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Jun 6, 2007

Configuration Management Basics

To identify, record and report on configuration items and their relationships that underpin IT services.


  • To account for all IT assets, configurations and services within organization
  • To provide accurate information and documentation on configurations and assets to other SM processes
  • To provide a sound basis for Incident, Problem, Change and Release management
  • To verify configuration record and correct exceptions
Configuration Management Mind Map Picture
Configuration Management Mind Map

Configuration Management: The process of identifying and defining Configuration Items in a system, recording and reporting the status of Configuration Items and Requests for Change, and verifying the completeness and correctness of Configuration Items.
CMDB - Configuration Management Database: database which contains details about the attributes and the history of each CI and details of the important relationships between CIs.
CI - Configuration Item: basic CMDB element. Component of an infrastructure that is under the control of Configuration Management. CIs may vary widely in complexity, size and type, from an entire system (including all hardware, software and documentation) to a single module or a minor hardware component.
DSL - Definitive Software Library: a physical library or storage repository which contains authorized master copies of software versions. May consist of one or more physical software libraries or filestores, and can include physical store to hold master copies of purchased software, disaster safe.
DHS - Definitive Hardware Store: secure storage of definitive hardware spare components and assemblies. Details of these components and their builds and contents should reside in CMDB. DHS items can be used on demand for additional systems or in the recovery from major Incidents.

  • To provide accurate configuration information
  • To define and document processes and procedures
  • To identify, label and record CI
  • To control and store authorized specifications documentation and software
  • To report on status and history of CIs
  • To record changes to CI in a timely way
  • To audit physical items and reconcile any differences between them and the CMDB
  • To educate and train in control processes
  • To produce metrics on CI, changes and releases
  • To audit and report and exceptions to standards and procedures

  • Planning
  • Identification
  • Control
  • Status accounting
  • Verification and auditing

  • Accurate information on CIs and their documentation
  • Controlling valuable CIs
  • Adherence to legal obligations
  • Financial and expenditure planning
  • Making software Changes visible
  • Contributing to contingency planning
  • Supporting and improving Release Management
  • Improving security by controlling the versions of CIs in use
  • Enabling the organisation to reduce the use of unauthorised software
  • Allowing the organisation to perform impact analysis and schedule Changes safely, efficiently and effectively
  • Providing Problem Management with data on trends
Possible Problems
  • Wrong CI detail level
  • Adequate initial analysis and design
  • Configuration Management implemented in isolation
  • Lack of commitment to maintaining accuracy

Critical Success Factors
  • Managing Configuration Item information
  • Providing capability to perform risk analysis of changes and releases

Key Performance Indicators
Managing CI Information
  • Number of CIs logged and tracked
  • Number of CIs with attribute failures
  • Number of changes to CI attributes
  • Number of additional CIs
  • Number of deletions of CIs
  • Number and frequency of exceptions in configuration audits
Providing Capability To Perform Risk Analysis Of Changes and Releases
  • Number of incidents caused by inaccurate configuration data
  • Percentage of Services tracked with CIs versus known products and services

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