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ITIL :: View topic - Building a CMDB, need help in CI structure
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Building a CMDB, need help in CI structure

 
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benka
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Joined: Dec 18, 2006
Posts: 2
Location: Israel

PostPosted: Mon Dec 18, 2006 7:41 pm    Post subject: Building a CMDB, need help in CI structure Reply with quote

Hello,
I am building a CMDB those days, and I need your assisstance in determining the CI structure.

I appreciate if you may send me a CI structure, includes:
* A list of CI types you choose in your organization
* For each CI type: what was the main attributes?

And, if you have deeper experience with CMDB, I have few more questions"
* Do you have CI categories, else then CI types?
* The CI structure: how many levels of CIs you choose, What were those levels?
* A list of optional CI statuses.
* A list of CI relationship types.

Thanks!!

Benny Kamin
President
itSMF Israel
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Guerino1
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Joined: Jan 01, 2006
Posts: 500
Location: New Jersey

PostPosted: Mon Dec 18, 2006 11:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello Benny,

There are tons of articles in the forum with information on a CMDB. I suggest you search and read through them, as there is far too much to point out through this one post.

Also, building a CMDB is not a simple thing. It's complicated, time consuming, and very expensive over the long term. You'll see a number of conversations on this topic, too.

Best Regards,

Frank
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benka
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Joined: Dec 18, 2006
Posts: 2
Location: Israel

PostPosted: Tue Dec 19, 2006 1:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dear Frank,

Thank you for your answer.
I know there are tons of information about CMDB, I must admit - that's a problem. I got lost.

But still, you may assist me: I am looking for very particular list:
A list of CI types from a real organization. A list of CI that passed the "Fire test" of being in production. No a theoretical but practical list of CI types, with it's attributes.
So, if you have such a list (or a link) - I appreciate if you may forward it to me!

Regards,

Benny Kamin.
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ARoll
Senior Itiler


Joined: Apr 10, 2006
Posts: 86
Location: Boise Idaho

PostPosted: Wed Dec 20, 2006 3:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Benny,

I would definately agree with Frank in that you can find some articles and various white papers that will give you an idea of a suggested structure. But it really depends on your organization and what value you want to gain from the cmdb when looking at the attributes. In our organization i believe we are up to 125k CI's. For our structure or hierarchy at the highest level we divided from hardware, software, environment, documentation and a few more. From there the next level down example on hardware goes to Platforms (Desktops, Servers - corporate and non corporate), mainframe etc. On the application side we are still at a very highlevel listing hte individual apps but not all the components that make up that app at this time (such as open system interfaces etc). Same with mainframe. For example our mainframe HR application consists of several thousand indvidual programs, JCL's etc. It was not of value at our level of maturity to go to that individual item level but by design as we mature we have positioned ourselves to be able to add that next level.

Far as attributes it just depends on what you want to track within your organization which will bring value to you. One thing that can bring great pain to your cmdb implementation is too much information, it can make it unmanagable. For us, granted we are not very developed yet with our implementation so some attributes that we are tracking for example are - software version, hard drive size, cpu size and count, rack location, maintenance windows, OS version, service pack level just to name a few.

I'll dig around see if i can find an article which can speak a bit more specifically to what you are looking for.
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ARoll
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Joined: Apr 10, 2006
Posts: 86
Location: Boise Idaho

PostPosted: Wed Dec 20, 2006 5:14 am    Post subject: Attributes Reply with quote

From an electronic copy of the blue book i have one of the supplements on the CD was the following:

Annex 7C: Suggested CI attributes
The following attributes are examples that could be used in the CMDB. Note that hardware CI types will have different attributes from software CI types.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Attribute Description

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

CI Name The unique name by which this type of CI is known.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Copy or Serial Number The number that uniquely identifies the particular instances of this CI - for example, for software the copy number, for hardware the serial number.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Category Classification of a CI (e.g. hardware, software, documentation etc).

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Type Description of CI type, amplifying 'category' information (e.g. hardware configuration, software package, hardware device or program module).

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Model Number (hardware) Model of CI (corresponding, for example, to supplier's model number e.g. Dell model xxx, PC/aa model yyy).

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Warranty expiry date Date when the supplier's warranty expires for the CI.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Version Number The version number of the CI.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Location The location of the CI, e.g. the library or media where the software CIs reside, the site/room where a service is located.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Owner Responsible The name and/or designation of the owner responsible for the CI.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Responsibility Date Date the above owner became responsible for the CI.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Source/supplier The source of the CI, e.g. developed in-house, bought in from company xxxxx etc.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Licence Licence number or reference to licence agreement.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Supply Date Date when the CI was supplied to the organisation.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Accepted Date Date when the CI was accepted by the organisation as satisfactorily tested.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Status (current) The current status of the CI; e.g. under 'test', 'live', 'archived'.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Status (scheduled) The next scheduled status of the CI (with the date or indication of the event that will trigger the status change).

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Parent CI(s) relationships The unique CI identifier(s) - name/copy/number/model/number/ of the 'parent(s)' of this CI.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Child CI(s) relationships The unique CI identifier(s) of all 'children' of this CI.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Relationships The relationship of the CI with all CIs other than 'parent' and 'child' (e.g. this CI 'uses' another CI, this CI 'is connected to' another CI, this CI is 'resident on' another CI, this CI 'can access' another CI).

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

RFC Numbers The identification number of all RFCs affecting this CI.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Change Numbers The identification number of all Change records affecting this CI.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Problem Numbers The identification number of all Problem records affecting this CI.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Incident Numbers The identification number of all Incident records affecting this CI.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Comment A comment field to be used for textual narrative; for example, to provide a description of how this version of the CI is different from the previous version.
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Guerino1
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Joined: Jan 01, 2006
Posts: 500
Location: New Jersey

PostPosted: Wed Dec 20, 2006 12:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hence why ITIL is so limited.

What you're looking at is a very limited and inadequate set of attributes that also pigeon-holes your CIs into really being nothing more than general assets (hard computing, hard non-computing, and soft/virtual (e.g. SW).

It also recommends that you mix attributes with relationships, which will definitely get people into some serious trouble. For example, one asset may have many associated changes or, vice versa, one change may have many assets. It won't be pretty if you follow their recommendation.

And, finally, it doesn't tell you how to implement all of this, properly. Put this attribute specification into any database and try to first load it and then keep the information in it, up to date/current, over time, for a growing enterprise, and see how much time, energy, and money you waste on it.

Sorry, but it makes me cringe when I see things like this, because the poor inexperienced person thats seeking to implement a solution will read the above and say "Gee, I can do that!" and not have a clue as to what either the short and/or long term impacts will be.

Here's your first problem, from experience... Your model, especially if you follow the recommendation listed above, will be highly limited and won't let you scale to track and manage all the real information you'll need to truly make your CMDB effective.

Here's your second problem, from experience... The UI you use (or don't use), over the model, will be the first thing that will cripple the effectiveness of the system, making it difficult for people to interact with the system to create, edit, search for, extract, and format information.

These are only two of many you wil have. I wish anyone who undertakes such an initiative the best of luck, as they will need it.

Anyhow, I hope this helps.

Best Regards,

Frank
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