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Information Technology Infrastructure Library Version 2
How ITIL Used to Look

Information Technology Infrastructure Library

ITIL Definition:

The IT Infrastructure Library, ITIL, is a set of best practices for IT. It is generally divided into two main areas, Service Support and Service Delivery. This in turn consists of a number of 'ITIL Disciplines'.

ITIL was created by the UK government's CCTA (OGC). It is now very widely used, and supported by a range of materials and training course (including exams and certification).

The ITIL (IT Infrastructure Library) consists of 8 sets: Service Support; Service Delivery; Planning to Implement Service Management; ICT Infrastructure Management; Applications Management; The Business Perspective; Security Management; Software Asset Management.

Although the UK Government created the ITIL, it is rapidly being adopted across the world as the standard for best practice in the provision of IT Service.

IT Service Management (ITSM) itself is generally divided into two main areas, Service Support and Service Delivery. Together, these two areas consist of 10 disciplines that are responsible for the provision and management of effective IT services.

ITIL Service Support

Service Support is the practice of those disciplines that enable IT Services to be provided. Without these disciplines, it would be almost impossible to provide these IT Services, and at best in a very unmanaged and haphazard way.

The 6 Service Support disciplines are:

1. Configuration Management

2. Problem Management

3. Change Management

4. Service / Help Desk

5. Release Management

6. Incident Management

1. ITIL Configuration Management
Configuration Management is the implementation of a database (Configuration Management Database – CMDB) that contains details of the organisation’s elements that are used in the provision and management of its IT services. This is more than just an ‘asset register’, as it will contain information that relates to the maintenance, movement, and problems experienced with the Configuration Items.
The CMDB also holds a much wider range of information about items that the organization’s IT Services are dependant upon. This range of information includes:

Configuration Management consists of 4 tasks:
Identification – this is the specification, identification of all IT components and their inclusion in the CMDB.
Control – this is the management of each Configuration Item, specifying who is authorized to ‘change’ it.
Status – this task is the recording of the status of all Configuration Items in the CMDB, and the maintenance of this information.
Verification – this task involves reviews and audits to ensure the information contained in the CMDB is accurate.

2. Incident & Problem Management
Incident/Problem Management is the resolution and prevention of incidents that affect the normal running of an organization’s IT services. This includes ensuring that faults are corrected, preventing any recurrence of these faults, and the application of preventative maintenance to reduce the likelihood of these faults occurring in the first instance.

4. ITIL Change Management
Change Management is the practice of ensuring all changes to Configuration Items are carried out in a planned and authorized manner. This includes ensuring that there is a business reason behind each change, identifying the specific Configuration Items and IT Services affected by the change, planning the change, testing the change, and having a back out plan should the change result in an unexpected state of the Configuration Item.

5. The ITIL Service Desk
(Formerly the ITIL Help Desk - Service/Help Desk)
The Service/Help Desk plays an important part in the provision of IT Services. It is very often the first contact the business users have in their use of IT Services when something does not work as expected. The Service/Help Desk is a single point of contact for end users who need help. Without this, an organization could certainly face losses due to inefficiencies.
The two main focuses of the Service Desk are Incident Control and Communication.
There are different types of Help Desk, the selection of which is dependant upon what the business requires. Some Help Desks provide a simple call logging function, and escalate calls to more experienced and trained staff. Others provide a high degree of business and technical knowledge with the ability to solve most incidents at the time that the business user reports them.
Service/Help Desk Activities
Other than for the Call Center, Service or Help Desks tend to embrace the following: receive all calls and e-mails on incidents; incident recording; incident prioritization, classification and escalation; search for a 'work around'; update the end user on progress; handle communication for other ITIL processes; report to management, process managers and customers on service desk performance.

6. Release Management
This discipline of IT Service Management is the management of all software configuration items within the organization. It is responsible for the management of software development, installation and support of an organization’s software products.
Software is often not regarded as a tangible asset because of its intangible nature, which results in it not being effectively controlled. There can be several versions of the same software within the organization, and there can also be unlicensed and illegal copies of externally provided software.
The practice of effective Software Control & Distribution involves the creation of a Definitive Software Library (DSL), into which the master copies of all software is stored and from here its control and release is managed. The DSL consists of a physical store and a logical store. The physical store is where the master copies of all software media are stored. This tends to be software that has been provided from an external source. The logical store is the index of all software and releases, versions, etc. highlighting where the physical media can be located. The logical store may also be used for the storage of software developed within the organization.
SC&D procedures include the management of the software Configuration Items and their distribution and implementation into a production environment. This will involve the definition of a release programme suitable for the organization, the definition of how version control will be implemented, and the procedures surrounding how software will be built, released and audited.


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Published on: 2004-05-12 (39735 reads)

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