search and resolve minor incidents themselves without contacting the Help Desk. It provides private knowledge base for the Support staff to get detailed reports about all assets with problem history, work-around and temporary fixes.