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The CMDB Imperative: How to Realize the Dream and Avoid the Nightmares

The CMDB Imperative: How to Realize the Dream and Avoid the Nightmares

4.6 5
by Glenn O'Donnell, Carlos Casanova, Robert Stroud (Foreword by)

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Implement Configuration Management Databases that Deliver Rapid ROI and Sustained Business Value

Implementing an enterprise-wide Configuration Management Database (CMDB) is one of the most influential actions an IT organization can take to improve service delivery and bridge the gap between technology and the business. With a well-designed CMDB in


Implement Configuration Management Databases that Deliver Rapid ROI and Sustained Business Value

Implementing an enterprise-wide Configuration Management Database (CMDB) is one of the most influential actions an IT organization can take to improve service delivery and bridge the gap between technology and the business. With a well-designed CMDB in place, companies are better positioned to manage and optimize IT infrastructure, applications, and services; automate more IT management tasks; and restrain burgeoning costs. Now, there’s an objective, vendor-independent guide to making a CMDB work in your organization. The CMDB Imperative presents a start-to-finish implementation methodology that works and describes how the CMDB is shifting to the superior Configuration Management System (CMS).

Expert CMDB industry analyst Glenn O’Donnell and leading-edge architect and practitioner Carlos Casanova first review the drivers behind a CMDB and the technical, economic, cultural, and political obstacles to success. Drawing on the experiences of hundreds of organizations, they present indispensable guidance on architecting and customizing CMDB solutions to your specific environment. They’ll guide you through planning, implementation, transitioning into production, day-to-day operation and maintenance, and much more. Coverage includes

  • Defining the tasks and activities associated with configuration management
  • Understanding the CMDB’s role in ITIL and the relationship between CMDBs and ITIL v3’s CMS
  • Building software models that accurately represent each entity in your IT environment
  • Ensuring information accuracy via change management and automated discovery
  • Understanding the state of the CMDB market and selling the CMDB within your organization
  • Creating federated CMDB architectures that successfully balance autonomy with centralized control
  • Planning a deployment strategy that sets appropriate priorities and reflects a realistic view of your organization’s maturity
  • Integrating systems and leveraging established and emerging standards
  • Previewing the future of the CMDB/CMS and how it will be impacted by key trends such as virtualization, SOA, mobility, convergence, and “flexi-sourcing”

Foreword xi

Prologue xiii

Chapter 1: The Need for Process Discipline 1

Chapter 2: What Is a CMDB? 25

Chapter 3: Planning for the CMS 57

Chapter 4: The Federated CMS Architecture 91

Chapter 5: CMS Deployment Strategy 133

Chapter 6: Integration—There’s No Way Around It! 177

Chapter 7: The Future of the CMS 197

Chapter 8: Continual Improvement for the CMS 241

Chapter 9: Leveraging the CMS 265

Chapter 10: Enjoy the Fruits of Success 297

Glossary 313

Product Details

Prentice Hall
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.80(d)

Read an Excerpt

Prologue Prologue

This discussion comes from many years of experience in this field, watching companies start and stop their initiatives for a variety of reasons, most of which had some merit but almost all of which were simply postponing the inevitable. Some have survived punitive outsourcing by fighting against the tide of adoption. How much longer they can prevail depends upon their continued vigilance. We hope this book helps all companies succeed by giving them a guide to this vigilance.

As authors of this book, we began to form our vision together, discussing the concepts of federation, leveraging of the DMTF CIM models and usage patterns in 2003 and 2004. We won’t reveal who first suggested it, but one day during one of our usual exchanges, we decided to write this book. We both heard the same questions and concerns about the CMDB and always found ourselves giving the same responses. It was clear that a comprehensive and authoritative guide was needed and that no books existed to offer the pragmatic view. The timing of ITIL v3 and the CMDB Federation Working Group appearing on the scene told us this was the right time to do it. In hindsight, we now think we were right even more than we did then. We hope you agree.

