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  • 1. CMDB: Why, When and How? March 6, 2008 Delaware Valley Chapter Lou Eggert – USG, Inc.
  • 2. Topics
    • Introduction to Configuration Management
    • What is a CMDB?
    • Why Do You Want One?
    • Are You Ready?
    • How Do You Get Started?
    • What Happens Next?
  • 3. Introduction – Configuration Management
    • The IT Infrastructure Library® (ITIL®) describes Configuration Management (CM) as:
    • a method for controlling infrastructure and services .
  • 4. Introduction – Configuration Management
    • The purpose of CM is to control changes through creation and maintenance of documentation.
      • Change Management and other ITIL processes use documentation to make better decisions. 
      • Creating and maintaining records of Configuration Items (CI) such as hardware, software, and the documentation related to these CIs is all CM describes.
  • 5. Introduction – Configuration Management
    • The activities of CM all relate to the idea of creating and maintaining a database of information regarding CIs, and then inserting this information into the decision making process.
    • This simple understanding is the path to success regarding CM, and the establishment of the Configuration Management Database, or CMDB.
  • 6. What is a CMDB?
  • 7. What is a CMDB?
    • Not a single, all-powerful database. 
    • Does not have amazing abilities.
    • Does not come in a box.
    • Not Software.
    • Not Hardware.
    • So What is it?
  • 8. What is a CMDB?
    • Configuration Management Data Base
      • More “Databank” than “Database”.
      • Links together all the collections of information you use in your day to day activities.
      • References and relates repositories of CI information.
      • Contains Metadata: Data about data!
  • 9. Why Do You Want a CMDB?
  • 10. Why Do You Want a CMDB?
    • CM is the process of managing the information relating to your infrastructure.
      • The CMDB contains metadata about services in your infrastructure.
      • An IT organization must understand what services are and how to manage them.
    • The CMDB plays a role in achieving service excellence.
  • 11. Why Do You Want a CMDB?
    • The concept of a CMDB serving as single source of data is one of its greatest strengths.
    • Without a central repository for configuration information, IT organizations continue to work in silos, and fail to align activities with business objectives.
  • 12. Why Do You Want a CMDB?
    • How can you manage and improve IT services if you don't know what equipment you have, where it is, how it’s connected and the impact of changing it?
    • A basic Configuration Management (CM) process and toolset (i.e. CMDB) can enable teams to better communicate and coordinate processes by establishing a common data repository.
  • 13. Why Do You Want a CMDB?
    • A CMDB allows you to:
    • Improve operational effectiveness.
    • Provide cost efficiencies.
    • Improve the overall quality of service.
    • Provide a foundation for changing a reactive IT culture into a proactive service provider.
  • 14. Are You Ready?
  • 15. Are You Ready?
    • Uncover your own CMDB...
    • Locate existing information repositories
      • Records regarding hardware and software models, versions, etc. 
      • Manuals and software CD-ROMs.
      • An Excel spreadsheet with records of office system configurations. 
      • Finance has an asset register tracking hardware and software purchased. 
  • 16. Are You Ready?
    • Uncover your own CMDB...continued
      • Someone else is using Access to track software licenses.  
      • Over there is a shelf holding user manuals.
      • Next to that is a closet with spare hardware. 
      • Elsewhere there are diagrams of services, circuits, and systems in Visio or maybe PowerPoint.
  • 17. Are You Ready?
    • Beware falling down the slippery slope of thinking CM and the CMDB are huge things you have to purchase or develop. 
    • Start small, and grow as you mature.  Follow the simple steps of locating the sources of data, taking them under management control, and creating a system for knowing what is where. 
  • 18. How Do You Get Started?
  • 19. How Do You Get Started?
    • Planning - A CM process begins with a plan.
    • Your CM plan needs to include:
      • purpose and scope of CM,
      • a description of the CIs and services to which the CM plan applies,
      • a time line showing important CM activities completion,
      • a description of current and expected CM tools (e.g. what you have and expect to find),
      • related documentation such as existing CM plans or plans from suppliers,
  • 20. How Do You Get Started?
    • Planning (Continued):
      • a listing of relevant documents and their interrelationships,
      • policies describing CM management activities,
      • the organization, responsibilities and authorities of relevant interested parties,
      • qualifications and training of staff to support CM,
      • criteria for the selection of CIs,
      • frequency, distribution, and control of reports.
