Getting Started: 25 Core Functions of a CMDB

What is a CMDB?

CMDB, or Configuration Management Database, is a term associated, or at least has its origin, with ITIL, the set of IT Service Management best practices developed by the UK’s Government. The topic can be highly complex, with a wealth of information written on ITIL and the associated guidance for CMDB implementation.

If you are new to the CMDB concept, a common term that may seem confusing is Configuration Item or CI. Don’t be overwhelmed, this merely refers to one of the assets within the CMDB. We often find that organizations dedicate significant resources to tracking CIs manually through pen and paper, a spreadsheet application like Excel, or internal software. Manual methods such as these often prevent a realization of any ROI, especially of human capital.

That aside, the best way to look at a CMDB is as the central repository for information about IT infrastructure that allows an IT team to discover, track, and manage IT assets. This visibility can provide an IT team with instant assessment of potential threats to the organization operating capacity. Thus downtime that might be the result of a malicious attack, security vulnerability, or change made in error, can  be prevented.