Configuration management database

Configuration management database

A configuration management database (CMDB) is a repository of information related to all the components of an information system. It contains the details of the configuration items (CI) in the IT infrastructure. Although repositories similar to CMDBs have been used by IT departments for many years, the term CMDB stems from ITIL. In the ITIL context, a CMDB represents the authorized configuration of the significant components of the IT environment. A CMDB helps an organization understand the relationships between these components and track their configuration. The CMDB is a fundamental component of the ITIL framework's Configuration Management process. CMDB implementations often involve federation, the inclusion of data into the CMDB from other sources, such as Asset Management, in such a way that the source of the data retains control of the data. Federation is usually distinguished from Extract, transform, load (ETL) solutions in which data is copied into the CMDB.

The CMDB records CIs and details about the important attributes and relationships between CIs. Configuration managers usually describe CIs using three configurable attributes:

  1. Technical
  2. Ownership
  3. Relationship

A key success factor in implementing a CMDB is the ability to automatically discover information about the CIs (auto-discovery) and track changes as they happen.

CMDBs contain metadata, and thus the concept overlaps with that of a metadata repository which are both used in running large IT organizations. Configuration management addresses how the data is to be kept up to date, which has historically been a weakness of metadata repositories.


Federated CMDBs

Information-technology managers can use a federated CMDB - an enterprise-level CMDB - to accumulate information about configurations, changes and other data from disparate sources.[1] The goal is to enable management data providers to integrate their data into a coherent, seamless CMDB, using an industry-standard interface.[2]

The architecture for this standard was proposed in a 2007 white paper, written by representatives from several CMDB vendors: ASG Software Solutions, BMC Software, CA, Fujitsu, HP Software Division, IBM and Microsoft.[3] These members represented the CMDB Federation Workgroup, or CMDBf.[4]

In 2009, the Distributed Management Task Force (DMTF) standardized the CMDBf specification to provide a cross-vendor, standardized solution for federating system-management data.[5]

See also


  • Office of Government Commerce (OGC), ed.: Service Support. IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL). The Stationery Office, Norwich, UK (2000)
  • OGC, ed.: Introduction to ITIL. IT Infrastructure Library. The Stationery Office (2005)
  1. ^ “The federated CMDB vision."
  2. ^ The Federated CMDB Vision white paper.
  3. ^ The Federated CMDB Vision white paper.
  4. ^ CMDBf Workgroup
  5. ^ Configuration Management Database (CMDB) Federation Specification

External links


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