  • 21. How Do You Get Started?
    • Everything Starts with ITIL!
    • The CM plan must explain and describe how you plan to achieve each of the following CM process activities.
    • The ITIL provides great detail on the following planning items, but here are some highlights...
  • 22. How Do You Get Started?
    • Identification — the selection and identification of CIs and their relationships.  Identification includes:
      • assigning unique identifiers and version numbers to CIs,
      • applying labels to CIs as appropriate,
      • entering the CI into the appropriate databank. 
      • For service-level CIs, the selection of resource-level CIs and the descriptions of their interrelationships should describe the services' structure. 
  • 23. How Do You Get Started?
    • Good selection and identification criteria include:
      • regulatory requirements,
      • criticality in terms of risks and safety,
      • new or modified technology,
      • interfaces with other CIs,
      • procurement conditions,
      • support and service considerations.
  • 24. How Do You Get Started?
    • Control — procedures that ensure no change to any CI without controlling documentation such as an updated service or product specification, or a RFC.  In your CM plan, define how you will accurately update CMDB records.  Include:
      • management authorizations and relationships of those in authority,
      • procedures for control of changes to CI records within the CMDB,
      • methods to communicate changes from physical CIs to their CMDB records,
  • 25. How Do You Get Started?
    • Status Accounting — reporting on changes to CIs throughout their lifecycle.  Include methods to track CIs from ordering to depreciation.
    • Unlike Control , Status Accounting seeks to maintain a historical record for the CI.  This includes baselines, linked Incidents, Problems, Known Errors, etc.
      • methods for collecting, recording, processing and maintaining status accounting records,
      • definition of the content and format for all configuration status accounting reports.
  • 26. How Do You Get Started?
    • Verification and Audit — a series of reviews to verify the presence and configuration of CIs with their respective records within the CMDB. Include in the plan:
      • a list of audits planned,
      • procedures to be used,
      • authorizations required (within and without IT),
      • description of report and expected contents,
      • Configuration Care and Feeding.
  • 27. What Happens Next?
  • 28. What Happens Next?
    • Remember, the real purpose of CM and the CMDB is to Control CIs. 
      • Initially, use the CMDB to enhance maintenance decisions.
      • Expand into using the CMDB to evaluate Requests for Change (RFCs) in support of Change and Release Management.
  • 29. What Happens Next?
    • To support Change Management, identify critical components (CIs) that underpin key systems or applications. Some common examples of these types of CIs include:
      • power supplies,
      • shared servers,
      • central routers and switches,
      • high worth users,
      • shared applications,
      • high speed network connections,
      • vital audit, security, and production systems.
  • 30. What Happens Next?
    • Combine CI information into services.
      • This requires more work, so start small. 
      • Focus on new services, or “problem” services in need of improvement. 
      • Start by defining service CIs – composed of these critical infrastructure CIs. 
      • This will help stabilize your infrastructure by reducing unexpected consequences of changes.
  • 31. What Happens Next?
    • Following the rest of the CM process defined in the ITIL allows you to maintain the integrity of the CMDB as you expand it. 
      • Establish management objectives to bring other services or locations under CM control. 
      • Perform audits to ensure integrity and find new CIs. 
      • Begin to use the CMDB for impact analysis for Changes. 
      • Relate Incidents, Problems, and Known Errors to services and specific CIs in the CMDB.
  • 32. What Happens Next?
    • Over time, you can migrate to new systems if required. 
      • You will know what you need, and how to achieve it. 
      • You might even find it worthwhile to purchase a system — and you will have established the value proposition to justify them. 
  • 33. What Happens Next?
    • The CMDB is a Journey, Not a Destination
    • As you mature your processes, the CMDB, and the quality of the data it presents will also mature.
    • Don’t try to do everything at once.
    • Design for the future:
      • Top Down Design
      • Bottom up Creation
    • Make it Flexible and Scalable
  • 34. What Happens Next?
    • With your new understanding, and your plan in hand, you are ready to realize the benefits of Configuration Management!
  • 35. Wrap Up / Q&A
    • Questions?
    • Lou Eggert
    • [email_address]
    • 609-947-3866
    • Thank You!