The Importance of the CMDB

A Configuration Management Database (CMDB) is the core of ITIL processes. CMDB is a database of information related to all the components of an information system; it contains information about the configuration items (CI) in the IT infrastructure. CIs can be hardware, software, personnel or documentation.

The CMDB describes CIs using three configurable attributes: technical, ownership and relationship. In plain terms, the CMDB is like the index for the components in the IT environment, helping understand their attributes, relationships and configurations. A key success factor in implementing a CMDB is the ability to automatically discover information about the CIs and to track changes as they happen. CMDBs are important in IT decision making, allowing users to identify dependencies among processes, people, applications and IT infrastructure to find opportunities for change, faster resolution of incidents fewer errors and more.

Unlike a traditional database, the CMDB pulls in data from other sources in such a way that original sources retain control of said data. The CMDB can help you understand data in an organized way, examining it from a multitude of perspectives. According to the ITIL recommended specifications, there are four tasks involved in configuration management:

  1. Identify the CIs to be put in the CMDB
  2. Control the data so that it is only changed by authorized individuals
  3. Ensure the current status of incoming CI is always recorded and updated
  4. Maintain data accuracy through audits and reviews

A CMDB may be accessed by many individuals, so many companies find it useful to make it more user-friendly by adopting a web interface.

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