Understanding the difference between Configuration Management, Asset Management, Inventory Management, Service Management and the CMDB

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The CMDB

Understanding the difference between

Configuration Management, Asset

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Principles

n From a 1987 issue of Proceedings, a publication of the U.S. Naval Institute

n Transcript of a US naval ship off the coast of Newfoundland

¨ Americans: "Please divert your course 15 degrees to the North to

avoid a collision."

¨ Canadians: "Recommend you divert YOUR course 15 degrees to the

South to avoid a collision."

¨ Americans: "This is the captain of a US Navy ship. I say again, divert

YOUR course."

¨ Canadians: "No, I say again, you divert YOUR course."

¨ Americans: "THIS IS THE AIRCRAFT CARRIER USS ABRAHAM

LINCOLN, THE SECOND LARGEST SHIP IN THE UNITED STATES' ATLANTIC FLEET. WE ARE ACCOMPANIED BY THREE DESTROYERS, THREE CRUISERS AND NUMEROUS SUPPORT VESSELS. I DEMAND THAT YOU CHANGE YOUR COURSE 15 DEGREES NORTH. THAT'S ONE-FIVE DEGREES NORTH, OR COUNTER MEASURES WILL BE

UNDERTAKEN TO ENSURE THE SAFETY OF THIS SHIP."

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Principles

n Principles are like “lighthouses”

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Principles

n ITIL (http://www.itil-officialsite.com/home/home.asp)

¨ In the 1980’s the Office of Government Commerce (OGC) in the

UK developed the IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL) in order to better manage the Lifecycle of IT Services they were providing

¨ Little did they know that what they developed would grow into

the globally recognised de facto standard for managing IT services

¨ now ITIL V3 ¨ ITSM

n Incident, Problem, Change Management n Service Request

n CI

n CMDB

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What is a CI

n To provide accurate and reliable CI data

n Manage the flow of data in the IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL)

processes in the context of the ‘Request, Incident and Change

Management’ processes of a CI

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What is a CI

n A CI is a logical component representing a “Service Capability”:

¨ needs to be managed in order to deliver an IT Service

¨ maintained throughout its Service Lifecycle by Configuration

Management

¨ under the control of Change Management

¨ typically includes a resource and/or a capability

n Records of CIs are typically stored in in a CMDB n Users are entitled to CIs :

¨ typically at a user, group of users, departmental, group of

departments level

¨ typically the person who requires the Service Capability

¨ typically allocated from a Service Catalogue and/or a Service

Request

n A component should be considered a CI if you want to be able to:

¨ Open an Incident against it ¨ Request a Change for it

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n ITAM (http://www.iaitam.org/)

¨ International Association of Information Technology Asset

Managers, Inc. (“IAITAM”)

¨ A professional association for individuals and organizations

involved in any aspect of IT Asset Management (“ITAM”), Software Asset Management (“SAM”), Hardware Asset Management, and the Lifecycle processes for IT Asset Management

¨ IAITAM officially incorporated in 2002 but ITAM was around

before ITIL

¨ Plan, Request, Procure, Receive, Manage, Dispose processes n Asset

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What is an Asset

n To provide accurate and reliable IT Asset data

n Manage the flow of data in the IT Asset Management (ITAM)

processes in the context of ‘Plan, Request, Procure, Receive,

Manage and Dispose’ phases of an Asset

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What is an Asset

n An Asset is a physical component managed throughout its asset

lifecycle for its value/cost, contractual compliance and usage

n Records of Assets are typically stored in an Asset Repository n An Asset has an Asset Owner:

¨ typically at a departmental or organisational level ¨ typically the requestor of the Asset

n A component should be considered an Asset if you want to be able

to:

¨ Manage its procurement, receiving, maintenance or disposal ¨ Manage associated software license, warranty, lease or

maintenance contract

¨ Track its monetary value or incurred costs

¨ Know who is using it and/or how often it is being used ¨ Know who’s budget it is allocated to

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The Problem!

n The variability in the ownership of ITAM activities adds complexity to

the coordination of teams and processes between ITAM and ITSM

n Organisations normally approach ITAM as an inventory function,

growing the practices into the financial, contractual and software management aspects over time

n ITAM programs are often [start] part of Procurement

¨ OK approach but siloed

¨ Procurement use their own Procurement repository

n ITAM programs are often [become] a special unit within IT for IT

Procurement

¨ OK approach, less siloed

¨ IT Procurement use their own asset repository for IT assets but

where are the fixed assets?

