A configuration management database (CMDB) stores information on the hardware, software, systems, facilities, and personnel within an organization to help IT professionals understand and manage these assets (typically referred to as Configuration Items or CIs) and their relationships. CMDBs help IT professionals more efficiently deliver IT services and better align IT with the business throughout the product or delivery lifecycle. Common use cases for CMDBs include change management and ticketing, impact analysis, root cause analysis, legal compliance, and incident management.
Benefits of Using a CMDB
- Having a complete, centralized, easily accessible dataset about your IT environment
- Integrating data from external sources such as Data Center Infrastructure Management (DCIM) software
- Understanding the configuration of IT assets and their dependent components
- Knowing how each IT asset is used, for which business processes, and by which users
- Providing useful information to support decision-making in regards to operational costs and technology decisions
- Enhancing risk management by maintaining an inventory of assets with potential vulnerabilities
Data Center CMDBs and Integration
To expand upon the tracking capabilities of a traditional IT CMDB, data center managers also leverage a data center CMDB, a part of DCIM software, to track other critical information about their physical data center infrastructure. A data center CMDB maintains an accurate representation of all IT equipment residing in the data center (servers, network, storage equipment) and supporting infrastructure assets (racks, rack PDUs, patch panels, structured cabling, patch cabling, UPSs, busways, branch circuits) with relationship mapping down to physical port levels and up to virtual machine and application levels. Data center CMDBs enable real-time capacity and change management to optimize the availability, utilization, and efficiency of the data center.
Integrating a traditional IT CMDB with a data center CMDB enables the creation, reading, updating, and deleting of assets through either system to enable flow-through operations. The benefits of integrating CMDBs and sharing data include:
- Enabling a single source of truth. Integrating CMDBs breaks down information silos and increases the accuracy of all Configuration Item data so users of either system can trust that the additional CI data they have access to is accurate and up to date.
- Improved workflow and productivity. CMDB integration allows information entered in one system to be automatically pushed to the other. Data center teams save time by not having to update multiple systems or cross-checking data against other sources.
- Improved collaboration across functional teams. Integration creates one holistic picture of all available data, enabling data-driven collaboration and decision-making across all data center, facilities, and IT teams.
- Simplified data center security management. Having integrated systems simplifies the maintenance of user permissions and ensures that security policies are adhered to. As some users may only need to access one CMDB, they can still see the relevant data they need.
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