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Why is the CMDB a critical component for your ITSSM (IT service support management)?

doronorbach ‎08-11-2014 01:43 PM - edited ‎03-31-2015 01:51 PM

A new report by Gartner discusses the importance of having a configuration management database CMDB and discovery as part of a successful IT service support management (ITSSM) solution. The expansion of IT environments with physical and virtual resources that are inside and outside the IT organization is reemphasizing the importance of a centralized data management system. You need this system that can serve as the base for effectively managing business services and the relationship to the infrastructure they are running on.

Several trends that were raised in the recent Critical Capabilities for Configuration Management Database report, demonstrate the need to effectually manage a reliable configuration management database:

  •          The expansion of IT environments toward virtualization and outside the traditional walls of IT increases the complexity of management, and emphasizes the need for quality data as part of the ITSSM
  •          The need to better assess the risks of proposed changes to the infrastructure environment
  •          The need to have a system with integration and federation capabilities that is able to rely on powerful reconciliation and synchronization capabilities

The report reveals the strength and balanced offering of HP UCMDB and HP UD (Universal Discovery) in all the critical capabilities criteria’s that were measured in the report such as: Service Modeling and Mapping, Integration/Federation, Reconciliation, Synchronization and Reporting. The report gave The HP products “excellent” to “outstanding” scores on ALL these capabilities.

The report also looks into the strength of HP UCMDB in all the use cases that were covered by the report:

  •          Service Support Analyst
  •          IT Change Manager
  •          Subject Matter Expert
  •          IT Asset Manager
  •          CMDB Manager

In all of these scenarios the HP UCMDB combined together with UD, were measured in score that ranged between “excellent” to “outstanding”.

As the report suggests, the integration of a CMDB with SDM tools (tools that automate the discovery of IT services and applications by populating your CMDB with discovered relationship data) is a very important part when looking into the CMDB solutions offered by HP.

As the product manager of UCMDB, I spent many years in delivering HP UCMDB and UD to large enterprise customers. I believe that behind any successful implementation of ITSM in  large scale environments, the power of true and updated data is critical. HP UCMDB and UD are running within the production of thousands of enterprise customers.

Other products in the CMDB market rely on separate products to run the discovery of the IT environment—HP UCMDB and UD serve as one technology stack. This avoids the need for a complicated merging of the data that is collected between different class models, and ensures that the CMDB data is always kept fresh for accurate representation of the business services, and their relationships to the infrastructure.

HP Universal Discovery is a reliable source of information for all the layers of the business applications from the second layer, all the way up to the application and business layer—including the storage and network components. The Gartner report observes this by stating that “The inclusion of the CMDB within the tool's dependency discovery capabilities ensures transparency in service modeling, which leverages data from discovery directly to the CMDB.”

Accurate discovery and dependency mapping of data is just one part of the picture. Another part is the ability to control the changes that occur, and be able to update the data accordingly. HP UCMDB and UD have this ability and as stated by Gartner: “can track comprehensive configuration item and attribute changes, and it can override or prohibit updates according to policy terms.”

The strength of UCMDB combined with UD can also benefit other ITSM solution vendors.

For example, if you use a non HP ITSM product you would probably still need to use a discovery solution, and UD is probably the primary solution for this. Gartner states regarding one of these vendors that: “Although the company (name of the company was omitted by me – D.O) offers a discovery tool to capture inventory data, it is not comparable to SDM tools, which can discover and capture service models with peer-to-peer and hierarchical dependencies, and enable these to be integrated into the CMDB. Consequently, if the CMDB is not used with a third-party SDM tool, capturing and maintaining dependencies will become a manual burden.”

From my experience, many customers have chosen to deploy HP UD as a way to discover the data (using an integration adapter), and so to leverage HP's UD to populate the service models for different ITSM solutions.

To summarize, HP UCMDB running together with HP UD, is a building stone for successful ITSSM solutions, by allowing the organization to rely on a true set of data, that can track changes, and have them available to manage the complexity of modern IT and cloud environments.

For complete information on the critical capabilities report, please refer to the original report



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About the Author


I am the PM of UCMDB and CM. I have a lot of background in configuration management, discovery, integrations, and delivery. I have been involved with the products for 12 years in R&D and product management.

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