If you are considering a configuration management database (CMDB) for your organization, then this is the story for you. I want to explore the many vendor offerings and provide some insight that will help you in your decision-making process.
Any time you are in the market for a tool, you will have to pare down the many vendors and their offerings to a more reasonable number from which to make a decision. This task is never easy, and with a CMDB you do have options.
There are many vendors to choose from, and some of the biggest players are ServiceNow, BMC Software, HP, Computer Associates, IBM, and Microsoft. If the larger companies are not your thing, there are even some open source vendors to consider. While the listing above is not exhaustive, it is a good starting point on your journey to make the best CMDB decision that you can.
When making a choice of this magnitude and a decision that will cost money and resources, you have to be prepared to make the best decision possible. This document from BMC is an awesome guide for your journey, although it is vendor-specific and obviously has a slant toward the company’s products. From the guide, you’ll learn tips on assembling your team, and making and executing a decision.
Once you have chosen a tool and a vendor, you then face the challenges of implementation. For a list of six pitfalls to avoid when implementing a CMDB, head on over to ITSM Watch.
If you need more help with implementing your CMDB, I suggest this helpful white paper by Arvind Parthihiban. Of course, if you choose a vendor, the company will probably provide you the means necessary to implement your CMDB at a cost, so that’s another option.
After you have put your CMDB to work, what next? The vendor is gone, and now you have to maintain it. The vendor selection may have been daunting and the implementation scary, but now you have to maintain your CMDB—and this is where the real fun begins.
The success or failure of your CMDB will depend on the factors above as well getting them right. It is not an easy task and getting there will be difficult.
Is your organization ready to make the commitment?
Joe Townsend has been in the configuration management field for twelve years. He has worked for CNA Life Insurance, RCA, Boeing, UPS, and in state government. Joe has primarily worked with Serena tools, including PVCS Version Manager, Tracker, TeamTrack (Mashups), and Dimensions. He is an administrator for WebFocus and supports Eclipse users.