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Principles

n While ITAM revolves around the concept of lifecycle management

of an asset, ITSM is focused on the lifecycle management of a service

n ITSM best practices outline the processes that should be

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ITAM & ITSM Synergies

n The integration requirement

between ITAM and ITSM is that many of the attributes and

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The Confusion

n Some standard changes to configuration items may be tracked on

the asset or configuration item lifecycle, particularly where there is a comprehensive CMS that …

n The CMS may also identify related CI/assets that will…

n All updates to changes and releases are recorded against service

assets and/or configuration items in the Configuration

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Asset or CI?

n Is Asset =

ü

¨ Manage its procurement, receiving, maintenance or disposal

¨ Manage associated software license, warranty, lease or maintenance

contract

¨ Track its monetary value or incurred costs

¨ Know who is using it and/or how often it is being used ¨ Know who’s budget it is allocated to

¨ Depreciate it for tax purposes

n Is CI =

ü

n Open an Incident against it n Request a Change for it

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Asset or CI?

n Is Asset =

ü

¨ Manage: n asset attributes n costs n depreciation n ownership

n status (on order, disposed…)

n Is CI =

ü

¨ Manage: n CI attributes n relationships to CIs n relationships to users n “golden state”

n service status (in service, in

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Asset or CI?

n Is Asset =

ü

¨ Manage: n asset attributes n costs n depreciation n ownership

n status (on order, disposed…)

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What is not an Asset?

What is not a CI?

n CIs not likely to be managed as Assets :

¨ a Custom Java applet

¨ a Business process document ¨ a Business Service model

n Assets not likely to be managed as CIs:

¨ Consumable or bulk items (toner cartridges, mice). Items we

do not want to depreciate.

¨ Fixed Assets (buildings, lifts…)

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The Problem!

n …ITAM programs are often [mostly] the IT department

¨ forget / ignore fixed assets

¨ forget / ignore depreciation, disposal

¨ adopting ITSM Incident, Problem and Change management

¨ adopting ITSM CMDB as the last great hope populating everything

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n In ITSM, Change Management is the mechanism to review and control risks, as they pertain to supporting the configuration of services, and

Configuration Management centres around managing CI’s involved

with or in support of a service’s lifecycle

n Within this context, assets are then identified as CIs and are stored in a Configuration Management Data Base (CMDB)

n Installation of the CMDB technology then allows an IT organisation to manage the integrity of services (and service lifecycles) through

Configuration Management by defining the CI’s that are involved with

or in support of a service and the relationships and interrelationships between the various CI’s and services

n This is the domain of the Configuration Manager and the strategic nature of the Configuration Manager’s role and function!

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n ITAM and ITSM integrate with one another at the Service Desk

¨ Providing make, model and CI attribute information to support personnel ¨ Providing Request Management for the organisation

n Outside of this, ITAM and ITSM exist in their own separate worlds with ITAM

managing IT assets’ quantities, financials, and associated contracts and ITSM defining services and managing/supporting them throughout their lifecycle

n But, with the demands on IT to become more cost transparent, reduce costs, and

adhere to regulatory and compliance mandates, and improve the services being offered, ITAM and the IT Asset Manager must now play a much larger role in the lifecycle management of a service

n Therefore these frameworks cannot function in isolation

¨ ITSM must have a good understanding of the cost of services as well as

understanding how those services enable and facilitate the business

¨ ITAM must provide financial data with a services context

¨ The context is typically defined in business service terms in the Service Catalog

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ITAM & ITSM Synergies

n The integration between ITAM

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n End-users request CIs and not Assets!

¨ Request a CI to fulfill a specific “Service Capability”

¨ An Asset is then procured (or moved) to fulfill the “Service

Capability” requirement

n Through the lifecycle of the CI

¨ Not uncommon that several different assets will fulfill the CI’s

“Service Capability” requirement

¨ Hardware refresh every 3 years?

¨ The CI does not change because the “Service Capability” does not

change

n When a CI has failed, a new asset, loaner asset or temporary asset is

deployed to restore the CI’s “Service Capability”

¨ Again all that changes is the underlying asset to fulfill the CIs

“Service Capability”

n When the Asset changes the companies financial or accounting

status changes

n When the Asset changes the IT Service d o e s n o t c h a n g e!

