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Creation of Configuration Management Database

“A configuration management database (CMDB) is a database that contains all relevant information about the components of the information system used in an organization’s IT services and the relationships between those components” (CMDB, Whatis”). Having a CMDB will standardize storage, monitoring and analysis of the company’s configuration items (CI): any IT component that it uses, be it equipment, software, documentation or employees, and their combination. Steps in creating a CMDB A. Planning Six to twelve months ahead, start planning for the CMDB creation.

This should give ample time for management alignment, different preparatory activities as well as purchasing lead times. Planning is usually done at a high level in the company, with the involvement of the COO, finance manager, project leader (from computing) and the directors of the revenue generating departments. Specific steps include: 1. Defining the objective: creating a CMDB to standardize IT infrastructure in the company, to eliminate confusion within the company, thus improving current client satisfaction and growing sales. 2. Team formation.

Each department must provide a representative to ensure their business processes are taken into consideration during the planning. 3. Creation of project schedule. The CMDB project leader will create an over-all planning and implementation schedule including live

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date of the CMDB and possible downtimes for each department. 4. Budget definition and alignment. Budget for the project will come in two forms: capital cost, which will impact the over-all capital budget of the company and expense, which will impact the revenue generating departments.

B. Design For this stage, the following are the specific tasks: 1. Definition of configuration items (CI). Resources from each department will work with the project leader to identify the different CIs to be included in the database. Within the team, they will also need to agree on the extent of management that the CMDB will offer for each CI. For example, company-wide software can be managed in the CMDB, but department-specific software maybe tracked only for compatibility to the other software and not monitored for upgrades in the CMDB.

2. Creation of policies, standards and procedures. Who can access and manage the CMDB, how each CI is stored, configured and relates to other CIs must be defined at this stage. Such which will be the CMDBs design parameters. As in the objective, all stakeholders must be aligned to the established policies and procedures before implementation. C. Implementation After all the paperwork, steps to the actual database set-up are as follows: 1. Physical location and set-up of hardware, including security considerations;

Population of CI’s into the database including table of definitions, attributes to be monitored, associations to other CI’s; 3. Set-up the change management system for the CI’s to eliminate confusion in having and maintaining different hardware and software; 4. Setting up of the viewing and generation of reports to aid in the maintenance of the database and its components; 5. Setting up the database security and access control parameters to ensure the strictest policies against change management and control.

Prior to the actual start-up of the CMDB, all personnel must undergo and pass training. From roles and responsibilities in the CMDB start-up and maintenance, to the different processes and procedures that will run the CMDB, everyone who will work on the CMDB must be trained to ensure a successful start-up. Starting up the CMDB will be the culmination of the project; nevertheless, enough time for testing, commissioning, and live date must be taken into account in the over-all project schedule.

Corresponding downtimes prior to cut over, as well as agreed service availability must be aligned to the highest level of management possible, to ensure the full support and engagement of the company. D. Verification Start-up is not the end goal of a project, as the most critical part of a new project is its impact to on-going business. Verification process, audits, change management process, incident identification and resolution process should also be in-place and working immediately after cutover to ensure on-going success.

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