Table of contents
- Why do companies need a CMDB?
- 5 common CMDB challenges and how to get past them
The benefits of having a configuration management database (CMDB) are clear:
- It provides a holistic view of your IT environment
- Captures the true impact of the thousands of changes you make every year
- Equips you with a roadmap for disaster recovery
But having a CMDB can be challenging. There are many potential pitfalls that can prevent you from taking advantage of all its capabilities.
Many businesses have a tough time keeping up with their IT infrastructure. It’s not uncommon for companies to struggle with these hurdles—and even give up on their CMDB efforts altogether.
Let’s look at why a business needs a CMDB and the major CMDB challenges.
Why do companies need a CMDB?
Companies need a CMDB to help them maintain a holistic picture of their IT environment. This helps them make better decisions about IT resources, responding to incidents, and upgrades or changes in software or hardware.
A CMDB also makes it easy for employees to find answers when they’re trying to figure out whether or not something is working properly. Organizations need CMDB for several reasons:
Change management and control
Organizations depend on their IT systems to keep them running smoothly and efficiently. However, as these systems become increasingly complex, it becomes increasingly difficult to stay up-to-date with changes made to them.
This is where CMDBs come in. They are used to track changes made to IT systems and, therefore, can be used for change control. When a change is made, it is documented in the CMDB. This helps ensure that no unexpected changes are made to other parts of the system when one part is changed.
It also makes it easier for administrators to identify dependencies between different components of their environments. This can help them plan ahead when they need to make changes and avoid any disruption in service or downtime.
Disaster recovery is a critical component of any business continuity/disaster recovery plan. A production CMDB forms the basis for a recovery CMDB, which is a key element in that plan.
The purpose of a CMDB is to help IT professionals understand what they have, where it resides, and how it’s configured. It also helps them track changes made to those systems over time so that they can know what the baseline state of their infrastructure is. This information makes it easier for them to identify whether there have been any changes that could impact performance or availability, and what those changes were.
Once you’ve tracked your current state and identified any changes, you can compare that against your previous states. This ensures that you don’t miss anything important when reviewing data from before an outage occurred (in case there were problems beforehand). This allows you to better understand how things work now compared with how they used to work before something went wrong.
IT governance refers to the practices used by organizations to ensure that they are managing their IT effectively, efficiently and with minimal risk. The aim is to align IT operations with business needs and ensure that technology is used in a sustainable way.
A CMDB can help you meet your IT governance objectives by enabling you to track assets, monitor changes, and maintain compliance.
Visibility into the business
A CMDB provides visibility into your IT infrastructure and gives you an overview of your environment, making it easier to understand how your business is using IT. This is important because it helps you make better decisions about the future of your organization. Being able to see what’s happening in your environment also helps you identify potential problems before they occur.
5 common CMDB challenges and how to get past them
CMDBs are essential to the success of modern businesses. They are used to ensure that IT assets are properly managed and maintained, as well as to streamline the management of information related to those assets. When they’re done right, CMDBs help companies make better decisions about their infrastructures, reduce risks associated with data loss or duplication, and generally increase their efficiency.
Read: How companies can build reliable CMDBs with CMDB best practices
Unfortunately, many companies struggle with CMDBs because they don’t have the right tools or processes in place. Some common CMDB implementation challenges include:
1. Inaccurate discovery of virtual and cloud assets
One of the biggest challenges with CMDBs is getting accurate data about your virtual and cloud assets. If you don’t know what you have, how can you be sure that it’s being managed appropriately?
One of the biggest challenges facing businesses today is accurate discovery of virtual and cloud assets, and it’s only getting worse as more IT infrastructure continues to migrate to the cloud.
As the cloud, virtual and containerized systems become more and more important in the data center, it is necessary to extract their existence from log files. Like physical servers, virtual systems must verify their configurations for billing, software license use, and security vulnerabilities.
