Your Data Warehouse: What is a CMDB?

A configuration management database is a database an organization uses to store information regarding its IT components, mostly its hardware and software assets by controlling, discovering, and keeping track of their technological relationships. These asset lists are called configuration items and it also details the relationships among these assets. A servicenow CMDB is at the very heart of modern IT operations because it is how companies are able to manage a wide array of data in one place no matter where individual devices are located.


The Basics

The ITIL, or Information Technology Infrastructure Library, gives processes for configuration management so that information about configuration items can be maintained. ITIL framework outlines the basic technical capabilities that are needed to support asset management. Sometimes this will require several physical CMDBs. That’s right, you may need multiple CMDBs to support a CMS as a logical data model. Data management is a serious business that can have far-reaching implications. As new processes are developed and implemented, a CMDB takes on a heavier role. It can be used to give much-needed information to IT managers and systems administrators that will help them resolve problems, plan strategies, respond to incidents, forecast budgets and so much more.

How It Works

Your CMDB works much like a one-stop-shop. It keeps all of your assets in one readily accessible place. Before you can put your CMDB to work, you’ve got to give it something to do, a reason to live. You’ve got to give it some data or populate it. The population can happen both manually and through automation. Even though your data probably won’t be totally accurate (you know, human error), your goal should be to have it as accurate as possible to have the CMDB work at its best.

Once the data population is complete and updates occur as necessary, data can be accessed and unified so that it can be used consistently by the tools and processes that need it. For instance, if there is a network disruption that is only affecting a certain department, the CMDB will tell you which routers and servers are connected to the disrupted machines so that you know exactly where to start your troubleshooting.

What About IT Asset Management?

IT asset management (ITAM) that parallels inventory management but it includes financial and contractual aspects. Although CMDB is part of ITAM, it holds its own because it contains and stores assets as configuration items. Its focus is on the data being used within the IT landscape. ITAM works so much better when tightly integrated with a CMDB. This combination greatly reduces risks associated with data repositories, like breaches.

There are lots of benefits to fortifying your data warehouse with a CMDB. And now that you know what it is and how it can benefit your business and network security, you can make the necessary inquiries into acquiring this IT powerhouse. The value of the CMDB is in using the data, not having the data. Just be sure to implement reporting systems, data analysis skills, and processes to make the best use of data configuration.