Competing Vendors to Develop CMDB StandardsITSM efforts may get a leg up if these various vendors can come to terms and actually implement what they talk about.
The effort is being touted by some as a major step toward heterogeneous IT service management (ITSM) by some, but others are taking the news with a dose of wait-and-see skepticism.
There was clearly the internal realization that we need this, and part of it was customers telling us that theyre not interested in paying consultants large amounts of money just to integrate management products, said William Vambenepe, distinguished technologist in the office of the CTO of the HP OpenView Business Unit.
"The other part is, you cant build a highly scalable and very dynamic solution if you have to keep building adapters every time you bring in a new product Theres no way we can deliver on the objectives we have if we dont have the level of simplification that comes from standards on top of which we can build all of the automation we want.
The consortium will focus on the development of an open, industry-wide specification for sharing information between CMDBs and other data repositories. The objective is to provide companies with greater choice and flexibility in terms of adding new hardware, applications and middleware.
According to Ric Telford, vice president of standards for IBM Tivoli, true ITSM requires integration not only at the process and technology levels, but also at that data level. And while individual CMDB solutions will go a long way toward that integration, they will never be 100%.
There will always be more than one vendor for key data sources. Thats what led us to the standards, he said. Whenever you have data in heterogeneous systems, it calls for standards.
The Current State of CMDB
The CMBD concept is relatively simple: create a central location for storing basic records related to configuration itemsservers, routers, desktops, business processes, etc.in an organizations production environment and the relationship between those items.
By creating a single source of configuration information for every component of the enterprise, IT managers can use the CMDB to see the relationship between those components and predict how a change to one will affect the others, as well as the applications they serve. This, in turns, allows them to make better technology decisions to support business initiatives.
While the good news is that seemingly almost daily a new vendor is claiming to offer a CMDB or CMDB strategy, the bad news is that very few of them offer comprehensive DMDB capability and none have proven multi-vendor federation capability, write Gartner analysts Ronni Colville and Cameron Haight in research titled Consortium Launches New Effort to Develop CMDB Federation Standards .
Gartner expects that most global 2000 organizations will need to federate between three-to-seven data sources. Further, over the next three years, because at least 25% of those organizations will be implementing CMDB initiatives without proper planning and organizational alignment, the end result will be grassroots initiatives in various departments, such as asset, data center, networking and service desk, creating multiple CMDB silos.