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What is a CMDB?

Whiteboard Wednesday Episode 10: What is a CMDB?

Whiteboard Wednesday is me, a whiteboard and learning about all things IT Asset Management (ITAM), every Wednesday!

This week, CMDB. What is a CMDB and what value does it bring?

Please like, follow, subscribe to Whiteboard Wednesday updates, reach out on social media and say hello, and let me know what else you want explained on the whiteboard, and we’ll get it done!

What is a CMDB?

Abbreviated transcript:

Imagine Lewis Hamilton, the motorsport driver has just won Silverstone, in the UK, he’s won that race. In order to complete the championship and win he needs to go down to Italy to Monza to win that race and then he’s won the entire championship. The truck carrying his favourite cars has a blowout on the motorway and the truck is stranded halfway to Italy. Now, you don’t need to understand anything about motorsport, or Formula One to understand that a truck having a blowout with the key cargo on it is going to have an impact, we can make that connection. In CMDB terms, this wheel having a blowout would be called a configuration item, or a CI. It’s a configuration item that underpins the service being delivered by the business. And what CMDB does, it collects all of these configuration items, it tells you how they’re related, and how they are going to impact the service being delivered to the business.

IT example of a CMDB

You might have Arsenal Football Club, and they’re selling tickets, football match tickets for the big game at the end of the season. They might have this E-commerce setup and they might have a cluster of servers or a cloud service, they might have a hypervisor, virtual machine operating system, database, web server, blah, blah, blah, lots of technical items. And if one of these things blows out, it’s not so obvious that it’s going to have an impact on the tickets, because with IT stuff we can’t make that connection as obvious as the tyre on the truck. Yet this is the equivalent of the tyre going on the truck if that goes the entire tickets from the final go.

Value of a CMDB

So, the configuration management database allows us to see how things are connected and the relevance of the business. You might be thinking, a CMDB is full of IT assets, that underpin services and that sounds very close to an asset database for asset management and it is, but there are very important differences between ITAM and CMDB. And we’ll cover that in the next video.

About Martin Thompson

Martin is owner and founder of The ITAM Review, an online resource for worldwide ITAM professionals. The ITAM Review is best known for its weekly newsletter of all the latest industry updates, LISA training platform, Excellence Awards and conferences in UK, USA and Australia.

Martin is also the founder of ITAM Forum, a not-for-profit trade body for the ITAM industry created to raise the profile of the profession and bring an organisational certification to market. On a voluntary basis Martin is a contributor to ISO WG21 which develops the ITAM International Standard ISO/IEC 19770.

He is also the author of the book "Practical ITAM - The essential guide for IT Asset Managers", a book that describes how to get started and make a difference in the field of IT Asset Management. In addition, Martin developed the PITAM training course and certification.

Prior to founding the ITAM Review in 2008 Martin worked for Centennial Software (Ivanti), Silicon Graphics, CA Technologies and Computer 2000 (Tech Data).

When not working, Martin likes to Ski, Hike, Motorbike and spend time with his young family.

Connect with Martin on LinkedIn.

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