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Change Management

n The purpose of the Change Management process is to ensure that:

¨ Standardized methods and procedures are used for efficient and

prompt handling of all changes

¨ All changes to service assets and configuration items are recorded in

the Configuration Management System

¨ Overall business risk is optimised

n The goals of Change Management are to:

¨ Respond to the customer’s changing business requirements while

maximizing value and reducing incidents, disruption and re-work

¨ Respond to the business and IT requests for change that will align the

services with the business needs

n The objective of the Change Management process is to ensure that changes are recorded and then evaluated, authorized, prioritized,

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n It is important to understand that:

¨ Assets (Asset Management) should be managed as CIs

(Configuration Management) only if they are under Change Management control and present a risk to the business from a

services perspective

¨ CIs should be identified through a focus on those services and

the supporting infrastructure that are critical to the

business service and that requires the control of Change and Configuration Management

¨ Not all assets are CIs and not all CIs are assets

¨ However, should a specific asset be identified as a CI, the

proper sequence for establishing the CI should be to

associate the asset record to a CI record in the CMDB through

Change Management

n This is the domain of the Configuration Manager and the strategic

nature of the Configuration Manager’s role and function!

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n It is important to understand that:

¨ Discovery tools (inventory management) should not create CI

records unless part of a specific strategy

¨ Discovery tools are generally used to keep the CMDB up to

date, but all applications possessing that authority need to be

specifically identified and controlled

¨ Synchronisation and reconciliation of CI information from

Discovery information (or inventory information) should focus on the attributes and relationships that inform the Change

Management process in terms of the inventory management

impact on a service’s lifecycle

n This is the domain of the Configuration Manager and the strategic

nature of the Configuration Manager’s role and function!

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n ITAM and ITSM are commonly integrated between the AMDB and the CMDB n While the AMDB provides counts, quantities, costs, contractual information

and the like, the CMDB provides relationship information

n The relationship information contained within the CMDB identifies how

Business Services, Business Processes, IT Services, IT Components (i.e. Applications and IT Assets) all relate to one another

n By associating the AMDB financial and asset configuration information with the

CMDB relationship information, a complete picture of how IT and its assets relate to the business can be made

n This information can be invaluable in all kinds of strategy/planning,

operational support, service and application/system monitoring, and budgeting activities

n While the cooperation and integration between the AMDB and CMDB is

essential, one does not, and should not, replace the other

n The AMDB has a corporate focus, uniting financial and contractual information

with the physical so that risk of audits is reduced, costs are managed and other corporate needs for information are met

n In contrast, the CMDB is relationship focused so that operational aspects of

services are managed and services are seen as business process enablers

n Both perspectives and their associated functions are important to the success

of the organization

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The Configuration Manager

n Strategic role and function, determining:

¨ “What is a CI” AND “What is an Asset”

¨ What is the asset, asset inventory and the CI attributes in a

federated data model (data source ownership)

¨ Who owns what data in the federated data model

¨ What are the processes of the data owners to manage the

validity/quality/accuracy of the data at the data source

¨ What is the interaction between those processes and the Request,

Incident, Problem and especially Change Management processes (People, Process, Technology, Partners)

¨ How the federated data model and supporting People, Process,

Technology, Partners maps into the CMS (with the CMDB at the heart of the CMS)

¨ What is the audit or exception management strategy for the CMS

n These are critical steps in effectively forging the relationships between inventory, assets, CI’s and services or understanding the difference between “Configuration Management”, “Asset Management” and “Inventory Management” strategy

n Not understanding this will result in a CMDB becoming a “nice collection of

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Principles

n Try at all times to ensure:

¨ Do not confuse Configuration Management, Asset Management

and Inventory Management strategy

¨ Do not use the words Configuration Management, CI and CMDB too

generically

¨ Determine and address the actual Asset Management and Inventory

Management challenges within an organisation often greater than IT

¨ Often there is the great hope that Configuration Management will sort

out Asset Management and Inventory Management challenges

¨ More-often than not it is gaining control of Asset Management and

Inventory Management disciplines (and strategy) that creates the

stable platform for embarking on any CMDB or Configuration

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Thank You

n

Additional topics:

¨

Modeling a CMDB

¨

7 Fundamental use cases of the CMDB

¨

Build your CMDB in 5 days

¨

Effective Change Management for the CMDB

Figure

Updating...

References