Diaxion IT Strategy & Optimisation
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Device42 – a flexible CMDB

Maintaining accurate information about the entire IT infrastructure has proven to be surprisingly difficult. The IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL) uses a Configuration Management Database (CMDB) as an integral part for IT infrastructure operations and support. A CMDB is meant to contain accurate, relevant and up-to-date information about hardware and software components and their relationships to each other within an organisation. Ultimately this provides among other things the information to reduce risks to the environment by e.g. knowing the impact of changes to the environment.

Configuration Management is the process to maintain all Configuration Items (CIs) and includes the tasks of:

  • Discovery – which items to include and ensuring new items are added to the CMDB
  • Security – Limit access to the CMDB and restrict changes to CIs to authorised staff
  • Auditing and Reporting – ensure the CMDB is accurate; this also includes the removal of decommissioned items
  • We have discussed in a previous newsletter the challenges in maintaining a CMDB within an agile or DevOps environment, which increases the complexity of managing a CMDB. Diaxion’s experience is that the maturity of CMDB implementations varies significantly between our clients. The two biggest challenges have historically been

  • the initial setup of the CMDB using data from various sources – ranging from spreadsheets to automated data imports via APIs
  • maintaining and updating the CMDB
  • Both tasks can require significant resources from the IT team, which should be able to focus more on improvements and new services instead. A successful CMDB implementation will ensure that most of the CI discovery, maintenance and removals – i.e. Configuration Management tasks – are automated and require little or no oversight.

    Diaxion was asked by one of our clients to investigate CMDB options within their specific IT Service Management environment. The selected product – Device42 (https://www.device42.com) – was able to satisfy the critical requirements, is easy to install and easy to configure with many tasks that can be automated – providing a capable CMDB that integrates easily into most off-the-shelf IT Service Management tools.

    Device42’s features include:

  • Agent-less discovery for most environments with agent(s) available, if required
  • High level of automation (e.g. discovery and removal)
  • Integration with other tools, API
  • Support for most environments including Cloud, Container environments
  • Device42 – like any CMDB – supports other IT Service Management processes like Change, Incident and Problem Management, facilitates reporting on the life cycle status of IT infrastructure. Device42 is offered as a standalone CMDB, which allows to move to a different ITSM solution whilst keeping the CMDB content.

    Diaxion decided to partner with Device42 and can provide consulting and implementation services.