Why Read This
The configuration management database (CMDB) is a major topic for IT operations professionals, as maturing IT organizations now comprehend its pivotal role in operational process initiatives such as ITIL. The CMDB term is itself an unfortunate misnomer, as it implies a monolithic model, structured around a sole database that will ultimately fail. A refined direction is a federated approach to the CMDB, with raw data distributed across the enterprise and linked with object models and metadata. Federation is threaded throughout the ITIL v3 notion of the configuration management system (CMS). Federation offers far more flexibility for service adaptation, but broad implementation will remain elusive through 2010 or 2011. Still, targeted capabilities exist today, and you must begin the evolution now to be ready for the onslaught. Start by appointing a proven leader, assessing available and emerging tool options, and familiarizing the organization to the continually shifting dynamics. Those currently executing on the CMS vision will realize powerful service management enhancements (e.g., incident and problem management, risk mitigation of changes, trustworthy business services), while the procrastinators are guaranteed a difficult future and face punitive outsourcing.