CFIA in 4 Easy PiecesCFIA remains a fuzzy concept but it's really not that hard, writes ITSM Watch columnist Hank Marquis of itSM Solutions.
CFIA is a very effective tool for understanding how configuration items (CI) can impact the availability of an IT service, customer or user group. CFIA is an important tool for improving quality as well.
While CFIA is impressive sounding, it is really just a way of evaluating (and predicting) the impact of failures, and locating single points of failure (SPOF).
All it takes to gain these benefits is an Excel spreadsheet or some graph paper. Following are the three steps to success with CFIA:
Select an IT service, and get the list of CIs, hopefully from configuration management, upon which the IT service depends. If there is no formal configuration management database CMDB, then ask around IT for documentation, paper diagrams and general knowledge.
Using a spread sheet or graph paper, list CIs in one column and the IT service(s) across the top row. Then, for each CI, under each service: a.) Mark X in the column if a CI failure causes an outage; b.) Mark A when the CI has an immediate backup (a.k.a hot-start); and c.) Mark B when the CI has an intermediate backup (a.k.a. warm-start)
You now have a basic CFIA matrix. Every X and B is a potential liability. Every A is an opportunity to improve responsiveness.