What Your CMDB Cannot Tell You
A CMDB’s data is wide, but not deep. When it comes to meaningful business decisions, the CMDB is quite simply missing some of the data you need.
Data from beyond the CMDB
Most CMDBs get data from discovery and provisioning tools that access systems inside your enterprise. But much of what you need to make decisions about IT technologies originates outside of your own organization.
Consider your physical servers. The CMDB holds a good deal of useful information about each device: product name, model name, processor name, relationships within your organization, etc.
But if you want to make decisions about server consolidation or data center expansion, you’ll need deeper information, including profile, weight, dimensions, power consumption, heat dissipation, operating temperature, etc.
Looking at software upgrades? You may need to know support dates and Windows compatibility issues.
For many IT decisions, you have to augment the data in the CMDB with deeper data. And that usually requires that you turn to external sources – the vendors.
External IT data is a moving target
Technology vendors are always chasing the next new thing – their product lines are in constant flux. For example, software vendors try to keep ahead of each other by releasing new versions. To keep support costs reasonable, they keep adjusting the support cycle for existing versions.
Acquisitions add more complexity. The technology sector loves growth through acquisition. IBM’s acquisition of Trusteer, announced in August, is the fifth of 2013 so far. And over time, new products are often rebranded and integrated with IBM licensing.
Taken together, the IT data environment is changing too quickly to keep track of easily.
BDNA’s Technopedia Data-as-a-Service tracks an average of 2,500 vendor-initiated changes every day.
Completing the data in the CMDB
If the CMDB is going to support a broad range of business decisions, you need to enhance it with deeper, up-to-date data from the IT vendors. This is an ideal application for data-as-a-service offerings that combine external, industry data with internal, enterprise technology data to populate the CMDB with comprehensive and clean data.