What is CMDB and how is it relevant to you?
CMDB is a term heard often recently in the IT community but how many of you really know what it means?
The CMDB (Configuration Management Database) is a database that helps you to keep track of significant elements in your IT network: it keeps all the information about your network assets, keeps records of all your service management processes, and alerts when there are problems or exceptions.
The CMDB is in fact the foundation for Incident Management, Problem Management, Change Management and Release Management.
The CMDB identifies, records and reports all your network hardware and software, including their versions, expiration date, license files etc. It also continually checks and alerts when something is wrong.
So, what is the difference between CMDB and Asset Management?
The difference between CMDB and simple asset management is that the CMDB also refers to relations between assets, and relations between assets and their users.
The CMDB keeps the history of the asset and the relationships between assets and owners. For instance, if a specific workstation in your network is used by Jane, your system will know that although she sent an urgent service request, she is currently on a week’s vacation- her workstation is off, and therefore her service request will not be marked as urgent. So, you’d better help Steve first.
The CMDB has more benefits. It allows you to create a configuration baseline. The configuration baseline is, in fact, a snapshot of the situation in your network, taken in a specific point in time. This snapshot can then be used as a fixed picture of the original state of your network, so you will be able to track the changes in relation to this baseline.
This is extremely useful when you want to make effective decisions about your future budget. The CMDB baseline allows you to evaluate need to evaluate amount of growth in your general IT activity
What are the advantages of CMDB?
It's common knowledge that proper functioning of your IT network assets (such as PCs, printers, servers, software programs etc.) is one of the most fundamental aspects of your organization. It's no secret that the value of these elements for your business is much greater than their actual price.
Here is how Configuration Management can help you maximize your IT network:
- Accurate information about your network assets.
- Enables to analyze your configurations from a business impact perspective.
- control over your network assets according to their level of significance.
- Verifies licenses, subscriptions and other payments for hardware and software items are taken care of, continuously.
- Information that helps planning your financial expenses. You can know when and how much you will spend on renewal of licenses, maintenance contracts, new software and hardware
- Helps keeping track of changes in software (which are not as visible as changes in hardware). This will allow you to protect data, manage licenses, and know exactly what different departments in your organization require.
- Preparing for possible emergency. The CMDB can automatically restore of IT services in case of emergency or malfunction.
- CMDB also supports your release management
- Improves the security of your IT network, because it enables you to know if there are any accidental changes in your assets.
- Helps making sure no unauthorized or illegal software is being used in your organization.
- Reduces the risks in comprehensive changes that should take place in your IT network. The CMDB allows you to make an impact analysis, so you will be able to know when and in what steps the major changes should be handled best.
- Provides useful information about tendencies of problems and their affect in your organization. For instance, you will be able to realize that a particular type of PCs is liable to a certain type of failure. This will allow you to prevent the crisis before it takes place.
How can SysAid
CMDB help you?
In SysAid Full Edition, the CMDB module can hold an unlimited number of CIs
(Configuration Items) of all types: system items, service items, physical
items, conceptual items, etc. For each CI SysAid allows more than 250
customizable fields - to fit your exact needs.You can even set different views
for each CI type. For Instance, SysAid allows you to see only the relevant
fields for 'system item' CIs, while for 'physical items' you can see a
whole different set of fields.
The SysAid CMDB maintains a
comprehensive list of all types of relationships between your CIs, and helps
you predict the influence of changes in your network on future developments and
business impacts. Therefore, using the SysAid CMDB may significantly lower your
For instance, let's say you decide to upgrade the memory on one of your
servers. Such upgrade will probably put this server down for a short while. The
SysAid CMDB can show you in advance that putting this server down might
influence your sales application, which uses the database on this server. Now
you will be able to prevent this, by saving your database on another server
while you upgrade the memory on that particular server.
SysAid CMDB shows your CIs
information in various instances. You can see information about your CIs
directly, or via other CIs which are related to them. To use the example above,
if you check your server on the SysAid CMDB, you will be able to see all the assets,
catalog items and software programs that are related to it- including your
sales application- and thus follow the best procedure in upgrading its memory.
Any problem on a specific CI can
now be easily detected with the CMDB, and thus any future interference on
higher levels- such as business impact- can be prevented. Similarly,
malfunctions on a specific CI can be easily tracked back to CIs on the lower
levels, and fixed with maximum efficiency.
In addition, SysAid CMDB includes
an automatic import of assets, software products and catalog items - SysAid
performs a fast and simple deployment into your CMDB.