Many people talk about how difficult and impractical CMDB’s are to maintain. For the most part, I agree; building a CMDB correctly can be a daunting task, but instead of giving up, I say do more. Meaning, do more with your CMDB to make it worth it. Most use cases for CMDB’s are simply storing assets for simple information lookup, but there is so much more you can do with a CMDB. The items below are specific to BMC Remedyforce, as Remedyforce currently has some of the best CMDB tools. Also, there is a pair of complimentary applications for Remedyforce CMDB, Footprints Asset Core and Rightstar ScanStar.
Here’s a list of the different tasks you can accomplish to increase the value your CMDB is giving back while keeping administration effort low.
- Make the process of updating the CMDB as painless as possible by doing re-occurring imports from a discovery tool like Asset Core. It’s also a good idea to leverage a barcode scanner (such as RightStar’s ScanStar) to lessen the burden of IT staff tracking where every single Configuration Item is.
- Inside of your current change and request process add a new work item to update the CMDB based on the change/request. This makes staff accountable for updating the CMDB and enforces ongoing data verification.
- Don’t just store Desktops/Servers in your CMDB. You can easily get more out of your CMDB by tracking people, organizations, locations, and contracts inside the CMDB and relating them together. Using the CI Explorer in Remedyforce, you can easily see the dependencies between CIs.
- Use Software Provisioning Automation. With Footprints Asset Core, it is easy to automate the installation of software on user computers from requests in Remedyforce. This is a very powerful tool that is fueled by the data in the CMDB. Allowing you to remote control, provison sofware, and check configuration on the fly, without leaving Remedyforce.
By Collin Parker, RightStar Systems