Have you ever wanted to know what a CMDB is and the benefits it can provide? This blog will provide a straight forward overview of its meaning a purpose
Firstly, CMDB stands for – Configuration Management Database. This is a simply a repository of data that acts as a data warehouse for Information technology(IT) information. The CMDB holds data relating to a collection of IT assets (commonly referred to as configuration items (CI)), as well as to descriptive relationships between such assets. The repository provides a means of understanding:
- the composition of critical assets such as information systems
- the upstream sources or dependencies of assets
- the downstream targets of assets
Purpose and Benefits
CMDBs are used to keep track of the state of assets such as products, systems, software, facilities, and people as they exist at specific points in time, as well as the relationships between such assets. The maintenance of such state related information allows for things like the reconstruction of such assets, at any point in their existence, as well as for things such as impact analysis, in the cases of root cause analysis or change management.
A CMDB helps an organization understand the relationships between the components of a system and track their configurations. The CMDB is a fundamental component of the ITIL framework's Configuration Management process. CMDB implementations often involve federation, the inclusion of data into the CMDB from other sources, such as asset management, in such a way that the source of the data retains control of the data. Federation is usually distinguished from ETL (extract, transform, load) solutions in which data is copied into the CMDB.
In the context of ITIL the use of CMDBs as part of infrastructure operations and support. The CMDB represents the authorized configuration of the significant components of the IT environment.
The CMDB contains and records data that are also called configuration items (CI). It also provides details about the important attributes of CIs and the relationships between them.
CI attributes and data
Depending on the CI type or category, there are many attributes that might be captured:
- 1. CI Unique Identifier or Identification Code
- 2. CI Name or Label (often, both, long names and short names)
- 3. CI Abbreviations or Acronyms
- 4. CI Description
- 5. CI Ownership (organizations and people)
- 6. CI Importance
There can be many more, depending on the CI types. In some cases, there may be hundreds of attributes.
Because attributes are defined by metadata, CMDBs also contain metadata, and thus the concept overlaps with that of a metadata repository, which is also used to more effectively run IT organizations. Configuration management addresses how the data is to be kept up to date, which has historically been a weakness of metadata repositories.