Virima CMDB leverages automated discovery to populate and maintain accurate data while dashboards and ViVID Services Maps provide insightful CMDB visualizations of asset relationships, service dependencies, and availability status. By leveraging automated discovery:
– You can reduce human effort involved in discovering assets and services
– Ensure data accuracy across your enterprise
– Improve collaboration between teams by providing visibility into key assets
2. The maintenance of CI data is a challenge
The maintenance of CI data is a challenge that organizations struggle with every day.
Vendors often surprise firms with license compliance audits, which an accurate CMDB can help mitigate. However, organizations must use internal resources to verify data without a reliable license count. Alternatively, businesses can utilize the vendor’s data at an increased service cost.
Virima helps overcome this challenge by using its proprietary technology to automatically update the CI data and provide an accurate CMDB.
You would want to make sure you have a system in place that can track hundreds of hardware and software configuration attributes for data center, edge, cloud and IoT assets. This kind of information is useful for many reasons: to inform purchasing decisions, support warranty claims, and more.
You also need to ensure you have full audit history and versioning of all configurable item (CI) updates. Adding to the problem is how complicated it can be to keep track of what an asset supports and what it is supported by. Virima’s CMDB solution helps you overcome these challenges by providing insight into your entire IT infrastructure, allowing you to make better decisions about your business.
3. Keeping correct CI data costs companies time and money
As asset volume grows, it becomes more difficult to maintain the correctness of data in a CMDB. Maintaining sophisticated precedence rules at the CI attribute level is required to automate this job. When asset counts reach thousands, manual reconciliation becomes prohibitively expensive and prone to human mistakes.
The most common challenge with CMDBs is the difficulty of keeping them accurate with the constantly changing nature of CI data. The ability to retrieve, analyze and report on this data is essential for an organization’s success.
Virima leverages the Virima IT Discovery service to populate and maintain the database with accurate data. A CMDB that is frequently updated with current information allows for better decision making in regards to where to focus spending on assets and software licenses.
Create reusable import templates to link directly from CSV files to asset records from other applications such as ERP. This allows you to reduce manual effort that goes into maintaining your CMDB. It employs automation techniques that rely on rules-based logic rather than human input when populating records in your CMDB.
Create granular business rules to automate the promotion of specific blueprint updates to the enterprise CMDB. This ensures that only relevant information gets added without any manual intervention required by IT staff members who are responsible for maintaining the overall health of your CMDB environment
4. Overly manual approach
Companies find it difficult to maintain their CMDBs without the right tools. These tools enable efficient creation and maintenance of the CMDB, and reduce the amount of manual work required.
In addition, without a structured approach to tracking assets, companies are often unable to easily identify who owns specific pieces of data and how they should be using it. This can lead to situations where valuable information is lost or duplicated while others struggle with access restrictions or security issues.
With Virima IT Discovery, you can overcome these challenges by leveraging automated IT asset discovery and mapping to populate and maintain your database with accurate data
Virima’s automated IT asset discovery allows you to automatically import structured data from CSV files to link directly to asset records.
The Virima CMDB allows for granular management of assets across various environments and applications using intelligent asset classification and organization. It also gives you automatic processing of dependency mapping and synchronization with external databases such as CMDBs or ERPs.
5. Consolidating data from various discovery tools and databases
One of the biggest challenges in building a CMDB is consolidating data from various discovery tools and databases. This is because each business area – asset management, IT services, and operations – uses its own discovery tool. The result of this is that the data in a CMDB must be checked and supplemented with data from other sources before it becomes useful to all necessary functions.
Virima’s CMDB provides seamless integration with Virima Discovery and ITAM, as well as AWS and Azure integrations to ensure that cloud assets are included in the database. This makes it easy to manage assets and keep track of changes.The ingestion of data from dozens of integrations ensures a complete Configuration database for better decisions.
Sync all or selected Configuration Management data and Business Service Maps with external CMDBs such as ServiceNow, Cherwell and Jira.
This gives you a complete picture of your IT environment at all times—whether you need it for reporting purposes or making decisions about where to invest in next-generation technologies.