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CMDBs Give IT Managers Insight Into Vital Operational Data

02/24/2014 by: The SunView Team

IT leaders are facing a variety of unique challenges as service management and delivery trends change. Responding to shifting expectations and requirements can be incredibly difficult, but having the right management tools in place goes a long way toward enabling IT to handle emerging challenges with minimal disruption. In a recent interview with The Data Center Journal, industry expert Suvish Viswanathan mentioned that CMDB solutions provide transparency that is increasingly vital for IT managers dealing with data center challenges.

Considering Issues Facing IT Managers
Viswanathan told the news source that there are a variety of ways to talk about how IT is facing data center challenges, but one all-encompassing consideration stands out - services need to be delivered in a customer-centric way. This leads to issues like needing to reduce costs, support regulatory goals and meet service level agreements. The end result is a situation in which IT managers need to be incredibly aware of how the hardware, software and other data center systems directly and indirectly impact the end-user experience.

This awareness of the end user is paramount to success in the data center, but measures also need to be taken to ensure issues like cost control, energy efficiency and compliance are addressed within this context. The end result is an incredibly complex situation that is forcing major changes in how data centers operate, Viswanathan told The Data Center Journal.

Central to this operational shift is a new emphasis on the way facilities and technology teams interact. These long-segregated groups are increasingly being integrated as hardware and other infrastructure strategies become increasingly dependent on carefully-managed facility plans. Viswanathan told the news source that the data center of the future will be a place in which the siloed facility and IT teams are unified to work carefully in concert with one another to support common goals for reliability, regulatory compliance and service level management.

Dealing with Contemporary Data Center Challenges
The large wave of change is creating major difficulties for IT managers, and specialized tools are becoming more and more necessary to help organizations deal with these shifts in how IT operates. Viswanathan explained that data center infrastructure management tools are necessary to help IT teams effectively integrate all of the stakeholders in the data center. Managing a data center is not just about getting the technology to work well, it is about aligning processes across people, hardware, software, facilities systems and operational functions. All of these diverse tasks need to be managed effectively, and CMDB systems can provide the transparency necessary to make a DCIM strategy work.

"If you have a single, integrated system for managing all the processes and all the assets in the data center, you can feed all this information into a central repository such as a configuration management database," Viswanathan told The Data Center Journal.

"If you structure and manage your CMDB properly, you can gain enormous insights into the nature of your operations. ... Thus, if a data center manager was planning a project to swap out a row of batteries, for example, the CMDB could let that manager know precisely which servers this row of batteries is backing up as well as precisely which mission-critical applications and services are running on those servers."

Using CMDBs to Support Change
Implementing change management solutions is increasingly important as IT teams face incredible pressure to keep up with a variety of new technologies, industry trends and business demands. Change is becoming frequent in IT and tools like CMDBs that help managers handle change requests more efficiently and with less risk are emerging as vital assets in the service management toolkit.

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