What should be in the CMDB?

Well I though I would start my first blog entry with a question – what should go into your Configuration Management Data Base? (I’ll leave the question of why the Service Desk needs a CMDB for another time.)

There are lots of valid ways of approaching this for Service Desks/Helpdesks using ITIL. One of the best ways of approaching this is to say:

Q: What is a Configuration Item (CI)?

A: It’s something that we may wish to subject to Change Control.

So, what do you want to subject to Change Control procedures? It’s almost certainly going to be enterprise level entities – servers, network switches and so on. It does of course imply that you have some leeway in terms of desktops and desktop level equipment. I always like to remind people that ITIL is not prescriptive its approach, and the real skill in implementation is to fit it correctly to your own business.

You can take this to mean that, in my view, it is sometimes OK to exclude some or all desktop equipment from the CMDB.

Considering the CMDB in this way also leads us to consider the fact that not all CIs need to be physical – virtual CIs can also be included (personally, I would always advise that they should be). Virtual CIs might include web servers, database servers, or even entire systems.

I’m going to post more about the CMDB later in the week, and will come back to this question then.