Configuration Management Database (CMDB)

by Kishan Tambralli

What is CMDB?

The information stored in CMDB includes assets and configuration components like laptops, desktops, phones, printers, servers, and more. It helps in understanding their characteristics, configurations, and linkages between them.

 Configuration Management Database, Configuration Management ,CMDB ,CM

Configuration Management Database

Benefits of CMDB:

1. CMDB is vital in IT decision making allowing users to determine relationships among processes, people, applications, and IT infrastructure to search out possibilities for change, faster resolution of incidents, fewer errors, and more.

2. Accurate configuration management provides the users an efficient glance of your company assets and servers with their inter-dependencies on how they’re running on other organizational resources.

3. It serves as a compliance requirement associated with personal data privacy.

4. It improves the security health of an organization.

5. CMDB acts as a focal point for IT assets and infrastructure, managed under a single system of all servers, software, etc.

6. CMDB supports fewer risk assessments for new modifications and deployments.

7. CMDB is fundamental database storage that stores configuration information, which promotes legibility and visibility of IT assets and sets the foundation for effective Information Technology Infrastructure Library.

8. The latest CMDB work is a valuable fact which is used to improve incident and problem management operations.

9. It improves decision-making with accurate and real-time data.

10. It enables visibility among users.

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Configuration Management:

Management is a bunch of competencies, methods, tools, and techniques in establishing and maintaining computer systems, servers, and software in the uniformity of their functioning with its requirements, design, and operational information throughout the span. To maintain consistency, we shall consider four important elements they are:

  1. Revision Control: This is involved in controlling access to project artifacts and preserving a history of changes to each artifact.
  2. Configuration Identification: Before controlling any artifact, one must identify what data it is contained and how it can be controlled.
  3. Change Management: When an artifact changes, change management comes into the picture when or even if the changes may be done.
  4. Release Management: It concentrates on the delivery of software outside the engineering department.

These activities coincide with each other and are highly dependent on each other.

Effective use of Configuration Management methods allows engineers and programmers to record the changes done safely.

Configuration management to function requires some mechanisms to store the data it regulates. Initially, it was termed as a Configuration Management Database (CMDB). ITSM introduced Configuration Management to remove the Configuration Management Database.

As defined by ITSM, configuration management is the management of IT information that ensures the configuration of system assets like servers, databases, operating systems, networking, applications, and software, and CMDB is incredibly critical and important that make the organizations work. To scale back cybersecurity risk, many businesses employ a CMDB to ensure successful configuration. It is one of the operational mechanisms identified by ITSM. CM is also called Service Asset.

Configuration management is employed to guard and preserve OS configuration files. The systems include Ansible, Puppet, SaltStalk, Terraform, Pulumi, and Vagrant, etc., as these systems use infrastructure codes to ascertain and maintain configuration.

Configuration management faces the difficulties of duplication and invalidates data from sources across the enterprise. Configuration management needs to apply an approach to combine and reconcile to exhibit a single point of reference.

 Configuration Management Database, Configuration Management ,CMDB ,CM

Configuration Management

Why is configuration management critical in a business enterprise or organization?

1. It reduces the costs by having an intensive knowledge of all the components that constitute the configuration, avoiding wasteful duplication of assets, and govern asset identification, status monitoring, and easy auditing.

2. It allows quick recovery. In a breakdown or failure, you’ll be able to recover data quickly as the configuration is documented and automated.

3.CMDB reduces disruptions caused by breakdown or system failure, cyber threats, security, and change in configuration activities.

4.IT cost Reduction: Having effective and proper configuration management reduces multiple costs in areas such as infrastructure, outsourced services, and management software.

5. In the future, Configuration management serves 3 important objectives such as:

  • It helps to determine code and configuration deployed into a configuration audit.
  • It provides the flexibility to recover all configured items that accustomed achieve any work product and desired state.
  • CMs create a sandbox for bug fixes because of missing files or any other errors.

6. To improve productivity and streamline IT service delivery, medium to big business enterprises and government agencies with growing dependencies on IT services are motivated to use CMDB.

7. The difficulties of large and global businesses that deal with the movement of goods to multiple locations of the country, with thousands of data and metadata points, make CMDB a virtual and important feature for the overall functioning of IT Service Management

8.CM is employed in software development, where developers involved in the development process can utilize it to track artifacts, which comprises source code, documentation, changes requested, and changes modified.

9. Programmers apply configuration management to view new versions and disseminate the software configuration to additional hosts.

Feasible drawbacks of configuration management:

There are several challenges in using configuration management, which is detailed below:

1. Too many tools are required for proper integration.

2. Process integration is essential for checks and problem incidents.

3. Initial designs need to be revised regularly as per business needs.

4. Configuration management that is poorly operated can become ineffective, and thus, it calls for data sharing and validations across functional departments and groups.

 Configuration Management (CM) in Project Management:

Project management indicates a product that attributes all functional and physical requirements. Execution of configuration in project management goes hand in hand. Any modification or change in the project must be supervised closely and assessed to identify its influence on the project configuration. Thus, Configuration management plays a key role in all business sectors.

An example to illustrate configuration management:

In an engineering firm, the design drawings and sketches are tracked to check that all the versions are well documented. Changes are reviewed regularly, and the graphics are strictly followed as it is associated with the potential project scope.

In the banking segment, keen observation is maintained on software employed, components, databases, and facilities concerning configuration management such as service support, incident management, and IT risk management.

Configuration Management serves as s sub-system of the top level of project management systems. It provides specific guidelines to the project management team in employing administrative and technical guidance and monitoring to a wide range of processes of specific items like products, services, and other components within a project.

If properly monitored and implemented, Configuration Management guides the project management team to change the product characteristics, representing a proper way to record these changes to meet business requirements for final approvals. It acts as an umbrella system that comprises many other primary systems such as the change control system to be implemented for a project to be more effective. 

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