We are excited that aspects of our vision are starting to become a reality but are also very disappointed that more companies didn’t move faster to address systemic foundational problems within their organizations. We have seen, and in some cases been directly impacted by, the failure of companies to address some of these systemic issues. Our mission is to help prevent such nightmares. The CMDB (more accurately, the CMS) holds great promise as one of the greatest forces toward the dream of disciplined IT service management. We trust The CMDB Imperative will help you to realize this dream and avoid the nightmares.

© Copyright Pearson Education. All rights reserved.

Meet the Author

Glenn O’Donnell is a Senior Analyst with Forrester Research, a top technology industry research and advisory firm. He is a trusted adviser to IT organizations worldwide, serving Infrastructure and Operations professionals. He is the Forrester analyst covering CMDB, configuration and change management, and IT automation and is a major contributor to Forrester’s growing ITIL and ITSM coverage. He was previously a Principal Product Marketing Manager with EMC’s Resource Management Software Group, responsible for marketing and strategy development for the EMC application-oriented software offerings and EMC’s overall IT service management strategy. Prior to EMC, he was a Program Director at META Group, also as a top IT Operations analyst. A prolific speaker and author, Mr. O’Donnell is a world-renowned authority on management systems, IT Service Management, IT Operations, and automation technologies and holds an ITIL certification. Since 1980, he has proven to be an innovator and thought leader in various technology development, operations, and architecture roles at Western Electric, Bell Labs,AT&T, and Lucent Technologies.

Carlos Casanova is the President and Founder of K2 Solutions Group, Inc. K2 Solutions Group, Inc., offers professional services, training, and technology products that support the delivery of CMDB/CMS, and ITIL initiatives. Prior to this, he was a Sr. Enterprise Architect with MetLife, Inc., where he was the visionary and manager for the first CMDB deployment and subsequently helped design its second-generation, enterprise-wide ITSM platform. He has been a speaker at major ITIL conferences on Configuration Management and CMDB, has several ITIL certifications, and is well known and respected by ITIL leaders. Mr. Casanova’s career spans electronic hardware design, military contracting, software architecture, management consulting, business process modeling, account management, entrepreneurial startups, and technology architectures. In addition, his professional experience in IT Risk Management, Business Continuity, and IT Security has provided him with a broad foundation and perspective that enables him to maintain a constant client/end-user focus with integrity and objective reasoning at the core of all his designs.

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The CMDB Imperative: How to Realize the Dream and Avoid the Nightmares 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Anonymous 5 months ago
A must read for software CM professionals
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Boudville More than 1 year ago
Have you, the IT manager, ever wondered what exactly you manage? Not so much the people, but the hardware and software. The book explains that you need a Configuration Management Database, and what it does or should do. At the simplest level of implementation, it is a database of an inventory of hardware. Nowadays, this usually means machines on a network. Here, things are pretty mature. There are software packages called network monitors that use Simple Network Management Protocol to query every object on the network supporting the protocol. From this automated discovery, you can easily get a list of active network devices and some information about each. But the book shows how a CMDB is much more. Given the hardware, what software is installed or, and this is often more pertinent, what is currently running? To some limited extent, a standard network monitor can poll the various ports on each machine and make an inventory of which are active, along with a guess as to what is listening of those ports. But the guess only works with commonly used ports. In general, a CMDB has application discovery tools that you need to give access to the servers. Here the problem is much harder than for network devices, because there is no analog of SNMP for a general application to conform to. So the discovery tool might scan the server's disk to see what is installed, and to look up the process table for what is active. All this is for automated discovery. As the book points out, this is far easier and more robust than manual discovery. The book also touches upon the increasing use of SOA applications. The interrelated nature of these is another level of complexity beyond what more discovery tools currently handle. Yet if SOA really takes off, you need an awareness of the interdependencies between your SOA applications. An ongoing process of CMDB improvement. The book makes you aware of the need for CMDB as well as its current limitations.