Configuration Management« Go back
Configuration management provides a logical model of the IT infrastructure by identifying, controlling, maintaining and verifying the versions of all Configuration Items (CIs).
Configuration Items are components/assets of the IT infrastructure that are under the control of Change Management. Examples are hardware, software, and documentation. CIs have attributes which record important aspects about the item itself and its relationship to other configuration items. Examples of attributes types are:
- Technical - Data that describes the CI's capabilities which include software version and model numbers, hardware and manufacturer specifications, memory and data storage, network connections and speeds,...
- Ownership - These attributes record information such as purchase date, warranty, location and responsible person for the CI. Identification information such as serial numbers, and asset type (software, hardware, documentation,...) are also important attributes.
- Relationship - The relationships between hardware items (interface cards in a server), software (drivers, compilers, virtual machines), and users (departments or processes).
It is easy to get bogged down in identifying CIs and their attributes. This should be driven by clearly defined business needs and designed to be expandable to meet future needs.
CIs and their attributes are stored in a Configuration Management Database (CMDB). This can be viewed as a single logical system but may be implemented as a single integrated system or several independent systems.
The CMDB is at the heart of all Service Support processes. It provides the ability to access and analyze CIs and their relationships, track incidents, problems, and known errors through to closure, supports documentation of proper process controls (reviews & signoffs etc.), and is the data source for proactive trend analysis.
Accuracy of the data in the CMDB is critical. If processes are circumvented, information in the CMDB will be incorrect and will lead to incidents that the Service Support processes were put in place to avoid. An accurate initial baseline must be established, processes must be followed, and periodic verification and audits of the CMDB need to be conducted to assure data integrity.