Complex IT systems require careful documentation for a variety of reasons, such as keeping track of changes and configurations and maintaining compliance with rigid standards. IT specialists have done this manually in the past, which was time-consuming and prone to error. A configuration management database (CMDB) helps automate this process, making it much easier to keep track of IT assets and configurations.
A CMDB is a database used to store IT configuration and infrastructure information. The main purpose of a CMDB is to provide a single source of truth for an organization's IT service management (ITSM) initiatives, which can include hardware, software, systems, facilities, and even personnel. A CMDB contains detailed information about each asset, including its history, location, owner, function, and relationship to other assets. Each tracked asset within a CMDB is known as a configuration item (CI).
CMDBs provide a comprehensive view of the IT infrastructure, making it easy to track changes, identify potential problems between interdependent CIs, and successfully deliver IT services.
IT teams can use a CMDB to store a wide range of information, including:
Hardware and software inventory
Information about network infrastructure
Configuration settings for individual system components
Documentation of changes made to the system over time
How Does a CMBD Work?
A robust CMDB solution automatically populates with data from a variety of sources, including discovery tools and system logs. IT specialists use this data to create a comprehensive view of the IT infrastructure. A CMDB can track changes within the system over time and identify potential problems. For example, if you add a server to your network, you can use a CMDB to update its documentation and add this new asset to your inventory.
Universal Discovery & UCMDB Demo
What Are the Benefits of a CMBD?
There are many benefits of using a CMDB, including:
A CMDB is a valuable tool for any organization that relies on IT systems. By automating the documentation process, a CMDB can help IT save time and money while improving the overall quality of data and information.
What Is the Difference Between a CMBD and IT Asset Management?
IT asset management (ITAM) is a related but distinct discipline. ITAM focuses on tracking more static hardware and software details throughout the asset life cycle, such as procurement, operation, ongoing maintenance, and disposal. While these details typically include information regarding configuration, a key feature of ITAM is that it focuses on the financial aspects of assets, such as purchasing or licensing costs, depreciation, and replacement costs.
Rather than focusing on business-oriented goals as ITAM does, a CMDB focuses on service-oriented goals, or those that help IT staff understand asset configuration and interdependencies throughout the asset life cycle. A good way to think about the difference between ITAM and a CMDB is to consider an asset that could fall into both categories: a server.
On the ITAM side of things, IT would track when they procured this server, its value and deprecation over time, ongoing operating information (e.g., service agreements) and maintenance costs, and its disposal. IT would also track this server within a CMDB, but this would focus on service-oriented elements like its operation system (OS) and software, firmware versions, and security.
Configuration Database Management Example
Micro Focus Universal Discovery and Universal CMDB is an IT configuration management system that automates the process of data collection for a CMDB. Universal Discovery and CMDB automatically collect hybrid IT asset data across multi-cloud, containers, and on-premises IT.
“We’ve been trying to get real-time information on our
clouds and the event- driven updates that Micro Focus
Universal Discovery can pull are really important.”
Technology Data Optimization Team
Finance & Banking
Building a Strong Foundation for IT Service Management
The IT landscape is constantly changing. So how can you maintain control? Micro Focus Universal Discovery and Universal CMDB help you build a better ITSM practice, no matter your solution. It collects, stores, manages, updates, and presents data about software and infrastructure asset inventory and services configuration for better IT service management, IT asset management, and IT operations.