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ITIL :: View topic - Workgroup standard configuration ?
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Workgroup standard configuration ?

 
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cjmt
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Joined: Mar 14, 2008
Posts: 32
Location: Porto, PO.

PostPosted: Mon Apr 21, 2008 8:17 pm    Post subject: Workgroup standard configuration ? Reply with quote

I've started Config by doing a complete asset inventory and am now starting to populate the CMDB with each individual configuration. Also preparing a quick & simple Change mgmt for our small IT Dept.

The majority of my networked PCs can be associated to a workgroup for which each PC could eventually be assigned a “standard” configuration, for instance software: XPSP2+Office+AS400emulator+lan-printer; hardware: Coreduo+2.4Ghz+60GB-HD+2G-RAM+dvddrive, etc…

Auditing each PC against its stored configuration on the CMDB is easily achieved through discovery, but how could I go auditing each PC against a "template" or "standard" configuration? Is this outside ITIL's scope?

I am trying to achieve a high degree of "standardity" in a a way that when a change is required to one of these computers, the same change can also be scheduled for deployment to the other computers within the same workgroup.

How can this “standard” configurations be managed within the CMDB? Should it have its own CI? Are we talking about baseline or does it falls into Release Management?

Thanks for any feedback.
Regards,
Cristiano.
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asrilrm
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Joined: Oct 07, 2007
Posts: 441
Location: Jakarta, INA

PostPosted: Tue Apr 22, 2008 8:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi,

I haven't done such a thing in our CMDB, but I think it is possible.
As IT people always say "Nothing is impossible in IT". Cool, no? Cool

However, we have done kind of standards for workstation. Before we used ITIL, the standardization was stated in our Quality Manual.
Because there are various kind of business units, and with regards to other policy we have decided to classify workstation standard as: (note: this happened in 2000)
1. For developers: Intel P4/1.3 GHz, Linux, 512 MB, 80 GB HDD, CD-RW, FDD, Open Office
2. For Back Office: Intel P4/1.3 GHz, Win2000, 256 MB, 60 GB HDD, CDROM, FDD, MSOffice
3. For secretary: Intel P4/1.3 GHz, Win2000, 128MB, 40 GB HDD, CDROM, FDD, MSOffice
4. For Help Desk: Intel P4/1.3 GHz, Linux, 128 MB, 30 GB HDD, Open Office
I haven't included the server standards yet.

Instead of being useful, we found that after some time it became disturbing. Too many exceptions, too many incompatibilities (between Open Office and MSOffice f.e).
Moreover, after 3 years, PC began to enhance, PCs with P4/1.3 GHz is no longer supported, we had to revise the Quality Manual.
We decided to remove such standardization from our manual and now that kind of word is like monster.

Well, it would be alot easier if you have only one standard to maintain, but I seriously doubt it.


Cheers,
Asril
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cjmt
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Joined: Mar 14, 2008
Posts: 32
Location: Porto, PO.

PostPosted: Tue Apr 22, 2008 10:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Many thanks Asril for your opinion.
I understand the issue with too many exceptions, but at least with some major group (sales dept.) we have some level of standardization that can be applied, if not to HW at least to SW configuration.

Cheers.
Cristiano
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mredekar
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Joined: Dec 30, 2005
Posts: 21
Location: Navi Mumbai, Maharashtra, India

PostPosted: Wed Apr 23, 2008 3:06 pm    Post subject: Workgroup Standard Configuration Reply with quote

Hi Cristiano,

We all have attempted standardization of workstations depending upon the user groups or departments; as this would have made our life much easier. But it is not practical to maintain a single standard (for a user group) on a long term basis.

We all know that goal of IT is to support business requirements and standadization of workstation into group is definately ont a business requirement.

It could have been possible to standardize PC's about 15 years back when there was no much veriations. Today the base configuration available in the maket chages every month.

Regards,
_________________
Senior Consultant - ITSM
Certified ITIL V3 Expert
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cjmt
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Joined: Mar 14, 2008
Posts: 32
Location: Porto, PO.

PostPosted: Wed Apr 23, 2008 6:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Manoj, thanks for your reply.

I understand your point of view and agree that in general it might not be a practical or perhaps even realistic approach. Still, it doesn’t mean it cannot be a valid IT management scenario, even if only in theory or applicable only to specific type of organization.

Still, the question of how one could implement it within CM is still unanswered. So, my thought on this is that one CI for each “standard profile” must be created which stores the list of correlated workstations that belong to the profile. Workstations can then be added or removed from the list (from Change Mgmt).

When upgrading or applying fixes/SPs/etc to the SW elements listed in these CIs, an immediate view of which workstations belonging to the profile is instantly available which simplifies planning for any upgrade implementation and the controlling of versions and standardization mgmt. Obviously, serious consideration should be made wether the need for standarization compensates the probable overhead in Config/Change/Release that this may add. I tend to agree that it will not compensate.

Regards,
Cristiano.
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asrilrm
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Joined: Oct 07, 2007
Posts: 441
Location: Jakarta, INA

PostPosted: Wed Apr 23, 2008 7:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cris (mind if I call you that?),

You can use the virtualization approach to create CI for standardization.
One CI for a virtual server that points to several CIs of physical servers.
I've seen a post about virtualization somewhere in this forum.


Asril
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cjmt
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Joined: Mar 14, 2008
Posts: 32
Location: Porto, PO.

PostPosted: Sat Apr 26, 2008 7:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Asril,
No problem with calling me Cris (or Chris or CJ).
I'll check the virtualization post and see if it can be adapted in some way. Thanks.
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OhioScott
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Joined: Oct 29, 2007
Posts: 26

PostPosted: Thu May 01, 2008 6:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

We limited the listing in our CMDB down to the images available for loading onto our laptops and PCs. The images were then associated with with departments (one to many relationship).

Exceptions to the standard applications were few and required senior management. These exceptions were documented within our asset management system where individual desktops could be associated wtih employees.

The idea being that with the few allowable exceptions that kicked out during an audit, they could be validated against the asset management record. If not documented there the standard image was reloaded.
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