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Junk Food also Causes Obesity in CMDBs, Studies Say

Jody Roberts ‎03-15-2013 01:19 PM - edited ‎09-27-2015 06:41 PM

Ok, I'm stretching "Studies" to mean, the 250 or so CMDB clients and their experiences in which I have personally been involved.  


  Obesity is a biological, cultural, social, and as it turns out,  a CMSal problem.  If you feed your CMDB junk, you can't expect it to perform like a top athelete.  And yet we do.  Like real life, at least in America a new generation of configuration management systems is growing up with fat parents eating fatty food and dying early deaths, for the exact same reasons a new generation of humans is doing. 


IN places.  I'm not being fatalist, merely cynical.  Well, maybe just disappointed.  It's not active disengagement, it's seeing that just a little education and some proof that the best practices really work, could turn around many obese, failing CMDBs  .  We must, as an industry, turn around the idea that more is better, in terms of CMDB population. 


Less is more.  Like the human diet.  Judicious, selective, directed.  The CMS should be provided precisely what is needed for it's consumers - no more no less.  A balanced, non-repetive diet of authoritative configuration goodness.  Unused CIs are like fat cells:  they add up.


Signs of an obese CMS:

- Memory or performance problems you didn't have before?  (and you didn't just add a bunch of consumers)

- Do you have 157 bobillion CIs, and still need more-many more?  Pressing the vendor for more capacity?

- Are you aging out a lots of CIs that have never been used?

- Is your discovery plan "turn on all the jobs and see what it brings back"?

- Is your discovery gettting progressively slower without adding new jobs?


Yep.  You have a CMS BMI of over "30", you have an obese CMS.  Very clinical.   Do you know your CMS's BMI?


What if I already have an obese CMDB?


First, stop making it worse.  You know all those CIs you wanted "just in case" that nobody is consuming?  Fat cells.  Stop discovering them, and implement a plan of exercise:  aging, manual deletion, whatever works.  But just like losing weight as a human, you MUST exercise.  No "drugs" can quickly cure the way of thinking that created the problem to begin with - the real solution is to change the way you think about your CMS.


Don't ask "what should I put in to my CMS?"  Ask "What must I get out of it?", then what to put in becomes much easier to answer.


At the same time, it's also about quality as much as quantity.  If you just eat less junk, you may lose weight but you will still be unhealthy.  In CMS terms, the data quality is less than good, and your consumers suffer the ill effects of things like data untrustworthiness, stale data, conflicting data, etc.  So populate only, and exactly, the right data, the required data, and nothing else - that equals a healthy provider model, and a healthy CMS.


So, how's "let's discover as much as possible and sort through it later?" looking now?  Yeah, that's EXACTLY how it works.


I hope you have found this allegory to be helpful and enjoyable, if you're into that kind of thing.  Please feel free to express your thoughts below. 


Thanks for listening!


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About the Author

Jody Roberts

Jody Roberts is a researcher, author, and customer advocate in the Product Foundation Services (PFS) group in HP Software. Jody has worked with the UCMDB product line since 2004, and currently takes care of the top 100 HP Software customers, the CMS Best Practices library, and has hosted a weekly CMDB Practitioner's Forum since 2006.

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