What is a CMDB?
A CMDB (Configuration Management Database) is a database that holds configuration information about devices and logical constructs within the technical environment. These devices or logical constructs, also called as configuration items (CIs), could be servers, routers, switches, telephones, mobile devices, laptops, PCs, smoke alarms, moisture detectors, or street furniture, or they could be more complex, nonphysical entities such as clusters, virtual machines, or services. A CMDB is used to store the configuration records throughout the life cycle of the configuration items or CIs. The CMDB stores attributes of the CIs and their relationships with other CIs. The biggest value derived out of a CMDB is the relationship information.
An example of visualized configuration information of a service offering
The CMDB brings together data and presents it in a common way such that this data can be used to support processes within the organization. The data can come from automated discovery tools such as BMC Discovery, existing data such as spreadsheets, or data that was manually entered directly into the CMDB via the user interface.
With the information in the CMDB, ITIL processes such as Incident Management and Change Management can be enriched to allow enhanced value from consuming data that is stored in the CMDB.
A CMDB is not required to implement Incident Management or Change Management. As part of the value chain, these processes can be implemented in parallel with a CMDB implementation.
The following items describe what a CMDB is not:
- A place to store real-time operational information such as how much disk space is being utilized or the current CPU utilization of a server
- An inventory tied to Asset Management
- A data warehouse
- A reporting structure
- An entity that works independently
The value of a CMDB is not in collecting configuration items (CIs) from your environment.