A CMDB Can Be Done But Why Would You Want To
I dont for a moment deny that having a CMDB would be an excellent thing, would make processes better, and would be very cool. It is just that in most cases it is not cost effective and it is not the best use of funds. It would also be cool to hold all CAB meetings in a Lear jet.
One object in the ITIL environment that barely gets a mention in ITIL v2 and still does not get the priority it deserves in ITIL v3 is the Service Catalogue. The Service Catalogue is the centre of the ITIL universe, the hub around which it all revolves. Once we record what services are, their SLAs, and the applications, servers and networks that deliver them, then we have gone a long way towards satisfying most of the configuration data requirements of the majority of organisations.
So, start with a Service Catalogue, add an asset database, auto-discover your network, and if possible make this data linkable from the Service Desk tool. Many vendors already provided an integrated solution for all that. Most of you will never need to do any more towards CMDB. Settle for good enough so you can move on to something else.
Rob England, an ITIL professional and active itSMF member who lives in New Zealand. More thoughts from the IT Skeptic can be found at his blog www.itskeptic.org.