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CMDB manual updates

Posted on 2014-10-29
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Last Modified: 2014-11-17
With a CMDB, lets say specific to windows servers, if you apply a change to the server - lets say installing a service pack - do you manually update the info in your CMDB, or do you routinely use an asset inventory tool to update the CMDB which would see the new S/P has been applied and update the database accordingly. I dont really see if manual updates is a good idea or not?
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Question by:pma111
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btan earned 500 total points
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Back to basic (pardon me) - We are talking about only three main areas and domains essentially, they are inventory, configuration and IT asset management which they build upon one another. It is preferred to undertake inventory management before undertaking configuration management or ITAM, although some processes in configuration management and ITAM can be implemented simultaneously.  For the CMDB, it is core database holding the relationship among all system components, including incidents, problems, known errors, changes and releases.

To differentiate the scope briefly, we are looking at
a) Inventory management is about capturing the basics—what assets are on hand, where they reside and who owns them.
b) Configuration management adds a relationship dynamic, such that you can associate each item with other items in the inventory.
c) IT asset management (ITAM) is a much broader discipline, adds several dimensions of management and involves a much broader base on stakeholders.

Minimally, the above will all required the set up of a centralized, relational CMDB-based repository to hold inventory items and eventually financial and lifecycle aspects of those assets with ITAM processes. Thereafter, establish a baseline inventory of installed hardware and software can form the ITAM program foundation. This baseline also identifies in ITAM which assets need to be redeployed, reused or retired. Also have a process owner  who assure accountability throughout the entire  process

So for the question on if there is a rollout of patches, the main objective is in the reconciling what is found with what you expect to have on hand e.g. the “actual” versus the “expected" state. This lies with your configuration management piece.

CM needs to actively recognise the  actual and expected states, taking action to rectify the situation or fulfill a requirement, and updating the CMDB to reflect the true status of the infrastructure. This include the common software distribution and patch management because they ensure consistent deployment of applications and software components. Through these processes, you can control the distribution and installation of applications in a managed environment. It helps to coordinate with change and release management, software distribution and etc - eventually we are saying to increase efficiency and mitigate risks associated with manual software distribution.

So do explore the CM available which can uphold consistent asset details in the CMDB. Some practices on iventory tracking and clean up e.g. http://www.symantec.com/business/support/index?page=content&id=HOWTO95110
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